Stratford News

Stratford Summer Music July 14, 2014 – August 24, 2014


The Music Room is a 1000 piece puzzle from White Mountain Puzzles. It is available in store at The Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

Stratford Summer Music, an annual multi-week music festival with over 100 events featuring 350+ individual artists, is set in indoor and outdoor venues throughout downtown Stratford, Ontario. With an artistic vision to produce, to the highest standards possible, an annual program of diverse and exciting musical performances by local, provincial, national and international artists and to provide the widest possible range of musical genres on our stages, Stratford Summer Music exposes audiences to a standard of musical excellence difficult to find outside large urban centres.

For more information, please visit Stratford Summer Music’s official website:

Click it like you own it.

Hay Fever : Revels in artistic pretensions


World of Words is a 1000 piece puzzle from Ravensburger. It is available in store at The Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

By Geoff Dale on June 20, 2014

STRATFORD – When the curtain rose for the opening act of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever, it was obvious from the thunderous audience applause that Lucy Peacock might be sharing the spotlight for the remainder of the production.

Not necessarily with an actor, though the company was certainly up to the task, but rather to Douglas Paraschuk and his wonderfully cluttered set, with numerous art works strewn about the walls, knick-knacks littering the living space and all those carefully studied but untidy symbols of a well-to-do family steeped in their ridiculous bohemian artistic pretensions.

Read the full article at Donald’s Dish

Upcoming Stratford Perth Museum exhibit highlights Stratford Festival’s scene-stealing birds and beasts


Uncommon Meeting is a 500 piece puzzle from Ravensburger. It is available in store at The Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

By Mike Beitz, The Beacon Herald, Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Things are about to get wild at the Stratford Perth Museum.

Starting this summer, visitors will get a rare glimpse at some of the exotic birds and beasts that have graced the stages of the Stratford Festival over the past 60 years.

A new exhibit, entitled Festival Treasures: Creating the Wild Kingdom, is currently taking shape, with Festival staff stalking the aisles and racks of its massive archives to capture some of the most interesting pieces to display.

It will be unleashed at the end of this month.

Read the full article on the Beacon Herald’s website

Review: Alice full of wonder


A Mad Tea Party by Scott Gustafson is a 200 piece puzzle from SunsOut. It is available in store at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

By Laura Cudworth, The Beacon Herald

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lufrednow. Or, from the other side of the looking glass: wonderful.

The childhood imagination reigns supreme in the Stratford Festival’s production of Alice Through the Looking-Glass. Lewis Carroll’s story loses nothing in the translation from James Reaney’s adaptation to director Jillian Keiley’s vision.

Though less-well known than Alice in Wonderland, it’s no less magical.

Once we slip through the looking glass and land on that chess board nothing is impossible as Alice finds her way to becoming queen in 11 moves.

Read full review on the Beacon Herald’s website

Review: Stratford Festival’s Mother Courage and Her Children


Children’s Games by Pieter Bruegel the Elder is a 1000 piece puzzle from Piatnik. It is available in store at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

By: Richard Ouzounian Theatre Critic, Published on Sat May 31 2014

Mother Courage and Her Children

By Bertolt Brecht. Directed by Martha Henry. Until Sept. 21 at the Tom Patterson Theatre. 1-800-567-1600.

STRATFORD—The very best thing about the production that opened at the Tom Patterson Theatre on Friday night is that it puts the Mother back in Mother Courage and Her Children.

Bertolt Brecht’s epic play about the horrors of war and the way it changes the lives of all who touch it is frequently staged with its political message front and centre, while the human elements are allowed to fend them for themselves.

But in the hands of director Martha Henry and leading lady Seana McKenna, no such folly is possible. To quote Joni Mitchell, these are “women of heart and mind,” who will not let a message exist without an emotion behind it and vice versa.

Read the full review on The Star’s website

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is undeniably compelling


The Chess Match by James Christensen is a 1000 piece puzzle from SunsOut. It is available in store at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

By Bruce Urquhart, Woodstock Sentinel-Review and Stratford Beacon Herald

Sunday, June 1, 2014

There’s an exuberance to Chris Abraham’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that rings true to the staging’s central conceit.

Conceived as a wedding present to a newlywed couple from their friends – a group of actors who bring a self-reflexive edge to the Shakespeare comedy – A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins with a feel of spontaneity. The actors – as well as the audience – are guests at a backyard wedding reception for two friends, played by Josue Laboucane and Thomas Olajide. To celebrate the love of these two men, their friends decide to treat them to a seemingly off-the-cuff performance of Midsummer Night, “volunteering” for the roles with a quick nod and a smile.

Designed by Julie Fox, the Festival Stage setting does look like it’s hosting an informal reception, complete with decorations, strung lights, a landscaped pond and a wedding DJ, performed by onstage musician Thomas Ryder Payne. The guests mingle on the lawn, enjoying cocktails and conversation until the host, a charismatic Scott Wentworth, assumes the role of Theseus. Soon, the principal conflict is revealed – the bizarre love quadrilateral between the lovely Hermia (Bethany Jillard), her beloved Lysander (Tara Rosling), spurned suitor Demetrius (Mike Shara) and the besotted Helena (Liisa Repo-Martell).

Read the full review on the Beacon Herald’s website.

Review: La Mancha stirs heart, spirit, and mind


Windmill Landscape is a 500 piece puzzle from Ravensburger Puzzles. It is available in store at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

By Donal O’Connor, The Beacon Herald
Friday, May 30, 2014

Let’s highlight the show-stoppers at the top.

Those would be Tom Rooney’s character Don Quixote performing the iconic To Dream the Impossible Dream and Robin Hutton as Aldonza expressing utter disillusionment with her life, with the world as it is, in the song Aldonza.

Those two amazing stanzas, bursting with passion and each wrapped in a different brand of lunacy, might be viewed as book-ends in the spell-binding Man of La Mancha that opened Thursday at the Avon Theatre.

This is a grand and extraordinary story, powerfully illustrated under the direction of Robert McQueen, that stirs heart and spirit and mind.

Read the full review on the Beacon Herald’s website

Savour Stratford needs volunteers


Snack Stack is a puzzle from Springbok. It comes in 500 or 1000 piece versions, and is available to purchase at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario

From the Stratford Tourism Alliance:
We need your help!

Come be part of the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival on July 19 & 20, 2014!

Volunteers are needed to make this year’s event successful. If you are able to donate some time over the weekend, please register on-line at

Get close up with a celebrated chef, load up your mandatory high school volunteer hours, discover the various culinary delights over the weekend; assist small children in crafts or face painting, or maybe set-up is more your style – so many opportunities to take part!

Invite your friends to volunteer and join in on the fun!

And here is a direct link to the volunteer registration page: Online Volunteer Registration Form

Stratford Heritage Weekend June 7-8, 2014


Picture taken by our resident Skrappy on her phone because even after 30+ years wandering around this town, sometimes she still gets gobsmacked by how purdy it is.

June 07, 2014
Stratford boasts some of the best-preserved 19th-century architecture in Ontario.

Stroll our Victorian streets on self-guided heritage walks through our designated downtown dotted with floral-decked patios, cozy cafés and chic restaurants. Step inside independently owned bookshops and meet local shopkeepers selling unique wares.

On Saturday, June 7 we invite you to visit Stratford and explore the 14 sites open to the public. View some of Canada’s finest examples of terra cotta detailing at the Perth County Court House, where you can begin your tour. Tour two private homes – a heritage Greek revival craftsman-style home and an Ontario cottage built for the 21st century. Museums, churches, businesses and the jewel in Stratford’s park crown, the Shakespearean Gardens, are all ready to welcome you.

Schedule of events at Doors Open Ontario’s website

New online map shows location, accessibility of public washrooms


Spring Fishing by Terry Redlin is a 700 piece panoramic puzzle from White Mountain. It is available at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

Thursday, May, 29, 2014

A new online map will help locals and visitors to Perth County find the locations of public washrooms quickly and easily from their mobile devices.

The Perth County Public Washrooms Map was designed so that people who need accessible washrooms will be able to quickly and easily find this information when they are planning a visit to our area.

Go to full article on the Stratford Gazette’s website