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The healing power of humour

Dr. Clown Foundation receives multi-year funding from Blue Cross

December 14, 2018

Montreal, QC – Dr. Clown Foundation is receiving $160,000 over four years in support of mental health initiatives associated with therapeutic clowning for paediatric patients. The multi-year funding commitment from Blue Cross will support ongoing programing and program sustainability.

Dr. Clown is an innovative arts-in-healthcare organization that seeks to improve the quality of life for hospitalized children and youth through clowning that combines social interaction, games and imagination. Their trained clowns offer free and spontaneous interventions, engaging and empowering patients while creating a safe space for emotional expression.

Quick Facts

  • Hospital clowns have been shown to reduce anxiety and help paediatric patients with stressors such as separation from their parents/families and fear of treatments/ procedures, while helping them adapt to their hospital environment.1
  • Therapeutic clowning can stimulate laughter, foster creativity and self-expression, serve as a distraction from the situation at-hand, and create social connections.1
  • Laughter is known to reduce pain, strengthen the body’s immune function and decrease stress.


"At Blue Cross, we are committed to the health and wellbeing of our clients and community. We strongly believe in the importance of creativity and collaboration to better support Quebecers daily. This partnership with the Dr. Clown Foundation is a natural fit and it is with great pride that we support their efforts to encourage the therapeutic power of laughter for the benefit of families in their difficult times."

Sylvain Charbonneau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Québec Blue Cross

“For over 75 years, through investments in programs and innovative solutions, Blue Cross has been helping Canadians live well and enabling easier access to quality health care in our communities. Creating a more positive experience for hospitalized children and youth, and their families, aligns with our shared commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Quebecers.”

–Eric Laberge, President, Medavie Blue Cross

“What makes therapeutic clown interventions so special is that clowns have one foot in childhood and the other in adulthood. Children feel safe and confident around them, as they do with the adults that surround them. Even more, clowns identify with children, using them as inspiration, acting as if they were children themselves.”

Martin Goyette, Executive Director, Dr. Clown Foundation

Associated Links

1. Clowning as a supportive measure in paediatrics - a survey of clowns, parents and nursing staff.

About Blue Cross

For 75 years the Blue Cross® name in Canada has stood for affordable, quality supplementary individual health and travel insurance coverage, as well as group benefits and group life insurance, delivered with trustworthy and personalized service. With offices in Quebec and as part of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans, we provide innovative products and services to almost 1 in 5 Canadians from coast to coast. Insurance is our expertise, and as a not-for-profit organization, we are committed to investing our resources for the benefit of our clients, members and the communities we serve.

About Dr. Clown

Every day, the Dr. Clown Foundation works hard to create joyful relationships with children, adults and seniors in institutions through the visits of our therapeutic clowns. These encounters are coloured with caring and respect as we infuse the institutions we visit with humour and joy.