The programs/training team
Helen Donnelly (Founder, CEO, Artistic Director, Program Co-ordinator) is an award-winning clown teacher and performer. She has worked as a professional Therapeutic Clown since 2004. Her career in this field has included SickKids, Long Term Care facilities across the GTA serving elders with dementia, and for the last 12 years as been a Therapeutic Clown practitioner at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital as 'Dr Flap'.
Her career outside healthcare has included touring with Circus Orange and Cirque du Soleil as a clown. She has presented and offered training at healthcare conferences both nationally and internationally since 2007.
Her passions include creating new opportunities for clown artists and nurturing existing Therapeutic Clowning practices to help clown artists attain best practice standards for themselves and their programs. She is thrilled to have created and led North America’s first Certificate Program for Therapeutic Clowning. She is ever grateful to George Brown College (Continuing Education), and to the Veterans Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and to Safehaven for hosting the student placements at their respective sites. Contact her:
Derek Kwan, (apprentice Executive Director): Derek Kwan is a theatre performer and passionate Therapeutic Clown advocate. He has worked as a professional Therapeutic Clown in Taiwan and in Canada, serving pediatrics and elders. Derek is an award-winning performer and he has appeared internationally in shows that run the gamut from opera to theatre to mask and puppetry. As an arts administrator, he has worked with a number of theatre companies to support grant writing, producing, marketing and development, as well as general administration. He completed a Metcalf Foundation Internship in producing and administration with Cahoots Theatre Company. Derek also has an interest in making clown training more accessible to include more people, and in maintaining professional best practices for Therapeutic Clown. Contact him:
Kathleen O’Connell (Reflective Practice Leader) is a certified yoga teacher, meditation instructor, social worker and therapist. Her thirty year passion for yoga and mindfulness meditation practices includes the study of Hatha, Ashtanga, Restorative, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, Yoga for Seniors and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She leads the team regularly in mindfulness and reflection exercises and is often called the ‘Emotional Healer’ for the clown artists. She worked alongside Helen and her team at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital 2011-2019 as Reflective Practice Leader.
Mackenzie Muldoon (apprentice Program Coordinator, Therapeutic Clown Practitioner): Mackenzie is a Toronto based actor, creator, clown, producer, and festival director. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University, specializing in Theatre Performance and has built a career in the arts ever since. She has over 20 years of experience, working at more than 50 festivals, in numerous roles and departments, as well as working in many other areas of arts administration and production.
Mackenzie graduated from North America’s first Therapeutic Clown Certificate Program at George Brown College in 2019 and is passionate about both the practice, and increasing access to it. She is excited to build on both through her work with Red Nose Remedy. Contact her:
Andrew Gaboury (apprentice Artistic Director) is a performer, writer and educator based in Port Credit. His practice unites collective creation, dance, mask and theatrical clown. He was co-Artistic Director of hub14 art + performance works, a studio and artist residency in Toronto, from 2013 – 19. Andrew is the Director of a field of crowns, a multi-disciplinary intervention-based performance and training company and a frequent collaborator with Frog in Hand in Mississauga. He teaches movement at Randolph College for the Performing Arts, and has taught at the Living Arts Centre, Conteur Dance Academy, and The School Creative Arts. He taught mask, clown and movement for Clay and Paper Theatre’s summer company in 2019. Andrew recently graduated North America’s first Therapeutic Clowning Certificate program led by Helen Donnelly at George Brown College. With Donnelly he has begun working in the field with the newly established company Red Nose Remedy. He is also a therapeutic clown apprentice under Kathleen LeRoux, specializing in elder care.
This team is fortunate to know so many award-winning and international trainers in areas of dance, mime, music and self-care.
These clown artists will receive the very best in Continued Professional Development.
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