May 11, 2023
By Gary Dyck
Did you know that Manitoba has its own day? “The province of Manitoba was created by the Manitoba Act which later received royal assent on May 12, 1870… Nearly a century later, Manitoba’s official flag was dedicated and raised for the first time on May 12, 1966. Celebrations on May 12 began to grow into an annual community event since the province’s centenary in 1970. (Wikipedia)” In 1986, the government of Manitoba officially designated it as Manitoba Day. No statutory holiday though, in case you were wondering, however Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) will be providing a great way to celebrate it on Saturday, May 13.
In 2020, Will Goodon, a leader in the Manitoba Métis Federation shared in a Global News interview that: “there were clearly high hopes among the Metis people in what would become Manitoba 150 years ago. While there were plenty of difficulties, and while the federal government ‘didn’t treat its Confederation partners too well’, joining Confederation was the start of an ongoing conversation. There was that government-to-government relationship — nation-to-nation,” he said. “We went into it in good faith. Goodon said in 1870, between 85 and 90 per cent of people living in the region were Metis, and they needed to make their demands known as a unique culture with unique needs. “We thought they were agreed to and as it turns out, we needed another 150 years to press that and make that happen. “When you look at today, whether it’s housing or other issues, we’re working very well with Canada at this point.”
For Manitoba Day MHV wants to celebrate the positive change that is happening, while knowing there is more to do. On Saturday, May 13 MHV will offer free admission and birthday cake for everyone! There will be a good amount of activity including a flag ceremony, a countdown for turning on the new pond fountain (it is a sight to behold), a new exhibit, horse-drawn wagon rides, planting pansies for Mom and children’s activities in the Auditorium, and Ox Cart stories by the Semlin with Terry and Patty Doerksen. Terry and Patty took an epic journey from Winnipeg to the States all by Ox cart and have great stories and insights to share. Our Livery Barn Restaurant will be open and serving traditional Mennonite meals and deserts. The recently updated General Store is looking beautiful inside and has some old-fashioned candy for you to take home as well as a wide-variety of artisan ware made by local Manitoba artists. Happy 153rd Birthday Manitoba!
MHV’s grounds and Livery Barn Restaurant are open seven days a week! The restaurant is open 11am to 4pm, and the grounds are open 9am to 5pm, except Thursdays 9am to 8pm, and Sundays 11:30am to 5pm, including our famous Sunday buffet till 2pm.
Spring Gala, May 12 A fundraising banquet with VIP access to our new Russländer exhibit, a Mennonite quartet, and speaker Dorota Blumczyńska (CEO of Manitoba Museum) that is sure to inspire you. Tickets are $75 and will help MHV restore the foundation of our sinking Printery.
Manitoba Day Celebration, Saturday, May 13 Join us in celebrating Manitoba’s birthday! This free-admission event will include a flag ceremony, birthday cake, a new exhibit, and more! The schedule includes: Horse-drawn wagon rides (12:00-4:00pm), planting Pansies for Mom – Children’s Activities in the Auditorium (10am), Ox Cart stories near the Semlin – Terry and Patty Doerksen (10:30am), flag raising ceremony – music and greetings in the Peter Barkman Pavilion (11:00am), free birthday cake for everyone (11:30am)
Mother’s Day Lunch Buffet, May 14 Celebrate the mothers in your life by treating them to a delicious Mennonite feast at the Livery Barn Restaurant.
Tractor Trek, Saturday, June 10. The 14th annual Tractor Trek fundraiser for Eden Foundation and MHV will take place on Saturday, June 10. Register to ride or support your favourite driver and help raise money. A route map will be provided on our website if you want to witness and cheer on this parade of 40+ classic tractors.