Mennonite Heritage Village

A Musicale for the Soul

February 23, 2023

By Gary Dyck

Musicals have become a respected part of the theatre industry – giving equal importance to song and sound as they do to dialogue and movement. Advancing beyond the lighthearted song-and-dances and sentimental operettas of the early 20th century, today’s Musical Theatre iterations represent a more wholesome integration of book and score, with many pro ductions launched off-Broadway or in small independent venues before becoming smash hits. – City Academy

On March 18 and 19 Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) will be hosting Pier 21 the Musical. This is your opportunity to connect with Canada’s immigration history in the very gateway that inspired the production: Pier 21. Refugees arrive, Canadian soldiers depart, and war brides return in a new Celtic and Swing Musical that is engaging and entertaining.

Musicals have a way of engaging our mind and heart like no other form of theatre or story-telling. I hope you can make it out and bring your children or friends with you. Halifax’s Pier 21 was one of Canada’s primary immigration centres from 1928 to 1971. Their registry includes many Mennonite names.

The old building has now been transformed into the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and is Canada’s sixth national museum. It is one of my favourite museums in the world, as it dramatically showcases the ongoing story of immigration to Canada — past to present and coast to coast to coast. It also has an amazing view of the Halifax harbour.

colourful lights in winter scene
 The lights are glowing at MHV, including the Lichtenau church.

This past weekend we hosted a three day event to celebrate winter and the Louis Riel weekend. Each day, hundreds of people came out to enjoy the rink, bonfire, lights, and indoor programming. If you missed it, you can still enjoy our Winter in the Village this Friday and Saturday!

Upcoming Events:

Winter in the Village, Now till March Bring your friends and family to see the festive lights at MHV! You can skate along our trail or outdoor rink. We will also rent out skates, snowshoes and kicksleds for you to try out in the village. Then end the night with some hot chocolate. Our warming hut (located at the back of the General Store) will be open for visitors.

MHV Village Books & Gifts and Galleries are open Tuesday to Saturday. Currently MHV has two new exhibits for you to enjoy: “Resurfacing: Mennonite Floor Patterns” by Margruite Krahn and “Beauty in the Ordinary” by Southeast Artists.

Pier 21 the Musical, March 18 (7pm), March 19 (3pm) This musical utilizes a blend of Celtic and swing music to tell the stories of those who fled from Europe and arrived at Pier 21 – the gateway to Canada. Witness the adventures, hopes, dreams, and heartaches of immigrants, orphans, and war brides as they navigate their arrival to this new land. Tickets are $25 and include coffee & dessert.