May 19, 2022
By Gary Dyck
“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”Leo Tolstoy
I know it has been a slow start to Spring, but I hope your life is filling up with good plans and projects. At the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV), we are expecting one of our busiest years ever. Occasionally, I come across MHV posters from the 1970s or 1980s. It is fascinating to see what their plans and dreams were and how we have been able to build higher on their ceiling over the years.
Did you know that the whole of MHV was once housed in the first store of Steinbach – the size of a backyard shed? MHV founder, John C. Reimer, found it in someone’s backyard and decided a museum needed to be established before we lost too many artefacts from the past centuries and the stories that go with them. That one little shed has now become a world-class museum on 40-acres; that includes a pond, woods, two galleries, a restaurant, a gift shop, and over 30 heritage buildings and monuments!
We have so much more we want to do for this generation and the next. Please plan to attend our next fundraiser which is the Spring Gala on June 4th. The Spring Gala will feature an exclusive preview of our new exhibit, “Leaving Canada: The Mennonite Migration to Mexico.” The exhibit itself will include artefacts and testimonies of the Mennonites who made the decision to leave Canada in the 1920s.
A hundred years later, it is important for us to reconsider the outcome of that decision for those that left and those of us that stayed. We will share a delicious meal, accompanied by cellist and pianist Joel & Erin Klassen. Andrea Klassen, our Senior Curator, will also share a few anecdotes about the exhibit. We recognize the importance of upholding and honouring our shared histories. Mennonites have always prioritized the values of community, faith, and perseverance. It is through the grace of God that we continue to open our doors to the public and serve those who wish to discover the history of the Mennonites. Our mission to preserve and exhibit the Mennonite story cannot be done without the help of our surrounding community. We would be honoured for you and your friends to join us for this fundraising event. Tickets are available for $85 and are partially receiptable.
This year we want to complete phase two of our Chortitz Housebarn project. This includes restoring the central hearth so that we can use it again for demonstrations. Please help us preserve this fascinating example of how people, land, and animal once lived in close community with one another.
Spring Gala, June 4, exhibit opens at 5pm, banquet at 6pm. Experience an evening of live music based on the theme of leaving, delicious food, and the unveiling of our newest exhibit, “Leaving Canada: The Mennonite Migration to Mexico”. This fundraising event will support the renovation of the Chortitz housebarn. Tickets are partially receiptible. Call 204-326-9661 or get your tickets online today!
Tractor Trek, June 11 Join us for a day of stories, food, and trekking with tractors! Register today using the form on our website or pick one up at our reception. All proceeds for this fundraiser support both the Eden Foundation and the Mennonite Heritage Village.
Summer in the City, Friday, June 17 to Sunday June 19. Enjoy fresh homemade waffles at the MHV booth on Steinbach’s Main Street.
Father’s Day Lunch Buffet, Sunday, June 19. Take dad out for a Mennonite feast at our Livery Barn Restaurant. Better yet, pay for admission and make it a full day with a stroll on our grounds, checking out our classic machinery, and visiting our farmyard animals.