Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was founded to spearhead the creation of a new national museum. It was established as a unique relationship between the public and private sectors, and with a mandate to promote and teach human rights in order to inspire visitors to take personal responsibility for the preservation and enhancement of human rights in Canada and around the world. At the project’s heart is a funded national student travel program that will bring upwards of 20,000 students each year through the Museum for a powerful human rights journey, centred not on artifacts, but on cutting edge technology, storytelling, creative arts and personal interaction with museum staff and volunteers.
In 2002, Friends undertook the extensive initial business planning, promotion, engagement, fundraising and development activities* for the establishment of the Museum and is spearheading the Capital Campaign to raise the private sector contribution.
On April 20, 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Museum would be created as a national museum, operated as a Crown corporation by the Government of Canada and located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
*The Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (and, by extension, the CEO and staff) will ultimately decide all aspects of the museum including design, construction, exhibit plan, content and programming.
Construction on the Museum began in April 2009.