The International Festival of Animated Objects is hitting the stage in Calgary
The International Festival of Animated Objects is a celebration of masks, puppets and all things animated. The festival will be coming to Calgary Mar. 7 – 15. The festival will be taking place at two main venues: Theatre Junction GRAND and Royal Canadian Legion #1, as well as EMMEDIA, La Cite des Rocheuses and Stride +15 Gallery at Arts Commons.
Xstine Cook, curator of the festival, is a puppet and mask artist who was performing all around the world when she started the festival. Cook wanted to bring an audience back to Calgary, so in 2002 the first International Festival of Animated Objects was held in the city. Cook said she started the festival to bring an audience to Calgary to share this amazing work with them.
The festival will be staging a wide variety of different shows and audiences are encouraged to check out The House by the Lake, brought all the way from Jerusalem. It is about three sisters and their mother hiding out in an attic during the Holocaust, and focuses on the family trying to hold onto their lives while their world is falling apart.
In the workshop is a show from Belgium that includes expressive and interesting puppetry. It is 18 minutes long and includes some of the newest puppetry that is filled with expression and movement.
Photo courtesy of the International Festival of Animated ObjectsAnother popular show, Ms. Sugarcoat, is played by performer and creator Alison Nelson. Ms. Sugarcoat is one of the only show that is 14+. It has tons of bold comedy and it doesn’t pull any punches.
Nelson says it’s “not an easy show for your average dinner theatre to sell. But for a festival that is brave, unique and filled with theatre that is anything but boring. It’s the perfect home for Ms. Sugarcoat. My hope is that I’ll have audiences filled with people who want to laugh and teachers, lots of teachers, as this is a satire about the challenges of working in the school system.”
The festival will be holding an event called the Dolly Wiggler Cabaret on the main stage the Royal Canadian Legion #1 on Mar. 14 and 15. The show will be an 18+ licensed event filled with short form puppetry that will be fun, fast and furious. Cirque Du Soleil clown, Compère Mooky Cornish, is also be part of the Dolly Wiggler Carbaret. “Cornish is one of the funniest ladies working the international circuit today. This quirky comedienne’s repertoire of talents includes pianist, puppeteer, mask maker and accordion squeezer.” According to the International Festival of Animated Objects. website. Mooky Cornish is a superstar that has captivated over 3 million spectators in Cirque du Soleil and other shows.
Photo courtesy of The International Festival of Animated ObjectsA fundraiser will also be held to support the festival on Mar. 13 which will include games, prizes, a live band, food, beer and a whiskey tasting. It’s “a great opportunity for the artist and the audience to meet in a social atmosphere,”, says Cook.
“We are so lucky to have a diverse, brave, unique festival in Calgary,” adds Nelson.