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Arts & CultureThe balancing act of festivals

The balancing act of festivals

By Jane Torrance, Chair, Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival

Ah, summer.  The season of swimming and BBQs, late nights on patios and hanging out with friends, cottages and camping and exploring new places, festivals and events that showcase the joy and creativity of towns and villages across our region.

Here at Puppets Up!, we have prepared an exciting and magical line up of entertainment that will delight and amaze our audiences!  Are you ready for 13 puppets troupes from across Canada and the USA to perform in 6 theatres spread out in beautiful downtown Almonte over 2 days and 2 nights? How about this?

  • A Headless Horseman with Frogtown Puppeteers from USA? Check
  • Judy Saves the Day, a Punch and Judy show with Sarah Nolen from USA? Check
  • Here There Be Monsters with Eldritch Theatre from Toronto? Check
  • Dragon King with Tanglewood from USA? Check
  • One for the Sorrow, Two for the Joy with Long Grass Studio, and Indigenous troupe from Alberta? Check
  • A Stunt Ventriloquist (Tim Holland from Peterborough), Be Pozzy (Rock the Arts from Carp), Cuckoo (Graham Soul from Montreal), Chloe and Meraki (Honeyball Puppetry from Toronto), and Humpty Dumpty and Co (Humpty Dumpty Puppet Theatre from Toronto) and two unique shows (Plastic, and Wood) by Puzzle Theatre from Montreal? Check

Is that not enough?  How about scarf juggling, massive parades, non-stop street entertainment, a children’s craft zone and a Garden for Little Souls by Isabell Payant, a unique marketplace, and did we mention delight and amazement? How about two evening adult-only performances (a Canadian in New York with Ben Derocher, and a Puppet Cabaret featuring multiple performers) that will make you question how puppets can make you blush?

The thing is that the balance of festival funding is hard.  We rely on grants, sponsors, ticket sales and fundraising – usually in that order – to produce a festival or event.  Grants for festivals have been extremely lean this season, and trying to balance the funding feels like juggling while riding a unicycle.

Here is where you come in, gentle reader.


You know you will attend, and you know the festival or event will be a fun family adventure that will become the highlight of the summer.  Please show us the love now so we know that we can continue to produce these high-quality festivals and events.

Puppets Up! will thank you (really, we will hug you so tight!) but so will all the area fairs, and music festivals, and unique, quirky and creative festivals that drive our summer entertainment.

Please, buy the tickets.  You won’t regret the summer fun.




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