Thanks so much guys!
This finally worked!
for i in f.canvas.callbacks.callbacks:
Aha! I thought you were using 1.0. For 1.0, these things are rc
settings; I had no idea they even existed back in 0.99.0. I only
tripped over "f" very recently.
The key bindings are coded in the key_press() method of
FigureManagerBase. The callback is connected to the canvas in the
__init__ method. The trick is to disconnect the callback:
fig = figure()
Now key presses have no effect in that figure. The bad thing here is
that I used the cid 3, a seemingly random number. I suspect, though,
that once you find out what it is in your version of mpl (and it may
still be 3), you will be able to rely on it for your purposes. To find
it, print out fig.canvas.callbacks.callbacks and look for
key_press_event. You could have your program use this dictionary to
look it up.