Get to know the festival!

As an artform, puppetry is the great equalizer.

Breathing life into the inanimate is a foundational act of creation which allows us to connect us in a visceral way that crosses cultures and identities. It tells the stories that tie us together.

Through presenting, sharing, and amplifying these stories, the Festival of Animated Objects bring Calgary together and fills our communities with life, whimsy and all things puppets: from live theatre, to film, to gallery exhibits, workshops and more.

Each festival, the best of the local, national and international puppet world inhabit our city, and bring with them all manner of wondrous worlds, curious creatures, magical beasts, and fantastical gadgets bound to provoke, inspire and delight our collective imagination.


The International Festival of Animated Objects Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting mask & puppet related performance. As an incubator and producer of mask, puppetry, and animated objects we are the primary curator and presenter of local, national and international puppetry. We strive to provide Alberta audiences with the chance to experience the breadth and diversity of these innovative art forms.

Vital to the development of puppetry as an art form, the festival not only provides a stage for Alberta creators to showcase their work but is also a forum for an international exchange of ideas providing learning opportunities for professional and emerging artists and the public at large to find expression through animated objects.

Our Mandate is:

  • To present dynamic international artists of puppetry and mask to the public of Calgary and surrounding areas in all areas of performance and film/media
  • To support and present the local puppet and mask artists of Calgary and surrounding areas in all areas of puppetry and film/media
  • To foster and support innovation in puppetry and mask
  • To invigorate the community and create interest in all areas of puppet and mask related art
  • To make mask and puppet related art accessible to the entire community of Calgary and surrounding areas


The Festival Of Animated Objects was founded by mask and puppet artist Xstine Cook out of a desire to bring wondrous, life-changing puppet and mask work to Calgary audiences, and to create opportunities for local artists to develop and present their work.

With the mentorship and support of Michael Green and the High Performance Rodeo, Xstine Cook, in her role as Co-Artistic Director of Green Fools Theatre, produced the inaugural month-long Festival of Animated Objects in January of 2002.

From the moment of it’s birth the festival has been evolving. The second edition of the festival found the support of the newly created Calgary Animated Objects Society (CAOS) which it co-produced with the Green Fools Theatre.

The third Festival of Animated Objects, in 2007, saw Xstine Cook, under the auspices of CAOS, acting as the sole curator and producer. For the next seven years, through Xstine’s thoughtful programming and dedication the festival grew to become an integral part of Alberta’s cultural landscape. Providing regional audiences with the chance to experience the breadth and diversity of mask, puppetry and animated objects; while providing local, national and international artists an opportunity to participate in an artistic exchange of ideas.

Xstine realized that for the festival to continue to thrive as a vital and dynamic event within our community it would need a dedication and focused leadership staff whose sole objective was the success of the festival. To that end, Xstine enlisted the support of the members of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and together they created the International Festival of Animated Objects Society.

March 13, 2019 will launch the 9th edition of the Festival of Animated Objects.

Land Acknowledgement

The Festival of Animated Objects operates on the territory of the indigenous people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai, Tsuut’ina and the Stoney-Nakoda first nations of the Chiniki, Bearspaw and Wesley. It is also the home of the people of the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.