A puppet fellow waits on the CTrain platform as a train goes by
Festival of Animated Objects returns with a weird, wild, and wonderful lineup | Photo: Courtesy of the Festival of Animated Objects

Festival of Animated Objects

See world-class puppetry as this fantastic festival animates Calgary

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free - $85
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Did you know that Calgary is a hot spot for the art of puppetry? Every two years the Festival of Animated Objects awakens the inanimate, giving expression to the inert.

From puppet shows to film screenings, gallery exhibitions to workshops, don’t miss this lineup of innovative and sophisticated storytelling told through mask, puppetry, and animated objects.

It’s your chance to see Calgary come alive with original creations, mythical creatures, curious beasts, gadgets, and thingamajigs brought to life by puppet-masters and artists alike.

So, what are we most excited to check out? Here are our picks for the Festival of Animated Objects:


March 12 – 24, 2019
The GRAND (608 1st St. SW)
$35.25 – $39.50

Headlining the festival, this production is not-to-be-missed! Join Ghost River Theatre and explore the amazing story of professional wrestler André the Giant told from the perspective of the one person he left behind. Go ringside to discover the details of this giant-sized life.

Milo the Magnificent

March 14 – 16, 2019
Multiple locations
$15 – $18

A puppet who thinks he is a magnificent magician, but Milo the Magnificent’s tricks rarely go as planned. This 45-minute long performance is a warm, funny show sure to entertain the whole family. And, with stops at Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge, Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton, and Arts Commons, see it at the venue closest to you.

Dolly Wiggler Cabaret

March 15 & 16, 2019
Royal Canadian Legion #1 (116 7th Ave. SE)
$31.50 – $36.75

Always an extremely popular night of short form puppetry, see the best of the fest and new raw material in this adult only performance. The annual Dolly Wiggler Cabaret features a packed roster of festival artists and local greats in edgy, hilarious, and unforgettable performances that will leave a mark on your psyche.


March 16, 2019, 4:30pm
Meeting Rooms 0-13/0-14, Central Library (800 3rd St. SE)

Part of EMMEDIA’s Homegrown Curator series and curated by Regina filmmaker Janine Windolph, this fascinating and entertaining program of shorts uses stop-motion, puppetry, and animated objects to explore the human condition.

By Jo-Lee

March 16, 2019, 7:00pm
Big Secret Theatre, Arts Commons (225 8th Ave. SE)

A double bill featuring works by Calgary-based creator Pam Tzeng, fall in love and bear witness to the life tragedies of Tzeng’s alter-ego, Jo-Lee. This delightfully disturbing performance combines contemporary dance, clown, and puppetry.

The Festival of Animated Objects runs March 13 to 17, 2019 at venues around Calgary. Head to puppetfestival.ca for the full festival lineup and to purchase tickets.