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Real estate associations support Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Sep 04, 2008

The first “national museum” to be built outside of Ottawa has received the endorsement of the WinnipegREALTORS® Association and the Manitoba Real Estate Association.

Both associations are urging their members to contribute to the new $265-million Canadian Museum for Human Rights to be built at The Forks.

“We do not engage our members very often as they lead busy lives and are committed to so many other worthwhile community endeavours,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Darlene Clare. “However, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is an exception.

“It has the potential to position Winnipeg as a city where people from across the country and around the world will take notice and partake in a world-class experience.”

The Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is launching a fund-raising campaign this fall to achieve its goal of $105 million in private donations.

Clare said both associations are encouraging REALTORS® to also show their support for the museum by informing friends, colleagues and clients about the “once-in-a-lifetime cause.”

Gail Asper, the national campaign chair for the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, said REALTORS® “will bring inspirational energy, creativity and a ‘reach for the stars’ attitude” to the fund-raising campaign that will help bring a project to Winnipeg that “will forever change the face of our city and province.”

The museum was the dream of Israel “Izzy” Asper who died in 2003. To honour his memory, the Asper family has 

donated $20 million toward the museum.

The federal government announced $100 million in funding contingent upon the friends of the museum raising $165 million in private funds. The friends of the museum have already raised over $70 million in private donations.

Ottawa has also promised another $22 million for the annual operating costs of the museum.

Manitoba Premier Gary Doer earlier announced a $40-million commitment to the museum, while the city has pledged $20 million in support.

“The museum will help create lasting social and cultural change through a transformative journey of hope,” added Gail Asper. 

“I can’t wait for the day when we marvel at the new business, education and tourism opportunities the museum will open up for this city.”

“Manitoba’s rich history of human rights successes makes our province the ideal location for the museum,” said Doer after pledging provincial funds for the project. “In particular, it will be a fitting addition to The Forks, which is the historic meeting place of aboriginal people.

“The museum will pay tribute to past human rights successes, while helping to educate and teach us about the struggles of today and tomorrow,” he added.

Rotary International has promised funding to send thousands of students from outside Canada to Winnipeg, who will participate in an international human rights  program at the museum.

In addition, 20,000 grade nine students from across Canada will annually participate in a youth education program.

“Never before has there been a collaboration of this scale to develop a national museum,” said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper when annoucing 

Ottawa’s commitment, “but if ever there were a Canadian cultural institution suited for a private-public partnership, it is this one, because human rights can never be the exclusive preserve of the state.”

Donations to the museum can be made via the website www.beginswithyou.net