UNIMA Pro Circuit

Individual registrations now open!

You can now register for masterclasses individually, À la carte! 6 places are available for each masterclass. These participants will join the 6 cohort members who participate in all 4 masterclasses.

In order to allow puppetry professionals to deepen their disciplinary skills, but also to strengthen the bonds with their colleagues from coast to coast, Association québécoise des marionnettistes (AQM) and UNIMA-Canada are implementing a masterclass circuit in partnership with Casteliers, Pupulus Mordicus, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Puppetmongers Theatre & Toronto School of Puppetry, Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Canadian Academy of Masks and Puppetry, and the Festival of Animated Objects. This unique initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

The UNIMA Pro Circuit is open to all puppetry professionals (performers, set designers, playwrights, designers, etc.). Each masterclass will allow participants to explore the creative process of some of the country’s leading artists while deepening their own practice. Following a pan-Canadian call for applications, a cohort of 6 artists has been selected. This group will take part in the 4 masterclasses. Now, 6 additional places are open for each training!

Discover available masterclasses!

Expand the full description of each class to learn more.

Then click on Register, under the trainer’s photo, to access the registration form.

#1 Pierre Robitaille, Théâtre Pupulus Mordicus | Montréal, January 2023

Monday to Friday, January 9-13, 2023, at the Maison internationale des arts de la marionnette (MIAM), Montréal

Starting from a meaningful resource (existing text, music, significant objects, etc.), the participants work on a short ten-minute number where the notions of dramaturgy, scenic writing, puppet prototyping, in short all the aspects of creating a show will be addressed. At the end of the week, the participants will present the result of their work, a fairly advanced sketch of their act.

The working method used at Pupulus Mordicus and Ubus Théâtre, developed for more than twenty-five years, will be applied. The workshop leader will start each day with a small masterclass on the concepts discussed during the day.

Visit Pupulus Mordicus’ website

#2 Peter Balkwill, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop | Calgary, May 2023

Monday to Friday, May 1-5, 2023, at The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Calgary

This five-day workshop will embrace stage-two of an international collaboration between Maria Tri Sulistyani of Papermoon Puppet Theatre (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), and Peter Balkwill of The Old Trout Puppet Workshop (Calgary, Alberta). In residence at the studio of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop; the five-day workshop will explore physical connections to the art of puppet manipulation through the conduit of full-character mask, as well as the tangible quality of various material objects, in the pursuit of expanding the puppeteer’s understanding of holistic approaches toward puppet-performance.

In addition to the pragmatic application of puppetry the workshop will also explore the landscape of Indonesian and Canadian performance traditions to facilitate the possibility of intercultural exchange. Additional instructors include: Randi Edmundson of Little Onion Puppet Co. (Vancouver, BC) and Dr. Gabrielle Houle, (Adjunct Professor – University of Lethbridge).

Visit The Old Trout Puppet Workshop’s website

#3 Jim Morrow, Mermaid Theatre | Windsor, May 2023

Monday to Friday, May 15-19, 2023, at the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Windsor

Mermaid Theatre will provide a platform where participants are free to explore the art of puppetry, and related object movement techniques, in a safe, nurturing, and challenging environment.

Through a series of carefully designed exercises , workshop participants will glean important puppetry knowledge and technical skills, while working both independently and collaboratively, ultimately developing finished pieces using puppets participants have designed themselves. This training will not only enhance existing knowledge and ability, but also foster new skills related to this exciting performance art form.

Visit Mermaid Theatre’s website

#4 Ann & David Powell, Puppetmongers Theatre | Toronto, June 2023

From Monday to Friday, 5-9 and 12-16, 2023, at the Toronto School of Puppetry, Toronto

This program is designed to inspire understanding of puppetry as a theatrical form, and to integrate this understanding into the practice of visual performance. In the first week, participants will explore elements of puppet design, construction and performance, with additional sessions on elements important in the creation of puppet theatre: music and sound effects, story planning and scripting techniques, direction, choreography and improvisation.

In the second week, under the guidance of Ann, David and one guest director, participants will develop a short piece for performance as an overview of the creative process, Participants will take part in the full gamut of activities required to go from page to stage, as they immerse themselves in Puppetmongers Theatre’s innovative methods of puppet design and fabrication.

Visit Puppetmongers Theatre’s website

Who can register for the À la carte masterclasses?

  • all puppetry professionals (performers, set designers, playwrights, designers, etc.)


Practical information

  • Registration procedure : Each masterclass’ registration form is available under its description. Note that AQM manages registrations for classes #1, 2 and 3. Registrations for class #4 are managed directly by Puppetmongers Theatre.
  • Registration fee: Class #1, 2 and 3 : $175, taxes included; Class #4 : $900, taxes included.
  • Languages of instruction: masterclasses will be conducted in English, with the exception of Pierre Robitaille’s class which will be conducted in French and English.
  • Travel support : No travel support is provided for À la carte registrations. We therefore encourage local artists to register for the masterclass in their area.
  • Cancellation/Refund Policy : If the organizer is forced to cancel the masterclass, participants will receive a full refund. If the participant cancels their registration, the refund will be made according to the following parameters:
    • More than 21 days before the class: 100% refund (a 25$ registration fee will be retained however).
    • More than 7 days before the class: 50% refund
    • Less than 7 days before the class: no refund
    • In case of cancellation due to Covid-19 infection: 100% refund (a 25$ registration fee will be retained however). Please inform us at info@aqm.ca as soon as possible.

Thanks to our mentors!

Each cohort member benefits from a personalized mentoring process that allows them to discuss, question, and make connections between their own creative work and what they learn during the masterclasses. 

The two mentors are:

  • Ronnie Burkett (Ontario)
  • Magali Chouinard (Quebec)

Participants in the cohort benefit from:

  • 8 hours with each of the two mentors or
  • 16 hours with the mentor of your choice 
  • Via videoconference or in person

During mentoring meetings, artists are able to discuss various topics according to their needs:

  • Creative process
  • Scenic writing / Dramaturgical approach / Stage direction
  • Scenography (visual universe)
  • Crafting (materials techniques)
  • Mechanisms (manipulation techniques)
  • Working method ( production / schedule / collaboration / search for funding )
  • Acting and manipulation (body, voice)

This activity is made possible through the generous support of the

Thanks to our partners and collaborators!