Aug 30, '09
The Winnipeg Children's Hospital has had a therapeutic clowning program for 23 years. My son's friend began the program in 1986 when she began appearing on the wards as Robo, a silent but very expressive gender-neutral person who made the kids feel better just by smiling at them. This was Canada's first therapeutic clown program; Robo went on to help develop the program at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children in 1993, by which time Robo's spot had been filled first by Silkworm and then Hubert. (I've been friends with them all.) Since Robo's early days, the person inside the costume crusaded tirelessly to bring clowning to as many sick children as possible and has succeeded by inspiring the creation of clowning programs at all but three of Canada's children's hospitals. (The facility I currently work at is one of the three not having a clown. I miss them.)
The Longwoods Health Care Board in conjunction with the Ontario Hospitals Association has renamed their annual award for excellence in therapeutic clowning for Robo, whose alter-ego has led a remarkably busy life including volunteer human rights work in Central America and a career in conflict resolution. She's a very special lady.
Last edit by NotReady4PrimeTime on Aug 30, '09