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History of Puppetry
in Canada

Micheline Legendre

Micheline Legendre played a crucial role in the development of puppetry in Quebec and Canada. With her company Les Marionnettes de Montréal, founded in 1948, she was one of the first to bring Canadian puppetry to the international scene. An entire generation of puppeteers would ultimately be trained by Micheline. After being introduced to puppetry in Montreal in 1945 by German puppeteer Albert Wolff, she continued her training in 1951 and 1952 in Paris, with the renowned Jacques Chesnais, and pursued research and specialized workshops throughout Europe. Working exclusively with marionettes, Legendre would mount around 65 productions, which were presented both in Canada and abroad. She has created works for stage, television and film, and has collaborated with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the National Film Board, among others. Highly active at the international level, she has participated in numerous conferences, cultural delegations and exhibitions, and organized the first international puppetry festival in Canada during Expo 67. Among her other accomplishments is the 1986 publication of Marionnettes, Art et Tradition. Micheline Legendre received the Ordre du Québec in 1991 and the Order of Canada in 1998, and in 2000 was named an honorary member of UNIMA (the Union Internationale de la Marionnette).