The Bata Shoe Museum Announces Plans to Reopen Next Week

The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto will plan to open its doors next Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

The museum, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, announced the news on Instagram. The social media post detailed that it will adhere to a new set of visitor guidelines and safety protocols based on those put out by the City of Toronto. New procedures include purchasing tickets ahead of visits, going cashless and requiring visitors to wear face masks. All information about the Bata Shoe Museum’s new guidelines can be found on its website.

“The past four months have been difficult for everyone and we hope that with the reopening of cultural institutions, we can return to some sort of normalcy and once again experience enjoyable moments together,” said Rosmarie Gadzovski, the head of communications at the Bata Shoe Museum.

Gadzovski added that the Toronto-based museum has been re-strategizing its operations amidst the pandemic since March and will continue to keep a close eye on health updates issued by the city.

For the first few weeks, the Bata Shoe Museum will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays. On Wednesday through Saturdays, it will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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The admissions center at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada.
CREDIT: Courtesy of the Bata Shoe Museum.

The museum is also rethinking the fluidity of its space in the “new normal” COVID-19 has brought on. Such measures include implementing contactless payment for both admissions and purchases made at the museum’s gift shop.

Gadzovski added that the push to go contactless is new to the museum, which like most institutions are having to evaluate the new measures of safety when it comes to operating.

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Inside the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada.
CREDIT: Courtesy of the Bata Shoe Museum.

In addition to its semi-permanent collection that features shoes from different periods and countries, the museum will open a new exhibition, titled  “The Great Divide: Footwear in the Age of Enlightenment,” on August 12.

“The Great Divide,” which was originally set to open in May, will highlight the ways Western fashion was influenced by colonialism and imperialism in the 18th century.

“This close examination of 18th-century footwear reveals not only a great deal about the power dynamics of the period but also raises important questions about the footwear in fashion today,” said Gadzovski.

The museum adjusted its scheduling for additional exhibitions. Its show “Exhibit A: Investigating Crime & Footwear” will be moved to May 2021 and fall retrospective on Vivienne Westwood will be rescheduled for fall 2021.

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A shoe from Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania collection, 1993.
CREDIT: Ron Wood/Bata Shoe Museum

Don’t live in Toronto? The Bata Shoe Museum will also be continuing its virtual museum model, which readers can find here.

“We are thrilled with the response we’ve received about our online content, especially since moving to a virtual museum model back in March and are excited to continue to engage with our audiences online,” said Gadzovski.

Virtual exhibits include “Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels” in partnership with Google Arts and Culture, “On Canadian Ground: Stories of Footwear in Early Canada” and its semi-permanent on-display collection “All About Shoes.”

Prospective visitors can visit batashoemuseum.ca for more information about the reopening as well as ways to support the shoe museum while it explores new ways to come up with innovative exhibitions and programming.

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