While Mennonite Heritage Village was busy hosting Summer in the City Visits Fall on the Farm, they got an unexpected boost to their fundraising.

Premier Kelvin Goertzen stopped by the museum on Saturday and handed MHV Executive Director Gary Dyck a cheque.

The province had leftover money from the Manitoba 150 program that went unused due to COVID cancellations. Premier Goertzen recommended that the unused funds be evenly divided among the seven signature museums around the province. And Mennonite Heritage Village was one of the recipients of that unexpected gift.

"We're excited because then we could use that funding towards our chortitz house barn, which we've been trying to fundraise for," Dyck says, noting the timeliness of this donation.

COVID cancelled the fundraiser they had planned for the rebuild of one of the chortitz house barn.

The amount needed for phase one of their project on the house barn totalled $44,000. MHV had received a $22,000 Sustainable Communities Grant last February, and they knew they could cover half of the required amount. They had planned fundraisers that the pandemic ended up postponing. In order to not lose the grant, MHV went on faith that the money would come in and started the repairs.

Dyck was aware they were getting some additional funding from the province but was unaware of the amount. Monday morning during the flag-raising ceremony at Fall on the Farm he was handed an envelope.

"I opened up the envelope and it was exactly the amount that we needed."

The remainder owing on the work being done on the house barn was covered.

With 30 heritage buildings to be maintained at the museum, Dyck says there is a list of things that need to be repaired.

"The buildings are made of wood, one-hundred-plus years old, so we always have a list."

They will continue work on the house barn and hope to complete it next year.

Days later and Dyck is still in awe of the amount and the timing of the money, saying it was "totally unexpected. Just out of the blue. Exactly when we needed it too."



Written by Carly Koop