I didn't have a chance to read the Winnipeg Free Press this weekend, but I did see the front page. Actually, I saw half of the front page through the window of the news paper box, but I believe that makes me qualified to comment on it's content.
What I saw appeared to be a comparison of Winnipeg with Bilbao Spain. Winnipeg, with its Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and Bilbao with its Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim museum. Perhaps some sort of high-level comparison can be drawn there, but to expect that the CMHR will have the same kind of impact on Winnipeg as The Goog (as they call it on the streetz) had on Bilbao is, I believe, somewhat optimistic. Extremely optimistic, actually.
Firstly, "Canadian Museum for Human Rights" is not nearly as catchy a name as "Guggenheim".
Secondly, Bilbao has the advantage of being located in warm and touristy Spain. People don't travel to Spain just to visit The Goog. They travel to Spain to be in Spain, and while they're there they visit The Goog.
Thirdly, people generally don't like to see depressing things when they're on vacation.
If you want to make a comparison with a Spanish city, there is another one you should consider: Valencia. Yes, Valencia .... Mediterranean yachting hotbed and home of a Formula 1 Grand Prix race, tasty oranges, and paella.
Valencia has a cluster of architecturally unique venues called The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias). It includes a science museum, an opera house that looks like a storm trooper helmet, botanical gardens, a cinema/planetarium, a indoor sports arena, and Europe's largest oceanographic insititute. Coincidentally, these buildings are all located immediately adjacent to a cable supported bridge (puente l'assut de l'or) that resemblances our own Esplanade Riel.
In fact, when I posted the above pic two years ago on a personal website for friends and family, I had the caption:
Some more pics:
Bilbao is probably a more appropriate comparison with Winnipeg, because Valencia was already "on the map" before these things were built. But my point is ... do I have a point? Ya, I guess I do. I guess my point is, interesting architecture and architecturally unique venues are common, but rarely do they have the impact of the Guggenheim. You don't often hear of people talking about the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, or of any number of other weird and wonderful buildings throughout the world, in the same way that they speak of The Goog or the Sydney opera house.
Now, I don't know what the piece in the Free Press was concluding, but I just want to caution about getting your expectations too high. As stunning as the CMHR may turn out to be, it is highly unlikely that it will be marveled over as one of the greatest masterpieces of modern architecture like the Guggenheim was, and it is even more unlikely that the impact will be near as great.
Just for fun, here is one other pic that I took in Valencia: