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History of Puppetry
in Canada

Hal and Renné Marquette

Stage dancers Hal and Renné Marquette began to experiment with puppets in the early 1940s. During the Second World War, Hal was sent overseas and, upon his return, used his rehabilitation money to create the Marquette Imaginettes. They introduced marionettes into their dance act, and until the mid-1950s performed at trade shows, in nightclubs and department stores, and with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. They were later hired by the CBC to operate the "Howdy Doody" characters for the Canadian version of the series. The Marquettes continued to perform in television until 1961.

Adapted from Figuratively Speaking : Puppetry in Ontario by Ken McKay, copyright 1990. Courtesy of the Ontario Puppetry Association and Ken McKay.