Sometimes there is good news to report, and at other times, sad news. This is the latter as after 55 years, one of CAPA’s long-time member clubs is closing its doors.
The Stratford Camera Club, in Stratford, Ontario has had a long and distinguished history. It was first established on June 13, 1900, charging $2 for men and $1 for women. Since then the club has folded and restarted twice, first in 1939 and most recently in 1963.
The photographers who re-established the club in 1963 had the aim of encouraging members in their photographic endeavours, and providing opportunities to improve their skills through instruction, competitions, outings and guest speakers. The Club’s core objectives remained the same over the years, with the addition of competitions and social events between Stratford and other area camera clubs.
The Club met twice a month from September to May with a general meeting at Gallery Stratford and a monthly workshop at various nearby locations. Club outings were organised both for photography and socialising.
The Stratford Camera Club has enjoyed presentations from well-known photographic artists such as Maria Zorn, Bob and Peter Wood (authors of the book “Bright Wings”) and Freeman Patterson. A juried photographic salon was held at Gallery Stratford to celebrate the Club’s 40th anniversary. In recent years Kaleidoscope, an annual audio-visual and print show, was held at Woodland Towers Retirement Home. In addition to enjoying the beautiful prints, members of the community were treated to some inspiring AV shows.
With membership dwindling over the last few years, the executive felt it was time to take a break and the Club held its last meeting on May 15th, 2018. The Club has established a bursary for a high school student in Stratford who will peruse further studies in photography. With the sale of their remaining equipment they will be able to offer the scholarship for another year.
My thanks to Doug Bingham for providing the details about the Club’s background.
Since the club has a history of resurfacing, I look forward to seeing the next generation of the Stratford Camera Club. In the meantime, best wishes to the club members as they pursue their photographic interests through other venues.
CAPA District Representative
Southwestern Ontario District 2