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Fifty days to Canada 150 this weekend: Museum gearing up for nation’s birthday

News release details

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is getting ready to mark Canada's 150th birthday year with special exhibitions, programs, lectures and family activities throughout 2017.

This Saturday, November 12, marks 50 days until the national celebration begins. The Museum's Israel Asper Tower of Hope will glow red after dusk on November 12, one of the iconic buildings across the country to "Light Canada Red". Among other buildings that will turn red are the CN Tower, the Old Port of Montreal Clock Tower, the Parliament Buildings, and Canada Place in Vancouver.

Canadians are invited to take part by printing "50 Days To Go" signs" from the CBC Web portal, dressing in red and posting selfies, or taking artistic photos of the CMHR lit in red, and publishing them on social media using #Canada150, #CanadaRed and #AtCMHR. Participants will have a one in 50 chance to win Canada 150 gear.

What: Fifty Days to Canada's 150th birthday – Light Canada Red

When: Saturday, November 12

Where: CMHR, 85 Israel Asper Way

There are also 50 more days for Canadian residents to submit their photos to be considered for inclusion in the Museum's national photography exhibition for Canada 150 called Points of View, which will open on Canada Day, July 1, 2017. This exhibition will feature crowd-sourced photos, selected by a jury, reflecting freedom of expression and Canada 150 themes of Reconciliation, Human Rights & the Environment, Youth, Inclusion & Diversity. Those chosen as the best photographs in each thematic category will receive cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $2,500, including a separate award for the best photo submitted by a youth under 18.

On December 13, 2016, the Museum will open a new exhibition called 1867: Rebellion & Confederation, developed by the Canadian Museum of History and adapted by the CMHR to examine events leading up to Confederation through a human rights lens, including the struggle for responsible government. It will feature more than 100 artifacts, along with interactive components and family activities. Another exhibition, opening in February 2017, will present original short films featuring the experiences of seven remarkable Canadians from diverse backgrounds with uplifting human rights stories.

The Museum has also added three new school programs that reflect Canada 150 themes, including one about Indian Residential Schools and reconciliation, another about rights and Indigenous Peoples, and a third about struggles for gender equality. A 30-minute learning program will also be offered to complement the exhibition 1867: Rebellion & Confederation, which can be added to other booked school programs, beginning in January 2017.

Public programs, events, performances, lectures and family activities focused on human rights education will be offered throughout the year in recognition of Canada's 150th birthday. On March 16, the Museum is proud to host the Walrus Talks Conversations about Canada: We Desire a Better Country – a Canada 150 Signature Initiative organized by the Walrus Foundation in partnership with the Order of Canada and Canada 150.

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Maureen Fitzhenry