Stratford-raised superstar. Global music sensation. Curated exhibit?
A local museum is launching a collection dedicated to the hometown boy who became a household name, depicting Justin Bieber’s early life and musical career through a collection of personal items, professional awards and memorabilia donated by Bieber and his family.
It was a recent sit-down in a Stratford Tim Hortons with the mega-star that sealed the deal, says John Kastner, general manager of the Stratford Perth Museum.
“We . . . had a very brief conversation with him here, and he was very appreciative – couldn’t have been nicer,” Kastner said, “and just expressed how much he appreciated the fact that the museum was doing an exhibit.”
The exhibit is called Steps to Stardom – a nod to the fact Bieber started out busking on the steps of Stratford’s Avon Theatre as a boy, “and the idea of it is to cover that period of his life,” Kastner said.
“The steps of the Avon Theatre was probably the turning point (in his life), but for many people around here, they knew he was talented years before that.”
The museum’s board of directors had previously considered putting together a Bieber exhibit in the past. But once a visiting politician from Ottawa raised the idea last summer, it picked up steam.
About six months ago, museum staff reached out to Bieber’s grandparents, Diane and Bruce Dale, to ask whether they were interested in helping to curate an exhibit on their grandson.
“We started the conversation and they went back and forth with (his management) in Atlanta and Justin, and we got approval and then we started to go through the inventory of items they had,” Kastner said.
“I pitched the idea to my board and they thought it was fantastic, and here we are.”
Among the items donated by the Dales, and by Bieber himself, are his hockey bag and jacket from his time with the Stratford Warriors in minor hockey; recording microphones; backstage credentials; running shoes; T-shirts; personal letters; photographs; his Grammy, Emmy and Teen Choice awards, and the platinum record for his debut album, My World – released in 2009.
With many of the items that will be on display now in the museum’s possession, and the rest set to arrive shortly, the exhibit will be put together by museum staff over the next month. The exhibit will officially open on Feb. 18.
Source : theobserver.ca