The Government of Canada is providing funding of $600,000 to the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF) for cultural infrastructure projects on its campus in Steinbach, Manitoba. In Budget 2016, the Government of Canada announced that it will be investing an additional $168.2 million in cultural infrastructure through CCSF over the next two years. This fund supports the improvement, renovation and construction of arts and heritage facilities, as well as the acquisition of specialized equipment.

“Our government is proud of making significant investments in cultural infrastructure across the country,” said Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly. “We are making our communities stronger and allowing Canadians to celebrate the many cultures that make our country so diverse. The funding announced will help ensure that the Mennonite Heritage Village can continue sharing its story with visitors from Canada and abroad.”

The funding awarded to MHV will be used to support two major initiatives at the museum. A Summer Pavilion will be constructed to replace the current tent used to house a variety of the museum’s programming. “These funds constitute very significant support for the interpretive and educational work of this museum, creating a new home for our education program and the concerts that enhance our festival days,” says Barry Dyck, Executive Director of MHV. Additionally, this three-season auditorium will provide the community with a high quality meeting space for concerts, picnics, receptions, family gatherings, and the like.

Part of the funding will support the replacement of the entire heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the 26-year old Village Centre. Dyck further states, “We are privileged to have climate controlled storage, lab and gallery facilities at MHV, and we need to ensure that the systems that maintain a climate conducive to preserving our irreplaceable artifacts remain functional.” Three units have already been installed and four more will be replaced in the next several years.

Mennonite Heritage Village exists to preserve and exhibit the experience and the story of the Russian Mennonites and their contributions to Manitoba. Approximately 45,000 guests from more than 50 countries visit the museum annually. It is one of Manitoba’s six Signature Museums selected for its collection of artifacts related to Manitoba’s unique historical development and for its potential to be an enhanced heritage attraction.