A Deaf storyteller shares a classic children's tale. A game explores the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in pictures. A finger-weaving activity connects participants to grandmothers caring for AIDS orphans in Africa. A pantomime performed with large masks relays messages about love and gift-giving.
Every day during spring break, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) will be full of activities that can inspire children to become human rights champions. Regular gallery admission fees apply, with family day passes and annual memberships available.
What: Spring break activities for families at CMHR
When: Saturday, March 26 to Sunday, April 3 (see attached schedule)
Where: CMHR, 85 Israel Asper Way
Storytellers during the week include Joe McLellan, author of How the Turtle Got its Shell and other books of the Nanabosho series; Mona Moquin, a Métis artist who uses her storytelling to raise awareness of the importance of reconciliation; TiBert le Voyageur (Rob Malo) who performs improv, music and stories with props; and David Burke, winner of multiple awards for telling stories through American Sign Language.
A free photography activity for adults and older children on March 30 shows participants how to "paint" with light like some of the artists in the Museum's Sight Unseen exhibition.
Media are welcome any time to gather visuals and interviews. Please call in advance to arrange gallery access. The Museum will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during spring break – including the March 25 Good Friday statutory holiday and Monday, March 28.
Spring break activities at the CMHR
Little defenders story time
Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation (Level 3)
March 26, 1 p.m. (English)
Joe McLellan, Métis storyteller and author of the Nanabosho series (including the renowned How the Turtle Got its Shell) shares stories for children. McLellan has spent 40 years as an educator who uses stories to bring people together. He believes stories carry our dreams and, by sharing dreams, we create reality.
March 26 and 27, 3 p.m. (French)
Mona Moquin interprets Relatives with Roots by Leah Marie Dorian. Moquin is inspired by her Franco-Manitoban and Métis culture, and by Mother Earth's beautiful nature. She hopes to contribute to reconciliation through education and uses her art and storytelling to raise awareness of the importance of building relationships.
April 2, 1 p.m. (English) and 3 p.m. (French)
TiBert le Voyageur (Robert Malo) performs with storytelling, song and props. Malo is a Franco-Manitoban who draws on his background in educational programming to delight audiences at schools and festivals. As an improv artist, musician and spoken-word artist, he bridges cultural divides to promote an awareness of our shared humanity.
April 3, 1 p.m. (American Sign Language with English interpretation)
Deaf storyteller David Burke presents The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, a classic children's story of love and sacrifice. Burke has over 30 years' experience as an sign-language instructor, has won two ASL Storytelling Literature Awards, and has performed in festivals across Canada, including the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival. He is a strong advocate for the rights of Deaf People and passionate about preserving Manitoba's Deaf history.
March 26 to April 3 (English or French)
Scavenger hunt: Grab a booklet from your Museum host and explore the galleries on a self-guided quest to discover amazing human rights stories and artifacts. Bonnie & John Buhler Hall (Level 1) any time from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Kind Line: Add your own creation to this interactive "clothesline" art installation. Share your writing or drawing of a personal experience when you were kind to others – or someone was kind to you. Canadian Journeys gallery (Level 2), any time from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
March 28 to April 1 (English or French)
Weaving change: Learn how to finger weave and make your own yarn creation in support of human rights. You'll discover how grandmothers around the world use "yarn bombing" to draw attention to the plight of AIDS orphans in Africa. Inspiring Change gallery (Level 7), any time from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Show me your rights: In this fast-paced game, participants draw a picture of one of the rights described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, then your team tries to guess which one you chose. Turning Points for Humanity gallery (Level 4), any time from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
March 26 and 27, April 2 and 3
The right to play: Make a soccer ball out of recycled materials and learn about the right to play, a basic right described in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Rights Today gallery (Level 5), any time from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Painting with light
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bonnie & John Buhler Hall
Use flashlights to create an amazing light-painted photograph. Several of the artists featured in the CMHR's unique exhibit, Sight Unseen: International Photography by Blind Artists, use light painting as one of their photographic techniques. Program leaders will take you through this interesting creative activity.
Performance of The Gift
March 26, April 2 and 3
Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation (Level 3)
This family-friendly pantomime production uses physical theatre, large masks and improvisation to relay a message about love and the concept of gift-giving. Originally developed for a children's exhibition that ran in the Museum last fall, this 30-minute play is based on O. Henry's classic story "The Gift of the Magi" and is ideal for younger children.
Tours are one of the best ways to experience the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Families can choose a guided tour for a small additional fee — Explore the Galleries (exhibitions) or Discover the Building (architecture). They can also embark on a unique, self-guided tour using the Museum's award-winning mobile app, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play. More information can be found at humanrights.ca/visit/tours.