March 16, 2023
By Gary Dyck
The adage ‘look both ways before crossing the street’ reminds us that it is good to be aware of our surroundings before venturing out. 2022 was Mennonite Heritage Village’s (MHV) busiest year ever; however, it still is a post-COVID rebuilding year. I believe 2023 will continue to be a building year for 2024. 2024 is sure to be a monumental year of celebrating MHV’s 60th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of the Mennonites arrival in Manitoba.
In Central Asia, that crossing adage is more complicated. The streets are so busy during the day that my family needed to cross lane by lane. It was important to hold your head high so all the drivers could see you. To look behind just in case vehicles were getting too close and you needed to ward them off with a glare. To look ahead and seize the next opportunity to cross the next lane. Many of our non-profits and businesses are probably feeling this same liminality in 2023.
On April 4th, MHV will be hosting its public AGM. Whether you are a voting-member, a volunteer, or someone who cares about our community, you are welcome to come. It will be a time to hold our head high, to look behind us, and to prepare for what is ahead. A time to ask, ‘how far across the street are we and will we make it?!?’ Below is an excerpt from my Executive Director report. The full report booklet and audits will be available on our website just before the AGM.
For years MHV has desired to be more than a seasonal museum and now since we received two tourism grants in 2022, we can provide outdoor activity in addition to our two indoor galleries. Our 2022 events were well attended with much engagement. People of all generations are learning about the faith, challenges, and heritage of the Mennonite community.
Our inaugural Peace Trek was in August. Over 36 cyclists and runners raised $11,000 for MHV and Eden Foundation. On that same day, we also officially opened the Dirk Willems Peace Garden which includes a sculpture, pergola, garden, and path around the pond. We are excited about how large and special the Peace Trek will become in 2024, which is the 150th anniversary of the Mennonite arrival to Manitoba. This landing site is the starting point of the Peace Trek with MHV being the terminus.
I am thankful for all the great people I get to work with at MHV and hope to see you at our April AGM.
Resurfacing: Mennonite Floor Patterns Workshop, March 20 (10am to 3pm) On Monday, March 20, artist Margruite Krahn will be offering a full artist’s workshop on floor patterns. Spend the day with Margruite and create your own floorcloth! Maximum 10 participants. Register before Tuesday, March 14. For full details, visit www.mhv.ca
Winter in the Village (every Saturday 9am to 5pm) Bring your friends and family to MHV for skating, snowshoeing, kick sledding! MHV has rentals available for all three activities so that you can easily explore the grounds via snowshoe or kicksled. A warming hut (located in the General Store) will be open for visitors. The evening festive lights will return in December.
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.