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Winnipeg Sun | 29Nov2011 | Tom Brodbeck

Some cost breakdowns on human rights museum

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights spent $8 million in operating costs in the fiscal year 2009-10. That had nothing to do with the construction of the museum at The Forks. This was pure bureaucracy -- office costs, travel, promotions etc., even before the museum had opened its doors.

That year, the Crown corporation spent $2.5 million on staff costs, $772,000 on professional and special services, $503,000 on office supplies and administration and $2.1 million on exhibit content development. Marketing and promotion came in at $647,000 and travel was $521,000, among other expenses.

By 2010-11, operating costs grew to $10.3 million, still well before the museum had opened its doors. Museum officials spent $5.3 million on personnel costs, $1.2 million on professional and special services and $830,000 on offices supplies and administration. Exhibit content development were $677,000, marketing and promotion $621,000, and travel $519,000, among other expenses.

According to the CMHR’s 2010-11 annual report, the museum employed 50 full-time staff as at March 31, 2011 and expects to add another 35 this fiscal year. The museum’s planned opening is December, 2012.

The report says it plans to more than double its operating costs this fiscal year to $21.7 million, although it doesn’t break down how the money will be spent, other than the estimate of 35 new full-time staff. It doesn’t provide detail on staffing in terms of job description.