The International Festival of Animated Objects (IFAO), which runs March 16-19 this year, is a series of performances, screenings, exhibitions, and workshops involving puppets and other animated objects.

Running for its eighth year, the IFAO will incorporate activity, art, engagement, and performance through shows for children, teens, and adults.

“The festival embraces the adult form of puppetry and the sophistication of the art,” says Pete Balkwill, Co-Artistic Director and Curator of Live Programming with the IFAO. “It can really go quite a bit past [expectations], but at the same time it can really be quite beautiful for children and their imaginations.”

One exciting children’s show this year is The Umbrella, which will run in both French and English, and which tells a tale of love and adventure.

Not all of the events are geared towards children, however. In fact, the FAO is bringing back the favourite Dolly Wiggler Cabaret, an adults-only series of short pieces of puppetry, hosted at the Royal Canadian #1 Legion. They are also reviving The Unlikely Birth of Istvan, which was the first production by Old Trout Puppet Workshop in 1999.

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