Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach has just learned that more than $75,000 in grant money will be coming its way.
Executive Director Gary Dyck says there are actually four different grants that make up that total.
Dyck explains two of those grants are through our province's Arts, Culture and Sports in Community (ASCS) Fund, from two different streams. Under the small capital stream, the museum is receiving $25,000 for special modular exhibit cases for their gallery. And then through the special initiatives stream, MHV is getting another $24,600 for its All My Relations initiative series. The money will help pay for equipment like a projector, as well as for staff training.
According to Dyck, these grants are for the exact amount that the museum applied for and will cover 100 per cent of the costs of those two projects.
A third grant that the museum recently received, also comes from the province, through the Community Museum Project Support Program. MHV is one of 30 recipients receiving funding this year. The grant is worth $9,000. Dyck says the money will assist MHV in transitioning to a new software program that has been developed with Association of Manitoba Museums. The program includes an artifact database with photos, descriptions and other pertinent information. Eventually, there will be a master website.
"It's good for us to have it as a database for our in-house but also provide greater public access for research and just information seeking," explains Dyck.
Dyck notes the $9,000 is less than what they had applied for.
And finally, the fourth grant comes from the Plett Foundation in Winnipeg. Dyck says they received about $18,000 to be used for outdoor signage. He notes signs used to describe such things as the windmill and Berlin Wall have been fading over the years and this money will help replace that signage.
"It's going to be a multi-year project because each panel needs to be revised, the text checked and any changes need to be made from 10 to 15 years ago," notes Dyck. "And especially since the new panels are coming from Quebec and they are going to be very durable and last even longer."
Dyck says he is always pleasantly surprised how different agencies and government stand behind the museum. He notes there are a lot of costs involved in running the museum and it is key to have other avenues of funding, besides donors. Dyck says during his years at the museum he has remained diligent in applying for as many grants as possible.
"Someone is going to get it, and we really believe in our cause and so we pursue it and we've found wonderful success," he points out. "It's exciting to see that recognition from the government and other agencies."
According to Dyck, about four years ago the museum was averaging approximately $150,000 annually in grants. But, over the last three years, that has increased to nearly $500,000 annually.
"2023 now is looking like we will get close to that again," he remarks. "I thought maybe 2023 the tap would be getting shut off but there are still wonderful opportunities and we've been pursuing that."
Dyck notes one of the grants they are still hoping to receive is for their village street renewal. He says if they would get about $55,000 through the Building Sustainable Communities program, that would cover approximately 50 per cent of the cost.