Puppets Up! is coming back!

Community volunteers launch campaign to bring Almonte’s beloved puppet festival back to life

ALMONTE (October 1, 2021) – Almonte’s beloved Puppets Up! festival was given new life today with the launch of an ambitious campaign to bring the festival back to the streets of the historic town next summer. 

“When we put the festival on hiatus after 2016 we always held out hope we could find a way to bring it back,” said Noreen Young, the festival’s artistic director. “It just goes to show there’s still some magic left in these old puppets.”

Young, who is best known for creating children’s television shows such as “Hi Diddle Day” and “Under the Umbrella Tree” helped create the festival in 2005, which kicked off a 12-year run that saw tens of thousands of people flock to the small community outside of Ottawa to see world-class performances and family-friendly street entertainment. 

While the festival suspended operations in 2017, organizers remained hopeful that it would come back.

“We really started thinking this was possible as we saw people start to emerge from the successive lockdowns of the COVID pandemic. There was a real sense that people were starting to look for reasons to come together again,” said Jane Torrance, the festival’s executive director. “What better reason could there be than to see some amazing puppetry?”

The festival will be held August 12-14, 2022, provided the organizers can drum up enough support.

“We put out an initial call for volunteers before we even knew if this was feasible and we were blown away by the support and enthusiasm,” said Torrance. “We know there’s a real appetite in our community and across the whole region and we just know that people will be ready, willing and able to support this incredible festival.”

The festival’s website went live today with information for potential donors and sponsors as well as a few surprise appearances by some of Young’s most popular creations.

“Once the Under the Umbrella Tree gang heard about this they couldn’t wait to start telling people,” said Young. “Jacob was out on the streets talking to people the very next day!”

More information is available at

– 30 – 

For more information please contact:
Joe Boughner, Public Affairs Coordinator 



Comments are closed