Promoting Puppetry in Ontario Since 1956
Who We Are
Established in 1956 and incorporated as a Not-for-Profit in 1972, OPA (Ontario Puppetry Association) carries out its actions in order to represent the puppetry community, to promote its recognition by its peers and the public, to facilitate the circulation of information, to ensure continuing education and to promote the presence of artists of the profession on the national and international scenes through its involvement with UNIMA.
The OPA supports puppetry of all styles and levels of expertise, promotes the artistic community and contributes to the development of Puppetry Art across Ontario
We are proudly affiliated with UNIMA. This is the oldest international theatre organization in the world. It’s mission is to promote international understanding and friendship through the art of puppetry.
DIVERSITY. INCLUSION. DYNAMISM
Founded in 1956, the mission of the Ontario Puppetry Association (OPA) is the recognition, the development, and the dissemination of puppetry arts. OPA gathers among its members practitioners, companies, and professional artists of the field, as well as all people interested in the puppetry arts.
OPA carries out its actions in order to represent the sector, to encourage its recognition by its peers and by the public, to facilitate the circulation of information, to ensure continuous training and to promote the presence of puppeteers and puppetry artists on the national and international scenes through its involvement in the Union internationale de la marionnette (UNIMA).
OPA is a crossroads where the local and the global, the analog and the digital, the ancient and the modern, the artist and the public meet in a dynamic and lively waltz always renewed.
Meet the People Behind the Puppets
In 1956, George Merten founded the OPA, an umbrella organization for various puppetry guilds throughout the province of Ontario. Arriving from the United Kingdom in 1950 with his wife Elisabeth, Merten was hired by the Ontario Ministry of Education to conduct puppetry workshops, train trainers, and stimulate interest in the art of puppetry which, according to contemporary historians, was experiencing the rise of the second wave of modern puppeteers. Closely linked to its southern neighbours, the OPA was established to function in the image of the Puppeteers of America [PoA], founded in 1937, of which three of its presidents will be Canadian, including George Merten, Ken McKay….
Our Board of trustees meets approximately six times a year, with the goal of administering the day-to-day business of the organization in addition to organizing the Annual General Meeting and World Puppet Day activities (March 21).