THEMUSEUM Rolling Stones exhibit set for November, regional council defers funding request

Photo by Brit Kovacs

This fall, THEMUSEUM will be hosting “Unzipped”, The Rolling Stones’ exhibit featuring artifacts, memorabilia, original artwork and more, from the iconic rock band. 

“The show kind of chronicles the almost 60 years of The Rolling Stones and it looks at their influence on not just music, but on fashion, and on film and how they responded to issues of the day,” David Marskell, CEO of THEMUSEUM, said. 

THEMUSEUM pushed the opening date to Nov. 30, to align with the province’s COVID-19 vaccination predictions. The exhibit will run until Feb. 27, 2022. 

“The prime minister says Canada [will be vaccinated] by the end of September, we’ve pushed the show a month, to Nov. 30,” Marskell explained. 

Earlier this month, Marskell appeared before regional councilors to ask for a funding request of $100,000.

Although the councilors were recommended by staff to take no action in the matter, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic made a motion to defer the decision to an unknown date so they can look into provincial or federal government funding options.

“[Vrbanovic] suggested that perhaps we defer the decision to give more time for everybody to see where we are in two or three months from now, see if we could find partners and other levels of government that might do a matching offer,” Marskell said. 

Maskell sees the exhibit as an opportunity to reboot the local economy and garner interest from those outside of the KW region. 

“I think it will help fill the bars … the hotels and gas stations and retail, as people from outside of the region [will come] to see this world-class blockbuster,” he said. 

THEMUSEUM plans to use the $100,000 of funding for marketing, in an attempt to bring in as many people as possible to the region. They have already partnered with radio stations and various local corporations, such as Q.107 and Via Rail, to begin promoting the exhibit. 

“We always think of how we can … partner with as many groups in the community for the betterment of all,” Marskell said. 

Marskell says THEMUSEUM has taken many steps to ‘COVID-proof’ the exhibit and will be able to “pull the plug” on the exhibit months in advance without financial penalty. 

The number of people entering the building will be regulated, and attendees will be able to buy tickets for two hour windows. 

“We’re really controlling the numbers and we’re keeping them low … we would still be within the guidelines of the province,” Marskell said.

While THEMUSEUM will be able to refund any tickets if the exhibit is affected by COVID-19 restrictions, Marskell predicts that the show will be a huge success. 

“My belief is people will be vaccinated, and they will want to come out and see their friends and enjoy something like the Rolling Stones.”

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