On exhibit until the end of May 2020
In 2020 Wightman Telecom turns 112 years old. Founded in 1908 by Robert Wightman, the company’s development mirrors that of the telephone industry itself. From magneto phones and operator assisted switchboards where calls were only possible during daytime working hours, to 24/7 connections to the entire world through the internet, The Wightman Story celebrates five generations in the family business.
Robert Wightman’s original motivation was the refusal by Bell Telephone to provide rural service to him and other local farmers. He knew the need was great, assisting farmers with essential links to markets, and providing connections between isolated households and essential services like doctors and firefighters. Of course the ability to connect easily with family, friends and neighbors was part of it too.
We thank Wightman Telecom for their assistance and enthusiasm in the development of the exhibit. The Wellington County Museum & Archives in Elora, Ontario worked with Wightman Telecom to create the original exhibit “Wightman – the First 110 Years” in 2018. They developed the principle narrative panels and interactive components. We are grateful that these and other related artefacts were loaned to the Stratford Perth Museum for this presentation of The Wightman Story.
EXTENDED end of May 2020.
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
…Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On recounts the story of the initial years of Stratford’s Shakespearean Festival, when performances were held in a tent. In 1952, over a period of only 18 months, Tom Patterson’s long-held dream to present Shakespearean drama in his hometown progressed from idea to reality. 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 are showcased in this exhibit.
A collaboration with the Stratford Festival Archives, this exhibit highlights the Festival’s history, important artefacts, costumes and props, as well as the actors, directors, designers and artisans that create magic on stage.
The name “Stratford” by itself would likely not have justified the establishment of a Shakespearean Festival in the city. In the early 1950s Stratford was a railway town of about 19,000 souls.
This exhibit tells the story of Stratford as a railway hub, and highlights the prosperity that Perth County’s extensive railway links brought to farmers and businesses in the region.
The Locomotive Repair Shops, operated by the Grand Trunk Railway and later the Canadian National Railway, was the driver of Stratford’s early economic development.
Agriculture, dairy, furniture making, and knitting mills, now connected to the world by rail, were just a few of the industries that made Perth County one of Canada’s most prosperous counties.
This exhibit offers a glimpse into the history of Stratford and Perth County from settlement in the 1830s to today. Drawing on the museum’s collection of photographs, artifacts, and archival documents, the exhibit highlights the people, businesses, organizations, and events that make Perth County the vibrant destination that it is today.
At You Are Here, experience a unique mix of poets and politicians, parades and plowing matches, settlement and sport history, and more that you can find here at the Museum and all across Perth County.
Perth UP: une rétrospective du devoir et de la valeur
This exhibit traces the history of the Perth Regiment from its inception in 1866 to present day.
The themes 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.
This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada.
Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.
Perth UP: une rétrospective du devoir et de la valeur
Capt. John “Duffy” Dent served in the Perth Regiment during WWII.
He was an accomplished artist who captured moments of military life, its conditions and situations, in his striking black and white drawings.
Dent redesigned the Perth Regiment hat badge, was the editor-in-chief of “The Perthonian,” and an illustrator for the Royal Military College Journal.
This exhibition displays samples of his work and personal memorabilia.