Visitors to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) can explore women's rights issues in Canada and the world all week long on a special themed tour developed to mark International Women's Day (March 8).
Offered every day from Saturday, March 3 until Sunday, March 11, the tour explores stories and exhibits ranging from Nellie McClung's "Persons Case" of 1927 to Jaime Black's haunting art installation about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) to a photo exhibit about Muslim women in Quebec who wear the veil. This 75-minute program, beginning each day at 1 p.m., invites participants into a conversation about achievements for women's rights and the work yet to be done. An additional 3 p.m. tour will be added on March 8. Tours in French depart at 12:45 p.m.
They include stops in the Museum's newest exhibition, Rights of Passage: Canada at 150, where participants will learn more about the stories of Carrie Best, a Nova Scotian activist against racial discrimination who became the first Black newspaper publisher in Canada, and Thérèse Casgrain, the first woman to be elected leader of a political party in Canada. The cost is $5 plus gallery admission.
On March 7 at 7 p.m., the CMHR hosts free screenings of five short National Film Board films (in French with English subtitles) called "Inspired and Inspiring Women" in partnership with Heritage Canada as part of the 20th edition of Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. One of the films is about Acadian singer-songwriter Edith Butler whose music is featured in the CMHR's Rights of Passage exhibition.
On March 8, Indigenous women and the homeless are the focus of a special event at the Museum beginning at 7 p.m. A documentary about homelessness, called Us & Them, will be screened as a fundraiser for Manitobans for Human Rights, with support from the CMHR, Assembly of First Nations (Manitoba region) and Peguis First Nation. The evening — emceed by Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Ry Moran — includes a keynote address by Beverly Jacobs, former president of the Native Women's Association of Canada and advocate for the families of MMIWG. A Q&A with filmmaker Krista Loughton will follow. Tickets are $25 ($15 for youth), available by emailing email@example.com.
International Women's Day at the Museum will also include a special focus during the day on Viola Desmond, whose portrait will soon grace the new $10 bill as the first woman (besides the Queen) on the front of a regularly circulating Canadian bank note. An exhibit in the Museum relays the story of Desmond — a Black Nova Scotian business owner — who in 1946 refused to leave the whites-only section of a theatre in New Glasgow until she was dragged out and thrown in jail. Her defiance helped motivate the struggle against racial segregation in Canada.