October 6, 2016

Brandon artist to honour human rights work in Manitoba

The recipient of the 2016 Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba will once again receive a beautiful piece of art.

This year, Chris Cooper of Brandon, Manitoba was selected to create the award. Event partners, Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties. The Manitoba Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Commission put a call out earlier this year to local artists to create a unique piece suitable to honour a person or group in Manitoba who contributes to the advancement of human dignity and the elimination of discrimination in the province. The artist was selected today.

Ms. Cooper is an Art Educator with the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. “It is a great honour to create this award,” she said. She also spoke of her belief that a difficult path can lead to a better place and offered this glimpse of the award. “I have combined different elements together - wood, glass, bronze, steel, stone, and clay. At the center of the sculpture rests a piece of glass. This represents the change that can happen within one’s self. The glass allows light to pass through, it penetrates the darkness and gives a sense of hope.”

Since 2012 an artist has been selected to create the award, which is unveiled at the awards event held in honour of International Human Rights Day. The Human Rights Commitment Award has been presented for the last sixteen years. At the same time the Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award is also given to exceptional young people under the age of 25 for working towards the promotion and protection of human rights either within Manitoba or abroad.

Nominations are now open for both awards.

For more information about the awards or how to nominate a deserving person or group who has contributed to the advancement of human rights for either award, please contact us at hrc@gov.mb.ca or visit www.manitobahumanrights.ca. The independent panel will accept submissions until November 10, 2016.

Winnipeg artist Kathleen Noëlle Black created a beautiful glass feather award symbolizing the dedicated work of the 2015 Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba recipient. It was given to Meet Me at the Bell Tower (MM@BT), a group that is working towards reconciliation between Indigenous people and others within Manitoba.

The Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award was received by Christie McLeod the founder and managing director of the Human Rights Hub, an innovative website providing Winnipeggers with a portal to important human rights events and information.

For more information please contact:


Patricia Knipe       
Communications Director,
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
Phone: 204-945-3021
Email: patricia.knipe@gov.mb.ca