Current and Upcoming Exhibits
ALONG THE ROAD TO FREEDOM
Mennonite Women of Courage and Faith
September 19 – November 4
September 19 – 7 – 8:30 pm
The Museum is pleased to host a project of the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery of Winnipeg entitled Along the Road to Freedom: Mennonite Women of Courage and Faith. The exhibit tells the stories of mothers, daughters, grandmothers and sisters who led their families out of persecution and suffering to lives of freedom and peace.
Many Mennonites living in Russia left, fled, or attempted to flee the chaos in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and the horrors of Stalin’s persecution that followed. Many were led by women or girls and were part of the Great Trek in 1943 which, in the midst of war, wove its way from Mennonite colonies in south Russia (Ukraine) towards the west with the hopes of eventual freedom. 35,000 Mennonites fled in the Great Trek. Only 12,000 succeeded in their quest for sanctuary across the Atlantic.
Along the Road to Freedom reveals the stories of some of these Mennonite women through a series of 26 paintings by Ray Dirks. Each painting tells the story of one women, like Katherina Dirks Peters. The mother of five children, Katherina lost three young daughters to famine and disease. Her husband disappeared in the 1930s, taken by Stalin’s secret police and murdered. She left on the Great Trek with her two sons, both of whom died while fleeing. Katherina finally settled in Yarrow, British Columbia, poor and alone. Yet, she was remembered for her loving, peaceful and honest way of life that was a blessing to many.
While Along the Road to Freedom includes stories of great loss, persecution and suffering, the stories end, over and over again, with love, kindness, selflessness, faith and even forgiveness.
In this current time of refugees fleeing from violence, political turmoil, and war, and finding refuge in Canada, these stories are particularly relevant.
January – December 2017
It was in 1867 with the union of Canada (then a province made up of Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that the Dominion of Canada came into being. In the years since then, other jurisdictions have joined, resulting in today’s Canada of ten provinces and three territories. This year we celebrate 150 years of Canada!
The Museum has planned a number of events throughout the year that will highlight Canada’s 150. One of these events is an engagement exhibit where we ask you to contribute your thoughts on Canada. Every six weeks or so, we will pose another question and encourage you to drop by the Museum to have your say. As you contribute, the Celebration “wall” will be papered with your thoughts on a variety of Canadian icons.
You’ll not only want to contribute but we think you’ll be interested to read what everyone else thinks about Canada. Please stop in and keep coming back!