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Founded in 1972, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, a leading Canadian company, has played an important role in the development of puppetry arts in the Maritimes. With the help of a government grant, the company was co-founded by three artists: Evelyn Garbary, an actress and playwright (originally from Wales), who was Director of Drama at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia; Tom Miller, an art teacher from Detroit, who became the company's Artistic Director, and Sara Lee Lewis, who became a Member of the order of Canada in 2000 and continues to serve as the company's Managing Director. Mermaid Theatre's current Artistic Director, Jim Morrow, has been active with the company since 1978. Often drawing on children's literature, the company's innovative theatre for young audiences has gained considerable acclaim, with productions that tour both nationally and internationally. Mermaid Theatre is also recognized for its extensive school tours and involvement in the local community. In 1998, the company founded the Institute of Puppetry Arts, aimed at elevating the art of puppetry through a diverse range of workshops, which are offered locally and abroad. In 2008, Mermaid Theatre established the Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre in Windsor, Nova Scotia, offering a range of venues from an intimate stage to a larger auditorium.