Ontario Puppetry Association History

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….