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Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Caption: The CMHR at night. The tower is lit red for Canada Day. Photo by Aaron Cohen. Courtesy of CMHR.
In the heart of Manitoba, Canada, on the outskirts of Winnipeg is a museum that has embraced the next stage in information dissemination and crafted an experience that is one of a kind. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is turning heads and changing perspectives and we can’t wait to check it out. From the first gallery that poses the question “What are human rights?” to specific galleries that explore the Holocaust, indigenous perspectives and turning points in humanity, the CMHR seems to leave few stones unturned and encourages visitors to think about life in a variety of ways.
By working your way from below the Earth’s surface to the glittering daylight above, visitors participate in a journey from oppression to action to a bright and free future. Every element of the building reflects human rights in some way. According to the museum’s mobile app, the Bonnie and John Buhler Hall has a massive ceiling that is supported by metal beams that echo the railway history of The Forks - a landmark that can be seen from the CMHR’s 190 foot tall Tower of Hope.
Caption: A young woman performs a cultural dance from a native tribe in Canada. Photo by Jessica Sigurdson. Courtesy of CMHR.
During the visit, participants are encouraged to put ideas into action and take the first step to making a difference at the Digital Interactive table. We are looking forward to reading poignant messages about human rights that others have written and create messages of our own. When stomachs start to rumble, they will discover the ERA Bistro, serving local, sustainably grown, organic, affordable cuisine prepared by a talented chef. We can’t wait to try some of the tasty dishes listed on the menu.
One of our favorite elements of the museum is the level of accessibility it provides. Every kiosk displays open captioning, descriptive video and two different kinds of sign language signed by members of the deaf community (the facility has not yet installed induction loops). Mobile devices help guide visitors through the galleries. iBeacon technology connects other mobile devices to nearby Universal Access Points. Braille codes, touchscreens and voice instructions are also easily accessible throughout the museum.
In the seven months it has been open, the CMHR has won 12 awards for its innovation and brilliance including four MUSE Awards for Digital Infrastructure, an interactive mobile app, the Lights of Inclusion game and the Actions Count game. This is a destination that has everyone’s name written on it and will most definitely be one of our future features.
Caption: The award winning Lights of Inclusion game encourages participants to move together in a circle of light. The light reacts and moves around the floor as visitors make choices as to where to step. Photo by Aaron Cohen. Courtesy of CMHR.