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Olive Branch Community Association – Winnipeg, MB

Proper Title

Olive Branch Community Association fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

13 cm of textual records

Administrative History

Olive Branch Community Association was established in 1983. A group of people in a Sunday School class of the Fort Garry Mennonite Brethren Church provided the seed vision for a community art and gift shop with a difference. By its opening in September 1983, no fewer than ten families from several congregations were involved. The store’s aim was to provide direct, immediate help to underprivileged cottage-industry producers of gifts in the West Bank, Kenya, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Laos, Thailand, and Taiwan.

The Olive Branch Community Association members were expected to volunteer at the store and provide funding for its operation out of their own pockets. A loan was secured from MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) for a location and many of the products were bought from producers under the MCC umbrella. The store was originally located in the former Hamilton house at 185 Henderson Highway in Winnipeg. In the first year, the gift shop had $100,000 dollars in sales, according to an article in the Winnipeg Free Press, November 13, 1984.

In 1988, Olive Branch teamed up with another non-profit organization, Habitat for Humanity. Olive Branch committed itself to raising funds for one house out of the 18–20 projected by Habitat. Habitat for Humanity’s goal is to build simple, quality housing in partnership with the working poor. In the early to mid-1990s, MCC assumed responsibility for the venture.

Scope and Content

The materials in this collection deal with the beginnings of Olive Branch and its first years in business. The records include committee minutes, financial reports, and correspondence of the committee which operated and staffed the store.

Custodial History

Ken Reddig was one of the members of the Olive Branch project. He collected the material and then deposited it at the Centre. In 2006, Wally Kroeker deposited more material with the Centre, files which he had accumulated during his years at the Olive Branch.


  • Volume 853.
  • Accession no.: 2006-02.
  • Described by Conrad Stoesz October 8, 1999. Updated by Tamara Dyck May 15, 2009.

File List

Volume 853

  1.  Finances and minutes. -- 1987–1990.
  2. Olive Branch and Habitat for Humanity. -- 1988.
  3. Clippings of Olive Branch. -- 1988.
  4. Minutes of Membership meetings. -- 1986–1989.
  5. Minutes and reports. -- 1986–1988.
  6. Minutes, correspondence, and grant applications. -- 1986–1988.
  7. House Purchase. -- 1986.
  8. Minutes and correspondence. -- 1986.
  9. Minutes and reports. -- 1983–1985.
  10. “Words of Amos” dramatic reading. -- 1985.
  11. Minutes and correspondence. -- 1985.
  12. Minutes and correspondence. -- 1984.
  13. Minutes and correspondence. -- 1983.
  14. Hamilton House becomes Olive Branch. -- photocopied [ca. 1985].
  15. Financial statements. -- 1985–1995.
  16. Minutes of membership meetings. -- 1986–1989.
  17. Olive Branch Newsletter. -- 1994–1995.
  18. Retreat planning, including Carson Show. -- 1985–1986.
  19. Miscellaneous documents. -- 1985–1997.
  20. Minutes and correspondence. -- 1988–1998.
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