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How to find a clown in Toronto

Posted by Amanda Cupido / April 20, 2014

clown in torontoLooking for a clown for your Toronto event or party? A simple web search might not be the best way to go.

"A lot of clowns are self-taught, and hiring someone who's under-trained is not a good idea," said Helen Donnelly, a professional therapeutic, theatrical and circus clown. "It takes years to fine-tune your instruments so you're appropriate for your audience."

Donnelly has been a clown for over 20 years, and teaches workshops in Toronto. She said that the clowning community believes in the philosophy that everyone has a clown inside. "But just because you have taken a few workshops, it doesn't mean you're ready to unleash it to the world," said Donnelly.

So what steps should you take when hiring a clown?

Step 1: Pick what kind of clown you want

Certain clowns are trained for specific events. The community is widespread and includes areas like busking, corporate, circus, cabaret and hosting. Donnelly says that most get their start in theatrical clown training. "Then it's an ongoing process. A lot of people experiment in other areas, and I think that's important to keep you growing."

Step 2: Look for agencies

There are agencies that represent most types of clowns. If you're looking for a circus clown, you can check out places like Zero Gravity Circus or Circus Orange. There are also clown production teams. Donnelly belongs to Foo Productions, which can help coordinate an entire production from lighting to set design.

Step 3: Check Facebook

"Facebook is huge for the clowning community," said Donnelly. There are lots of pages for clowns who are working in the city. Some of them include the Toronto Clown Network and the group Toronto Clown.

Step 4: Investigate the artist

Once you've chosen a few clowns that you're interested in, Donnelly recommends doing some research. "Within the theatrical clown community there are really strong performers and newbies that don't know what they're doing," she said.

Once you're in touch with them, ask if they've received formal training. You can also touch base with other event planners that they may have worked with in the past.

"Word of mouth is huge," said Donnelly. "I would seek someone who i would trust in that world and make sure that i'm getting someone reliable. "

Do you have any Toronto clowns to recommend? Give them props in the comments below.

Photo by Chewie2008 in the blogTO Flickr pool



tommy replying to a comment from Rich / April 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm
To be fair, Toronto blogs are running out of new and interesting things to write about.
I'm at City Hall! / April 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm
I have a little tiny car, a big red face and I honk my horn all the time! I sweat a lot, only say stupid things and have a big "squirt gun" that I use in public parks. Who am I?
I'm at Tchc! / April 25, 2014 at 07:02 pm
I pay my hoor secretary 100k; I am riding the FORDGRAVYTRAIN! I FiRE/HIRE Friends/family; we are ROYALTY! Ride the FORDGRAVYTRAIN!
kkjghf replying to a comment from I'm at City Hall! / June 28, 2014 at 11:55 pm
kkjgf replying to a comment from I'm at City Hall! / June 28, 2014 at 11:56 pm
Sparkgig / March 22, 2016 at 09:13 am
This method is a bit... behind the times. We have a platform that helps with booking any type of live entertainment, its called SparkGig. Check it out:
Other Cities: Montreal