There is some truth to the suggestion that this is a quiet time of year at MHV. The outdoor village is closed, and in Southern Manitoba, this is not prime “tourist” season. The phone does not ring as much as it does in the summertime, and the foyer in the Village Centre is quieter than it is during the tourist season. But those of us who are here are busy.
Tashia is collaborating with other staff to prepare and submit grant applications for a variety of projects. We are looking for funds to continue the restoration of our heritage buildings. The Village Centre needs to become more accessible to handicapped people and parents with strollers. Our vision to again make our Canada Day Festival accessible to everyone without charging admission should be supported by a grant. The City of Steinbach and surrounding towns and municipalities will be given the opportunity to provide support for the operations of MHV. Our wish is to engage the support of a large constituency.
Roland and Jessica are busy creating new exhibits. On February 21, The Mennonite Heritage Village at 50 will be open to the public in the Auditorium Gallery. This exhibit will explore the fifty years of this museum, with all its changes, its thousands of volunteers, and its hundreds of thousands of visitors. The Gerhard Ens Gallery will present A Growing Community Collection, 50 Years at the same time. Roland says, “We thought we should exhibit our collection of nearly 16,000 artifacts! We're going all out, and we're going to pack our Gerhard Ens Gallery with a pile of great pieces with fascinating stories. After all, this exhibit is about collecting, and we've been doing this for 50 years.” It will be interesting to discover where these artifacts have come from.
Our bookkeeper is busy wrapping up the 2013 accounts and preparing for the annual audit, followed by the Annual General Meeting. Our managers are trying to put together a fiscally responsible and visionary budget. Our facility rentals department is busy booking weddings for the summer and hosting business meetings, workshops, and even a late Christmas party. We are happy to be busy.