Maria & the Mennos is a sitcom that was created by Winkler's Tina Fehr Kehler along with Paul Plett and Hazel Wallace. 

Local actor Chuck Fefchak gave an overview of the show. 

"Maria & the Mennos is a locally written, locally directed, locally produced television sitcom. The Plot of which a Filipino girl marries the love of her life in a Mennonite male, and the two of them moved back to Winkler and move in with his parents so that they can save up some money to buy their own home. It's a comedy as a result of culture clash, for lack of a better description, the traditional Mennonite values and the Filipino values and the differences therein." 

The show was originally supposed to air on YESTV earlier, Fefchak explained. 

"It's going to air January 3rd of 2024, our first day of shooting was January 3rd, 2023, so to say it's gone full circle, yeah, the original release date was designed to be in September, but I believe that the editing process was just so overwhelming, and when you have a budget of less than $0, it just takes time."  

While the "home" in which many of the indoor shots were filmed took place in someone's actual home South of Winnipeg, some of the scenes will look familiar to those living in the Pembina Valley.  

"We did some remotes in Altona at the MCC. We did some in Winkler. We even have a schwein schlachten (pig butchering) in the hotbed of danger, romance, antiquity of Chortitz. The show was completely cast by Manitobans, nonunion. We had everything there that you would expect to see on any given set." 

MennoCast on hand for the last day of filming.

Fefchak hopes this show will draw a big audience as it pokes fun at two very different cultures coming together. 

"I think it sufficed to say that there are certain idiosyncrasies in every region in Manitoba, and Winkler, Morden are no exception. There are certain things and idiosyncrasies in the Filipino community that I had no idea about, until you spend 10 weeks with 7 or 8 Filipinos in the house with you. And you learn an awful lot of things, not the least of which is some of the food that they eat is really, really, really, really good, and some of it, I'm not eating."  

He said with a chuckle, quickly adding, he doesn't eat wareniki (cottage cheese perogies) either, as he only likes them filled with old cheddar cheese and onion.  


Fefchak cautions, "It's not Hollywood, but it's funny and very relatable."  

Each episode has a humor and a message mixed into it with local cast members, Victoria Exconde, Chuck Fefchak, Erna Peters, and Kenton Dyck. 

The first episode will air January 3rd on YESTV and those wanting to stream the shows can make an account on the website to access the program.