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Musical showcase to carry human rights stories to new heights

The CMHR and University of Manitoba collaborate on an inspirational free Friday night

Two hands play the keys of a gleaming black Yamaha piano. The pianist, barely shown, wears a long-sleeved black top. Partially obscured.

Photo: Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash

News release details

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) will be open to the public and filled with music next Friday evening, February 23, as galleries come alive with 40 stirring performances by top classical musicians from around the globe. And it’s all free from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. that night.

The event, called “Dream Big,” is a collaboration between the CMHR and the University of Manitoba (U of M). It will pair music with specific human rights themes, spotlighting the artistic and tangible impacts music can have on social justice. Curated by collaborative pianist and event director Valerie Dueck, the evening will feature music composed as a response to trauma or as a call to action.

Short live performances begin at 6 p.m. in six different galleries, with a new one beginning every 15 minutes. Guides will be available to help visitors make the most of the experience.

This event is part of Dream Big: Building Community through Collaboration, a conference that draws musicians from around the world. Hosted by the University of Manitoba, the conference runs February 22–24.

Friday night performances will examine Canadian experiences of human rights, the Holocaust and other atrocities, and contemporary human rights struggles. In addition, two films will be shown; one explores the journey of women in human trafficking, while a French‐language documentary (with English subtitles) looks at the Duplessis orphans, children who were deliberately misclassified as “mentally ill” in Quebec and confined to institutions in the 1940s and 1950s.

St. John’s Pianos and the U of M’s Desautels Faculty of Music are providing the acoustic pianos being placed in CMHR galleries.

All are welcome to attend this free Friday night of music at the Museum. People are encouraged to register online at

Media contacts

Leslie Vryenhoek (she/her)