And we're back! Stratford Perth Museum re-opening
The Stratford Perth Museum, closed since March 23 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is re-opening this Friday, June 12. The museum sector has been given clearance by the province of Ontario to open, with restrictions including social distancing.
We will be keeping our regular hours of 10-4, seven days a week.
We are really encouraging patrons to get their tickets online via our website under our Buy Tickets tab.
Patrons may also be asked to follow the new rules of the museum including sanitizing your hands, maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask if there are other visitors in the museum. If you don't have a mask we will supply one.
We're not accepting items for our collection at this point and if you would like to see someone at the museum please make an appointment.
We're back ... see you soon!
The Stratford Perth Museum is looking to hire students, thanks to two federal student job programs - Young Canada Works and Canada Summer Jobs.
To be eligible for these programs you must be ...
between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment
a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment,
have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations
The museum is currently closed because of COVID-19 but is preparing to reopen - possibly in July. There have been several changes to the summer job programs, including extensions into the fall and even into the early months of 2021.
There are also some changes to the job description with less emphasis on welcoming visitors to the museum and offering tours and greater emphasis on working on the collection room with our artifacts and potentially museum day camps for children and youth.
The museum assures applicants that the museum has health and safety protocols in place for its employees and visitors.
If you have previously applied, we would invite you to do so again given the new conditions and timeframes. Offering employment will of course be dependent on the museum re-opening.
We are currently accepting resumes by email to ">Apply Here.
How important is the Stratford Festival? Very!
This statement is in support of the Stratford Festival and to underscore its importance to the City of Stratford, the region, the province and in particular to the Stratford Perth Museum.
Unlike nearly all community museums in Canada, the Stratford Perth Museum gets less than half its funding from municipalities and we must raise over 50% of our revenue. So we can’t imagine there is a community museum that has been impacted by this pandemic any more than the Stratford Perth Museum.
We are more of a tourism destination than a community museum. Our entrance surveys tell us that 60% of our visitors, from May to October, were at the Festival the same day they visited the museum, the day before or the day after.
Additionally, 25% of our visitors annually are not from Canada. Not all are Beliebers - many are here to go to the Festival and the museum becomes a second stop.
In addition to visitors, how important is the Stratford Festival to the museum?
It was the bond formed with the Festival in 2013 that turned the museum around. That partnership, where the museum tried to augment the visitor experience for people coming to the Festival, led to Shakespeare’s First Folio being at the museum, the Anne Frank House exhibit, the Franklin Expedition exhibit, the foremost collection of Inuit art in the world from the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Harper Lee museum’s first foray out of Alabama to mount the To Kill a Mockingbird exhibit in Stratford.
In 2013, the museum had 853 visitors and in 2018, we had over 12,000. A lot of good work and good fortune went into that turnaround but without question, the one defining moment that made that series of events possible, was the support of the Festival.
But there is so much more to our relationship than presenting exhibits that line up with the Festival season.
The Stratford Festival sells tickets to the museum via its box office and its website, it provides us with space in its Visitors’ Guide and a full page ad in one of its playbills – all free of charge. The Festival invites us to speak about the museum at events where they have invited hundreds of teachers and tour operators. We partner on grants. The Theatre Store provides us with stock for our gift shop. We teamed up with the Festival to animate the gazebo outside the main theatre with promotional video for the Festival, the museum and Perth County. Our manager of exhibits works closely with the Stratford Festival archives on a myriad of things, including our annual exhibit about the Festival.
The Festival is the museum’s best friend and partner.
It makes one think of Justin Trudeau’s father when we think about the museum’s (and this city’s) relationship with the Stratford Festival. Pierre Trudeau was asked about Canada’s relationship with the United States (in 1969, not now.) He remarked that “living next door to the United States is like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered it is … one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”
And so it is in Stratford. When the Festival is hurting, we are all hurting – including, if not especially the museum.
It was the Stratford Festival that pulled this city out of economic collapse in the 1950s after the CNR shops closed. It was the Festival that reached out to the struggling museum in 2013 and helped it become the vibrant, popular and relevant place it is today.
And so it will have to be again. By saving, supporting and coming to the aid of the Stratford Festival you are not only throwing a lifeline to the best theatre company in Canada, one of the best in the world and its hundreds of employees but you are in turn paving the way for an economic recovery in the entire region. Restaurants, stores, hotels and bed and breakfasts, countless other businesses and all the people who work there are as worried about the Festival as they are about their own business. That’s because they know it’s all entwined.
Similarly, the current situation at the Stratford Perth Museum is one of some dread. We have questions as to what we will have to do to be solvent, relevant and sustainable. We are fearful and there are a ton of unknowns.
But there is one thing we are certain of – without a strong Stratford Festival, the museum does not have a bright future and to be honest, not much of a future at all. Nor do hundreds of other businesses and thousands of people.
Because of the ongoing and developing Coronavirus pandemic, The Stratford Perth Museum is postponing our big fundraiser and celebration, The Innkeepers' Dinner.
Instead of April 4 it will now be September 19, still at The Arden Park Hotel, and still sponsored by Wightman.
If you have already bought tickets they will be honoured Sept. 19. If you can't make it that day and you would like a refund - no problem - just give us a call at 519-393-5311 and we will make that happen.
Thanks so much for your understanding and -- we'll see you in September!
The Stratford Perth Museum held its Annual General Meeting February 19 and among regular business, elected a new board of directors.
The rest of the board ...
George Jansen - secretary
Janice Richardson - Treasurer
Martin Ritsma - City of Stratford representative
Doug Kellum - County of Perth representative
To view the museum's Annual Report, click here
Call for Summer Students!
We are hiring and currently accepting resumes for full-time summer student positions.
We will be hiring full-time summer positions, 35 hours per week, between 8 and 16 weeks. Applicants must be eligible under the Canada Summer Jobs and Young Canada Works guidelines.