A Collected History
Our newly published book, A Collected History: Mennonite Heritage Village, has not only arrived on the shelves of Village Books and Gifts, it has also been officially launched in two locations. Approximately 80 people gathered at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg on Saturday, December 6, to participate. An enthusiastic group of about 40 shared in the launch at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) on Tuesday, December 9. Both events included a brief overview of the project by Executive Director Barry Dyck, followed by presentations by authors Andrea Dyck and Roland Sawatzky about several of the objects featured in the book.
In a few weeks we will bid a sad farewell to our colleague, Tashia Lapeire. Not only has Tashia blessed our workplace as a fun-loving and caring person, she has also developed the role we gave her with great skill and passion. Our fundraising events have grown, both in number and level of success, and our promotional efforts have been expanded and refined.
This means we now have a career opportunity for someone who is talented in public relations, knows our constituency well and has a profound appreciation for the work of Mennonite Heritage Village.
While our Village and the Livery Barn Restaurant are closed until May 1, life at MHV has not ground to a complete standstill. Our meeting and banquet facilities are still being rented frequently for business meetings, Christmas parties and even a wedding or two.
This is also the time of year when we apply for numerous grants, particularly for student employment and summer repair projects. Additionally we are reminding people that the end of our fiscal year is approaching, and we need to find income to cover our expenses, some of which need almost immediate attention. We have just published a year-end edition of our newsletter, Village Voice, which outlines most of these needs.
Planning for 2015 is also in full swing. Now that our book has been launched, we can give attention to planning exhibits and programs for our 2015 theme, which will have something to do with “Mennonite Food.” Schools all over Manitoba have been invited to take advantage of our great education program. Our strategic plan is almost complete, and budgeting is about to begin.
Yard work may be at a minimum, but we still have room for volunteers who have skills in operating machinery. Most of the snow clearing can be done from the comfort of a heated cab on a brand new tractor, thanks to Enns Brothers. It is important to keep our main streets open at all times so that fire trucks would have access to all buildings in the Village in case of an emergency. Our Rodent Control Militia (otherwise known as our feral cat population) also needs to be fed and watered on a regular basis.
While there is still a substantial amount of work to be done, this is also the time of year when employees whose workload is disproportionately heavy during the summer months are now able to take some time off to rest and use up their summer overtime hours.
It’s nice to see guests still coming in to see our exhibits, do some Christmas shopping and, on a nice day, wander around the village despite the fact that our heritage buildings are not currently accessible.
Calendar of Events
- December 13, Village Books and Gifts open Saturdays until Christmas (10:00 to 4:00)
- December 25 – January 11, MHV closed for the holidays
- February 1 – Vespers Service – 7:00 PM