Canadians are invited to join in a full weekend of free events and performances on September 20 and 21 in celebration of the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).
Museum representatives and event partners said the two-day festival – titled RightsFest – would offer something for people of all ages and backgrounds, from an open-air Canadian Concert for Human Rights starring nationally renowned musicians, to daytime activities and programs that explore and celebrate the rights and responsibilities Canadians share.
"The opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is reason for national celebration, and the invitation to join in the weekend of festivities is open to all," CMHR President and CEO Stuart Murray said today at a media event held at the Museum to announce the inaugural weekend program.
Murray said the Museum's inaugural celebrations would offer something for everyone, including:
- The Canadian Concert for Human Rights, taking place on the evening of Saturday, September 20 on an outdoor stage at The Forks in Winnipeg;
- More than 25 daytime performances and activities at multiple outdoor locations around The Forks from morning until late afternoon on Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21;
- Special free "preview tours" through select Museum galleries from morning until late afternoon on the Saturday and Sunday.
The free guided tours will allow as many people as possible to enjoy a look inside the Museum on the inaugural weekend, Murray said. After welcoming thousands of visitors on September 20 and 21, a number of smaller partner events will take place inside the Museum the following week. Regular paid admissions will begin on Saturday, September 27.
Information on how to reserve free tickets for the preview tours will be announced in late August, along with a full RightsFest schedule including performance times and locations.
"The Canadian Museum for Human Rights – the first national museum to be located outside the National Capital Region – will soon open its doors to the world," said Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover. "I look forward to joining Winnipeggers as well as people from across the country and around the world as they take part in festivities surrounding the official opening."
The line-up for the free Canadian Concert for Human Rights, curated in partnership with the Winnipeg Folk Festival, was also announced today.
- Internationally renowned Canadian folk legend Bruce Cockburn;
- Ottawa-based Juno Award-winning and Polaris-nominated First Nations electronic artists A Tribe Called Red;
- Montreal-based Polaris-nominated and Independent Music Award-winning chanteuse Marie-Pierre Arthur;
- Vancouver-based Juno Award-winning and Polaris-nominated hip-hop artist Shad;
- Multiple Juno Award-winning east-coast fiddler Ashley MacIsaac;
- Globally celebrated singer-songwriter, educator, artist and social activist Buffy Sainte-Marie.
"We are thrilled to work with an organization whose values are so well aligned with our own," said Winnipeg Folk Festival Artistic Director Chris Frayer. "The folk music genre has always been steeped in the pursuit of equality for all and it was with that in mind that we put together this diverse line-up of incredibly talented Canadian artists."
A broadcast and production partnership between the Museum and Rogers will bring the concert to families across Canada, both on live television and via live webcast. The live concert broadcast will also be carried nationally by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).
The CMHR is working with Manitoba arts and cultural organizations to bring top Manitoba talent to the RightsFest stages throughout the inaugural weekend. A Manitoba Music Showcase of home-grown talent will precede the Canadian Concert for Human Rights during the afternoon of Saturday, September 20.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Using multimedia technology and other innovative approaches, the CMHR will create inspiring encounters with human rights for all ages, in a visitor experience unlike any other.