Nominated for the Art Libraries Society of North America 2015 Melva J. Dwyer Award which recognizes excellence in a reference or research publication focused on Canadian art or architecture.

Miracle at the Forks: The Museum that Dares Make a Difference

It was on July 18, 2000 that Israel (Izzy) Asper, the renowned Canadian businessman and philanthropist, first discussed his idea of building a human rights centre in Winnipeg. He wanted to build a museum that would make a difference; that would help educate visitors to the museum about human rights issues, all with the aim of making the world a better, more humane place. He shared this vision with Moses (Moe) Levy, the Executive Director of The Asper Foundation, and gave Levy the mandate to make the museum happen.

Miracle at the Forks recounts the 14 year ordeal of making Izzy Asper’s dream a reality. It recounts the financial and political challenges of building a world class museum in Winnipeg, an objective that was made all the more difficult by Asper’s death not six months after the public unveiling of plans for a national museum at The Forks on April 17, 2003. It is a story of passion and sheer will, about Levy’s determination to see Asper’s grand idea come true, of Gail Asper’s fortitude and unflagging drive to make sure her father’s most cherished project became real, and of the countless others who lobbied, donated money, volunteered time and fought to make the museum happen.

Written by acclaimed non-fiction writers, Peter C. Newman and Allan Levine, Miracle at the Forks also tells the story of the building of the museum itself, of the international competition to find an architect to design the building, and of Antoine Predock, one of the finest architects in the world who dared build a museum that is as remarkable in its construct as Izzy Asper’s dream was in its audacity. Filled with full colour photography and exquisitely designed, this book marked the official opening of The Canadian Museum for Human Rights on September 20, 2014.

This page features an eight part companion video series to the book by Peter C. Newman and Allan Levine.

Purchase your copy today from McNally Robinson, Indigo, or Amazon.

Miracle at the Forks: Companion Video Series

Part 1: Winnipeg: Dreams and Realities

How a global visionary and Manitoba’s history conspired to make a city on the prairies a beacon for human rights. (2:18)

Part 3: A Magnificent Conception

The Museum takes shape with the help of its early supporters, culminating in the Museum’s announcement in April of 2003. (2:40)

Part 5: A Shining Hour

At a critical moment, Prime Minister Stephen Harper takes charge to make the Canadian Museum for Human Rights a reality. (2:37)

Part 7: A Community Committed

How Canadians came together to show their commitment to being “the change they wanted to see in the world”. (2:59)

Part 2: The Dreamer

A look at the life of Israel Asper, Winnipeg’s homegrown media pioneer with an innate passion to make the world a better place. (3:14)

Part 4: From Despair to Limbo

After Israel Asper’s death, those close to him persevere to keep the vision alive in the face of adversity. (3:08)

Part 6: Designing a Dream

Two geniuses combine forces to create a world-class learning centre and monument to human rights, designed to change the world. (3:05)

Part 8: A Dream Realized

The construction journey: from groundbreaking until the doors opened in September of 2014 – all thanks to the support of people like you. (2:12)

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