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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Kelly Phelan

Kelly Phelan

Marketing Director

Kelly Phelan has more than a decade of public relations and concert promoting experience. Her work has focused on media and community relations, promotions, strategic marketing and special events for clients in arts, entertainment, nonprofit and gaming.

With her own company, she marketed, managed artists, promoted and booked comedy and music tours across the country, and her clients included Brent Butt, Red Robinson Management, Paul Mercs Concerts, Great Canadian Casinos, CTV, Three Thirty Five Productions, and the Vancouver International Jazz 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.
Mike Lohaus

Mike Lohaus

Creative Services

An art nerd from an early age, Mike Lohaus lives and breathes design. Originally hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mike moved to Calgary in 2001 to attend school at Alberta College of Art and Design. Upon graduating at the top of his class in Media Arts and Digital Technologies, he quickly found work in marketing and advertising.

A massive supporter of design and the arts, Mike the President of the Calgary Game Developers Association where he teaches game theory, design and marketing strategy to local independent developers.

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Cimmeron Meyer

Cimmeron Meyer

Cimmeron is a theatre designer and production professional.  Her production experience spans several Calgary companies and includes Production Management and/or Technical direction at The Old Trout Puppet workshop, One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre, Vertigo Theatre, Lunchbox Theatre and more recently Technical Director of the Banff Centre Opera Program in 2018.

Recent and upcoming design works include: Gaskigwasso (Waawaatee Fobister), Twelfth Night  (Theatre Calgary), Bakkahi (Stratford Festival 2017).

Cimmeron is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.

She dedicates her work to her daughter, Eve.

Saundra Diardichuk

Saundra Diardichuk

Hailing from Montreal Saundra Diardichuk has been in Calgary since 2015 and comes to us with a myriad of experiences as an Assistant Producer/Production Coordinator in the feature film industry having worked on films as The Score and The Sum of All Fears. She has coordinated projects in Los Angeles, Tampa, Cancun with numerous companies including Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox.  Saundra also has a background in education and has spent time teaching and working with children as a developmental coach with the Calgary Board of Education. Her lifelong passion for the arts began when she started dancing at the age of 5 years old and is excited to have the opportunity to be part of the FAO team. 

 

 

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