The Gush Newsletter 9 – February 2016

Happy February everyone.

What an insane year it’s been so far, a roller coaster of incredibly positive highs, horror, fantasy, comedy and absurdity in rapid fire. My heart has been saddened with the recent loss of some great artists and my head is spinning with what’s happening south of the border (soon to be wall?). Could there be a better time to be nurturing creativity and artistic expression with the hope of spreading a little light into the world? What better job, or pursuit, or experiential holiday could one ask for?

We had yet another record setting year last year with over 100 registrations for the classes. So if you are thinking of taking a class this summer or encouraging others to do so now is the time. Classes are filling fast and we’re gearing up for another fantastic summer program.

We are starting early in the spring in WINNIPEG! As part of the outreach program and in partnership with The Red Nose Diaries I'm returning to Winnipeg for the first time in years to do a Mask and Clown Intensive (Baby Clown) in a studio at the University of Winnipeg (April 23 – May 8). If you know anyone there that might be interested send them our way. For more information or to apply, please email Spenser Payne or Alissa Watson at

Our Clown-Greeter loves the winter, but can't wait for summer to meet you!

Our Clown-Greeter loves the winter, but can’t wait for summer to meet you!

Here on Manitoulin, we are offering a full range of classes although Karen Hines will not be joining us for Neo-Bouffon this year. (But no worries, she'll be back next year.) To fill the spot, we have the fantastic Grindl Kuchirka teaching her wonderful "Dancing Clown" workshop. Also, the magnificent Sonia Rainey will be replacing Beth Nixon for the two day Prop and Set Workshop. Beth is over her eyeballs with her Masters degree.

Of course Mike (Mump) and I (Smoot) will be teaching the Joey & Auguste workshop together again. The great Fiona Griffiths will be wowing us with some new techniques in Body Wilderness. The inimitable Miriam Cusson, fresh from completing her Master’s at the University of Ottawa, will be joining me in the teaching/directing duties for Advanced Boot Camp.

The Conservatory continues to grow. We had a huge number of Mask and Clown Intensive (Baby Clown) students coming from across Canada, Europe, the U.S., and Peru. We also did our second year of public presentations with the advanced classes and a couple of workshop presentations and readings of professional work that had been in part developed at the Conservatory.

Remember that our best advertising is by word of mouth so please pass it on. We hope you're having a fantastic 2016 and that we'll see you on the farm soon.

yours always,

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