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CMHR wins inaugural award at “the Oscars for Museums”

News release details

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) today won an international award in London, England at an event that has been dubbed "the Oscars for Museums".

The jury for the 2016 Leading Culture Destination Awards chose the CMHR over five other institutions around the world shortlisted for the Best Soft Power Cultural Organization award, including the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC and museums in Poland, Afghanistan, the Philippines and Suriname.

"Canadians can be proud that their new national museum has been recognized as a global cultural destination alongside the most prestigious museums and galleries in the world," CMHR president and CEO John Young said. "This award will encourage more visitors from around the world to make the trip to Winnipeg and experience for themselves the cultural and architectural marvel that is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights."

Young also expressed gratitude to Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman for nominating the CMHR for this unique award, which was newly created to recognize cultural organizations, cities or districts that have powerful influence and impact based on excellence, relevance, transparency, accountability and sustainability.

"The CMHR has had a profound effect on our city, both conceptually and architecturally," Mayor Bowman said. "From the subject matter to the effect on Winnipeg's skyline, the CMHR commands the attention of the beholder. As a city, we're thrilled to have such an important cultural icon that has the ability to inspire current and future generations."

The CMHR has now won over 30 international, national and regional awards for attributes ranging from visitor experience and accessibility to technology, architecture and construction. Other awards in 2016 include an International Architecture Award from the prestigious Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design; and two awards for educational initiatives from the Canadian Museums Association. In 2015, the Museum also won gold at the International Design and Communications Awards for best mobile app. A complete list of awards can be found on the CMHR website.

Leading Culture Destinations is a London-based organization offering unique experiences for cultural explorers, global nomads, people collectors and art lovers. It also publishes a quarterly magazine showcasing museums as social hubs, driving a new generation of travellers to creative communities in destinations around the world.

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 creates inspiring encounters with human rights for all ages and abilities, in a visitor experience unlike any other.

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Maureen Fitzhenry