THE PUPPET MASTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: Scrap Arts Music (Vancouver), part of the 2002 Festival of Animated Objects

Xstine Cook

Xstine Cook

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.

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Pete Balkwill

Pete Balkwill

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.

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Gwen Murray

Gwen Murray

Managing Producer

As a senior administrator, Gwen joins the Festival of Animated Objects with a bag full of knowledge, diversity of cool experiences, boundless enthusiasm and an improbable sense of determination and commitment. Her passion for the Arts began over 20 years ago with her tenure at One Yellow Rabbit and the High Performance Rodeo and has since grown into a lifelong desire to make a meaningful contribution to the cultural fabric of Canada. Gwen is thrilled to be part of the FOA team and to use her skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to help animate this incredible and unique festival!

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Joshua Dalledonne

Joshua Dalledonne

Associate Producer

Joshua Dalledonne is a theatre producer, theatre artist and struggling French speaker. Having previously worked with One Yellow Rabbit and the High Performance Rodeo, Alberta Theatre Projects and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, it’s fair to say he knows how to throw a party. Josh is also on the leadership team of the Calgary International Film Festival, works with the artist collective Humble Wonder, and a number of indie theatre companies in realizing and touring their works.

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Kelly Phelan

Kelly Phelan

Marketing Director

Kelly Phelan has over a decade of marketing experience. She has worked in Rock, Opera, Theatre, TV, Film and Comedy. Some of her past tours include Pearl Jam, Beck, Bryan Adams, Lenny Kravitz, and Ellen DeGeneres. She has marketed Comedy Festivals, Jazz Festivals, Film Festivals and now Puppet Festivals. Puppets are by far the most fun!

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Thomas Hall

Thomas Hall

Technical DIrector

Thomas Michael Hall has been a professional technician, designer and technical director in the city of Calgary. Not only an artist Thomas is also an educator who endeavours to help teach the arts through mentorship programs such as the Jr. Tech Program with the Calgary Fringe Festival. He is incredibly thrilled to be working with such a wonderful creative team to help bring you this festival.

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Sean Dennie

Sean Dennie

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.
Peter Moller

Peter Moller

Festival Designer

Peter Moller is a Calgary-based musician and designer. He has run Egg Press Co., a graphic and sound design establishment, since forever. Peter is the recipient of a number of Betty Mitchell (Calgary) and Elizabeth Sterling Haynes (Edmonton) awards and nominations for his theatre sound designs. He drums and tours with Kris Demeanor and His Crack Band. Selections of his sound and graphic designs can be heard and seen at eggpress.ca.

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Johanna Schwartz

Johanna Schwartz

Webmaster

Johanna has been working in the nonprofit sector since 2000, contributing to the arts landscape in Calgary in a myriad of ways. She is a  360°  consultant, providing management support, grant writing services, publicity, creative and technical writing, graphic design, website development and social media savvy – all with a keen understanding of the needs of the nonprofit & arts sector.

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