Village News (January 11, 2018)
By Barry Dyck
Looking Ahead in 2018
The new year is underway, and we are developing plans for new things as well as usual things here at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV). We will be working especially hard at increasing our level of relevance in our community.
With 17 heritage buildings to maintain, over 16,000 artifacts to preserve and keep track of, and new exhibits to design and install, our Curatorial Department will have no shortage of work. MHV’s theme for 2018 will be centered around clocks, so the exhibit being developed for our Gerhard Ens Gallery will explore this subject matter. A refurbishing of this gallery is being planned prior to installing the new exhibit.
Our curators will also be establishing priorities with respect to refurbishment of heritage structures. The deck of the windmill needs to be replaced; the Livery Barn Restaurant, the Printery, and the Reimer Store all need fresh coats of paint; and the barn in our barnyard needs both paint and new shingles. We have a volunteer in place to do some of the painting and would welcome more volunteers so that a paint crew can be created. From time to time, we also think and talk about a major renovation of our Main Gallery, but that matter is unlikely to get much attention this year.
MHV’s programs will be experiencing change in 2018, due to the recent retirement of Anne Toews, our Program Director for the past 11 seasons. Our new Program Manager, to be introduced shortly, will bring new perspectives for our volunteer program, education program and festivals. Our programing priorities for 2018 will include the exploration of new opportunities for involvement with our community. We already have plans in place for a Guys and Dolls Gala for high school students on February 16 and a Winter Carnival for families on February 17. But along with the “new,” you may rest assured that we will continue to plan MHV’s traditional celebrations – Canada Day, Pioneer Days, and Fall on the Farm – as well.
Our Fundraising and Public-Relations Department has been developing a number of events and initiatives for 2018. MHV will again work with Eden Foundation to host the annual Tractor Trek. We will also hold our annual Heritage Classic Golf Tournament in July. Our Sponsorship Program has been tweaked to provide interesting options for all sizes of businesses. A new fundraising initiative has recently been launched. Choose Your Own Adventure Raffle offers the winner one of five different international trips. Raffle tickets are currently on sale at MHV and will continue to be available through the summer.
Of course the big news for our Facility Rentals department is that we now have a new venue available. Our Summer Pavilion has already garnered considerable attention and promises to be popular for company picnics, family gatherings, class reunions, wedding receptions and other activities. Meeting rooms in the Village Centre, as well as some of our heritage buildings, will continue to be available as in previous years.
Museums are sometimes assumed to be places where nothing new ever happens. At MHV, we will do our best to dispel that perception and keep our community engaged here season to season and year after year.
Calendar of Events
February 4, 7:00 PM – Vespers Service
February 16, 8:00 PM – Guys & Dolls Gala
February 17, 10:00 AM – Winter Carnival
February 22, 7:00 PM – An Evening With the Authors