FAQs Frequently asked Questions

Q. How long have you been in business?
A. 40 years.

Q. How often do you perform?
A. We are a full-time professional company performing year round. We do between 200 and 300 live shows a year and several television tapings.

Q. Where do you perform?
A. Almost anywhere! We regularly perform (live) at Schools, Public Libraries, Theatres, Malls, Public Events, Christmas Parties, Birthday Parties. We tape/film both in studio and on location. Most of our shows are in Southern Ontario, especially the GTA but longer trips are possible, though extra charges definitely apply.

Q. How many can see the show at a time?
A. Our RECOMMENDED audience is 200 persons for all shows except “Tom’s Amazing Cats” (Recommended audience up to 60). This is based on “average” acoustics. LARGER groups can be accommodated in some circumstances; extra charges may apply.

Q. OK, How much does it cost?
A. Our Base fees are as follows;
School/Library Show $400.
– 2 shows same day/same show – $550.

-2 shows one afternoon and following morning without moving or removing equipment $550. (plus travel)
– 3 shows same day/same show – $700.

(conditions apply)
– 2 shows same day/different shows – $585.
Workshop $75.

Birthday Party (Cats-Small Show-GTA) $175.
PreSchool (Cats-Small Show-GTA) $175.
Large Christmas Party (>60 people) $500.+
Small Christmas Party (<60 people) $250.+

“Event” starting at $550.
Outdoor “Event” (if possible) add $50.

Alcohol served at event add $100.

Travel Extra at Cost outside GTA
Printed Material (posters etc) usually FREE
Printed Material (Large Quantities) at Cost
Television ACTRA Rates

HST is ADDED to all the above
Other services are negotiated

Service charges/interest applied to
late payments, NSF, etc

Minimum billing $125.

Q. What about our Special Needs Children?

A. We’ll do our best to help –

For Hearing Impaired Children-
-We can patch a phonic ear/FM system to our sound system
-We can accommodate a sign interpreter
Our artistic director/performer Tom Vandenberg wears a hearing aid and has no reservation discussing this with curious children.

For Visually Impaired Children
-We allow these children (only) to “see” the puppets up-close with their hands AFTER the show.

Please inform us if you have –
Epileptic Children
Children with SEVERE allergies to cats, fur, feathers, smoke or airborne particulates.
Children with EXTREME fears

You will find that many children with developmental difficulties, autism or emotional problems respond very well to the shows, often surprisingly so.

Q. Can a show be altered to suit our needs?

A. Sometimes.

Shows that consist of two or more stories, and variety shows can be shortened; Shows with a single story cannot.

The material in the shows is age appropriate as stated and cannot be substantially altered without significant additional cost.

The shows are currently performed in English only.

Q. Can we take photos? videos? sound recordings?

A. You or invited press people MAY take all the still photos, film or digital, of the show that you wish. You will need parental permission to take the children’s pictures. Common courtesy would dictate that photographers not block the children’s view nor use flash AT the children, especially in a darkened room. The images of the puppets remain the copyright property of T.V.Puppetree.

You MAY NOT take moving images; film, video or digital; nor sound recordings without becoming a signatory to the appropriate ACTRA agreement and paying the ACTRA rate.

Q. What happens after the show?

A. After school shows we will happily conduct a Question and Answer Session; time permitting. After public shows the cast is generally available for informal questioning and greeting.

Q. Will we see famous TV characters? hear top-10 songs?

A. NO! We are an ethical company. Performers who use these characters, songs or other intellectual property are STEALING; they are violating Canadian and international law and their clients might be judged accessories under the law. ALL our characters, music, stories are either original to us, in the public domain or we have purchased the rights to use them.

Q. How long in advance do I have to book?

A. We book strictly first come – first served!

You may book weeks, months or even a year in advance; and many clients do. Advance booking gives you a much better choice of dates and times.

We do accept “rush” bookings, sometimes even for the following day, IF the desired time is available. Unfortunately it often is not and you may have to accept a second or third choice.

Q. What are my payment options?

A. We accept CASH, CHEQUE, MONEY ORDER or Institutional PURCHASE ORDER. We do not accept Credit Cards or Debit Cards. Public Institutions may also “put it on account”; 30 days net.

Upon booking you will receive a contract and invoice, (except schools and similar clients which receive a confirmation, invoice and supplemental materials as appropriate; a verbal contract is deemed to be in place. We will write a contract for such clients on request) which is our commitment to you and a review of applicable conditions, if any. NO DEPOSIT is required; prepayment is acceptable but not required.

All transactions are in Canadian Dollars ($cdn). We do apply service charges for NSF/dishonoured cheques and interest to late payments.

Q. What is your cancellation/postponement policy?

Whether a signed contract is in place or not, our cancellation policy is in effect, as follows;

Cancellation 15 days or more in advance – NO charge

Cancellation LESS than 15 days in advance – FULL payment

Postponement 24 hours or more in advance OR due to weather, police action, building issues or similar BUT BEFORE we’ve left home base – NO charge beyond original fee (we allow two postponements per booking, thereafter 50% additional fee is added )

Postponement due to weather, police action, building issues or similar AFTER we’ve left home base – TRAVEL FEE added to original fee plus taxes (this would be calculated based on how far we’ve actually traveled at the time)

Postponed show, subsequently cancelled, regardless of when – FULL payment

T.V.Puppetree reserves the right to cancel/postpone shows at any time for reasons of weather, road/flight conditions or performer illness – NO charge.

T.V.Puppetree reserves the right to cancel/postpone shows at any time, if the show(s) cannot be safely loaded/unloaded, set up and/or performed. Examples of this include but are not limited to; ice or mud around loading doors, stairs (sometimes) and strong seafood odours (life threatening-allergy). Our performers, like every other workers, have the absolute right to refuse unsafe work; if the unsafe condition cannot be rectified – TRAVEL FEE only.
Obviously, if the unsafe condition can be rectified, a show may still start late – NO addition charge.

702 E Lake St