CMHR glows with “northern lights” to signal hope for the new year

Tags for CMHR glows with “northern lights” to signal hope for the new year

A building surrounded by glass panes illuminated in blue and purple. Snowflake designs are also projected on the windows.

Photo: CMHR, Aaron Cohen

News release details

On the darkest day of the year, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) building will light up in glowing colours as a sign of hope and optimism for 2021.

The winter solstice marks a change of season and time of renewal that has long been celebrated by Indigenous people. It is a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the "new sun" of the future.

Large LED light cannons set up inside the Museum will illuminate the 1,300 panes of its glass “cloud” in shifting colours inspired by northern lights and snow. The Israel Asper Tower of Hope will also be lit with colours.

“We wanted to lift people’s spirits by offering light at the end of a dark and difficult year with the pandemic,” said CMHR President and CEO Isha Khan. “The Museum has been closed since October 31 and, while we offer online programming, we still look for other ways to support and connect with our community.

“As Desmond Tutu once said: Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

The colourful lights will glow in the darkness every day until January 9, starting today at dusk. For New Year’s Eve, the lights will be changed to a more vibrant and celebratory sequence.

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Maureen Fitzhenry