Opening on July 14 and running until September 22, “Noreen Young: A Puppet Retrospective” is a summer must-see event for the whole family. Most of the 150 puppets featured have appeared on television, on stage, and in video productions. Some have worked very hard in long-running children’s programs. There are also coconuts and sheep waiting for you to animate them on a puppet stage, as well as “Humanettes” that need heads—yours!

Known across Canada for her talent as a puppeteer and puppet creator, Noreen Young is a local treasure. In 1995, she was awarded the Order of Canada for her contribution to puppetry and children’s television. Two pivotal characters bookended her extraordinary career:  “Mrs. Gertrude Diddle” from High Diddle Day, a CBC program that ran from 1967 to 1976, and “Gloria Gopher” one of the lead characters in Under the Umbrella Tree that ran for ten years on CBC, the Disney Channel, and Canal Famille. Both were created, manipulated and voiced by Noreen. She was also the designer, writer and ultimately executive producer of Under the Umbrella Tree.

Her signature technique of translating her skill as a sculptor into flexible, expressive rubber faces has created hundreds of puppet look-alikes of well-known people such as Peter Mansbridge and Don Cherry, as well as caricatures of local Almonte personalities. Many of them are included in the exhibit.

As Artistic Director for Almonte’s annual Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival, which ran from 2005 to 2016, she brought puppet troupes from across Canada and around the world to showcase their talents. And she’s still busy creating. She was recently asked to design and build ten puppets for an adult puppet opera that will be part of Ottawa’s Music and Beyond series for 2018. You can see them in the exhibit.

The Museum’s Executive Director/ Curator, Michael Rikley-Lancaster has scheduled three professional puppet shows and six puppet workshops during the exhibition. Check out the Museum’s website at for dates and details. The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is located at 3 Rosamond St. E. in Almonte. For more information call 613 256-3754.

Rag Bag Cabaret Returns to the
Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

The Rag Bag Cabaret & The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum invite you to get footloose and fancy-free SATURDAY JUNE 30th.

Why not take yourself out for some naughtiness & titillating fun? Hosted by Canadian Comedy Award Nominee Dazzling Ringmaster Rachelle Elie.

Our stellar line up includes
  • Burlesque dream Zyra Lee Vanity
  • Jump Mornings Laughmaster Jesse Reynolds
  • Master illusionist Ben Train
  • Gold medal champions Canadian Showtime Choir
  • Laugh Mistress Ashley Kwachenko
  • Delightful Drag artist Kimmy Dymond
  • A special surprise guest
At the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum
Dress attire: FABULOUS

Bring your dancing shoes for a dance partee to follow with

Agua at the Textile Museum

From Friday May 25 to Sunday the 26th the Museum is hosting «Agua » an exhibition of works by three outstanding Cuban ceramic artists and four well-known area potters. The show has been organized by Saskia Praamsma, manager of the Almonte Potters Guild.

Marie-Pierre Drolet, Quebec, Canada
Through visual and tactile experiences, Drolet connects the viewer or user with the forces that exist in matter and with the alchemy at work during the creation of ceramics.  Clay, water, fire, glazes, and air interact to create microcosms where elements become tangible and the power of cosmos, the ocean, the volcano, and even vegetation can be transmitted to the public in a cup or sculpture.

Marie-Pierre learned ceramics from her father, Claude Drolet. After studying art, she perfected her skills and attended a seminar at Alfred University (NY) given by Korean Master Kang Hyo-Lee. Her sculptural exploration was developed during  artist-in-residence programs at the Farrellton place for artists (2017) and at the Scott Fairview House (2018). She has received many grants and awards from the MAMROT, the CALQ , the City Of Gatineau, and is a member of the Conseil des métiers d'arts du Québec.

Denise Fournier, Quebec, Canada
Fournier’s unique ceramic works celebrate food, combining the ephemeral art of cooking with the permanence of clay. Some forms are shaped expressly to serve a particular dish or integrate recycled materials. The fusion of rich and diversified enamels is key to the final expression of the work. Her “cooking methods” include raku, smoke, reduction, or oxidation.

Denise learned ceramics at the Cultural Center in Timmins, Ontario and trained with masters at Alfred University (NY) and Haliburton College of Arts and Design. She has a studio-boutique in Lochaber in Petite-Nation (QC).

Sandra Navarro, Camagüey ,Cuba
Navarro is a trained engineer and has been making ceramics since 1996. She has participated in several collective projects and is a member of the Cuban Association of Artists and Craftsmen.

Her work integrates various industrial materials a process in which futuristic animals are born, a marriage of the mechanical universe to their bodily architecture.

Coki Santander, Trinidad, Cuba
Neydis Mesa (Coki) Santander  has worked with clay since she was a little girl. She is now the only woman in her family working on pottery. When she was five, her grandfather taught her to mold clay on a tiny potter’s wheel that her father designed exclusively for her.

In her workshop, La Casita del Barro, she specializes in pottery murals in relief, hand-polished with metallic oxides, plates decorated with pre-Columbian designs, reproductions of the façades and streets of Trinidad, and some unique utilitarian and decorative objects.

Coki is a member of the Cuban Association of Craftsmen and Artists. Her creations are shown and sold through galleries in Trinidad. Some of her masterpieces are included in private collections in Cuba and the rest of the world. She has participated in international events such as The Milan Fair in Italy and The Wind Festival in Holstebro, Denmark.

Antonio Gómez Santiago, Cuba
Gomez graduated from the Professional Academy of Plastic Arts of Trinidad, Cuba and has a Bachelor of Sociocultural Studies from the Central University of Las Villas, Cuba. He is a professor of visual arts and a graphic designer.
His work deals with issues related to identity and self-recognition, as well as the processes of transculturation from an animistic stance and an anthropological approach.

Sietze Praamsma, Clayton, Ontario, Canada
Sietze is primarily a functional potter with a professional background in geochemistry and mineralogy. Self-taught, he worked as a technician for Don Reitz in Madison, Wisconsin and for Angela Fina at the Sheridan School of Design in Ontario. He played a substantial role in the establishment of the Harbourfront Craft Studios in Toronto and also worked on pottery projects in Thamaga, Botswana and Kabul, Afghanistan. In Mississippi Mills, Ontario he maintains a studio (Clayton Clay Works), teaches at the Almonte Potters Guild, and is a long-time participant in the Crown and Pumpkin Studio Tour.

Besides producing utilitarian ware, he also enjoys expressing himself through platters formed by means of accidental and largely uncontrolled processes.

Saskia Praamsma 
Saskia began working with clay when she was six. Her mother was a potter and had an attic studio overlooking the rooftops and chimneys of Amsterdam. She later studied with Don Reitz at the University of Wisconsin, USA. Saskia worked with her husband, Sietze, at pottery projects in Thamaga, Botswana and Kabul, Afghanistan. She  worked as technician and instructor in the pottery studio of Dovercourt Recreation Centre in Ottawa and currently works at the Almonte Potters Guild as manager and instructor.

She love smearing, pinching and rolling clay. She loves its soothing feel as she puts one coil on top of the other, impressing different textures in it.

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is pleased to announce three exciting fibre arts workshops at the Museum led by the renowned William Hodge. On Thurs.  May 31, he will be doing a hands on workshop “Creating Fabric Collage” using his approach that has much greater flexibility and possibilities for creative expression than traditional techniques. On Friday, June 1, learn some tricks to strengthen the visual impact of your work. William along with Robert Wylie will present “The Geometry of Design”. This will be seminar format and would be of interest to people in all visual art disciplines: fibre arts, painting, photography and mixed media. The third workshop on Saturday, June 2 will be on “Colour and Synaesthesia”. One can never stop learning about colour and this workshop will give inspiration to anyone who works with colour. Instead of basic colour theory, William will talk about colour approaches inspired by senses other than sight.

William Hodge and Robert Wylie have both inspired many artists, especially those in fibre and related media. Both taught at OCAD University many years and have a wealth of information which they willingly share with workshop participants. Attend and be inspired!

For more information, pick up a brochure at the Museum or contact Garrie Bea Joyce at: or phone: 613 728-5012

April 6 - 7, 2018
Fibre Fling 7 - Textile Art Show and Sale
Kitchissippi United Church, 630 Island Park Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Hours: Friday 10 am - 8 pm and Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Admission is $5.
High Tea will be available on Saturday for an additional $10.
Light refreshments are available throughout the show.

Out of the Box Fibre Artists and the Kitchissippi United Church invite you to a show and sale of Fibre and mixed media art on Friday and Saturday in the church hall.  Our membership included a wide range of fibre artists, many of whom belong to area guilds as well.  At last year’s show, 44 artists exhibited artworks such as art quilts, mixed media, framed works, felting, wearables, embroidery, dolls, beadwork, paper compositions and more.  The depth, quality, and originality of the work is truly inspiring!

As well, an extensive Sales area gives visitors an opportunity to purchase a variety of unique items including small framed artwork, wearables such as scarves, hats, and bags, jewelry, cards, handmade books, and an array of felting, stitchery, knitting and crochet and mixed media pieces.

A delicious high tea will be served on Saturday, April 9 by volunteers from Kitchissippi United Church.  Over the last 6 years, this partnership of Art and Tea has raised close to  $20,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundations.  Since 2003, the Stephen Lewis Foundation has worked with community-level organizations to provide care and support to women, orphaned children, grandmothers and people living in the 15 African countries hardest hit by the global HIV & AIDS pandemic.  The Foundation’s work is supported by over 100,000 Canadians through individual donations, tribute gifts. Also, through the ‘Grandmothers to Grandmothers’ Campaign, over 240 Canadian Grandmother Groups provide African grandmothers with food, health care, and essential needs for their grandchildren.

For more information about the Stephen Lewis Foundation, please visit their website at

For more details about this show and sale, please contact Lorraine Lacroix ( or visit our website at

Learn About Spinning and Weaving in Upper Canada

Domestic fibre production and processing, which included spinning, dyeing, knitting, and weaving to produce finished textiles, were essential for survival during the early years of settlement in the rugged Canadian wilderness. On Saturday March 10 at 2 p.m. at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, weaver Ellen Good will use re-enactment-style photos to describe the steps of basic textile production in the homes of Upper Canada’s early settlers. She will also demonstrate the huge impact of these activities (usually carried out by woman and girls at home) on the social and economic development of the emerging country.

Ellen established her home studio in Ompah,Ontario in 1981 after receiving a BFA in Textile Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology and has been producing unique and limited production textiles ever since. She has worked extensively with specialized dye techniques, such as Ikat and Loom Controlled Shibori to create colourful patterns in handwoven fabric.  Her work has been sold at local craft shows and galleries and she has taught at weaving and dyeing at guilds, schools, and conferences.
From 2001 to 2005 she was coordinator of the MERA (MacDonalds Corners and Elphin Recreation and Arts) Heritage Weaving Project in MacDonalds Corners, Ontario. The project involved the development of a training program to teach local women production weaving. The MERA weavers continue to produce handwoven items in the studio established in the MERA community centre during the program. In September of 2006, Ellen curated an exhibition of pioneer textile production artifacts at the Rideau Canal Museum in Smiths Falls. The exhibit became the basis for the book Fabrics of Pioneer Life: Tools of the Textile Arts, authored by Ellen and published with help from the Ontario Arts Council.

       In 2009, Ellen represented the Frontenac area at the Eastern Ontario Artists Marketplace at the Spring One of a Kind Show in Toronto and was also awarded the first annual, juried MERA Award for  Excellence in Fine Art or Fine Crafts. She was also a featured artisan at Cornerstone Fine Crafts in Kingston.

 From 2012 to 2017 she worked at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario as a period re-enactor and interpreter of weaving, spinning, and dying as it was done in a domestic setting in the mid-1800s.

Fibrefair is soon here!

FIBREFAIR- On Sunday, November 26th
Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (MVTM) will be hosting our first Health and Wellness “Fibrefair," and the number of participants is growing! There will be chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopaths, Reiki practitioners, and fitness facilities.
Also, represented will be essential oil advocates, yoga studios, a grocery store, outreach programs for community support, and more! You’ll discover what services and talents our community has to offer, and even get some Christmas shopping done! Amanda and Tara, regular vendors and familiar faces at the Almonte Farmer’s Market, will be running a cafe, so rest for a while with a fresh juice or a healthy lunch.
Do you like a bit of competition? See who you can outbid in our Silent Auction! Come and join us for a fabulous day of enlightenment, education, and inspiration!