The Puppet Masters
She/Her • Founder, Co-Artistic Director, Curator of Film & Video
Xstine Cook is a self-taught filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist known for the film “Spirit of the Bluebird”. A mask and puppet maker and experimental theatre artist for over 20 years, Xstine studied mask and puppetry in Bali, Italy, France, and the West Coast of Canada. She graduated from Dell’Arte International Theatre School in California, and is a founder of Green Fools Theatre, Calgary Animated Objects Society, and the Festival of Animated Objects.
He/Him • Co-Artistic Director, Curator Live Programming
Pete is a Co-Artistic Director at the Old Trout Puppet Workshop here in Calgary. He is also the Education Director of the Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry, which is a new society – they do workshops and also support the creation of emerging artists and their work. Sometimes Pete plays the drums with the bluegrass punk band called the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir.
Amelia Marie Newbert
She/Her • Managing Producer
Amelia has worked in major arts organizations across the country including Theatre Calgary and the National Arts Centre and also served as a faculty member at the National Theatre School. She is a passionate advocate for accessibility and inclusion in the arts and was recently awarded the inaugural Grand Heart Award in recognition of her significant contributions in advancing LGBTQ2+ human rights in Alberta.
He/Him • Festival Photographer
Believing the camera is a witness to the soul, Sean dedicates himself to skilfully capturing the unique essence of a subject, with a goal to create a body of work that will endure beyond his time. His passion is portraiture. Sean cut his photographic teeth in Calgary’s gritty after-hours club scene in the now defunct Night Gallery Cabaret. Self-taught he has been practicing his art professionally for over 20 years. Shooting artists for “Who’s the Puppet Now?”, CAOS’s book of portraits of FAO artists since 2002 remains a favourite gig due to the creativity and joie de vivre of the subjects.
She/Her • Coordinator
He/Him • Marketing Coordinator
Outside of work, Graham spends his time baking, playing board games, and enjoying time with his husband Jason and their dog Tux.
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.