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Museum unveils diverse program of events and performances for two days of opening celebrations

News release details

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) today announced a diverse program for its weekend-long opening celebrations on September 20 and 21, featuring everything from skateboarding to opera to Aboriginal dance.

RightsFest – a two-day celebration offering human rights-themed music, dance, art and children's programs – will also include some of Manitoba's most celebrated cultural institutions such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Manitoba Opera and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

The Museum's weekend of free events will offer more than a dozen performances on multiple outdoor stages at The Forks in Winnipeg, from spoken word and indie rock to visual art and children's activities. From ballet that explores themes of cultural acceptance to high-energy musicians who seamlessly merge cultural traditions, many of the RightsFest performers will touch on the rights and responsibilities all citizens share. 

"Like the Museum itself, RightsFest truly has something for everyone," said CMHR President and CEO Stuart Murray. "Opening Canada's new national museum is a community celebration, and we're pleased to announce a weekend of events that will appeal to people of all ages and every background."

Much of the programming has been specially developed in honour of the Museum's opening, with some cultural groups even choosing to perform together in a spirit of unity and hope. For example, Winnipeg's Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble (which celebrates Jewish culture) and the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble will perform a piece together as a shining example of the impact communities can have when they celebrate together.

The free performances and events will take place from morning until late afternoon on both Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21. A Manitoba Music Showcase featuring local talent such as Bros. Landreth and Royal Canoe will round out the daytime programming on Saturday afternoon, followed by a free outdoor Canadian Museum for Human Rights Concert on the Saturday night, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The Museum will also offer two full days of free "preview" tours through select galleries during its inaugural weekend. Tickets will be made available on the CMHR website beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 3.

The full opening weekend schedule of events is available on the Museum's web site. 

The CMHR will provide free, hour-long public preview tours through four Museum galleries during its official opening celebrations on September 20 and 21. Tickets for the weekend tours will be available online starting September 3, and are expected to attract up to 10,000 visitors over two days. From September 22 to 26, a number of special events will be held, including private visits by people whose stories are portrayed in the Museum. The CMHR is honouring their courage and giving them a chance to see the exhibits in privacy during these few days. In addition, the Museum will welcome senior Canadian travel and tourism officials for familiarization tours. Regular operations, with paid admission and public access to all Museum galleries, begin Saturday, September 27. 



What's happening when? 


CMHR official opening ceremonies
Friday, September 19, 10:30 a.m. CDT

The public is invited to watch the opening ceremonies live on CityTV Winnipeg, nationally on OMNI TV and APTN, or live online on humanrights.ca.

RightsFest
Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. CDT

From skateboarding to the symphony, RightsFest will feature more than two dozen free performances, activities and events all weekend long on multiple stages in and around The Forks.

Free Public Preview Tours
Saturday, September 20, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. CDT and
Sunday, September 21, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. CDT

The Museum will offer free, hour-long tours through four of its galleries to give as many people as possible a look inside the Museum during opening weekend. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance. Online reservations open September 3 at 10 a.m.

Canadian Concert for Human Rights
Saturday, September 20, 6:30 p.m. CDT (or watch live beginning at 7:00 p.m. CDT on CityTV, OMNI TV and APTN, or live online via the Museum's website).

The Museum invites the public to a free outdoor concert featuring top Canadian talent including A Tribe Called Red, Bruce Cockburn, Ashley MacIsaac, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Shad and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Media contacts

Maureen Fitzhenry