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Volunteers eager to help out at Canada’s new national human rights museum

News release details

More than 350 people have signed on to help create inspiring encounters with human rights. A call for volunteers several months ago by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) was met with an overwhelming response.

"I commend the community support and the commitment of the many great volunteers to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the first national museum to be built outside Canada's capital region," said the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "Your enthusiasm and dedication to this project have helped make the vision a reality that will soon benefit all Canadians for generations to come. The contribution of volunteers to museums across the country is essential and invaluable."

"The number of people who have volunteered their time to the museum reflects the importance our community places on education as a tool to promote the rights of all human beings," says President and CEO Stuart Murray. "These volunteers will help ensure an exceptional experience for our visitors."

"More than 500 people attended information sessions this spring, and about 400 subsequently applied to be a CMHR volunteer," says Denise Bukowski, Volunteer Services Manager. "All the volunteers accepted have embraced our values of respect, integrity, service and excellence and can't wait to be part of this amazing once-in-a-lifetime volunteer opportunity."

The volunteers are Manitoba-based and will be assigned to work closely with staff in many different areas of the museum, with responsibilities such as interacting with visitors, assisting with special events and guided tours, administrative support and educational programming. As part of the volunteer registration process, all volunteers were interviewed, had references checked, and were subject to a Child Abuse Registry and Government of Canada Reliability Status Check.

A number of volunteers have already been actively engaged, assisting with special events and setting up the retail operations.

The museum is not currently accepting any new applications to volunteer. Prospective volunteers are invited to stay connected to the museum's website and social media channels for future opportunities.

See further information attached.

The CMHR will provide free, hour-long public preview tours through four Museum galleries during its official opening celebrations on September 20 and 21, for about 9,000 people. These tickets are now fully booked. 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.


For more information, please contact:
Maureen Fitzhenry
Media relations manager
Ph: (204) 289‑2112
Cell: (204) 782‑8442
Email: maureen.fitzhenry@humanrights.ca


Volunteers at the CMHR….By the Numbers 

24 – Number of public information sessions held on volunteering at the CMHR
500 – Number of people who attended the information sessions
400 – Number of people who applied to become volunteers
60 – Number of people who were involved in recruiting and interviewing the volunteer applicants
600 – Number of references checked, either by phone or email
360 – Number of people accepted as CMHR volunteers
32 – Number of languages spoken by CMHR volunteers
31 – Percentage of volunteers aged 55 to 65—the largest age category represented
50 – Approximate number of volunteers needed at the CMHR each day
100 – Minimum number of hours each volunteer is required to commit in the first six months
10,920 – Anticipated number of volunteer shifts per year
32,760 – Anticipated number of hours the volunteer team will log each year
5,427 – Number of hours already logged by volunteers


Note to Media—The following CMHR volunteers are available for interviews:

Inna Malchy – An immigrant from Ukraine at the age of 18, Inna is employed at Royal Winnipeg Ballet School as a supervisor of children and youth. She also works as a counselor at Klinic Health Community Centre. Inna speaks Russian, Ukrainian and English and is 35 years old.

Bill Stannard – A dedicated volunteer, Bill is retired from careers as a Protestant minister and as a computer systems analyst. In addition to volunteering at the CMHR, he currently also volunteers at Lower Fort Garry and the Prairie Dog Central train.

Elsie Tellier – A grade 12 student at Vincent Massey Collegiate, Elsie's ancestry is Mexican and North African. Elsie has cystic fibrosis and uses a wheelchair. She has acted as an ambassador and spokesperson for the Children's Wish Foundation.

Mariette Ferré – A teacher by profession, Mariette is fluently bilingual and taught in Francophone, Immersion and English-language schools in Manitoba. Specialized in mediation and merger negotiations, she worked as an Administrative Staff Officer for the Manitoba Teachers' Society in staff development and labour relations in both official languages. She acquired extensive experience in the application of the Human Rights Code in the workplace. She has served on volunteer boards pertaining to the status of women, health and education.

Ron and Janet Menec – Ron spent the first six years of his working career as a high school teacher and the last 32 years as a lawyer. Janet is a professional home economist and adult educator. She worked for 34 years teaching at the University of Manitoba and more recently with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. Both Janet and Ron are currently retired. They are one of a number of married couples volunteering at CMHR.