Mennonite Bicentennial Commission

Classification scheme: 

Title: Mennonite Bicentennial Commission fonds

Dates of creation: 1982-1992

Physical description: 40 cm of textual material

Administrative history: The Mennonite Bicentennial Commission was established as a separately incorporated body in 1983 by the Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario for the purpose of planning a variety of special events, publications, etc. for the 1986 bicentennial of Mennonites in Canada. The Commission ceased in 1993 after establishing an endowment fund for the upkeep of the Bicentennial Memorial at Vineland, Ontario.Frank H. Epp was the organizational inspiration for the Commission, and served as its President until his death in January 1986.

The major projects of the Bicentennial Commission included:

  1. MennoVan Canada
    Reg Good and Kathy Shantz travelled across Canada from 1984-1986 in a mobile home telling the Mennonite story in Mennonite churches and other contexts. This included a multi-media presentation on Mennonites ("People Seeking Peace" by Frank H. Epp and Donald R. Gordon)
  2. Two books
    A biography of Jacob Y. Shantz by Sam Steiner, and Mennonites in Ontario: a Mennonite Bicentennial Portrait edited by Maurice Martin.
  3. Bicentennial Memorial at Vineland, Ontario designed by Barbara Fauth and dedicated July 1, 1986
  4. Concert of the "War Requiem" by Benjamin Britten performed at the Centre in the Square, Kitchener, on July 5 & 6, 1986 and directed by Bill Janzen
  5. Music and Art Festival at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, May, 1986
  6. Academic Conference on Mennonite Identity held at Conrad Grebel College in 1986, with the papers released in a monograph titled Mennonite Identity.
  7. Harbourfront Festival on August 1-3 in Toronto.
  8. Commissioned musical work by Leonard Enns to be premiered on Bicentennial Sunday
  9. Created tour maps

Custodial History: The fonds was deposited at the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by the Mennonite Bicentennial Commission in the 1990s.

Scope and content: The fonds consists of minutes and correspondence of the Commission, as well as programs, etc.

Notes: Original description created by Sam Steiner 17 August 2006

File list:

  1. Bicentennial Memorial Endowment Fund Agreement, December 31, 1991
    1a. Legal Documents
    Incorporation, Letters Patent, etc.
  2. Executive Committee minutes
  3. Bicentennial Commission minutes
  4. Bicentennial Sunday committee
  5. Vineland Memorial documents 
  6. Commission Correspondence
    Denominations & Conferences, 1982-1985
  7. Music committee
  8. Hymnsing Committee
  9. Portrait of Ontario Mennonites
  10. Jacob Y. Shantz Biography
  11. Publications related to Bicentennial
    Bicentennial Bulletin, no's 1-4
    Mennonite Tour Map
    Mennonite Bicentennial Visual Arts Exhibit
    Bicentennial Notes, no's 1-7
    Guide to the Mennonite Bicentennial (insert in Mennonite Reporter, March 1986
    "Modern Reasons" (Bicentennial Drama by Paul Born) Programme only
    Mennonite Festival of the Arts programme (Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, May, 1986)
    Bicentennial Sunday programmes, July 6, 1986
    War Requiem programme 
    War Requirem flyer 
    Bulletin cover used for Harbourfront service, August 1986 
    Mennonite bicentennial Celebrations, Vineland (1 July 1986) pamphlet 
    Mennonite Bicentennial Events Calendar
    Mennonite Bicentennial Songbook
  12. MennoVan
    1. Organizational materials
    2. Summaries prepared by Kathy Shantz
    3. Individual summaries of meetings and bulletins
    4. Media contacts
    5. Book presentations
    6. Correspondence
    7. People Seeking Peace A-V Presentation
  13. Guideline Documents
  14. Finances/Grant Applications
    Government of Canada
  15. Concepts of Mennonites in School Curricula / by John W. Friesen, 1984
  16. Academic Committee
  17. Mass Media
  18. Tours Committee
  19. Harbourfront
  20. Realia
    Bicentennial pins 

Last updated 15-Mar-2010 by Laureen Harder-Gissing

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Generally 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238