Award-winning puppeteer and puppet builder, Noreen Young has held roles of designer, writer, and ultimately, executive-producer for “Under the Umbrella Tree”, a children’s series that ran on CBC television and The Disney Channel for many seasons, and is now an eight-volume DVD compilation marketed by her company. She starred in the series as the puppet character, Gloria Gopher.
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, she started her own Corporation, Noreen Young Productions, in 1979. Over the course of her illustrious career, her distinctive puppet characters have appeared on CBC, CTV, TVOntario, The Disney Channel, BBC America, Canal Famille and Much Music. Her look-alike caricature puppets include Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her husband, John Ralston Saul, CBC’s Peter Mansbridge, popular TV personality Wayne Rostad, hockey host, Don Cherry, prominent politicians, as well as several local residents and business people in her own community of Almonte.
As the Artistic Director for the Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival, she has been instrumental in securing troupes from around the world to showcase their talents to Canadian audiences. These have included visiting troupes from Britain, the Czech Republic, Cost Rica, France, Brazil, Mexico, Hungary, Russia, United States, and from across Canada.
Well known as a teacher of her puppetry art, Young was awarded The Order of Canada in 1995 for her contribution to puppetry and children’s television. A promoter of education, she has conducted numerous workshops in schools to teach young people the art and enjoyment of puppetry and has encouraged its application to all parts of the curriculum.
Noreen Young was born and raised in Ottawa and has made puppetry her lifelong passion. She currently resides in Almonte, in Mississippi Mills, Ontario, and continues to foster a tremendous appreciation for the arts through her artistic endeavours and community spirit. She takes great pleasure and pride in mentoring young people and promoting education in the arts.