From left to right: Ken Kalmusky, Richard Manuel, John Till.
In the late 1950’s Rock and Roll hit the music scene in Canada.
In Stratford it was the inspiration for a group of boys to form their own band, The Rebels. Later known as The Revols, it launched the careers of three young musicians who went on to play with some of the famous bands in the world.
Richard Manuel, John Till and Ken Kalmusky honed their skills performing with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins, and many other Canadian and American artists.
Richard Manuel went on to become one of the founding members of The Band. John Till was an original member of the Full Tilt Boogie Band, Janis Joplin’s band. Ken Kalmusky founded Great Speckled Bird, the band that backed Canadian musicians Ian and Sylvia.
This year the famous 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary. Till and Manuel performed at the pivotal event in music history.
Created in conjunction with the artists’ families, this exhibit celebrates the careers of these three musicians, and includes background stories and rare personal memorabilia. It also highlights some of the influences that are part of Perth County’s rich music history. Features include a look back at the Dance Halls of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, as well as a view of Stratford in the ‘60s through the lens of the Perth County Conspiracy (Does Not Exist).
The exhibit, which is made possible by generous support from Strickland’s and opens June 21.
This exhibit in cooperation with the Stratford Blues & Ribfest which also has a Woodstock theme in 2019. The Blues and Ribfest also opens Friday June 21 with the headline act Inspired by Janis, a Janis Joplin tribute band. On Saturday’ June 22 The Last Waltz is the theme with a musical celebration of The Band and on the closing day, Sunday June 23 it’s The Woodstock Experience.
For information about the Stratford Blues and Ribfest go to www.stratfordbluesandribfest.ca
For 2019 the Stratford Perth Museum is offering our Tours and Talks package, along with an option for a box lunch from Sirkel Foods in Stratford.
Package One: Museum Tour + Historical Talk:
• 90 minutes
• Capacity: 45 people
• $15 per person (plus tax)
Includes a full guided tour of all the museum’s exhibits, plus choose one of three historical talks.
Historical Talk options:
Based on three of our most popular exhibits, each talk provides an in-depth perspective.
Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom
Learn about Justin’s early life growing up in Stratford, and his meteoric rise to international fame and success. This talk tells the story of the Stratford native’s career from those early years - busking in Stratford and performing in local talent shows - to the largest venues and stages in the world.
Stratford Festival: Such Stuff As Dreams…
How did the Stratford Festival go from dream to reality? This talk discusses the plots, the plans, the people and the plays that transformed Stratford from a railway hub to the city that hosts North America’s largest classical repertory theatre company.
Enjoy a guided walk through our trails system that features 15 story boards that tell the history of Stratford and Perth County. On this walk, which is under a kilometre in length, you will learn about the first inhabitants, the European settlers, industry, the role of rail, war time commitments and government representation - and the role each played. (Weather permitting - we have an inclement weather alternative indoors.)
Catered Lunch Option:
Museum Tour + Historical Talk + Box Lunch:
$29 per person (plus tax)
box lunch provided by Stratford’s Sirkel Foods. Includes soft drink/water.
For more information or to book tours contact:
Peg Dunnem, Education and Program Manager, Stratford Perth Museum
or 519-393-5315 (direct line)
We love a party!
If you are planning a wedding, corporate event or fundraiser and need a beautiful country setting consider the Stratford Perth Museum as your venue. We have seven acres of beautiful property that can accommodate up to 300 people. You book the tents, caterers and invite your guests and we provide the stunning backdrop!
We have packages that include use of the venue and also admission to the museum for your guests before and after the ceremony or during your event.
Contact our general manager John Kastner at 519-393-5312 for details or by ">email.
Justin Bieber "Steps to Stardom" exhibit will be in place until January 5, 2020
“We’ve got some fantastic new items that Justin and his family have lent the museum,” said John Kastner, General Manager of the Stratford Perth Museum. “This isn’t just a fine-tuning of the collection, it’s a real refresh. We wanted to make sure that people who may have been to see the exhibit before will really notice the changes if they come again.”
The museum worked closely with Bieber and his family members to ensure the exhibit gives an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the musician’s extraordinary path to success — beginning from his early days as a youngster in Stratford before he was discovered, to his present status as one of the world’s top-selling names in entertainment.
The collection features dozens of pieces from his music career, such as Justin’s drum set, Teen Choice Awards, a personal letter from former First Lady Michelle Obama and clothing he wore during major concert performances. It also includes personal items from his childhood in Stratford, including a hockey a hockey jacket from when he played for the Stratford Warriors Atom Travel Team when his nickname was already ‘Biebs’ and a signed library card.
Among the new items that will be added to the exhibit are a jersey Bieber wore in the 2018 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, a large portrait of Bieber and wife Hailey Baldwin, and several other items of clothing Bieber has worn. The museum has also restocked its giftshop with several new Bieber items for fans who want to take home a souvenir of their visit, including T-shirts, cellphone cases, skateboard decks, toques and lanyards.
Beliebers can also buy a recently released book penned by Kastner that gives a behind-the-curtain look at the museum exhibit. Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom features 100 colour photos of some of the most iconic pieces of memorabilia in museum’s exhibit, as well as never-before-told stories behind what makes the items so significant. The book also treats fans to exclusive photos and stories about Justin and his family that can’t be found in the exhibit.
Featuring a signed foreword by Bieber himself, the book was published by Stratford-based Blue Moon Publishers.
The Bieber exhibit has been an overwhelming hit for the small museum. Prior to opening the Bieber exhibit, the museum received a few thousand visitors in a good year. Last year, more than 20,000 visitors from around the world came through the museum’s doors, including Bieber, who dropped in at least five times to check out mementos of his career.
Stratford Perth Museum has a calendar for you in 2019!
As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler we begin to realize that 2019 is quickly approaching. And, if you are a supporter of the Stratford Perth Museum, or you just love a beautiful calendar, we have just the thing for you.
The Stratford Perth Museum, in conjunction with TheCommunityFundraiser.com, has produced a 2019 calendar. Each month includes a beautiful and historic local picture apropos for that month along with accompanying narrative.
The calendars sell for $10 will all net proceeds going to the Stratford Perth Museum. It is available at the museum, at Blowes Stationary and Office Supplies, West End Pharmacy, Orr Insurance and Sinclair Pharmacy. It is also available online by clicking here.
Also, if you are a community organization, service club or sports team the calendars can also be a fundraiser for you. Your group sells the calendar and keeps $5 from every sale. Get in touch with our general manager John Kastner is you are looking for an easy, no risk fundraiser. 519-393-5312.
The cover of the
calendar is a
gorgeous photo of the front of the
museum, courtesy of Scott Wishart.
This Stratford Perth Museum’s role in telling the history of Perth County has gone outdoors. The series of trails at the back of the property is now home to an historical walk.
There is a trail head sign which signals the start of the .7 kilometre paths and then 15 story boards that chronologically tell the colourful history of Stratford, Perth County and the surrounding area.
The historic walk brings to fruition the vision of the museum and its site plan committee that was several years in development and fulfills an element of the the museum’s strategic plan.
The research for the signs was done by the
Stratford Perth Museum with assistance from
the Stratford-Perth Archives and the Ontario
Archeological Museum in London.
The historic trail begins with a plaque about the ice age, then the first inhabitants of the area, followed by the European settlers who arrived in the 1830s and progresses through the next almost 200 years up to the current day.
Other topics include the arrival of rail and the impact on county industries, the participation in both World Wars, the major economic sectors including agriculture, manufacturing and tourism and a current snapshot of the city and county.
The trails are free to roam and are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The official name of the trail system is the Tom Orr Memorial Perth County Historical Walk. Orr, a tireless civic leader and a great supporter of the museum and archives, died earlier this year.
The property at the back of the museum and archives demonstrates the museum’s commitment to a holistic and natural environment that will appeal to adults, families and school groups.
The area not only includes the trail system but also a stormwater pond and the area is also home to bee hives which produce honey for our gift shop.
The trail system was made possible thanks to support from Orr Insurance and Investment,
Upper Thames River Conversation Authority, Stratford Perth Community Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment, Ontario Power Generation, A Touch of Dutch Landscaping, Ed’s Concrete, Permacon and the County of Perth.
Impressive addition to Railway Century exhibit
Set against the background of Stratford's main train station and rail yard, this is a striking addition to the museum's exhibit "Railway Century", which chronicles the history of the Shops and the influence of the railway on Perth County.
Railway Century, a permanent exhibit at the Stratford Perth Museum, is made possible thanks to generous support from Via Rail.
For a nice story about the creation of the 6218 replica, click this link for an article in The Beacon Herald. Story
At the Stratford Perth Museum
Stratford Festival Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino joins us to discuss the 2018 Festival season, and particularly the production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Antoni's talk will be followed by a short Q and A session with the audience. Tickets include admission to all of the museum's exhibits, featuring our two Festival-related exhibits: Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird, and Stratford Festival: Such Stuff As Dreams...
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Exhibit viewing: 9am to 5pm
Talk begins: 10:30am
Tickets: $15 (HST included)
For more information, contact Kayla Droog, Manager of Education and Public Programs at 519-393-5315 or by email.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the museum, or here.