Sunny skies and sunny smiles beamed at The Forks on Sunday, as Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean wrapped up her whirlwind Winnipeg visit with a tour through the skeleton of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Dressed in a sharp grey suit, a bright fuchsia shirt and a white hard hat, Jean and her husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, joined a contingent of about 20 museum organizers for a 30-minute tour through the construction site.
After emerging from the looming concrete shell, Jean told the museum's president and CEO the building's metaphorical design -- which includes elements such as a central "tower of hope" -- was "very inspirational."Smart cookie, that Queen. Why get your duds all dusty traipsing through a "skeleton" (a "skeleton," mind you, that has hoovered up mega-millions of our tax dollars--and will cost us even more before it's been fully fleshed out).
"It's a dream come true!" Jean exclaimed, leaning out the window of her car to wave goodbye to organizers.
The Governor General did not take any questions from media during the visit.
Before the tour, a larger group of museum staff and supporters met with her to discuss the museum's vision and design.
Among those who met Jean for the hour-long meeting were representatives from the Graffiti Gallery and First Nations elders Barb and Clarence Nepinak, who are acting as spiritual advisers to the museum.
After seeing Jean's motorcade off, CMHR president and CEO Stuart Murray said Jean, who is a patron of the museum, even had some suggestions for organizers, highlighting the need to communicate about commitment, and to "not only educate, but empower people," Murray said. "That was something she reaffirmed for us."
The visit, Murray said, was "awesome... a very powerful meeting."
It also served as a preparation, of sorts, for an even bigger royal spotlight: On July 3, the Queen will visit The Forks to dedicate the museum's cornerstone and make a short public address at a concert in the museum's honour. She will not tour the construction site, however...