by Gary Dyck & Kaelyn Nickel
As it finally begins to feel like spring outside, we have seen several changes inside our office as well. Within the last few weeks, we have welcomed Kaelyn Nickel as our new Development Coordinator, and Melissa Kerr as our Development Specialist.
This week, I took some time to ask Kaelyn a few questions to get to know her better:
Tell us about yourself, your background, education, and experiences.
As someone who has lived in the southeast for most of their life, my story will sound familiar. I was born and raised in Mitchell, only to continue my education at the SRSS where I graduated. Shortly after graduation, I went abroad and studied with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in Ireland and assisted with English lessons in Morocco. Once I returned, I spent the next three years studying at Steinbach Bible College where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies. After that, I spent three weeks traveling solo around Scotland and Ireland. My travels and studies have taught me the significance of recognizing one’s past and building towards a sound future; lessons I hope to incorporate during my time here at MHV.
Why did you take this job, what is your interest in MHV?
Storytelling is a quintessential part of who I am. As someone who grew up in the southeast, I was aware of the museum’s impact on locals and tourists alike. I was working at a retail position when a former professor of mine, Patrick Friesen, reached out to me concerning a job opportunity. He told me that he was leaving his position at MHV and considered me to be a suitable replacement. Naturally, I researched the role for myself and found this role to be a wondrous opportunity to grow and share the stories in this community. After being here for a few days, I’ve noticed that there is a great opportunity for the museum to expand its social impact.
I know it is early, so let’s just say current, what is your current vision for MHV?
Hearing about the future events and plans that the museum has in store has been invigorating; I envision a space where people from all walks of life can gather to celebrate, heal, and learn with one another. There are tentative plans that would involve moving the museum from being a place that captures history to a place that creates it; this is something that I truly believe will encourage all of those who visit.
Anything else our community should know about or from you?
In addition to my love of storytelling, I have found great solace in the art of baking bread. While I have the choice to go to the local bakery or grocery store to pick up whatever I need, I have fallen in love with preparing my baked goods. While there are some items, such as sourdough, that I will leave to the experts, the practice of baking a simple loaf of bread has taught me the value of patience, generosity, and diligence. Baking can bridge generational gaps; although the techniques have altered, the outcomes have not. In the same way, those of us who work with history share the stories of those who have gone before us. Both baking and history involve bringing people together, which is undoubtedly why I adore it.
MHV’s galleries and Village Books & Gifts are open Tuesday to Saturday, 9am – 5pm. Our award-winning ‘Mennonites at War‘ exhibit is closing on April 1st, so be sure to visit it this week!
The Great Easter Egg Hunt, Apr 16 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Bring the children and join in the fun as we hunt for Easter eggs and kick off Spring at the museum.
Annual General Meeting, April 19 @ 7:30 Check our website for the latest information. Members and the general public are all invited to MHV’s AGM held in the Auditorium at the Mennonite Heritage Village. Come to hear reports from 2021 and the exciting plans for the upcoming year at the museum.