for – (Photo: Shawn DeSalvo)

The people just came back from another fun evening at Montreal’s Festival de Casteliers.

But First, the ‘open air’ exhibit:

Note that if you miss the shows, for whatever the reason, numerous puppets are on display (and there is plenty) in about 20 individual shop windows in the borough of Outremont on Van Horn St, de L’Épée, Bernard W and du Parc Ave. Other works are also on display at Theatre du Centaur (453 St François Xavier). There is some very nice pieces, bring the children.

We’ve been to Oboro gallery (4001 Berri) to see Inuit artist Nancy Saunders (Kuujjuaq, Nunavik) installation combining the contemporary to the ancestry. There is an accompanying performance including traditional throat singing. And It’s being performed again,  Saturday March 10, 1:00 PM (after the showing of Freeze Saunders, performing in a duet, introduces the techniques and gives the meanings of the sounds, talks about the culture with a great sense for pedagogy.

Next: The Puppet Slam showcase (13 years+)

This offering was meant to discover a variety of options, the infinite possibilities, of this wonderful world of puppets through a selection of very short pieces from USA and one from Montreal.

Lyon Hill’s ‘Milo the Magnificent’ (awarded a 2017 Jim Henson Grant), features an aspiring Magician and uses mixed techniques, it worked obviously pretty well with the public. Good news if you missed it,  there is a longer and more, family-friendly version this Sunday (

Joshua Holden’s ‘Trick Yourself Into Happy’ and ‘Cotton’, in which a rabbit sock Puppet (who dreams to belong to a magician) was featured in a 5-minute short form. It produced something of a sad tone but with great emotional depth. Yes, from socks!

Sarah Nolen’s lyricals ‘Sifters’ and ‘Time’s Up!’ (2X4 mins) offered overhead projection shadow work mixed with hand puppetry. It has a beautiful and poetic sense of rhythm and storytelling. Similar but with its own personal approach was Alex & Olmstead’s Paper and Shadows works, Siren Song’ and ‘Supine: a Dream’. They propose an overall look that is somewhat highly cinematic.

Finally, locals from the group La Ruée Vers l’Or offered Pommes de Route, in 3 episodes of ten minutes. Bunraku-type and Marotte puppets, objects and live music are their trade. We were in for a comedic Spaghetti Western type of story telling. Fun.

A great live compilation, indeed. An enjoyable evening.

The fun continues all weekend at the 13th Puppet theatre Fest…