Our Mandate & History
Operating since before our 1991 we’ve introduced our puppets to thousands though performances to workshops . From performances championing the environment to workshops supporting mental health, from Melbourne, Australia to Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́, North West Territories, from community centre basements to art centre stages to USA fairgrounds, we’ve introduced our puppets to thousands of people. The relationships are reciprocal, from thousands of audiences we’ve learned, wondered, queried, cried, laughed and exchanged humanity via an amazing inanimate object.
Adopting a phrase that was used in our puppetry based, therapeutic activity workshops, we promote awareness and advocacy for mental health and wellness in all our programming.
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility
We are committed to policies and practices that support the purposeful inclusion of all people. We value the diversity of: racial and cultural identity and background, nationality, sexual and affectional orientation, gender identity and its expression, religious background and belief, marital status, family structure, age, mental and physical health and ability, political perspective, and educational status.
The staff and Board members at WP Puppet Theatre Society feel incredibly lucky and grateful to live, work and play on Treaty 7 Territory and Metis Nation Region 3, here in Moh’kinstsis – Calgary. We recognize that we all are part of the ecosystem. That the land and everything in it, or on it, the people, the plants, the animals, the rocks, the water, the objects, the stories, and the ceremonies are connected through space and time immemorial.
Each of us has a journey to make, in reconciliation and understanding. We ought to think deeply and honestly about our personal calls to action and our own Treaty story. We begin by acknowledging the heartbreaking historic and ongoing inequities, and commit to doing our best to be advocates and allies. As artists, we believe we have an obligation and a unique opportunity to mirror and shape reality.
In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge that we are based in Moh’kinstsis, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, as well as the Îyâxe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina Nations.
We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations – Indigenous and non – who live, work and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.
Mandate & History
Using the power of puppetry to impact positive social change.
Our puppetry infused learning opportunities and performances inspire, challenge, empower, support expression and encourage empathy in our audiences and participants.
WP Puppet Theatre Society (WPTS) values originality, adaptability, diversity, imagination, communication, curiosity, collaboration, critical thinking, best practices and creativity. We believe puppets have a special role as representatives and that art has a responsibility and opportunity to mirror and shape reality. We experiment with the definition of ‘puppet art’ and showcase the potential of this medium valuing high aesthetics and inquiry and skills-based learning.
Once upon a time, two little girls named Wendy and Pam crawled into their attic to create puppets from popsicle sticks and cardboard, making epics with sock puppets. Inspired by these childhood memories, Founding and Artistic Director, Wendy Passmore-Godfrey BFA, established WP Puppet Theatre Society (WPTS). Since incorporating our impact has been deep and wide. We have inspired a selective mute child to talk, prompted a teacher to say, “I loved the hands-on activity… I can’t wait to teach my students this!” and a reporter to write “Without her the puppets are lifeless rags on an empty stage. In her hands they dance, cry, discover and dream”.
Puppets speak an innovative language. They have long been a voice through which creative individuals have challenged authority and delivered powerful social messages. Puppets play a broad role in contemporary society. They provide a creative platform to express controversial and significant social issues and can help modern minds in their quest to find effective and unique ways of generating fresh ideas and working collaboratively. Puppets can be a catalyst for thought-provoking experience and conversations that lead to new ways of perceiving contemporary life and its many social and cultural challenges.
“When we perform, a wonderful bond is formed, as the audience collectively bring
the puppets ‘to life’ through their imaginations.”