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Speech delivered by President and CEO Stuart Murray at Library and Archives Canada, October 18, 2010

News release details

Thank you Dr. Caron. Good afternoon everyone.

I am very happy to be here today to talk about a most exciting partnership.

It gives me great pleasure to be here today on behalf of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone and thank you for joining us, together with Library and Archives Canada, as we celebrate the official signing of our Memorandum of Understanding.

We are proud today to sign a document to formalize our partnership. Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights have already had the opportunity to work together on our very first virtual exhibit. We are a Museum of firsts. As we've already worked with Library and Archives on the Museum's inaugural virtual exhibit, it is fitting that our first Memorandum of Understanding with a federal institution is also with Library and Archives Canada.

We are so pleased to formalize our partnership with Library and Archives Canada and look forward to working jointly to showcase original artifacts and materials reflecting Canada's human rights history, both on the web and in the Museum.

National Museums play an essential role in preserving and promoting the heritage of Canada and all its' people throughout Canada and abroad; contributing to the collective memory and sense of identity of all Canadians; and serving as a source of inspiration, research, learning and entertainment that belongs to all Canadians.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights which is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba is Canada's fifth national museum, and the first established outside of the National Capital Region. It is a global centre where human rights struggles and victories from around the world will be discussed, debated, and celebrated.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights will be an important gathering place for scholars, educators, youth, international visitors, and Canadians to study the subject of human rights.

Through this partnership with Library and Archives Canada, we will enhance our visitors' experience by providing increased access to some of Canada's most notable human rights collections. Using these collections to develop engaging content and programming, both on-site and on-line, we will ignite debate; challenge visitors to confront difficult issues; and, inspire people to take responsibility and become activists for change in their communities, their countries and their world.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the team at Library and Archives Canada. Thank you for making this partnership possible and for making your collection accessible to all our visitors. We look forward to working with you to achieve our mutual goals. Together we have an opportunity not only to enhance the public's understanding of human rights but also make an incredible impact on present and future generations.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is going to be a museum unlike any other institution in this country. It will be an emblem of Canada's commitment to human rights, education and a proud legacy for all.

Construction of the Museum has now been underway for 18 months; the creation of the content of the Museum is well underway; research required for the opening Exhibition Plan and the collection of stories that will form the basis of our programming are also in full swing.

I invite you all to visit our website to see firsthand the tremendous progress being made on the construction site as it is truly amazing to watch this iconic building come to life.

As we move closer to the completion of construction on the building in 2012 and the grand opening in April 2013, there is still a tremendous amount to be accomplished, above and beyond building an architectural icon. Research, story gathering, content and exhibit development, public engagement sessions as well as partnership development will certainly ramp up over the next years.

The CMHR will be a national destination; for tourism as well as for studying, conferences, workshops, and student travel. I invite all of you to Winnipeg for the opening of the Museum in April 2013. The Canadian Museum is being built in Winnipeg, Manitoba for Canada and the world. We look forward to the day we will welcome you to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights when we open our doors in April 2013.

Thank you. Merci.