P.A. Day Activities Nov. 6

DSC_0021Join us on Friday November 6th and view our new Victorian Parlour exhibit. This exhibit features the Ashdowns, a fictional Perth County Victorian family. Learn about what life was like in Perth County during this period for different members of the family. Participate in interactive activities such as a Victorian photo booth, embroidery, and paper doll making. These activities are all included in general museum admission.

For more information, please contact Kayla Droog at 519-393-5311 or .

Anne Frank exhibit was about so much more than record attendance

Anne Frank exhibit breaks museum records

 Beacon Herald staff

More than 12,300 visitors took in the Anne Frank House exhibit at the Stratford Perth Museum through four and a half months this summer, more than three times as many as visited the museum throughout all of 2014. (Contributed photo)

More than 12,300 visitors took in the Anne Frank House exhibit at the Stratford
Perth Museum through four and a half months this summer, more than three times as many as visited the museum throughout all of 2014. (Contributed photo)

By Steve Rice

When the Stratford Perth Museum opened its Anne Frank House exhibit on June 6 it quickly became apparent that a few changes would be necessary.

“We opened that exhibit at 9 o’clock and at about 10:30 a volunteer came to me and said, ‘we need to do two things right away,’” general manager John Kastner recalled Thursday. “They said, ‘we need to get some kleenex in the building, and we need to come up with a way where people can leave for a few minutes and come back in.’

“Those are the two things that were the most telling for me.”

The heart-wrenching and inspiring exhibit Anne Frank: A History for Today, was witnessed by a record audience of about 12,330 from the June opening through to this past Sunday. That’s more than triple the total of 3,800 who passed through the museum doors over the entire 12 months of 2014.

It’s double the museum’s projection of 6,000 visitors, calculated with the hope that perhaps 10% of the 60,000 people who watched the Stratford Festival’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank might also visit the museum.

It also established a new Canadian record for attendance at the traveling Anne Frank House exhibit.

By the numbers, the exhibit was undoubtedly a success. But Kastner said that comments on social media, in emails and in the museum’s guest book show it was equally successful as an exhibit that was “very meaningful for our visitors and given current global events, very relevant.”

Since forming a relationship with the Festival in 2014, the museum’s numbers have gone up dramatically. Just 853 visited during the 12 months of 2013.

Kastner said visitors this year came from such far off places as British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Texas and Louisiana. But there was also a large influx of Perth County residents later in the season, many of whom said they’d never been to the museum before and left impressed with what they’d seen.

“One of the real benefits of having 12,000 people through is now 12,000 more people know where we are and for 99% of the people, I hope, it was a positive thing. It puts us on people’s radar as something to do,” Kastner said.

“Obviously the museum is a lot busier in the summer now because the last two years we’ve presented exhibits that are connected to the Festival. It’s a great relationship, certainly from our end, and the feedback I get from the Festival is that they think it’s positive as well. When people come to the Festival, it’s something else for them to do that’s related to the Festival. And it’s in keeping with the mission of the museum.”

Besides the Anne Frank exhibit, the Festival had an exhibit entitled Order to Disorder at the museum in 2015.

Next summer the Festival will have an exhibit about Kingship, while the museum will have a second Festival-related exhibit that will be announced next month.

Kastner said there are already talks about some kind of partnering for exhibits in 2017 when Canada will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Anne Frank: A History for Today, was largely funded by a very successful fundraising campaign by Perth County’s Dutch community, spearheaded by Harry Visser and Johan Bossers.

The museum also received a grant from Canada’s Ministry of Heritage, while many local businesses made donations or significant in-kind contributions.

“To see a whole community work together on one common project is really beyond expectation,” said Julie Couture, coordinator of Canadian educational projects at the Anne Frank House. “So much credit goes to the staff of the museum, the colleagues from the Stratford Festival, the devoted guides, the passionate visitors and to the community for its support.”

Julie Guinard, museum and collection coordinator at Montreal’s Holocaust Memorial Centre, expressed appreciation that their artifacts reached a new audience and hoped they helped visitors “understand the impact of the Holocaust on individuals, families and communities.”

steve.rice@sunmedia.ca

Final weekend to see Anne Frank House exhibit

AFH house panel 1This is the final weekend for the Anne Frank House exhibit at the Stratford Perth Museum. Based on the weather forecast — it looks like a “museum” sort of weekend.
Since the exhibit opened here June 6 over 12,000 visitors have experienced the powerful exhibit and film.
It’s very unlikely this exhibit will be in this area again for the foreseeable future.
We are still on our summer hours for this weekend — 9-5 both Saturday and Sunday.
For those who are interested in a guided tour, tour guides will be available all day Saturday, but Sunday will be self-guided only.
Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students and are available at the door.

Perth UP: A Retrospective of Duty and Valour

This exhibit traces the history of the Perth Regiment from its inception in 1866 to present day.

The theme201505031521_0001s of duty, sacrifice, valour, brotherhood, and remembrance are used to highlight the development of the Regiment from its earliest days as a volunteer militia company fighting in the Fenian Raids, through to its role in the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of World War II.

This exhibit showcases objects, letters, photos, and personal stories from throughout the regiment’s history.

Why “Perth UP”? The Maple Leaf “UP” was an ubiquitous marker during the Second World War pointing the way to Canadian front lines. “61” represented the Perth Regiment.

TICKETS

28th Perth Regiment c 1910

Stratford Perth Museum open all Thanksgiving weekend

Attendance to the StratfoAnne Frank1rd Perth Museum continues to be very strong in October with the extension of the exhibit Anne Frank: A History for Today. That travelling exhibit will be at the Museum through Oct. 18.

Because of the high volume of visitors the Stratford Perth Museum will be open Thanksgiving weekend including the holiday Monday – regular hours – 9 a.m. -5 p.m.

How would you describe Anne Frank?

Throughout the summer, we have been collecting visitor responses to this question. Here are the top answers, with larger size representing more frequent responses. WordItOut-word-cloud-1143928

Revival House “roof” fundraiser also in support of Museum

1297754371343_ORIGINALPhoto and story by Scott Wishart
The Beacon Herald

Friends of The Revival House will perform at a ‘Smash Hits Shingles Party’ this Friday to raise funds to re-roof the historic building, which was originally Mackenzie Memorial Gospel Church in downtown Stratford.

Owner Rob Wigan said he’s grateful for the support of the popular Strings & Traps, the newly formed Diamond Mine, and emcee and special guest Nicole Poynter for offering to perform at the event, which starts at 8 p.m. at Revival House.

“It’s community support from all our local favourites,” Wigan said.

“We appreciate it so much. Having the musicians rally behind us is refreshing. It’s just nice to see.”

The need to re-roof the building became apparent early this summer, Wigan said, as major interior renovations were transforming the restaurant, bar and concert venue into a brand new incarnation of the former Church Restaurant.

Water damage appeared in the ceiling and around some of the colourful stained-glass windows–particularly on the south side of the Brunswick St. building–after much of the interior renovation was already complete.

“At first, looking up, I thought maybe it was a spot missed by the painter. It wasn’t.”

The roof is over 30 years old, Wigan said. It was expected to last about another year in its present state, but that prediction proved a bit optimistic, he added.

He’s currently poring over five different quotes from local contractors for the work.

He said he hopes the benefit raises about $12,000 toward the project. Ten per cent of the funds from Friday will go to the Stratford Perth Museum.

Tickets at $50 a ticket are available at The Revival House and online. Door prizes and a silent auction will be part of the event, along with complimentary snacks and deejay entertainment provided by Wigan himself, as DJ Wigs.

All three rooms on the two levels of the beautifully renovated facility will be open for the event.

“It’ll be great entertainment for a really good cause. And it’s going to be the party of the year.”