Current Exhibits

The Road to Woodstock

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

 


Wunderkabinett 3.0

December 2018 to April 2019

For centuries, private collections were the principal means of viewing rare or unusual objects that came from distant lands. Known as "Cabinets of Curiosities" or Wunderkammer, Kunstkabinett, and "Cabinets of Wonder", they displayed objects and oddities ranging from scientific specimens to important works of art.

Even the words "Cabinet of Curiosity evoke images of dark rooms filled with the strange and bizarre. Where did these cabinets originate from, and how did they turn into the modern museums that we visit today?

As you explore this exhibit, be sure to look through the glass at some of the unusual and wonderful objects found in our collection and the stories behind them. 

 


Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom

February 18, 2018, extended until January 5, 2020

Stratford-Perth Archives, The Beacon Herald collection. July 2002.

Steps to Stardom, tells the story of Justin Bieber's meteoric rise from busking on the steps of the Avon Theatre to becoming one of the most popular pop stars in the world.

The Museum has been given access to hundreds of items - awards, clothing, pictures, all-access pages, personal letters and even running shoes and we are now in the process of collecting the items for exhibit.

In addition, a number of things have come forward from Stratford residents that have also been offered to the Museum -- team pictures, hockey jackets, drum sets, even library cards, that were used by Justin before he was an international pop star.

The exhibit 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.

The exhibit was created by the Museum in conjunction with Justin and his family.


  • Stratford Festival: Such Stuff as Dreams...

  • Ongoing Exhibit

...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.


Railway Century

Ongoing Exhibit

­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.

 

 

 


You Are Here: Vignettes of Perth County

Ongoing Exhibit

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: A Retrospective of Duty and Valour

Perth UP: une rétrospective du devoir et de la valeur

Ongoing Exhibit

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.

Canada logo

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada.

Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

 


Duffy Dent: A Soldier's Art

Ongoing Exhibit

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.

 


Other Museum features include:

      • History of the Stratford Fire Department
      • Brooks Steam Car
      • Print Shop
      • ...and more!

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