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Festival Presenters Panel


Learn to puppet for your company

March 2021


Festival Presenters Panel - Crane Creations Theatre Company


2 Hours


Due to current restrictions, we have made all the programming available to watch online.

This event has ended

About the presenters

We want to help puppet artists launch their careers by bringing together a panel of international puppetry festival presenters from across Canada.This panel will answer questions such as:

  1. What theatre festivals exist in Canada and what kind of shows do they present?
  2. How do I get my show presented at a puppetry festival?
  3. What are specific requirements for puppetry shows to be considered at a Festival?

The connections and knowledge that these panelists have and their advice for emerging artists we find to be invaluable. If you have any questions about the events or would like to learn more, please send us an e-mail at

Louise Lapointe

Louise Lapointe holds a degree in Visual Arts from Laval University in Quebec City and Theater (Technical Production) from the Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto. She worked at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Montreal from 1988 to 2012, as a stage technician, props, set designer and mask maker.

In 2006, Louise founded Festival de Casteliers, devoted to the diffusion of the arts of the puppetry in Montreal. Casteliers supports the creation through an annual international festival, the programming of a regular season and the offer of artist residencies.


Founded in Montreal in 20056 the FESTIVAL DE CASTELIERS is an annual international festival dedicated to the arts of puppetry. The event brings together in the intensity of a few days, acclaimed productions and new creations. The festival promotes audacity and discovery, meetings and networking.
The Festival de Casteliers takes place every year in March. Each edition offers a selected portrait of contemporary performances, attesting to the diversity of the art form. The program includes shows for adults and children that highlight different building and manipulation techniques. Several professional and educational activities complete the program: exhibition, roundtable, networking event, coffee-talk, master class, children’s workshops and animation film. The Festival de Casteliers welcomes many foreign programmers from around the world. The event enjoys significant press coverage in local and national media. The Festival de Casteliers is now part of a network of renowned international festivals devoted to puppetry arts.


In January 2019, Stéphanie joined the Creative management team at Shaw Festival, one of the world’s finest theatre companies, located in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, to assume the role of Company Manager. She oversees the practical needs of the artistic staff, acting ensemble, musicians, directors, coaches and other company members, she plans and coordinates company/ensemble events and ancillary public programming events throughout the festival season. Before then, she was the Research and Communications Coordinator at Venture Niagara, a Community Futures Development Corporation.
Previously, she worked for 14 years at Prologue to the Performing Arts, where she held the role of Outreach, Touring Sales Manager. She worked with professional artists and companies, offering access to enriching Performing Arts experiences to young and family audiences in partnership with schools and family presenters in more than 100 communities across Ontario annually. Stéphanie is the President of the Ontario Puppetry Association, a board member of Unima-Canada, and a newly appointed board member of provincial Réseau SPARC Network (Supporting Performing Arts in Rural Communities).

Established in 1956 and incorporated as a Not-for-Profit in 1972, the Ontario Puppetry Association supports puppetry art of all styles and levels of expertise, promotes and contributes to the development of Puppetry Art across Ontario.

The Ontario Puppetry Association carries out its actions in order to represent the puppetry community, to promote its recognition by its peers and the public, to facilitate the circulation of information, to ensure continuing education and to promote the presence of artists of the profession on the national and international scenes through its involvement with UNIMA.

Eileen Smith

Eileen Smith has been the Artistic Producer of Hermione Presents since its inception in 2000.  Hermione Presents has evolved from a collective of professional performing artists to a registered charitable arts organization which supports arts education, festival and event programming. SpringWorks: indie theatre & arts festival began in 2011, morphing into today’s series of festivals including PuppetWorks!.

Her 40 years experience as a performer includes work in theatre, musical theatre and opera: at Banff, Charlottetown, Toronto Fringe and Stratford Festivals, London Grand Theatre, for Drayton Entertainment and 40+productions with the Canadian Opera. Singing coaching is one of her passions working for the Shaw Festival and her private studio.

As Regional Coordinator for Culture Days she has worked with multiple partners, 40+ events county-wide; sitting on the Ontario and National Task Force, since 2010. For four decades, Eileen has been creating and curating integrated, multi-genre, multidisciplinary arts and performance as producer, educator and performer, including her role as Springworks’ Artistic Producer.


“SpringWorks” is a springboard for several streams of independent artistry. NewWorks, as an incubator for new work in all stages of development, nurtures multi-genre and multidisciplinary arts processes, “Tomorrow’s Best Today”.  DanceWorks programming furthers exploration in motion. And PuppetWorks! provides a home for the puppetry arts with a modern commitment to this ancient, complex and diverse art form. Programming spans the seasons in a series of festivals and education and experiential offerings, in the beautiful town of Stratford, Ontario, and now in the digital realm.

Andreja Kovac

Andreja Kovac is an award winning, critically acclaimed professional theatre director originally from Slovenia, now residing in Mississauga. In Slovenia, Andreja was hired by large state theatres (the equivalents of Stratford or Shaw Festival in Canada) to direct more than 45 professional shows. She also served as an Artistic Director of a theatre school for 5 years, managing budgets and overseeing a season of 4 shows, 80+ students. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Crane Creations Theatre Company.

About Bridges Festival

Bridges Festival engages in the conversation about art and society by introducing, examining and celebrating various forms of animating objects. It is our mission to ignite a reflection of the world in our audiences by connecting past and the future. We celebrate traditional forms of puppetry and the skills of the puppet designers and performers, while expanding the conversation of what is puppetry and animation and how it touches contemporary world.

Discover the art of puppetry from its origin to its advancement. Puppetry has been present in virtually all cultures around the globe. This festival provides a plethora of workshops, live performances, and exhibitions available for your external and internal child! We bring the best local, national and international talent each year to provide exposure and expand the imagination and knowledge of young minds.


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