Shakespeare’s First Folio in Stratford


School of Athens by Raphael is a 1000 piece puzzle from Eurographics. It is available in store at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

The Stratford Festival is delighted to partner with the Stratford Perth Museum this season to present an unprecedented viewing of Shakespeare’s First Folio, made available by the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto, in celebration of the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.

“The First Folio has been described as the most important work in the English language,” says Anita Gaffney, the Festival’s Executive Director. “We feel very fortunate to be able to offer our patrons, who are committed lovers of Shakespeare, an opportunity to view this treasured artifact during this year of celebration.”

Tickets are limited, so get yours soon. More information available at: The Stratford Perth Museum’s Website.

Savour Stratford is almost here!


Strawberries and Blueberries is a 500 piece puzzle from Springbok. It is available in store at The Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

Set in the heart of Stratford’s heritage garden district bordered by the Avon River and the Victorian downtown, the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival presented by GE Cafe Appliances moves from September to July 19th & 20th, 2014.

Every year, Ontario’s award-winning culinary festival welcome great guest culinary personalities, celebrates our local artisan producers and farmers and the outstanding Stratford chefs.

This year’s theme is Coast to Coast to Coast and the 30th Anniversary of the renowned Stratford Chefs School. Come meet some of the top young chefs under 40 from across Canada – from Newfoundland to the N.W.T. to B.C. – all award winners, many trained in Stratford and others associated with Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Anthony Bourdain.

With over 150 chefs, farmers, producers, Ontario wineries and craft brewers, cheese makers and culinary personalities, the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival is one of the largest culinary festivals in Ontario.

Come mingle among the farmer’s and artisan markets accompanied by free music concerts and surrounded by food stalls, special chef presentations and choose from over talks and tastings – choose from over 30 talks, tastings and sampling events – set in picturesque Stratford.

For more information, festival highlights, and tickets please visit the official website:
Savour Stratford

Garden Tour Sunday July 6, 2014


Photo taken by our resident Skrappy a couple of summers ago. She thinks her ma’s garden is as good as anything on the tour.

Presented by the Stratford and District Horticultural Society:

Eight distinctively different private gardens, event garden with refreshments, perennial challenge and Master Gardeners. Passes are sold for a special welcome to beautiful private gardens. Passes are available at Tom Eldon’s Landscaping and Garden Centre, Catherine Wright Designs, Sebringville Garden Centre, Cozyn’s Garden Gallery, and the day of the Garden Tour at Stratford City Hall from 9am to 1pm.

Details at the Ontario Horticultural Association’s website

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