by Gary Dyck
What a privilege for the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) and Summer in the City to throw the biggest and possibly last party of the year for Steinbach and area this past weekend. All three days were at or near our max of 1500 people on the grounds. At times we had line-ups snaking around the parking lot. The weather was ideal and families made the most of being outside one more time before school and COVID wave #4 starts.
As I walked around, I heard people say to each other, ‘Oh I haven’t seen you for such a long time.’ People were smiling, laughing, talking and eating. I’m so glad that we were able to provide the full 40 acres of our village grounds to ensure a safer Summer in the City for everyone.
One personal highlight for me was to receive a letter from Premier Kelvin Goertzen. In 2020 we received a Building Sustainable Communities (BSC) grant for $22,000 to help restore our Chortitz Housbarn. All we needed to do was raise the other $22,000 to complete the project. Then COVID wave #1 & 2 came, and our fundraiser was postponed both times. Fortunately, BSC allowed us to extend the deadline of the grant until September, 2021. In 2021 just as we planned to do the fundraiser in May COVID #3 came and shut us down for two months.
In July we stepped out in faith and decided to do the restoration anyways and hope and pray the other half of the funds would come in. With a couple extra costs we now needed a little more than $22,000. Today, while standing across from the Chortitz Housebarn, Kelvin Goertzen told me that the Manitoba 150 had some extra funds and were dividing it among Manitoba’s seven Signature museums. When I opened the envelope I saw the amount – $23,800. Just what we needed!
Thanks to everyone who made ‘Summer in the City visits Fall on the Farm’ a great time for the community! The staff, the volunteers, the sponsors and the patience of those waiting in the lines. I had quite a few people tell me we should do this again. It is always good to have company over.
- MHV grounds, gift shop and galleries are open seven days a week. You must be fully vaccinated to see the indoor galleries.
- Livery Barn Restaurant open Thursday to Sunday 11am for lunch.
- Rhubarb Jam every Thursday evening in September. Listen or participate in local music on our Peter Barkman Summer Pavilion stage. No museum admission necessary to attend.
- Mennonites at War Speaker Series, September 14, we have decided to shift our Mennonites at War Speaker Series screening of “The Last Objector” as an online webinar event. Moving it to an online screening will allow for everyone to be able to participate including the many people that have connected with this series from around the world. The event begins at 7:30pm with a brief introduction followed by a reflection on making the film by director Andrew Wall. There will be a Q & A session after the Andrew’s presentation. The Last Objectors is a TV-Hour (45 min) documentary on Canada’s conscientious objectors of the Second World War – Those who chose to perform alternative service instead of going to war. The CO’s would spend years working in forestry camps, hospitals, asylums and various other positions throughout the country with little pay and no benefits. Visit www.mhv.ca/events to register.