FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2016
Contact: Sevag Belian (613) 235-2622
Montreal – In partnership with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), on October 29th, 2016, the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) co-organized the premiere of the museum’s new film about the Armenian genocide, “Acts of Conscience: Armin T. Wegner and the Armenian Genocide”
The event took place at the Sourp Hagop Armenian School and attracted hundreds of community members and supporters of the ANCC and CMHR. The event was also attended by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mr. Sasun Hovhannisian, Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Ottawa, MP Faycal-el-Khoury, Member of Parliament for Laval-Les Iles, municipal representatives from Montreal and Laval, and a large number of activists
After the screening of the documentary, the event featured a panel discussion with renowned Armenian-Canadian actress and human rights activist, Arsinée Khanjian, who narrated the short documentary that will play in the Museum’s “Breaking the Silence” gallery. CMHR’s Vice-President for Public Affairs and Programs, Angela Cassie and the museum’s Director of Education, Lise Pinkos also participated in the panel discussion moderated by Professor Lalai Manjikian.
Subsequently, remarks were delivered by CMHR president and CEO, John Young, VP Angela Cassie and Minister Joly. Closing remarks were delivered by ANCC Executive Board member, Ms. Lory Abrakian. In her remarks, Abrakian thanked the museum and the Canadian government for their unconditional support and commitment to upholding the legacy of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, and setting an exemplary model for future generations to stand up against any forms of injustice around the world.
The film, Acts of Conscience, looks at the genocide through the lens of Armin T. Wegner, a German war medic who photographed and documented the atrocities to which the Armenian community of the Ottoman Empire was subjected to during the First World War. His large cache of visual documentary has been used extensively to exhibit the horror faced by the Armenian people.
Throughout his tumultuous life and in spite of risking his personal safety, Wegner continued to remain a strong force against injustice. In the 1930s, Wegner also voiced his opposition to the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazis, urging them to cease their gross actions against the Jewish community in Germany.
An exhibit at the CMHR explores the efforts for recognition of the Armenian genocide by Wegner and others. In 2004, Canadian Parliament voted to officially acknowledge and condemn the Armenian genocide.
The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues and works to eliminate abuses of human rights throughout Canada and the world.