New Justin Bieber exhibit in Stratford filled with personal memorabilia from his early days
Justin Bieber’s grandparents stand next to the steps of the Avon Theatre in his hometown of Stratford, Ont., where they remember him busking even before he turned 10.
“He was raising money to take his mom on a trip to Disney World… and he did,” says Diane Dale, Bieber’s grandmother. “He made a lot of money sitting here on the steps. He was good.”
Viral videos of him performing on the steps of the theatre are what helped Bieber get noticed by his talent manager Scooter Braun and become one of the best-selling artists in the world soon afterwards.
“We really didn’t believe how big he got so quick,” says his grandfather, Bruce Dale. “It was just amazing.”
Over the years, the Dales collected their grandson’s fan posters, awards, and even his sneakers — all of which are now on display at “Steps to Stardom,” the Stratford Perth Museum’s new exhibit dedicated to all things Bieber.
LISTEN: Bieber fever as new exhibit opens in Stratford
Bieber’s first drum set is now also at the museum — the display brings back warm memories for Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette.
“I love the drums,” Mallette says. “It was really meaningful how he got them.”
When Bieber was eight years old, members of his community held a benefit concert and raised enough money to buy him the drum set and music lessons.
Mallette says such acts of generosity helped launched his music career. “I think it’s exciting just to see the transformation… and how everybody is responding, even in his hometown.”
Tickets for the exhibit have sold out for its opening days and the museum has already also sold tickets for the summer.
“We should’ve seen this coming,” says John Kastner, general manager of the Stratford Perth Museum.
There are 60 artifacts on display, including a replica of the Avon Theatre, a place that is a constant reminder for the Dales of where Bieber got his start.
“Never say never,” says Bruce Dale. “[We’re] very proud of him.”
The exhibit opens to the public on Feb. 18, and the museum says it will continue at least until the end of the year.
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