Portraits on ice and snow depict 100 years in struggle for women's rights
From Nellie McClung to Adrienne Clarkson, a new outdoor exhibition spans 100 years in the struggle for women's rights through portraits of courageous Canadian women who have broken gender barriers.
Let Them Howl: 100 Years in the Women's Rights Struggle was jointly developed by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC). It opens tomorrow at Festival du Voyageur Park in Winnipeg, featuring reproductions of 12 portraits taken mostly from LAC's collection, including photographs by renowned artists such as Yousuf Karsh, Barbara Woodley and Bryan Adams. Nine of the portraits have also been installed under the Bank Street Bridge in Ottawa for viewing by skaters on the Rideau Canal (when ice conditions allow).
The year 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of women first winning the right to vote in Canada, with the Province of Manitoba leading the way. The name of the exhibition comes from a famous quote by McClung, who said, "Never retreat, never explain, never apologize. Get the thing done and let them howl."The Winnipeg exhibition opens tomorrow at Festival du Voyageur Park. Admission is included with Festival entry. Museum members receive a 15-per-cent discount on tickets purchased at the Festival du Voyageur offices (233 Provencher Blvd). After Festival is over, the exhibit re-opens on March 8 at the same location on the outside wall of Fort Gibraltar.
CMHR president and CEO John Young said the stories of the women in the exhibition show how far women's rights have come in Canada since suffragists won their fight for the vote 100 years ago.
"They paint a picture of an ongoing struggle that did not succeed all at once, but moved forward by degrees – sometimes decades apart – and is still not over," Young said during a news conference held today in front of the exhibition at Fort Gibraltar with Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and Festival du Voyageur organizers.
An empty photo frame reminds visitors of the work that still remains to be done. They can show support for women's rights by putting themselves in the picture and sharing photos with the hashtag #LetThemHowl.
Let Them Howl is also viewable on the CMHR's Website and mobile app, which includes accessibility features designed for people with vision loss. The app can be downloaded for free (search "Canadian Museum for Human Rights") from The App Store or Google Play.
An online "Geo-connections" orienteering game, developed for this exhibition, explores events and places related to Canadian women leaders. Another online game asks, "Which human rights leader are you?" and matches players to one of the women depicted in the exhibition.
"This exhibition allows us to recall important moments in the struggle for women's rights in Canada," said Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "By viewing these portraits of exceptional women, we have the opportunity to reflect collectively on issues related to the advancement of women's rights."
Library and Archives Canada