Mennonite Heritage Village

Story Time!

March 21, 2024

By Gary Dyck

Museums like Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) exist to tell stories – stories about people, a people, and their interactions with other people, stories about community, about loss and accomplishment.

But who is telling the story of today? On the main stage governments and corporations are, but it is a fairytale of ceaseless economic growth, the flow of money, and not much else. Out of the public spotlight, it is not any better. We have internet trolls and theorists all having their polarizing influence on the story. Their rhetoric is destructive for all. Although their stories are corrupt and harmful, they are now the predominant stories in our private lives and currently they are determining our common future. These stories must become less.

Humanity needs a new story, another stage. Here’s a great quote from museum studies experts Robert R. Janes and Richard Sandell:

“Museums also need a new story. The museum community must move beyond the doomed economy of industrial growth [and I would add tech also] to the recognition that the connection between individuals, communities, and the natural environment is the key to our collective well-being. It is incumbent upon all museums to help envision and create this narrative in partnership with their communities, and then deliver this story using their unique skills and perspectives” (“Posterity has arrived,” Museum Activism, Robert R. Janes & Richard Sandell, eds.)

The Mennonite story is a new story. It is still being written. What we thought we knew for certain is still unfolding and being understood. Please consider joining MHV as a member. Did you know we are member-based organization? On April 2nd we will host our 60th anniversary AGM! You will hear reports on how MHV is working hard to bring this unfolding story to the centre stage.

We are constantly amazed at how what we experienced years ago is relevant today. Our community has much to learn from this Mennonite faith and experience, at the same time, it is important for our survival that we learn to relate well to others and make sure all our frintschauft, Mennonite and non-Mennonite relations, are finding well-being, honour and understanding. MHV exists to tell the stories of the Mennonite past so that our present lives and common future will be better. Last year was a hard one for MHV financially, but I have some good news to share about the start of 2024 at our AGM. The interactions we have at our AGM help MHV to focus on its mission and work. We need our members to keep us accountable, to ask questions and then be our advocates to the world outside. If you have kept reading to the end of this article in hopes of finding a story, come to our AGM and you will be sure to hear some there. Hope you can make it!

Upcoming Events:

It Takes a Village… Spring Gala 2024, May 24th. Celebrate the MHV’s 60th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Mennonites in Manitoba by contributing to this ongoing legacy. Tickets are on sale now at

The Great Easter Egg Hunt, March 30th (10am-Noon). The Great Easter Egg Hunt returns to MHV with even more activities! Grab an Easter egg basket and bring your kids to what will be an unforgettable morning of romping around the MHV grounds to search for Easter Eggs! Doors open at 10am. The hunt begins at 11am and will conclude at Noon. Children’s activities will be available inside.

2024 AGM, Tuesday, April 2, 7:30pm. Presentation of reports, stories, approval of financial statements and election of board members. Open to all, but to vote you must have an active membership.

Mennonite Village Photography Exhibit, open now till summer 2024. See a beautiful collection of never-before-seen photographs left behind by four Manitoba Mennonite photographers who lived and worked in the early twentieth century. The images are from glass and film negatives from 1890 to 1940. After being scanned and given a new life in print, the photos provide a clear view into Mennonite life and early settlement in Manitoba.