Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia launched the Institute of Puppetry Arts in 1998 with the aim of promoting and enhancing the art of puppetry both at home and abroad. Classes, workshops and demonstrations, both in-house and through outreach sessions, are tailored to the specific needs of family participants, teachers, recreation leaders, theatre professionals and industry.  Jim Morrow is the project's principal advisor, while Mermaid's senior puppetry experts are available for longer-term residencies and performance projects in addition to shorter assignments.

The Animotion Intensive was created to provide a platform where professional and pre-professional performers, and others, would explore the art of puppetry and related object movement techniques in a nurturing and challenging environment. Because there are few opportunities like Anmotion, response to our initiative has been tremendous with interest coming from all over North America. We are very proud to be able to provide this service to the theatre community from our headquarters in Windsor.

During the three-week intensive, participants will be offered the opportunity to glean as much knowledge and technical skills as possible though a series of carefully designed exercises, independent and collaborative scene work, and the development of finished pieces using puppets designed and built by the participants themselves.

ANIMOTION runs for (3) weeks at the end of April, however we are looking at expanding the program to accommodate the overwhelming interest.

Tuition Options

A refundable deposit (within 60 days of the start date) can hold your spot for Animotion.
Full Tuition for the course is offered.
Full Tuition plus UNIMA membership is also available.

Please click below on the appropriate choice. Should you have any questions, please contact us at or

Spring 2020 on-line Registration will open September 1, 2019.
For Spring 2020 ANIMOTION scholarship opportunities, please click here:



Jim Morrow

Jim Morrow is Managing Artistic Director of Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. He was first introduced to puppetry in 1978 when he joined Mermaid Theatre as a young performer. His twenty-two tours as a performer with Mermaid have taken him across North America, the United Kingdom, and Asia. He has directed, designed, and carved the puppets for stage, film, television, parks, and industry and has created twenty-four shows for Mermaid, including: Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You SeeGuess How Much I LoveYou & I Love My Little StorybookGoodnight Moon & The Runaway BunnyThe Rainbow Fish; andthe award-winning productions of Swimmy, Frederick & Inch by Inch andThe Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favourites.Jim’s contributions to the community, both as artist and mentor, have earned him the Nova Scotia government’s highest award for artistic achievement, the Portia White Award; a Doctor of Humanities from his Alma Mater, Acadia University; the Order of Nova Scotia; and the Mickey Minor Award, presented annually by the US-based International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) to distinguished artists who have made exemplary contributions to the lives of the children around the world. Jim is a respected teacher who regularly provides mentorship to established and emerging theatre artists and organizations, community groups, and to children of all ages, in his home province of Nova Scotia, throughout North America and around the world. Jim was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, lives in Lower Avonport, Nova Scotia, and is the proud father of four children (Kaitlin, Jacob, Cael, and Hannah).

Struan Robertson

Director of Education & Outreach & ANIMOTION Instructor, Struan graduated from Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Fine Art.  At Bishop’s he studied puppetry under the direction of Tim Gosley and refined his skills through the production of, “A Hunger Artist”. After University, Struan received puppetry training at Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s Institute of Puppetry Arts through ANIMOTION, Mermaid’s highly acclaimed Puppetry Intensive series. 

Following Struan’s educational training, he was hired by Mermaid Theatre to tour as a professional theatre artist in Code Green and Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny that took him throughout Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, and Macau. He was hired as a full-time production employee in 2011 and since then has been responsible for assisting in production design, creating transformative sets, props, and puppet construction. Struan is a sought-after senior workshop instructor having taught many puppetry workshops to hundreds of children in Nova Scotia and in China. In 2018, Struan was promoted to Director of Education and Outreach for the Institute of Puppetry Arts and looks forward to implementing new and creative programming for international and local markets.

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