Our Journey

The Early Days of TCI


The transition from SickKids in 2011 gave me the opportunity to build on Therapeutic Clowns International (TCI), facilitating the momentum and requests for therapeutic clowning globally.

My first taste of working and playing outside of Canada was in 2005, when I was invited by the Canadian Ambassador for Canada, Gwyn Kutz stationed in San Salvador to come to El Salvador to participate in their Canada Day Celebrations. In addition to this event, my therapeutic clown persona Bunky was invited by the Ambassador to visit an orphanage, the Bloom Pediatric Hospital and an Inner-city Crisis Center.

Since 2011, I have collaborated with our TCI ‘Clowns 4 Cuba’ Coordinator, Adrienne Hunter, Phd. to formalize a partnership with the Cuban Ministry of Health (MINSAP). As a result of previous meetings with the Ministry, we have taken three trips to Cuba and participated in the country’s first National therapeutic clown meeting.

In 2011, Lucy Ibarra established Clowns 4 Mexico TCI.

In 2012, Lucy and I held our first therapeutic clown workshop together in Havana for 15 young people at La Colmenita, the Children's National Theatre School. This original workshop led to a successful, 80-hour workshop for 12 national participants i.e. Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, professional clowns. Two of these participants have become Directors of the three regions launching therapeutic clown programs across their country.

Many generous individuals have appeared in our universe of therapeutic clowning over the years and given freely of their expertise, energies and encouragement to assist us in moving forward. These relationships are invaluable for the advancement of the TCI vision and mission.

     ~Joan Barrington, Founder, Therapeutic Clowns International (TCI)