What's Goin On

Our 2013-14 Fundraising Campaign is Underway!

The Old Trout Puppet Workshop is a peculiar and wondrous and fragile thing that struggles to exist against great odds -- like, say, a very small flower in a nasty place full of rocks and cruel wind.  Except that a very small flower needs sun and a little water now and then whereas the Old Trout Puppet Workshop needs, well, money.

Our 2013-14 fundraising goal is: $8,000. Some of our closest friends committed $2,758 to get us started. And we held ourselves a little fundraiser at the Dolly Wiggler Cabaret in May which raised another $1,800, for a total of $4,558 - taking us halfway there!

Here's how you can "Be a Trout"

Week #1 UPDATE: Some more good friends have chipped in with $1,410

Week #2 UPDATE: We are grateful to receive another $1,530

Week #3 UPDATE: New supporters take us over the top with $892!

GOAL: $8,000

Raised: $8,390: 105% of goal as of July 10, 2014

THANK YOU for helping us reach our goal!

If you would still like to help us, and "Become a Trout", we'd be glad to have you join us.

The Old Trout Workshop is a registered non profit organization (BN:867021529RR0001). Old Trout Puppet Workshop donations are processed through Canada Helps, a public charitable foundation providing a donation portal to 80,000 Canadian charities. To make a safe, secure on-line donation, please click on the Canada Helps link below:

Canada Helps


If you have any questions or would care to donate with cash or cheque, please send us an email or give us a call: 403-508-4929


Thank you to the following Individual "Trouts" for their support of our 2013-14 Fundraising Campaign.

Rainbow Trouts ($500+)

Grant Burns

Johanne Daoust

Andrea Killackey

Bob Davis

Lara King

Paul Beique

Len Kraemer and CKAID

Hugh and Karen Balkwill


Bull Trouts ($250 - $499)

Greg Francis

Doug McKeag

Christina Marta

Chris Manderson

James Gottselig


Speckled Trouts ($100 - $249)

Cimmeron Meyer

Duval Lang

James Davidge

Roisin Hutchinson

Hugh Thomas

Andrea Shalanski

Paul Tanguay


Brook Trouts ($50 - $99)

Jennifer Robbins


Up to $49

Allison Yauk

Amadine Rajon

Geoffrey Berner


$1,800 - Dolly Wiggler Cabaret


This Little Piggie: a Dusty Folk Opera

Once upon a far away October, a group of musicians hunkered themselves away into a log cabin deep in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains. They set about writing a musical that would tread upon the edge of theatre, opera and the simple love of playing music. Working collectively and fueled by altitude, wine and wild game they came up with a cycle of 22 songs that are dark, exhilerating and slightly twisted. Inspired by the events of the “Great Plow Up” in the 30’s which lead to what we know as the Dust Bowl, “This Little Piggie” looks at the price of our ambition. It follows the struggles of a young and pregnant couple as they try to survive the harsh economic and environmental realities of the time.

Featuring music played and composed by: Kris Demeanor, Little Miss Higgins, David Rhymer, Bessie Wapp, and Bob Keelaghan and Peter Balkwill of the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir. Co-orchestrated by Eric Rose, designed and written by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop with the ensemble. A co-production of The Calgary Folk Music Festival and The Old Trout Puppet Workshop.

Your next chance to see This Little Piggie: a Dusty Folk Opera will be at the Calgary Folk Festival July 25 - 27.



We recently sprouted another new show in co-production with Puente Theatre out in Victoria, based on the odd little book by the same name by Old Trout Judd Palmer – which was shortlisted for the Governor-General’s Award for Children’s Literature a couple years ago.

A love story between a man and his umbrella, a theatrical storm machine, and an insidious crow – with music by Bučan Bučan, Victoria’s 9-member Balkan Brass Marching Band, performed by Judd and Mercedes Bátiz-Benét. Next chance to see it will be in France this June.




We’re fluttering off to France this summer to play at the Nuits de Fourvières Festival in Lyon. Old Trout puppets are now braving the cruel Canadian Spring by rail, soon to face the wave’s lash aboard some salt-rusted freighter across the Atlantic Ocean: We’re going to beleaguer French people with three shows and also set up a display of our more ancient work at the Puppetry Museum there. The dates:



Our volunteer leadership is in good fins for another year with the re-election of Mr. Duval Lang as Board Chair at our Annual General Meeting on February 20, 2014. Duve is one of Calgary’s most beloved and prominent artistic talents, supporters and leaders. His bio would crash your hard drive. Suffice to say his experience in the trenches as an actor, and as a founder of Quest Theatre, are a great fit to help guide our motley crew into the future. He first got hooked by the Old Trouts by appearing in our production of Don Juan, and since then he has served as a volunteer Director and in recent years as our Board Chair. We’re glad to have him. Really glad.

Want to know more about us? We send out an e-newsletter called Trout Spout on an irregular basis. Join us and we will add you to the list


Curious about what we do?

If you live in Calgary, Alberta or nearby or heck - even if you're just passing through - drop by the studio anytime for a visit.

Please call ahead to ensure that someone is actually there: 403-287-8847
Find us here: #102, 4632 1 Street S.E. - Calgary, Alberta, Canada



We'd love it if you would help us.


New England Puppet Intensive:

You may not know that Old Trout Pete was once a signalman in the US Navy. Enemies of Democracy the world over know him as a fearsome enemy, but to his friends he is as gentle as a mummy bunny rabbit, and so you need not fear to join him at the New England Puppet Intensive August 2 to 18, 2014. Picture





Created by Pete and Nan Balkwill, and Old Trout Dave Lane, artists are invited to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art for a 15-day intensive in the world of puppetry.

Contact Pete at pete@theoldtrouts.org if you’re interested.


The Old Trout Film Division:

Well, we did it! We just completed our TV Christmas special: From Naughty to Nice, a co-production with the National Film Board of Canada. It tells the story of Santa as a kid, back when he was a greedy, obstinate little monster, with an army of elves making toys just for him. Watch for it this Christmas.








Special thanks to:

The Rozsa Foundation for their valued support of The Trouts as well as their ongoing contribution to Calgary's greater non-profit arts community.


Calgary Animated Objects Society for their on-going support of new work, including ours








Trout Sponsors