PHOTO CREDIT: Peter Moller
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Animated Objects… also, more widely know as Puppets, are the great equalizer. They arouse our curiosity and suspend our judgement. They open our minds and allow us to see things from a different perspectives.
Breathing life into the inanimate and giving expression to the inert the Festival of Animated Objects brings world-class artists to engage and entertain audiences of all ages; arousing our collective imaginations and opening us up to new worlds and new ideas through the innovative and sophisticated art of storytelling through mask, puppetry and animated objects.
From puppet shows to film screenings, gallery exhibitions to workshops, for 4-days and nights Calgary comes alive with original creations, mythical creatures, and curious beasts, objects and gadgets, and thingamajigs beguiled by puppet-masters and artists alike to stir your imagination.
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.
- 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.
Co-produced by the Calgary Animated Objects society, March 16, 2017 will launch the 8th edition of Festival of Animated Objects.
Xstine Cook – Photo by Sean Dennie