Hi puppet pals,

Remember when we all got together last August in downtown Almonte for the return of the Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival?

And remember how some of the world’s premiere puppet talent came to town, delighting us all with their artistry and sparking joy in puppet lovers young and old?

And remember how the alameda came alive with the sights, sounds and silliness of the puppet parade? And all the kids got to take home their potato puppets from the craft tent? And local vendors and artisans brought their incredible crafts and tents were filled with gasps and cheers and laughs and we all had the absolute bestest of best times?

Yea. Us too.

Well from the moment the tents came down and the troupes left town, we here at Puppet HQ have been wrestling with the immense challenge of what comes next. As you can imagine, we were super proud to have our festival back after six long years but we also understood that whatever we do next has to be sustainable – financially, emotionally and logistically. 

So we tossed around the pros and cons of various options and then it hit us: Pros and Cons.




Of course!

So without further ado…

The Con

Introducing Puppets Up! PuppetCon – a weekend full of hands-on workshops, insightful panel discussions and showcase performances coming to Almonte for the first time August 11-13, 2023.

PuppetCon will offer emerging puppet artists, creators and producers unparalleled access to some of the brightest minds in puppetry while also offering a peek behind the curtain to puppet enthusiasts and fans on a more intimate scale. 

Full details will be released in coming weeks but we just know PuppetCon will become a biennial launching pad for the next generation of Canadian puppet talent while also giving fans and fanatics something to enjoy while they await the return of…

The Festival

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten our roots! The Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival will make its triumphant return (again) to the streets of Almonte in August 2024! Then again in August 2026. And again in August 2028…  

Full of all the glitz, glamour and Gloria Gophers that you’ve come to expect, the festival will once again bring the world’s premiere puppet talent to our fair town alongside local talent – some of which will be able to hone their craft at the Con!

And if that isn’t enough puppet fun for you, we’re also proud to announce…

Puppets Up! Pop Ups

Puppet-inspired joy can’t be limited to one month of the year! So in addition to our two keystone events, we’re also excited to announce the launch of the Puppets Up! Pop-Up Series. A mix of shows, workshops and special events, the Pop-Up Series will let us bring a little joy and delight to the people of Almonte and beyond throughout the year!

The series will be kicking off in March and April with hands-on technical workshops for aspiring sound and light operators from across Lanark County and the National Capital Region. More details will be available soon!

Here’s to the future!

The return of Puppets Up! in August 2022 sparked more joy in all of us than we could have possibly imagined and we’re so excited to have a clear map for the future:

  • The Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival will bring the world to Almonte every two years;

  • Puppets Up! PuppetCon will help Almonte and Eastern Ontario prepare itself to take on the world in return in the alternating years;

  • And the Puppets Up! Pop-Up Series will open new doors and markets to the wonders of the puppet arts all through the year.

Keep those arms limbered and loose, puppet pals. It’ll be time to get those puppets up again before you know it.



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