Canadian Museum for Human Rights

AV Systems Enhance the Museum’s Exploration of Human Rights
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Download this project profile as a PDF

Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights explores the universal concept of human rights with a special emphasis on Canada. The museum features theaters, interactive touchscreen stations, projections on a digital canvas and hundreds of video clips. Electrosonic was contracted to do the audio-visual design of the museum’s eleven galleries, and subsequently directed the AV installation working with local partner Advance Pro.

Candian Journeys

Eleven media partners were involved in the build-out requiring considerable technical coordination by Electrosonic. The project posed a number of challenges due to the building’s unique architectural profile, which was designed by US architect Antoine Predock, working with Winnipeg’s Architecture 49. Electrosonic worked closely with SH Acoustics, LLC of Milford, Connecticut, on the museum’s audio elements, which included developing audio strategies and acoustic treatments tailored to the unique design of the building.

360 Theatre

The Indigenous Perspectives gallery has a 360º theater where visitors watch a video about First Nations’ concepts of rights and responsibilities to each other and the land. It’s outfitted with six projectors, with a seventh projector available for special presentations. A video production and playback system handles the edge-blending of the video. The Canadian Journeys gallery has a single-projector theater with a projector plus a two-story Digital Canvas featuring two walls of screen prints and a third wall of imagery displayed by four additional projectors.

Breaking the Silence

Numerous AV displays and interactive stations, many of them 27-inch touchscreens, engage visitors throughout the galleries. Electrosonic also collaborated with the museum to build custom Universal Key Pads for people with disabilities. Fifteen AV niches are featured in Canadian Journeys; the displays have, in various configurations, embedded monitors, and projectors. The gallery exploring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has four interactive stations, each with two portrait-mounted 55-inch monitors and gesture recognition technology.

The museum deploys compact linear speaker arrays, 2-D focusing ceiling arrays, and bookshelf speakers to enhance the immersive feeling in the theaters. In certain theaters, such as the Examining the Holocaust and Breaking the Silence theaters, custom-shaped speakers are embedded in the bench seating. They fire sound to the row behind and are time-delayed to combine with the front speakers to localize sound to the screen.

The 360º Indigenous Perspectives Theater, with benches around the perimeter for viewing the screens, features speakers placed behind the screens aimed down at the audience. A fabricated and undulating wooden wall creates perfect diffusion in the circular room, while compact power pipe sub woofers provide audio under the bench seating.

Candian Museum of Human Rights

A dedicated show control manager provides monitoring and control of most equipment at the museum. An Electrosonic service contract provides for two on-site technicians. The exhibit architect was Ralph Appelbaum and Associates. The exhibit fabricator was Kubik, Inc. Bruce Wyman was the consultant hired by the museum to manage the media producers.

Canadian Museum of Human Rights