Mennonite Heritage Village is a membership-based organization. Our members are the “owners” of this not-for-profit corporation. Once a year all members are invited to participate in the Annual General Meeting (AGM), where they receive updates on operations through staff reports, elect Directors to the Board, and appoint an auditor to ensure that management is functioning legally and in keeping with the bylaws of the organization. This year’s AGM will be held on April 9.

MHV has several forms of membership. A person may purchase an Individual Membership for $40 annually. A couple or a family may acquire a Family Membership for $80 per year. (A family is defined as parents and their dependent children under the age of 18.) A Life Membership may be owned by an individual, couple, or corporation and can be purchased for a one-time fee of $500. From time to time, as the Board of Directors sees fit, an Honorary Life Membership may be awarded to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to MHV.

All current members have the following rights and privileges:

- A vote at the Annual General Meeting;

- A season pass which provides free admission to the Village every day, including our festival days but excluding special fundraising events;

- A subscription to Village Review, MHV’s newsletter;

- A 10% discount in the Gift Shop; and

- Free access to the other five Signature Museums in Manitoba.

People choose to become members of MHV for various reasons. Those who value the preservation of our heritage are a typical group of members. They may simply find history interesting and see the importance of teaching our history to younger generations in general. They may recognize the importance of the sacrifices our forebears made which allow us the comforts, peace, and prosperity we enjoy today. They may also understand the importance of learning from mistakes made in the past. Preserving and teaching our history are the main reasons this museum exists.

Another group which finds membership in MHV to be useful and valuable is young families. Children enjoy the freedom to run in the open spaces and explore the Village. Our barnyard, with its live farm animals, is one of the more popular stops for the younger set. They enjoy interacting with the rabbits, chickens, goats, donkeys, and even the pigs. There are few places other than MHV where children can climb onto the deck of a real functioning windmill. This coming summer we will also have a scale model of the windmill built for children to play with and learn how the structure works. Our “playground equipment” includes an old farm tractor which kids are invited to play on to their hearts’ content. A Family Membership in MHV allows parents to bring the family in for a day, a half day, or even just an hour at no extra charge. This is a spectacular entertainment option which creates a valuable link to our history.

Membership in this organization is a great value, whichever way one looks at it. Our website at www.mhv.ca provides a form to apply for or renew membership. The form is found under “Involvement” and “Memberships” and can be mailed in with the membership fee. Alternately, memberships may be purchased in person at the museum. Our winter hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Consider this valuable opportunity for ownership and involvement in our world-class museum.

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About the Author

Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.

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