Jian and the whole team at Q, please accept this as our final bid to see Q live here in Stratford!
It has been busy here in Stratford since the Q campaign took over the streets, social networks and everyday lives of our community on November 29. This city has a lot to be proud of when it comes to arts, culture and entertainment, so it is absolutely no surprise that, when people started to hear about this campaign, the word spread like wildfire. As a community, we set out to answer a few basic questions: What makes Stratford unique? What makes Stratford a place Q should showcase to the continent? And why are we so passionate about arts, culture and entertainment? The response was overwhelming. In a city like Stratford, where arts and culture are part of the social fabric, the answers to those questions might seem obvious – too familiar, even. But through this competition we’ve had the rare pleasure of truly coming together as a community and rediscovering our rich history, our fascinating culture and the remarkable talents that we have to share with each other and the world.
I found this tweet from a resident Stratfordian really inspiring:
on_stage_dance On Stage Dance Having a blast reading tweets @jianghomeshi about why he should come to @StratfordON! Reminds me why I LOVE this city so much! #QinStratford
Let’s take a look at what Stratfordhas done to bring Jian and Q here – and, equally importantly, why we have done it!
We started things off with a quintessential 21st-century grassroots campaign launch: a Facebook community page! Then we threw in a hashtag, #QinStratford, and set out to spread the news to the twitterverse via word-of-fingertip. Next we went old-school and started to decorate the town with 200 posters to create buzz around the community – and we got some amazing support! Store owners and community centers were plastering posters in their windows and on their bulletin boards, and the requests for more posters just kept rolling in. A Jian Ghomeshi cut-out or two might have been roaming up and down the streets ofStratford as well! 😉
Who was promoting the Q-mania that swept the city, you ask? We are incredibly blessed with a tight-knit community, so when word of the competition got out it seemed like everyone was trying to do something to help make Stratford a real contender. It started at the top with strong support from the Mayor of Stratford, Dan Mathieson – and it just kept spreading from there!
…just look at this hashtag history!
Other fabulous supporters include: University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, The Stratford Tourism Alliance, our local government, the 200+ small businesses that put up posters and promoted the cause, Off the Wall, Stratford Artists Alliance, Gallery Stratford, The Stratford Gazette, local celebrities, Factory 163, Start Stratford Arts and Culture Magazine, On Stage Dance, Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival, The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford Summer Music, SNAP Perth and so many more!
On Twitter alone 1,055 tweets were made in support of Stratford’s campaign generating 3,125,430 impressions and reaching an audience of 849,841! Way to go team! 🙂
Our campaign page got 1,533 “Likes” from people around the community, with 975 of them actively chatting and sharing why they thought Stratfordneeded to be featured on Q! To put that number in perspective, that’s roughly one in every 22 citizens of Stratford- just on Facebook!
So what did they have to say about our city? Here’s a sample…
This green space is a cultural hub of great art, canadian indie music, fabulous events and so much more. This would be a great place to visit while you are in Stratford Jian! http://www.factory163.com/
Birmingham Manor Bed and Breakfast It’s also a very dynamic community, friendly and welcoming. lots to do even when the festival season is over!
Jaci Guglielmi Stratford is a mystery needing investigation. Spend your mornings in an outgoing, friendly town with delightful choices in food. Afternoons and evenings you enter theatres that present the very best in productions. If you see a Shakespeare, musical, comedy or Canadian original you know you are seeing that material at its very best in acting, presentation and direction. The rest of the world looks toStratford for guidance and sometime whole shows. How does this town do work that is the envy of large cities?
It’s in the Stratford DNA. Take Stratford’s beautiful parks….
In 1862, Stratford City Council inspected its modest Shakespeare Square on Ontario Street and set aside $30 to “fix it up and plant trees.” By 1912, the parks had become so lovely and so vital to Stratford’s identity that local citizens voted to reject an offer by C.P.R. to build a railway line along the river with a riverside station. Soon after, in 1918, the swans arrived.
Many claim that the success of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival would not have been possible without the magnificent setting of Stratford’s gorgeous parks. Stratford’s choice for culture a century ago created the setting for the city’s continuing economic success.
Come to Stratford, Jian, and showcase to Q audiences Stratford’s capacity to transform. Maybe it will inspire another town to do something they’ve never done before!
Check out these Facebook posts about why Stratford is worth celebrating:
Vivace is another example of the community supporting the arts in Stratford. Their goal is to make music education available to all youth.
”The most immediate purpose for thinking about Stratford is to contemplate a life that art has created.” A quote from Kelvin Browne of the National Post. Another good reason for Jian and Q to broadcast from Stratford.
Sharon Roper Butler
Great people, beautiful parkland, superb dining, world class theatre, festivals galore each season, unique downtown and home to The Digis Awards -recognizing creativity in digital media by high school students all over Canada! Thank you toStewart Reynolds for this.
Your Local Market Co-op
Not only do locals embrace arts and creativity in Stratford, but are taking steps towards a sustainable future through food! There is a thriving and developing local food movement in Stratford that includes Your Local Market Co-op, Simple. Fish and Chips, Slow Food Market, The Butcher and the Baker and The Gentle Rain and many more! Also, people can do their entire grocery shopping downtown by independent merchants any day of the week!
Paula Muncaster Walker
Don’t forget the Theatre Archives – largest of its kind in the world. A giganitc record of the creativity and culture found in Stratford. http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/about/leadership.aspx?id=1672
What makes Stratford unique? As an actor, being part of an incredible repertory company which features four unique and distinct playing spaces. Spending four to six months in a community which is warm and inviting and genuinely interested in the art we create. A community that not only features the dramatic arts but also culinary arts, an extraordinary summer music festival and an innovative visual arts scene. What’s not to love?
Jian, Stratford is:
Where small-town “quaint” meets big-city “cool.”
Where home cooking meets gourmet cuisine.
Where “Summer” means theatre and music and fine dining and tourists.
Where “Winter” is the same as Summer, just edit “tourists” and insert “hockey.”
Where “rural” means slow food and a lovely slow pace.
Where garlic is celebrated annually.
Where art flows through its citizens’ veins.
Where the only annual Swan Parade draws crowds of thousands.
Where you can find a river “to skate away on…”
Where Shakespeare’s words have been celebrated for 60 years.
Stratford is more than the “Festival City”.
Stratford is where YOU should be…
Jian, Stratford Summer Music brings artists from around Canada and the world, including the Mzansi Youth Choir of South Africa, to Stratford each summer – and you bring the world of music to Canada. It’s a perfect match.
P.S. Stratford Summer Music is a big fan of Moxy Fruvous!
It is innovation. art is where we pose the improbable questions that we eventually find out are possible. art is where emotions are expressed, and it makes it easier to deal with our own. entertainment, art and our culture are the dream team that drive our lives… Without either of the three there would be a missing piece of the puzzle. Without the arts we would never learn to create, and be silly. Without culture we would feel lost, it gives us an identity… Especially when we share our cultures with others, and when we are committed to each culture we connect with. Without entertainment no one would take a break, we would be too focused on productivity, when sometimes it really takes taking a break and being entertained by something to come up with great ideas… That’s my feeling about it atleast. I know that without art my life would have no soul. Without culture I would not feel a tie to those around me, and I would be significantly less curious about others. And without entertainment, well I’d go crazy! I know that I need these like I need water. And when the balance of my life is off and I do not give these three aspects of my life the time and attention they deserve, I feel off, or even sad.. That’s what they mean to me.
Kim DePutter Postma
Stratford has been and is home to so many amazing artists – writers, painters, actors, entertainers, gardeners! Sandra Beatt, Mark Fletcher, Timothy Findley, Terry Griggs, Urquart, Alan Collier to name a small few…
William S. himself throws his support behind this idea:
1. Lord, what fools these mortals be who think Q should go anywhere other than Stratford.
2. Now is the winter of our Q-content.
3. To sleep, perchance to dream in any of our lovely accommodations here in Stratford, Jian…
4. O Ghomeshi, Ghomeshi, wherefore art thou Ghomeshi? (we’re waiting for you on our balconies here in Stratford)
5. Something may be rotten in the state of Denmark, but everything is awesome in Stratford!
6. How does Stratford love thee, Jian? Let Q count the ways…when you bring the show here.
Jian should bring Q to Stratford because Gallery Stratford, like Q, highlights and showcases up and coming Canadian talent as well as internationally recognized and lauded talent. #Burtynsky #Urquhart #JackDylan #PeteRyan #KenNutt #VirgilBurnett
Only 1 store on earth sells exclusively Canadian music, that would be Music, soon to start its 40th year as part of the Stratford scene.
”Infinite variety”, that’s Stratford. Farms, factories, festivals, food, friends. One more “f” word: fabulous. Come west, Jian, come west.
We’ve had a bunch of people share their blogs on why Stratford is a perfect fit for Q. We hope you’ve all had a chance to read through these:
- Our very own Q Essay! #QinStratford Essay David Prosser
- Some things you may not know about Stratford Claire Mastrangelo
- A note from Bruce Dow Bruce Dow
- Jian in Stratford? Let’s do it! Tobi Day-Hamilton
- #QinStratford Campaign Lisa Middleton
- 60 Seasons – 60 Cultural Reasons Stratford Shakespeare Festival
- Hey, Jian, we want you in Stratford! Christi Rutledge
- A note from Amanda Wilk Amanda Wilk
- My Stratford! A fond look at Stratford, Ontario Helen Harrison
The support has been pouring in through video, too! Check out these fabulous films created for the #QinStratford campaign! (Over 365 original views on our very own campaign videos!)
Jake Nothdurft started things off with his call to action to the city of Startford.
A few members of the Festival shared their thoughts on why our city is tops when it comes to arts, culture and entertainment.
Another great video from the ctiy!
Finally, Greig Stott created a video featuring our city in all its glory!
The support didn’t stop there. Stratfordians shared video clips of our city’s unique features and important cultural establishments.
Our one of a kind chocolate and candy shops, like Rheo Thompson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wefma5uEAFA
Our unique blend of city and country:
Our passion for our community:
Yes, even the swan parade!
A student dance flash mob!
An adult dance flash mob at Stratford Summer Music!
Okay, we can’t stop dancing!
Our roller-derby scene!
Our inspiring youth:
Okay, we’re going to brag a bit with this one! We’ve been rated one of the top 7 intelligent communities in the world!
A heritage minute in honour of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival:
A note from Measha Brueggergosman on her five favourite things about Stratford:
A word from incomparable Brian Bedford about his five favourite things about Stratford:
To wrap it all up, a tour of all the fabulous cultural events we celebrate year after year!
We’ve also received a ton of photos from around the city featuring local businesses. We are so proud of all of our unique and independently owned shops! They’re dying to have you here, too!
We’re not all business though – we’ve had some fun with our campaign photographs, too.
If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you come and visit us…do we not rock?!!
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival even took Jian on a tour of our Archives, Warehouse and Scene Shop! A wealth of material culture and load of fun… here’s a sneak peak!
And there’s so much more…. Take a look! With over 104 photos to share we hope you enjoy taking a look at our beautiful city!
One person from Stratford’s Facebook campaign had this compelling case to make when speaking about arts and culture in our city:
Brenda Martin Art is life… Culture is oxygen… Entertainment is water… Hence our passion for it! But isn’t this question a little like asking “how many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?” (answer: a fish)
Jian, we’re ready and waiting to welcome you to our city! Here’s to Stratford and Q – a beautiful pair!