top of page

Helen Donnelly, award-winning Therapeutic Clown Practitioner. For Red Nose Remedy: Artistic Director and lead trainer. For Therapeutic Clowning Certificate Program: Program Designer and Coordinator, lead trainer 


our story:

Jamie Burnett with Helen Donnelly, 2008

This company of gentle fools came together under the direction of Helen Donnelly who, like many of her colleagues, was inspired by other similar organizations around the globe. She wanted to offer Ontario clown artists the appropriate training in order for them to practice in a manner that would match global best practice standards.  She was encouraged in particular by her former clown partner Jamie Burnett (who died in 2011) to create an academic program: and so in the fall of 2018 their dream finally came true. 8 clown artists were carefully selected and given artistic, healthcare and psychosocial training along with a pediatric and geriatric placements through her Therapeutic Clowning Certificate Program (via George Brown College Continuing Education).

This was the second Certificate Program in the world and a first for North America. 

These wonderful graduates are prepared for a bright future in healthcare and beyond, serving children, adults and elders in care. 

Therapeutic Clowning Certificate Program


We were thrilled to be leading the system in becoming the first formalized training program for Therapeutic Clowning of its kind in North America! This program was a significant step toward toward matching the high standards showcased by other practitioners and trainers around the world.
Our shared aim is to provide clown artists with the appropriate skills, supervision and confidence in order for them to safely and effectively serve their future clients in healthcare; and to foster future job opportunities through ongoing supports and guidance post-graduation. 8 talented clown artists (with a background in theatre/circus arts) were introduced to the world of healthcare through classroom learning, artistic studio training and both geriatric and paediatric placements. Upon graduation in June 2019 they joined Helen's not-for-profit organization 'Red Nose Remedy' through which they undergo Continued Professional Development during job placements.



 These students were given a comprehensive approach led by a range of highly experienced artistic and healthcare professionals who guided, accompanied and advised the students in the following areas of study:

  • History and program structure of Therapeutic Clowning companies around the world

  • Overview of the medical world (equipment, environment, diagnoses, terminologies, safety/infection control and prevention)

  • Insights into the lives and experiences of caregivers, family members and former patients

  •  Bioethics, Dignity/Privacy/Respect, Reflective Practice and self-care guidelines

  • Comprehensive and multifaceted artistic training (various artistic skills, development of suitable pediatric and geriatric clown personas, duo dynamics, engagement techniques)

  • Supervised job shadowing and student placements in 2 healthcare facilities

welcome pp.jpg
Therapeutic Clowning Certificate Program 

© 2023 by Helen Donnelly via Red Nose Remedy

bottom of page