By Barry Dyck
In many respects it’s rather quiet at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) at this time of year. Tourists are spending time in warmer locations. Schools are busy in classrooms and are waiting for warmer weather to plan their field trips. Other than our construction projects and the need to clear snow after storms, activities on the yard are sparse. So winter is the time of year we focus on strategic planning for our upcoming season.
MHV has established three strategic priorities for our institution. Each one is supported by a number of specific initiatives and action plans.
1. Cultural Stewardship – “Our mission as a museum is to collect and preserve artifacts and stories and to use these to teach our guests the significance of the Russian Mennonite history.” In doing this we also create tourist traffic and provide community festivals and a gathering place for people to meet. Together these contribute to community health.
Under this priority we have education and collections-management initiatives. Our action items for 2017 will include development of a French-language education program, realignment of our education program with provincial curriculum, development of collaborative initiatives with local schools to create new learning opportunities for local students, updating collections procedures, evaluation of our collections database software, and auditing and reconciling our collection of artifacts with the electronic database and our paper files. All are intended to enhance the effectiveness and the efficiency of our work.
2. Organizational Sustainability – “In order for the organization to flourish today and in the future we need to be intentional in anticipating the challenges to growth and addressing them proactively.” We will undertake actions that will engage future generations, emphasize public relations, and support environmental sustainability. These actions will include reviewing our value proposition for members, donors and volunteers; celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary; further developing our recycling and composting strategies; and reducing consumption of energy, paper and plastics.
3. Financial Health – “Financial health is critical to the organization remaining functional.” Tourism, our business units and fundraising are the initiatives we will employ in our quest for improved financial health. We will develop new programs to engage community members and tourists in hands-on programs, write and initiate a marketing plan for the new Summer Pavilion, create a new exhibit for wedding shows, tweak our sponsorship program with a goal of 20% growth in sponsorship funds, develop a new fundraising event, and launch Year Two of our Foundations for a Strong Future development initiative.
In addition to these focused action items, we will continue to collect artifacts and develop exhibits; plan and deliver summer festivals and fundraising events; operate the Livery Barn Restaurant, Village Books and Gifts, the General Store and our facility rentals program.
Our facility rentals initiative will be featured in our exhibit at The Wonderful Wedding Show at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg on January 21 and 22. Couples interested in information about MHV wedding rentals but unable to attend the show should feel free to email Roger at email@example.com.
Calendar of Events:
- January 21-22 – Exhibit at the Wonderful Wedding Show at the RBC Convention Centre, Winnipeg. 11:00 am - 6:00 pm.
- February 5 – Vespers Service 7:00 PM