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.
David Langdon begins his 30 year 'clown turn' at Winnipeg Children's Hospital.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
Fools for Health
Fools for Health founded in Windsor, Ontario by University of Windsor Prof. Bernie Warren, working in both pediatric and elder care.
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.
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).
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).
TCC Foundation founds a program at St. Boniface General Hospital (Winnipeg), under the direction of Sue Proctor and Pat Holbrow.
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.
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.
Bunky and Doc Willikers
Joan Barrington in Toronto and Paul Hooson in Vancouver are the co-recipients of the Robo Award
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.
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.
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.
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”)
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.
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.