This national museum is a centerpiece of Winnipeg. Opened in 2014, the geometric building looks as though it is growing up from the ground as the environment and human rights often go hand in hand. Both inside and out, the building itself plays on a light and dark concept of starting in the darkness of ignorance and taking a journey of learning up through to the light. With the Tower of Hope propelling up through the center, it’s a visual of the museum’s overall theme of hope and possibilities. This museum of inclusion celebrates the broad concept of human rights and celebrates truly everyone. It’s not an artifact-heavy museum, and is more of a museum built around an idea that connects its visitors through stories.
Difficult topics are exhibited throughout, but parents can easily avoid sections of the museum if they decide their child is too young to understand. The museum staff can also suggest different paths to take that are age specific. But each exhibit gives different points of view that you may not have considered prior, and makes you think about being a part of something bigger.
The museum begins its journey explaining the definition of human rights as: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Art, sculptures, digital media, first-person videos, interactive screens and seven theaters portray various points in history, ideas and stories of overcoming. There is an indoor rock-type garden of contemplation, which offers a quiet and bright place to just sit and think.
The Inspiring Change section of the museum is enlightening to see what has sparked change from music, protests and art and how even kids can make a difference. For example, a prom dress was donated by a young teen who, in 2013 (yes, 2013), helped to end a segregated prom at her high school in Georgia, United States. There are also blank note cards found in this room and anyone can write and display on the wall what “inspires you” or what “I believe” or “I will.” Some of our favorites on the day we visited were, “I imagine a world where we all get along” and “I will overcome my remaining prejudices.”
From the top of the Tower of Hope, visitors can look out on all of Winnipeg, realizing the hope and possibilities that lie ahead.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and open until 9 p.m. on Wednesday. Closed on Monday in the winter.
Free for children 7 and under, $9 for children ages 7 to 17 and $18 for adults, $50 for families of two adults and four children.
A cafÃ© can be found inside the museum.
Parking can be found in nearby lots and at The Forks.