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1976

Paul Hooson

Paul’s first foray into clowning therapeutically began in 1976 at the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax, when he paired up with a puppeteer to participate in a highly successful exploratory Child Life initiative using clown and puppetry for bedside visits.

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1989

Hubert

David Langdon begins his 30 year 'clown turn' at Winnipeg Children's Hospital.

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1994

Doc Willikers

The Therapeutic Clown Doctor Program/M.I.R.T.H Unit is founded at B.C.'s Children's Hospital in Vancouver under the direction of Paul Hooson.  Paul was inspired by the clown doctors of the Big Apple Circus' "Clown Care Unit" in New York City. This is Canada's first professional Clown Doctor Program. 

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1997

Joan, Paul, David and Camilla

"Nobody's Fool: but Everybody's Laughing (A Celebration of Canadian Clowning)", a conference on humour and health, brings together Canada's therapeutic clowns, Joan Barrington, Camilla Gryski, Paul Hooson and David Langdon for the first time. They discuss the future of therapeutic clowning. Conference presented by Sue Proctor and Clownwise Inc.

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1999

Joan Barrington

Mary Hirst and Joan Barrington founded the original iteration of Therapeutic Clowns Canada (TCC), a non-profit foundation created to help bring therapeutic clowning to all major pediatric facilities across Canada through the provision of seed funding and the training of therapeutic clown practitioners.

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2001

Nuula

Therapeutic Clowns Canada Foundation founds program at Credit Valley (Mississauga) under the direction of Lucia Cino.


"Play It Again: a conference on humour, play, creativity, and the arts" again brings together therapeutic clowns from across Canada. Conference is presented by Sue Proctor and Clownwise Inc.

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2002

Molly Penny

TCC Foundation establishes a program at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, under the direction of Ruth Cull.
 

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2004

Award Winners

Camilla Gryski receives the Today’s Parent For Kid’s Sake Award for her work as “Posy” on SickKids’ Haematology Oncology Unit.

Longwoods Publishing presents Karen Ridd with the first Therapeutic Clown Achievement Award in Canada.

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2004

Dr. Flap and Ricky

TCC Foundation sets up a new program at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab, led by Jamie Burnett, who tragically passed away at a young age. This program is now under the direction of Helen Donnelly.

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2004

Ollie

TCC Foundation forms a program at London Health Sciences Centre (London, ON), under the direction of Ken Sperling.

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2004

Sparkle

TCC Foundation establishes a 

program at Alberta Children's Hospital (Calgary), under the direction of Cheryl Oberg, with Fif Fernandes

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2005

Robo Award

David Langdon receives the Robo Award (formerly the Therapeutic Clown Achievement Award).

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2006

Karen Ridd

Karen Ridd is honoured at the second annual CATC/ACCT symposium in Winnipeg, celebrating 20 years of Therapeutic Clowning in Canada.

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2006

Buddington

TCC Foundation founds a program at IWK (Halifax), under the direction of Cleve Sauer.
 

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2007

Clowns Therapeutiques Saguenay

Josée Gagnon and Moira Sheffer-Pineault launch Clowns Thérapeutiques Saguenay at a seniors residence in Chicoutimi, Quebec.

Dr Clown opens operations in Toronto under the direction of Kathleen Le Roux and Jamie Burnett.
 

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2011

Celebrating 25 Years

The 7th Annual CATC/ACCT symposium is held in Winnipeg : "Celebrating 25 Years of Therapeutic Clowning and Clown Doctoring in Canada and the United States".  Michael Christensen was honoured along with Canadian therapeutic clown pioneers Karen Ridd and Renee Ethans.

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2012

CATC/ACCT

CATC/ACCT membership votes to relieve the administrative load of maintaining an Association in favour of establishing a professional network comprised of the same individuals.

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2014

Therapeutic Clowns Canada

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital hosts a Symposium on Clowning in Therapeutic Environments.

 

At this symposium, CATC/ACCT members vote to restructure the Association as a Network, and to adopt the name Therapeutic Clowns Canada (TCC).

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2016

HCIM Lisbon

Canadians 'represent' at the Healthcare Clown International Meeting in Portugal.  Karen Ridd recognized by the international community as the 'Mother' of healthcare clowning.

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2018

HCIM Vienna

Canadian contingent at the 2018 Healthcare Clowning International Meeting in Austria.

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2018

Molly Penny in Cuba

In 2018, Therapeutic Clowns International instrumental in staging the first 'Cuban Congress of Therapeutic Clowns: Art and Health' in Havana.

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2019

Happy 25th Anniversary!

BC Children’s MIRTH Unit (Medicine Incorporating Remedies that Tickle the Heart) celebrates its 25th anniversary!

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1986

Robo

Karen Ridd (Robo the Clown) approaches Ruth Kettner (manager) and Renee Ethans (CHTV director) of the Child Life Department at Winnipeg Children's Hospital, and the first Canadian therapeutic clown program is founded (May 1986). This is probably the first formal therapeutic clown program in the world.

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1993

Bunky and Karen Ridd

Joan Barrington launches The Therapeutic Clown Program at SickKids Hospital in Toronto. In year one, Karen Ridd mentored Joan in the ‘Winnipeg Model’ of therapeutic clowning, which she created, leading to the creation of Joan's clowning alter ego 'Bunky'.

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1994 and 1995

The Trailblazers Meet

Paul visits Joan at SickKids in Toronto in 1994.  

In 1995, Joan and Le Rire Medicin's Caroline Simonds (France) visit David Langdon's program in Winnipeg.  At this time Paul Hooson was interning with the Clown Care Unit in NYC. Paul reconnects with Caroline in New York, with whom he had worked in Paris in 1971.

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1998

David and Paul

Mary Hirst facilitates a work session in Toronto with Joan Barrington, Camilla Gryski, Paul Hooson and David Langdon to discuss the future of therapeutic clowning in Canada.
The second "Nobody's Fool: but Everybody's Laughing" conference is convened in Winnipeg and we solidify our resolve to move forward, together.

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2001

Fools for Health

Fools for Health founded in Windsor, Ontario by University of Windsor Prof. Bernie Warren, working in both pediatric and elder care.

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2002

Dr. Clown

Dr Clown founded in Montreal under the direction of Melissa Holland, Olivier Hugues-Terreault, Florence Vinit and Germaine Gibara, delivering services to pediatric and elder care facilities.

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2003

Hubert and Onri

David Langdon (Hubert the Clown of Winnipeg Children's Hospital) introduces a verbal clown doctor character, Onri. He is the only Canadian practitioner who embraces both personas and styles, in his work.


TCC Foundation founds a program at Trillium (Toronto/Mississauga).

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2004

CATC/ACCT is on its way...

Canadian Therapeutic Clowns take part in "Challenging Stereotypes: A Celebration of Arts in Community", presented by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies.

A meeting here leads to the creation of The Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clowns/ L'Association Canadienne des Clowns Therapeutiques (CATC/ACCT).

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2004

Butterfly

Paula Masterson founds the Therapeutic Clown Program at the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital

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2004

St. Boniface

TCC Foundation founds a program at St. Boniface General Hospital (Winnipeg), under the direction of Sue Proctor and Pat Holbrow.

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2005

Posy

After nine years as Therapeutic Clown Posy at SickKids in Toronto, Camilla Gryski founds Therapeutic Clown Services in Toronto, the first Canadian Therapeutic Clown private practice.

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2005

CATC/ACCT

CATC/ACCT is formally established, with 27 charter members representing all Canadian programs. The Association developed a comprehensive Statement of Principles, Code of Ethics and definition of Therapeutic Clown, with a commitment to regularly gather, share, and network, among ourselves.

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2006

Bunky and Doc Willikers

Joan Barrington in Toronto and Paul Hooson in Vancouver are the co-recipients of the Robo Award

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2007

CATC/ACCT Symposium

Mary Hirst honoured for her work with Therapeutic Clowns Canada Foundation at the 3rd annual CATC/ACCT symposium in Toronto.


TCC Foundation disbands, having met its mandate to found Therapeutic Clown Programs from coast to coast.

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2009

Jest For Joy

Jest For Joy launches at Vancouver’s George Pearson Centre under the direction of Allyson Grant and Briana Rayner. This company was mentored by Fools For Health.

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2011

Clowning For Health and Well-Being

The Dr Clown team in Toronto makes a transition into private practice. Dr Clown Toronto closes and Kathleen Le Roux establishes an independent practice, Clowning for Health and Well-Being, partnering with independent therapeutic clown practitioners, Heather Annis and Denise Oliver.
 

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2013

Doc and Fizzie

Paul Hooson retires after 20 years of service; Sand Northrup takes over administration of Therapeutic Clown Program at BC Children’s Hospital (formerly Doc Williker’s Therapeutic Clown Program”)

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2014

CATC/ACCT Symposium

After taking 'Bunky' and therapeutic clowning to El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico and Cuba, Joan Barrington incorporates the non-profit Therapeutic Clowns International (TCI), dedicated to enriching the lives of hospitalized, critically ill and disenfranchised children globally.

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2018

North American First!

Helen Donnelly launches the Therapeutic Clowning Certificate Program at George Brown College in Toronto, the first of its kind in North America.

Graduates join Helen's not-for-profit organization 'Red Nose Remedy'.

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2018

Happy 25th Anniversary!

SickKids Therapeutic Clowns celebrate 25 years of service to patients and families in Toronto.

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2019

Thank you David!

David Langdon retires after 30 years of service at The Children's Hospital of Winnipeg.

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2020

Confronting COVID-19

Therapeutic Clown and Clown Doctor programs across Canada show creativity and resilience in dealing with the global pandemic.  While some programs continued in-person services, others were forced to take therapeutic clowning on-line.

  • Red Nose Remedy
  • Red Nose Remedy
  • Red Nose Remedy
  • Therapeutic Clown Resources
  • Dr. Clown Foundation
  • Dr. Clown Foundation
  • Dr. Clown Foundation
  • Dr. Clown Foundation
  • Grande Prairie
  • Banana Nirvana R&D Ink
  • Clowns Therapeutiques Saguenay
  • Clowns Therapeutiques Saguenay

Red Nose Remedy

Dr. Clown Foundation

Fondation Dr. Clown

Grand Prairie

Banana Nirvana