April 6, 2023
By Gary Dyck
Did you know that Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) is member owned? We are incorporated in the Province of Manitoba but owned by approximately 400 members. A board of directors is elected by MHV members at our Annual General Meeting that is responsible for oversight of the museum. This board functions as a governance board focusing on the mission, vision, values, strategic priorities, and policies of MHV. The board hires an executive director to manage the operations of the museum with a team.
From the beginning the museum was propelled along by community pillars such as teacher John C. Reimer and business owner Eugene Derksen. Today, MHV continues to work for a large membership – the more people feel connected to MHV, the more they will receive from what we have to offer and will advocate to others on our behalf.
One of our key questions is how do we recruit, renew, and retain members? Recruit more families and individuals to be part of the village and to support MHV events and projects. Then to renew their membership after the first year so that they can go deeper with what is provided them. And finally, to retain. Some members eventually become volunteers or regular donors. It takes a lot of promotion and work to obtain new members, while retaining members is much more cost-effective.
Five years ago, we reduced our membership prices and included amazing benefits like free admission to six other museums in Manitoba, 10% off at our Livery Barn Restaurant and Village Books & Gifts, and more (see the full list below)! However, we are wondering what else can be done to build this valuable relationship between MHV and its members?
Please let us know what you would like to see. Should we host member-exclusive events, curated just for you and your friends? Would you enjoy an exclusive inside pass to see how the inside of the museum hums; such as exhibit development, or special events (i.e. readings) in a heritage building. You can call us, email us, or contact us on social media. And if you aren’t a member already, sign up today for a great deal! A lifetime membership is only $500 – $300 of which counts as a donation receipt.
The Great Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, April 8, 10am – 1pm. Family activity day, including finding chocolate eggs all over the museum grounds. Free admission.
Volunteer Orientation, Thursday, April 27, 7pm. Time to get ready for a new season! An informational evening for new and current volunteers in the MHV Auditorium.
MHV Village Books & Gifts and Galleries are open Tuesday to Saturday. The heritage village and Livery Barn Restaurant will reopen May 1.
- Involvement in the important work of Mennonite Heritage Village
- Free admission to museum
- A free subscription to Village Voice, MHV’s newsletter
- A 10% discount on regularly priced items in Village Books & Gifts, facility rentals, program participation and restaurant services (General Store purchases are not included)
- A vote at the Annual General Meeting
- Eligibility to become a MHV board member
- Two complimentary day passes to share with friends
- Entitlement to 50% off gate admission for guests accompanying member
- Entitlement to free guided tours when deemed possible and appropriate by MHV staff and on advanced arrangement
- Free admission to other Signature Museums (some restrictions may apply):
- Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre – Morden
- Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum – Brandon
- Manitoba Agricultural Museum – Austin
- New Iceland Heritage Museum – Gimli
- Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada – Winnipeg
- St. Boniface Museum – Winnipeg