Opening day for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is approaching — Sept. 20, 2014. The structure is looking spectacular from the outside. But what's going on inside?
Angela Cassie, the museum's director of communications and external relations, says museum staff have moved into the physical museum and gallery spaces are sealed off and undergoing major construction.
As well, 100,000 words of original text are being written, scripts are being finalized for films and the last artifacts, pictures and images are being selected.
'It's like a book with a lot of different chapters, so each gallery really represents a different chapter of the story.' - Angela Cassie
The museum has identified 11 galleries around different human rights themes. They include:
- What are Human Rights?
- Indigenous Perspectives
- Canadian Journeys
- Protecting Rights in Canada
- Examining the Holocaust
- Turning Points for Humanity
- Breaking the Silence
- Actions Count
- Rights Today
- Inspiring Change
"It's a lot of perspectives, a lot of research, a lot of consultation that has come to shape this journey," said Cassie.
"It's like a book with a lot of different chapters, so each gallery really represents a different chapter of the story."
The introductory gallery provides the broad context for the whole museum, while in the Indigenous Perspectives gallery offers Indigenous concepts of humanity and responsibility.
It will include a basket-shaped theatre, representing many Aboriginal traditions, showing 360-degree films. It will also be used for storytelling and performance and promises to be one of the most impressive spaces in the museum.
Canadian Journeys is the largest gallery and tells a wide range of stories that will connect and touch Canadians, everything from the Chinese head tax to voting rights. It's also child-friendly.
Exhibits will make use of the latest technology and provide plenty of opportunities for interaction, such as a debate table where people will learn about supreme court decisions.
"The final galleries start looking at human rights today," Cassie explained, "and ways to inspire change and ways to take some of the knowledge that you gained through the museum and take action in your own community or your own home."
The Friends of the Museum have raised $142 million of the $150 million goal.