What's Goin On

National Arts Centre - Twelfth Night

Well here we go! Canada's National Arts Centre is ready to perform Shakespeare’s classic Twelfth Night with sets, props and costumes designed by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop.

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Twelfth Night Act 3, Scene 4

Full of visual surprises, this production brings together the 2015/16 NAC Ensemble with an inventive design from Calgary’s Old Trout Puppet Workshop. It’s an animated interpretation of Shakespeare as you’ve never seen it before! One of the Bard’s most popular comedies explores passion and the pain of trying to keep it a secret, raising the curtain on a mad scramble of misdirected desire, cross-dressing and a provocative love triangle.  This unique take on the timeless Twelfth Night features pop music alongside Shakespeare’s buoyant wordplay and some of his wittiest love scenes.

For a "behind-the-scenes" look at how the latest Old Trout magic came to be, check out:


Monument to illusion: Twelfth Night and puppets a marriage made in Baroque heaven

by Patrick Langston

Ottawa Citizen - January 18, 2016



Touring News

The Old Trout Puppet Theatre Division has just returned from a ferociously long tour of Famous Puppet Death Scenes across Canada, into Washington, DC, and most recently Ignorance to the ILT Festival in Denmark and Sib-Fest in Romania.

In Denmark they used our image for the whole festival, including on the special festival water bottles. Made us wonder if people liked getting a taste of the Trouts.

We even got a picture of a festival banner beside the entrance to the toilets.  


Film Division

The Old Trout Film Division kicked off the year with the World Premiere Screening of our Christmas special From Naughty to Nice at the Calgary International Film Festival, winning the Audience Choice Award (for short films) and also snagging 7 nominations at the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Awards (we brought home Best Narrator). It also aired on TV in Quebec at Christmas-time.

We're now hard at work on two feature film projects: The Redemption of Jacob Marley and The Northwest Passage, and a documentary called The Obscure and Odious Origins of Mr. Punch.  


Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry (CAMP)

This year we formed a new entity called the Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry, or CAMP, which will someday soon become an actual thing that teaches people how to do things they want to know how to do.

And Trout Pete is now the curator of the International Festival of Animated Objects here in Calgary, coming up in March of 2017. 

We might as well also mention that we moved our workshop across the parking lot to nicer (and slightly more affordable) digs. It's available to the community for use when we're not in there. We call it Fort Trout.


And coming soon to a theatre near you ... if you happen to be in France

The Trouts are now officially starting to work on their new show, Jabberwocky. It's set to premiere in Lyon, France at the Nuits de Fourvière Festival (next June) in the 17th century castle: Fort du Bron.

We won't reveal more than that, except that we spent 10 days in Copenhagen in a residency with Republique Theatre thinking this thing up.

(Here's an image of what Trouts look like in a Copenhagen creative residency. Can't 100% remember what was happening while this picture was taken, but it does a decent job of communicating what it's like to try to think up a puppet show.)



Curious about what we do?

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

Please call ahead to ensure that someone is actually there: 403-508-4929

Find us here: #106, 4632 1 Street S.E. - Calgary, Alberta, Canada



2014-15 Fundraising Campaign SUCCESS!

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 2014-15 fundraising goal was: $18,000 and we're happy to report WE DID IT!

Many thanks to all you "Trouts" who have helped us raise $19,962!

We are ever so grateful for your support.

If you would like to help us, "Become a Trout", it's easy! You can join the growing global movement to save the puppet people simply by clicking on the Canada Helps logo. It's a completely safe way to donate with your credit card. We will NOT, under any circumstances whatsoever, sell your identity to our good friend Miroslav, the guy with the tattoos sitting over there.

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

Special thanks to:



for their on-going partnership and support

To see and learn more about our story, and how you can help, visit our Calgary Foundation Community Knowledge Centre page:




Trout Pityu (left) and Trout Judd (right) on the set of the set Twelfth Night, designed for the National Arts Centre, opening Friday, Janaury 23, 2016.


“Someday very soon there will be a style... that will come to be known as ‘Old Trout-like’ – it’s just too good not to be imitated.”

Fast-Forward Weekly






















Thank you to the following "Trouts" for their support of our 2014-15 Fundraising Campaign so far ...


Rainbow Trouts ($500+)

Grant Burns

Johanne Daoust

Terry and Andrea Killackey

Greg Francis

Mark Borowski

Duval Lang

Paul Beique

Marilyn Palmer

Lara King



Bull Trouts ($250 - $499)

Vanessa Porteous

Hugh Thomas

Roma Jurgens

Dana Chittick

Toby Malloy

Ian Walsh

Kelly MacDougall

Carolin Reid

Christina Marta



Speckled Trouts ($100 - $249)

Kelly-Ann Fenney

Crystal Wierl

Robert Gray

Norm Hopkins

Brenda Bilash

Jackie Engstrom

Bob Edmunds

Robin Turner

Susan McGuire

Blake O'Brien

Andrea Shalanski

Sandra Engstrom



Brook Trouts ($50 - $99)

Karen Duke

Marilyn Field

Linda Soltesz

Lizabeth Hedstrom



Up to $49

Steven Seldon

Manoa Friedson


Trout Sponsors