The Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance (MCCP) is a unique facility for research, training, creation and performance in all areas of the performing arts. The MCCP is the next incarnation of what was originally known as the The Clown Farm, the labour of love of John Turner, Canadian clown extraordinaire of Mump & Smoot fame. The Clown Farm had its beginnings in 2002, when John and his wife Julia Winder moved from downtown Toronto to a farm in Northern Ontario.
Situated in the heart of glorious Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada, the MCCP is surrounded by rolling fields, gentle forests and tranquil inland lakes. Students come from around the globe to explore the worlds of their creativity. Here they find an ideal setting for training that can be applied on a personal or professional level. While the primary focus of the program is on the development and growth of the artist, the introductory levels are enjoyed by participants from all walks of life (teachers, musicians, professors, doctors, carpenters, etcetera). The aspiring or established artist will also find strong focus on the creation and/or performance of professional works.
The foundation of this training is rooted in the work of Richard Pochinko. Richard was a Canadian clown and theatre visionary who developed a unique style of creative exploration and/or performance training drawing on several different clown traditions, a lifetime of theatrical experimentation, and personal inspiration. Richard’s “non-technique” technique has been a catalyst for countless highly original creative endeavours. John Turner and Michael Kennard of Mump & Smoot, and their director Karen Hines of Pochsy fame have all been inspired by this work and have continued its evolution through many years of professional application and experimentation in the realms of creation, performance, directing and teaching. Their 30 years of applying this vision through these realms has been the main guide to the programming at the MCCP, recognizing additional creative input from dozens of other artists similarly influenced.
In the summer of 2012, The Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance (MCCP) was established as a not-for-profit company. In January 2013, the MCCP was granted charitable status facilitating the process of raising funds to expand the programming. This expansion will include the establishment of a bursary and scholarship program, as well as an outreach program to bring the work to the community in the form of performances and education.