What would all of us do without partnerships? While our culture pushes us toward independence in many aspects of life, we really are quite dependent on others for many things that make life both livable and enjoyable.
We partner with medical practitioners in our efforts to maintain good health. We collaborate with educators to develop knowledge and skills. Farmers, food processors and grocery stores become our partners in maintaining our food supply. In many cases we partner with a spouse in raising a healthy, productive and community-minded family.
Healthy museums will typically have a variety of productive partnerships as well. Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) is fortunate to have many friends who support us in a variety of ways. We have previously highlighted the relationships we have with a number of organizations. For example, our MHV Auxiliary fundraises on our behalf. The Steinbach and Area Garden Club plants and maintains our gardens through the summer in exchange for meeting room space. The Southeast Implement Collectors support our Tractor Trek and stage an annual Vintage Tractor Show in support of MHV. The Southeast Draft Horse Association faithfully uses their teams of horses to do heritage demonstrations and give wagon rides on festival days. And Steam Club ’71 members own a steam engine located on the museum grounds, which they operate on our festival days.
There are many local businesses and individuals who provide us with goods and services that enable us to run this operation. Others provide sponsorship and donations to enable us to purchase these goods and services. Federal, provincial and municipal governments provide support for museums through various legislations and grant programs.
I was also reminded of another level of partnership recently when I encountered three people cleaning all the items behind the display glass in the Reimer Store on MHV’s Main Street. The volunteers doing this cleaning are actually descendants of the late John C. Reimer, the man who donated that building and many of the artifacts in it to MHV. In fact, one of the three is a daughter of Mr. Reimer, and the other two are his granddaughters. So the baton is being passed on to the next generation. These three women attend to this cleaning task regularly and do so without MHV’s prompting.
We have a similar partnership in the Reimer Tinsmith and Harness Shop, which is located behind the Blacksmith Shop. Two generations of Reimer descendents annually spend a half-day thoroughly cleaning this shop.
There is certainly no glamour in doing this work. The only compensation they receive is a warm word of thanks and a half-priced meal ticket at our Livery Barn Restaurant. Perhaps their reward comes from the realization that generations of people will be enjoying and learning from these buildings and their artifacts. Or maybe it’s the service to our community that motivates these generous people. Providing this kind of support to MHV serves to enhance this community meeting place and world-class tourist destination.
Would you be interested in serving MHV and our community in a similar way? We would be happy to engage more individuals, families, social/church groups, and businesses in “adopting” a building, or even an old tractor, truck or car, with a commitment to restore and maintain it. There are many such opportunities here, and we’ll gladly help you find one that is a good match for you. Call us at 204-326-9661 or send an email to [email protected].
Calendar of Events
May 12, 9:00AM–5:00PM - Manitoba Day (FREE Admission)
May 12, 10:00AM - Gardening Workshops
May 12, 11:00AM - Manitoba Day Ceremony
May 12, 1:00PM - Exhibit Opening: The Art of Mennonite Clocks
May 13, – 11:30AM–2:30PM - Mother’s Day Lunch Buffet
June 9 – MHV/Eden Tractor Trek (departing at 10:00AM)
June 15-17 – Waffle Booth at Summer in the City
June 17, 11:30AM-2:30PM - Father’s Day Lunch Buffet