The water park the mayor of Winnipeg is proposing be built right across the street from the new Humans Rights Museum has been soundly criticized by the museum’s architect Antoine Predock. The Winnipeg Free Press reports today that Predock has sent a letter to city council saying the water park will trivialize the historic nature of The Forks district and be at odds with the cultural ambience of the area.
My husband Dave posed in front of the Human Rights Museum last October. We’ve been watching its progress carefully. I am a member of the Residents of the Exchange organization and when the water park announcement was first made our chair John Giavedoni sent out an e-mail asking us to contact our city councilor to express our opinions about the construction of a water park in our area. At a meeting on Tuesday night of the residents association it was clear the majority of people present had not been excited about the water park proposal and had conveyed that message to City Hall. They were happy their voices had been heard and the project had been tabled for the time being. I had not sent a letter because I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about the project.
Today I had just walked over the Provencher Bridge on my way home from visiting my Mom at St. Boniface Hospital when I was approached by a news woman with a microphone and her camera man. After asking a few questions and realizing I was an Exchange District resident the woman requested an interview. I agreed somewhat hesitantly. When the camera started to roll she asked me how I felt about the proposed water park. Was the architect right that it would interfere with the cultural and historic nature of the area?
I had to think fast. I said I wasn’t sure. I would need to see the plans for the water park before I could decide whether it would be an eyesore or fit in with its surroundings. I said I was a grandmother and when my grandson came to visit me in Winnipeg in the future I’d look forward to taking him both to the Human Rights Museum and the water park. I said there was already lots of culture in the Exchange District– museums, art galleries, concert and drama spaces and perhaps other kinds of venues might add variety. I’d said I’d also like to know what plans were being made to insure the water park was accessible to as many Winnipeg citizens as possible. Perhaps having a water park down town would encourage people to visit the Human Rights Museum before or after their visit to the water park.
After the interview the news woman asked me to walk away down the sidewalk so they could film me as I made my way past the museum and I forgot to ask her what television channel she was from and when the news item might be aired. So if you see me on television tonight would you please let me know!
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