Village News

VN 2016 06 09 Foyer panel
   This year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Manitoba. Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) wanted to mark this occasion somehow, but we didn’t have enough content for a full exhibit; Mennonites had been disenfranchised for their refusal to fight in the First World War, so neither men nor women were allowed to vote.

   Since the suffrage focus didn’t work, we decided instead to mount an exhibit celebrating the broader history of Mennonite women. Often when we talk about Mennonite women in history, we concentrate on their role in the home, raising and feeding their typically large families. This is a story that our outdoor village already tells well, so when Curator Andrea Dyck and I were planning this exhibit, we wanted to tell a different story.

   What about the women who, for one reason or another, stepped outside of the traditional female roles of wives and mothers? Our exhibit Beyond Tradition: The Lives of Mennonite Women is about women who influenced the decision to immigrate, worked outside the home during a period when this was still unusual, sought larger roles within the church, and became the heads of their families in times of need. By stepping outside of Mennonite tradition, either by choice or by circumstance, these women made space for themselves within their communities and expanded what it meant to be a Mennonite woman.

   We are making it a priority to feature individual women who did extraordinary things. Take Helene Reimer, for example, who received the Order of Canada for her services in the field of nursing. Gertrude Klassen, also known as “Trutje,” maintained a successful chiropractic practice while fostering fifty-three children over thirty years. Ann (Klassen) Wiens was a missionary and advocate among the indigenous peoples (Enlhet, Nivacle, Ayoreo) in the Chaco region of Paraguay; in one encounter, she traded her necklace for a warrior’s spear (which you will see on display).

   MHV is also hosting an exhibit by Paul Reimer’s Advanced Photography students from the Steinbach Regional Secondary School. In this series of photographic essays, the students reflect on the women in their lives and the ways they have stepped beyond tradition. This exhibit has already been installed in MHV’s Auditorium.

   Beyond Tradition: The Lives of Mennonite Women will be open to the public on Tuesday, June 14. The exhibits will formally be launched on Monday, June 13 at 7:30 PM at MHV. This event is open to the public.

Calendar of Events

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event; Leaving MHV at 9:45 AM

- June 12 – Southeast Implement Collectors’ Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- July 1 – Steinbach’s Canada Day festivities – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Village News

Fundraising

   Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) is a registered charity, so fundraising is a major activity for us. While we cover about 60% of our expenses with revenue from our own business entities – the Livery Barn Restaurant, Village Books and Gifts, facility rentals, and admission sales – we need to engage in various forms of fundraising in order to cover about 25% of expenses. The other approximately 15% is normally funded by various government grants.

   Our earliest campaign of the year is typically our search for sponsors. Right now our list of sponsors includes 62 businesses and individuals who value the work of MHV and who have chosen to support a particular element of our program. We try to acknowledge their generosity through signs in the Village, a sponsor page on our website, verbal mentions at our festival events, and in other ways.

   Our Tractor Trek is usually our first official fundraising event, happening on June 11 this year. Vintage tractor owners and drivers will each raise sponsorship for a 50-km ride around the countryside on tractors that are at least 50 years old. This event is always a joint venture between MHV and Eden Foundation.

   June 17-19 we will move our MHV waffle and vanilla-sauce production to Steinbach’s Main Street and expect to sell approximately 1,000 waffles to Summer in the City festival attendees. This is a large undertaking and involves dozens of volunteers to make it successful.

   This year our annual Heritage Classic golf tournament has been moved from early September to August 10. It will again be held at The Links at Quarry Oaks. Golfers are invited to join us for a Texas Scramble tournament and dinner.

   Supper From the Field, featuring locally grown food, will take place September 18. This year we will be moving the meal from the Livery Barn Restaurant to our Auditorium. Further information will be released closer to that date.

   We are also pleased to announce that we are currently working on an innovative and unique fundraising event, which we have never done before and have not seen previously in our community. Whereas some of our MHV events tend to be more appealing to men than women, this new event will likely be most appealing to women. Details will be released as they are developed.

   Last but certainly not least, we are also putting substantial effort into our capital development initiative, Foundations for a Strong Future. This includes informing our constituency of our plans, connecting with people who value the work of MHV, and writing grant applications to governments and foundations. This initiative will allow us to build a new Summer Pavilion to replace our big white tent, restore a number of heritage buildings, replace all the 26-year old furnaces and air conditioners in our Village Centre, pay down our debt, and supplement our endowment fund. We are aiming to raise $3,000,000 to cover all of these areas. MHV will have a strong foundation from which to continue its mission when this initiative is complete.

   Many people will agree that asking for donations isn’t always a comfortable task. We are grateful to all who make the asking easy, even those who must decline but do so kindly and graciously.

Calendar of Events

- June 5 – 32nd annual Lions Charity Car Show; 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event; Leaving MHV at 9:45 AM

- June 12 – Southeast Implement Collectors’ Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- July 1 – Steinbach’s Canada Day festivities – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Village News

Wills

   On a recent road trip to a cabin in the Whiteshell, my wife and I reviewed our wills. This review was not in response to a terminal-illness diagnosis or a change in marital status or anything that significant. We simply had not looked at the document for about five years and felt it was time to review it.

   A lot of things can change in five years. In our case, three grandchildren were born. Three of our parents joined the fourth in eternal rest. Our involvements with several charitable organizations changed.

   So there are many good reasons to review one’s will from time to time. For young families, the birth of children is perhaps one of the most significant reasons to review a will. Leaving instructions as to how the children will be looked after in the event that both parents should pass on is very important. This includes appointing guardians who will become responsible for the care of the children. If there is no will, it is likely that the courts will appoint guardians.

   As children mature, they can become involved as executors, perhaps jointly with one another or with other mature and experienced friends or family members. These roles can change over time.

   Lawyers will often include a Power of Attorney package with a will. This includes documents appointing someone to look after one’s business affairs when one is no longer able to do so. An accident or severe illness can create a need for this person with little or no notice. This package may also contain documented instruction on how one wishes to be treated in case of incapacitation through a terminal illness, including the appointment of a Proxy to make decisions about one’s end-of-life care.

   For some people, and at a certain stage in life, additional issues become important in estate planning. According to the Mennonite Foundation of Canada (MFC) website, a current and detailed estate plan can provide continued support for favourite charities, while also minimizing taxes. MFC is skilled and available to help people with estate planning matters.

   Wills can be produced in various ways, including writing them by hand or using a printed template. Because each of these methods has some particular requirements, we would encourage consultation with a lawyer so that all aspects of the will are done in a way to minimize challenges.

   Money that is gifted to an organization through one’s estate can be significant to that organization’s operating fund or to its endowment fund. At Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV), we have an endowment fund that generates income for the ongoing operation of the museum. The capital in the fund is not available for general use so will remain a source of income solely through its earnings. Our fund is currently relatively small, and we would like to see it grow to become a stable and reliable source of revenue.

   One of the challenges I face is offering the invitation for people to include MHV in their wills without seeming greedy or disrespectful. Maybe this article can appropriately provide that invitation.

Calendar of Events

- May 29 – Auxiliary Faspa with Mary Ann Loewen and Eleanor Chornoboy – 2:30 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event

- June 12 – Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- July 1 – Steinbach’s Canada Day festivities – 10:00–6:00

Village News

Manitoba Day

   One of the important things I learned when I came to work at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) in 2009 is that Manitoba celebrates its “birthday” on May 12 every year, and that this celebratory day is designated as Manitoba Day. I also found out that museums are strongly encouraged to make it a special day by hosting activities that will help the public commemorate this special event.

   As it turned out, MHV’s scheduled Manitoba Day events this year experienced cold and rainy weather, worse than we’ve seen in years. Despite that, we had more students and parents participating in the day’s celebrations than we’ve had for quite some time.

   I learned long before I came to work at MHV that one cannot control the weather, nor predict it with absolute certainty. So we have yet to see what the Victoria Day weather will be like. Manitobans seem to have a sense that the May long weekend is notorious for inclement weather.

   This is the weekend on which we have typically held our Spring on the Farm festival, and poor weather has prevailed on that weekend for quite a few years now. In fact, in 2013 the day was basically rained out. In 2014 we had a rainy day which resulted in attendance at about half the normal level. Last year, after a snowfall at night and the promise of a cold and windy day, we spread salt on the ice at the front entrance walk and formally cancelled our festival. It was surprising how many quests still came out, despite the weather.

   While we know that we can’t dodge bad weather simply by moving an event from one date to another, it was the weather factor that prompted us to examine this traditional spring festival and consider other options for celebration. The Southeast Implement Collectors, who have staged their vintage tractor show at our Spring on the Farm festivals, were also considering alternate ways of accomplishing their goals, so together we decided to make a number of changes.

   For MHV, there were actually two factors other than weather that finally caused us to make changes. One was the fact that this festival was always held on Manitoba’s first “summer” long weekend of the year. This meant that long-awaited camping trips and excursions to the cottage took potential festival attendees away from the area. So it seemed to us that our event would be better attended if it took place on a regular May Saturday when fewer people might be heading out of town. As it turned out, our research revealed that every Saturday in May is annually taken up by other significant community events, for which we don’t care to create competition. So we ruled out that option.

   The other reason for considering change was the fact that our labour costs are significantly higher on a Statutory Holiday than on a regular day, not to mention the fact that our staff and volunteers are already asked to work all of the other long weekends of the summer.

   Our deliberations led to the decision to increase our emphasis on Manitoba Day this year and to look for an appropriate Saturday when we might do some specific gardening and field-work demonstrations. These latter events will be dependent on weather conditions, so may or may not happen. Additionally, the Southeast Implement Collectors decided to schedule their vintage tractor show for Sunday, June 12, the day after our Tractor Trek fundraiser with the Eden Foundation.

   I grew up on a farm and have a good understanding of the farmers’ dependence on the weather. Operating outdoor festivals is a similarly weather-dependent enterprise. So, like the farmer who puts seed in the ground and then waits on the One who controls the weather, we make our plans and try to exercise similar faith. Like the farmer who also diversifies his income sources, we schedule a number of festivals and other events throughout the summer to mitigate our risk. And if all our festival days experience good weather, everyone wins and we are thankful.

Calendar of Events

- May 23 – Victoria Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 29 – Auxiliary Faspa – 2:30 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event

- June 12 – Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Village News

Open for Business

   Opening day for our outdoor village and the Livery Barn Restaurant (LBR) seemed to come upon us rather quickly this spring. Similarly, Week One of the new season has quickly and not-so-quietly made its way into our “history books,” likely due to the high level of activity we experienced. Our receptionists welcomed many guests and have already received many accolades on behalf of the museum. We sensed that people had been waiting with anticipation to visit the village or restaurant once again.

   It was good to feel the hum of our school program starting up when the first group of students arrived. Our summer staff and our regular crew of volunteers quickly stepped up to the plate and hosted these children with poise and professionalism.

   The last of our barnyard animals arrived, including day-old chicks which are still under a heat lamp in the barn.

   We had an adult tour group from the Interlake area visiting us later in the week. Our volunteer tour guides ably hosted them, and the Livery Barn Restaurant provided their meal.

   While our Village Books and Gifts store is open year-round in the Village Centre, our General Store in the outdoor village just re-opened for business last week. A group of local artisans have moved their crafts into the store, displayed them tastefully, and impressed many of our guests with their products and service.

   Our Facility Rentals Department was also very busy that first week with three weddings, four days of workshops, and a concert. These activities also created traffic in our Village Books and Gifts store, as well as the LBR, which also catered several of these events.

   Assisted by our custodial staff, our curators finished cleaning and setting up all the heritage buildings. Floors were swept, windows washed, linens and other props installed, and geraniums placed on the window sills of the houses. It feels good to open up the buildings and again have them serve their intended purposes. Staff who have spent the winter at their desks are enjoying time outside and in the various heritage buildings.

   With catering, regular museum guests, meeting participants and Mother’s Day, the Livery Barn Restaurant had a very busy first week. We were thankful for the good weather on Mother’s Day, which made waiting in line much more enjoyable and made our picnic tables quite appealing. Approximately 400 guests enjoyed our Sunday Buffet on that day.

   The Steinbach and Area Garden Club has been hard at work clearing flower beds, spreading compost, tilling the garden and the orchard, and planning the layouts of the annual flower beds. The tulips are already contributing a lot of colour to the beds.

   We have a number of new staff members this year. This is a very exciting time for them as they get to see the inside of the heritage buildings, smell the fragrance of plum blossoms in the orchard, participate in the various school and tour programs, and enjoy the great lunches in the LBR. It seems we are off to a busy and healthy start for the 2016 season.

Calendar of Events

- May 12 – Manitoba Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 23 – Victoria Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 29 – Auxiliary Faspa – 2:30 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event

- June 12 – Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Village News

Spring

   Spring has always been my favourite season. The longer daylight hours, warming temperatures, white snow being replaced by green grass, and bird-song enhancing the stillness of the evening are all uplifting indicators. We are reassured that our world will not always be cold and dark.

   On the farm where I grew up, the coming of spring included the arrival of young animals: kittens, puppies, calves, colts and lambs. These added even more joy to spring during my childhood. I remember many times finding a cow with a newborn calf out in the bush and watching that calf get up on its wobbly legs to nurse for the first time. Colts were always very special on our farm, perhaps because we didn’t have many of them. I was always struck by the small round hoof-print a colt makes.

   Spring also brought various farmyard tasks with it, some being “fallout” from winter. Puddles from melting snow had to be directed into ditches and the creek so that the yard would dry. Branches, leaves and last year’s flowerbeds needed to be cleaned up in preparation for the summer growing season. These were largely pleasant tasks, often keeping me outside till dark - by which time it was too late to study.

   Once the land was warm and dry, we put in long hours to get our crops planted. Twelve- to sixteen-hour workdays were not uncommon. These long and sometimes hot and dirty days were not necessarily as enjoyable as some of the earlier spring days. But the work needed to be done while the land was dry.

   I have recently been reminded of these various sentiments of spring while out and about on our museum grounds. The grass throughout the grounds has turned beautifully green. Baby goats and lambs have taken up residence in our barnyard. The puddles have disappeared, and the sun has been shining for several days now. Here and there, branches and leaves are waiting to be cleaned up. The land is finally dry, so it’s time for the oats to be seeded. Now that our entire museum is open to the public every day and school children will be arriving shortly for our Education Program, picnic tables are again a welcoming sight on the lawns.

   I admitted to a colleague earlier this week that I would probably be applying some pressure to get a lot of things done while the sun was shining. With the help of several volunteers, the oat seeds were in the ground by noon that same day. After lunch, another volunteer spent time working on a landscaping project in preparation for the planting of shrubs and perennials. There is a lot of work, but it’s getting done.

   As evidenced by the combined joys and effort that springtime brings, a degree of pleasure and hardship can often exist side by side. That was certainly the case for our ancestors in Prussia and Russia. The peace and prosperity they had enjoyed while living in those countries was stripped away from them quite brutally, causing them to migrate to Germany, Canada and South America. These migrations were certainly not pleasure cruises, and pioneering in often-harsh environments offered significant challenges. But as they continued to persevere, appreciating the small things that still gave them joy and purpose, life became more stable and more comfortable.

   Today we see refugees being forced to leave their homelands and seek refuge in many countries, including Canada. Our understanding of our ancestors’ similar experience positions us well to support these people. We can all be encouraged by the perseverance of our forebears.

Calendar of Events

- May 12 – Manitoba Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 23 – Victoria Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 29 – Auxiliary Faspa – 2:30 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event

- June 12 – Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Village News

   After a busy winter at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV), we in the Curatorial Department are gearing up for a busy spring. This week we're cleaning the outdoor village from top to bottom and setting up the items that go back into each building after being stored for the winter. One of our valued volunteers is cleaning the village linens for us so that we can set those out as well. We'll be finished just in time for MHV’s seasonal re-opening on Sunday, May 1.

   Most people can easily see that we're pretty busy with the village during the summer, but what does the curatorial staff do during the winter? You might be surprised to learn that we're almost busier in that so-called “off” season than we are during the tourist season in the spring and summer.

   One of our biggest tasks in the Curatorial Department is applying for project-based grants. The heritage buildings on our grounds weren't originally meant to last more than a hundred years as most of our buildings have done, so they require steady maintenance. Finding the necessary funding for these projects keeps us pretty busy.

   Sometimes our maintenance projects are quite obvious. For example, over the next two summers we're going to be replacing the rotten logs in the Waldheim House, which is the oldest building in our village and the first building to be moved to our grounds. We will also be repairing and re-thatching its roof, which will be an exciting project for us and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the public to see a roof being thatched. Most of the time, however, these maintenance projects aren't as obvious to the public. In the past few years we have received funding to re-paint our heritage buildings, install new eaves troughs, and replace shingles. Last year we received a grant to replace the humidification system in the Village Centre so we can ensure that our artefact collection is maintained in a professional manner and according to museum standards. Of course, writing the grant application is only the first step. Once our application has been approved, we then have to carry out the actual work on the project!

For the last several years, we've installed an annual themed exhibit in our Gerhard Ens Gallery. Creating an exhibit is a lot more work than simply finding cool things in our collection and displaying them. First we have to develop the idea behind the exhibit. The next step is doing lots of research to make sure our exhibit is historically accurate, then condensing that research down to just a few hundred words for our exhibit panels. (This might just be the most difficult part of the process.) Following that, we make choices of which artefacts to display, selecting the ones from our collection that will serve us best in bringing to life the history we are seeking to share. And finally, we take down the past year's exhibit and install the new one for the current season. Believe it or not, this last part is the easiest step in the process!

   Last but not least, our Curatorial Department deals with the everyday concerns of a museum throughout the year. We correspond with people who have items they want to donate and make sure those items have good provenance and history behind them. Once we accept a donation, we have to do all of the proper paperwork to make sure the item and its history are preserved in our database system. We make sure our collection is stored and documented properly and also update and create procedures for dealing with our collection to ensure that we are doing everything according to best practices.

   These tasks and projects help us to fulfill our mission at MHV to preserve and exhibit the experiences and stories of the Russian Mennonites in Manitoba. They also demonstrate that our Curatorial Department is always busy behind the scenes, in-season and out. As always, we’re looking forward to seeing you in our outdoor village when the new season begins on May 1!

Calendar of Events

- May 1 – Outdoor Village and Livery Barn Restaurant will open for the season.

- May 12 – Manitoba Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 23 – Victoria Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 29 – Auxiliary Faspa – 2:30 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event

- June 12 – Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Village News

   Take a minute to discover Steinbach’s best kept secret: Village Books & Gifts at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV). We are open in the Village Centre year round, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays, extending to include weekends during May through September. So you have no reason to wait to find great books, unique puzzles, Menno Apparel, old-fashioned wooden toys, games and much more. Our gift-shop staff are very knowledgeable and work extremely hard to ensure your visit is a satisfying experience.

   Village Books and Gifts strives to be intentional about which items grace our shelves and continues to improve the selection and quality of the gifts and souvenirs we sell. We want to appeal to the wide variety of people who want to bring home something that’s a little bit “Steinbach” or a little bit “Mennonite.” We are working to provide good-quality, unique, and hard-to-find items.

   In addition to travel-friendly souvenirs for our guests, we are moving into a wider variety of heritage-driven gifts, toys and games. One of the biggest assets to the store is the line of Menno Apparel. Village Books & Gifts is the exclusive retailer for these t-shirts in the Steinbach–Winnipeg area.

  Need a unique book for someone special? We are proud to carry titles that embrace our history, tell our story, and sometimes bring a little controversy. Authors include novelists, genealogists, historians, biographers, and local photography enthusiasts. We also carry a selection of local titles which feature the story of family or community members and are written by the family members.

   Our quality books continue to draw many historians, bookworms and general shoppers. The mandate of our bookshelves is to provide readers with historically sound information, personal stories, and works of fiction that reflect the journey of the Mennonites through the ages. We also seek to carry a selection of cookbooks, children’s books, and coffee-table books of fabulous local photography.

   Store staff are currently busy stocking our shelves with the latest delivery of books and memorable souvenirs. Just arrived: Royden Loewen’s book Horse and Buggy Genius: Listening to Mennonites Contest the Modern World. The history of the twentieth century is one of modernization, a story of old ways being left behind. Royden Loewen and a team of researchers interviewed over 250 Mennonites in thirty-five communities across America about the impact of the modern world on their lives. Responses were recorded from two distinctive groups. “Life is best when it is kept simple”. Stop by our bookstore to get your copy today.

   Also hot off the press is the newly released GRANDMA 16 genealogy database. If you are looking for a long-lost relative, GRANDMA 16 has been updated with several hundred more names that would definitely help in your search. We have something for everyone!

Calendar of Events

- Apr. 21 – Volunteer Orientation – 7:00 PM

- May 1 – Outdoor Village and Livery Barn Restaurant will open for the season.

- May 12 – Manitoba Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 23 – Victoria Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 29 – Auxiliary Faspa – 2:30 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event

- June 12 – Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Village News

   In less than a month our Village will open for the summer season. By now we are busy hiring summer staff for different areas of the museum. That also means we will start recruiting volunteers to help with various tasks in the Village and the office. We cannot function without the help of hundreds of volunteers doing a wide variety of tasks. The museum provides opportunities for volunteers of all ages to help in numerous ways, from assisting the summer staff with the education programs, to helping with yard maintenance or behind-the-scenes operations, or helping on festivals days with admissions, parking, preparing and serving food in the Short-Order Booth, and a variety of pioneer demonstrations.

   If you would be interested in helping with some of our pioneer demonstrations - such as baking schnetje, blacksmithing, grinding wheat in the windmill - but haven’t got the necessary skills, don’t worry. We have other very knowledgeable volunteers who do these tasks regularly and are willing to teach you. We will set up special teaching/training sessions for you.

   With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering and learning new skills are enormous for you, your family, and your community.  

   We will be having a Volunteer Orientation evening on Thursday, April 21, at 7:00 p.m. in the Village Centre Auditorium. All returning and new volunteers are welcome to attend. Coffee and refreshments will be available. If you are unable to attend but are interested in volunteering, feel free to drop in at our Reception Desk anytime Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to pick up a Volunteer Handbook and Application Form. You can also call Anne Toews at 204-326-9661 or email [email protected] for more information. Hope to see you here on April 21! Bring a friend, and make a difference this summer!

   Plan to celebrate spring at MHV at these featured events:

Calendar of Events

- Apr. 21 – Volunteer Orientation – 7:00 PM

- May 1 – Outdoor Village and Livery Barn Restaurant will open for the season.

- May 12 – Manitoba Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 23 – Victoria Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 29 – Auxiliary Faspa – 2:30 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event

- June 12 – Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Village News

Spring at the Museum

   For the last three years, our Spring on the Farm festival on Victoria Day has suffered severely due to inclement weather. Last year the weather was so bad we actually cancelled the event. It had snowed overnight, and there was ice on the walk to the front entrance of the Village Centre.

   Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) and the Southeast Implement Collectors (SIC) club have worked together for years to combine MHV’s Spring on the Farm with the SIC’s annual Tractor Show. Since both groups seemed to be experiencing similar frustrations with long-weekend weather trends, we both began assessing future options immediately after last spring’s event cancellation.

    Obviously, one can’t predict and dodge inclement weather as far in advance as event planning requires. However, the frustration resulting from the weather disruptions to this particular event have created conversation around new opportunities to celebrate spring in a farm environment. As a result, this year’s spring celebrations at MHV will have a different configuration.

   Thursday, May 12, is provincially designated as Manitoba Day. As in the past, MHV will again offer a reduced admission rate of $2.00 per person that day. We will also conduct a formal flag-raising ceremony with greetings from various dignitaries. Many of our heritage buildings will have interpreters present for part of the day. Horse-drawn wagon rides will also be available to our guests.

   New to our Manitoba Day event this year will be the Craft Sale which will take place in the Auditorium. Local artisans have been invited to promote their made-in-Manitoba crafts to our visitors. We are expecting approximately 20 craft tables and there are still some spots available. The MHV Auxiliary will support this event by serving “Beaver Tails”, a deep-fried pastry treat.

   On May 23, Victoria Day, the museum will be open from 10:00 to 5:00 as usual, although our planned activities will be scaled down considerably. The village buildings will be open, guided tours of the village will be available, and the Livery Barn Restaurant will be open. Weather permitting, we will also offer horse-drawn wagon rides.

   On Saturday, June 11, we will conduct our annual Tractor Trek fundraiser. This joint venture with Eden Foundation invites vintage-tractor owners to raise support for a 50-kilometre tractor ride in the country. This year we hope to have 50 tractors, each 50 years old or older, traveling a route through the RM of Ste. Anne and the Giroux and Richer areas.

   The Southeast Implement Collectors’ Tractor Show will take place at MHV the following day, Sunday, June 12, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 PM. The club will be inviting all vintage-tractor owners in the Southeast to exhibit their machines on our village’s Main Street. They will conduct a parade of these vintage machines, which will provide observers with information about each tractor. There will also be “tractor games,” which are primarily intended to demonstrate the driving skills of their operators.

   As an added feature that day, if the weather and field conditions are suitable, the Southeast Draft Horse Association will do some fieldwork demonstrations with their heavy-horse teams. This will be a great opportunity to appreciate the progress that has been made in modern agriculture.

   Plan to celebrate spring at MHV at these featured events!

Calendar of Events

- Apr. 21 – Volunteer Orientation – 7:00 PM

- May 1 – Outdoor Village and Livery Barn Restaurant will open for the season.

- May 12 – Manitoba Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- May 23 – Victoria Day – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

- June 11 – Tractor Trek fundraising event

- June 12 – Tractor Show – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The views expressed in Community Blogs are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by SteinbachOnline.com

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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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