McCrae House Backyard Theatre Returns!

Photo of the McCrae House backyard set up with a stage from the production of Mary's Wedding, 2018.

As theatres sit dark around the world, there’s a glimmer of light this summer in Guelph. Guelph Museums re-launches McCrae House Backyard Theatre this August with limited runs of two shows: Sons of ‘17 and Keeping the Homefires Burning.

“The McCrae House backyard provides an intimate outdoor theatre setting like no other,” says museum manager Tammy Adkin. “Because it’s such a versatile space, we can reconfigure the seating for each show, ensuring the necessary physical distancing for individual and family or social circle seating.”

Mike Ford and Murray Foster performing Sons of '17 at McCrae House. Murray is playing a stand up bass (left) and Mike (right) is playing a guitar.Back by popular demand, Sons of ‘17 will run from August 13 to 15 with performances at 7 p.m., as well as a 2 p.m. matinee performance Saturday, August 15. Sons of ‘17 debuted at McCrae House during the summer of 2016 and was performed in Belgium and France during Guelph Museums’ “In the Footsteps of John McCrae” tour commemorating the 100th anniversary of the passing of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. Performed by Mike Ford (Moxy Früvous) and Murray Foster (Moxy Früvous, Great Big Sea), an unlikely pair of musicians meets in Guelph during the spring of 1917 to rehearse songs for soldier recruitment, all while revealing home front emotions, opinions and diversions of the time.

Photo of Ian Bell holding an acoustic guitar.Keeping the Homefires Burning will run August 20 to 22 with performances at 7 p.m., and a 2 p.m. matinee performance Saturday, August 22. From the home front to the trenches, Ian Bell presents songs, stories, and instrumental music from the First World War era. Bell has performed across North America, on his own and with many ensembles. A musician with a Celtic flair, Bell’s repertoire includes traditional Canadian music and many original compositions.

Following health and safety guidelines provided by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, the Museum has introduced enhanced cleaning protocols and new measures to keep guests, performers, and staff safe.

Individual and family/social circle seating will be assigned, respecting physical distancing protocols.

Tickets are $25 + HST each, or $40 + HST for both performances. Tickets are available at or 519-836-1221. Capacity is limited, advance booking is encouraged.

Posted by Sarah Ball on July 23, 2020

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