Sugar, Kelly and Bobbi aren’t clowning around.
The three clown personas are going on an adventure to Holland and Germany, to learn the European art of juggling.
Their creator, Kelowna local Kellie Ingram, brought the clowns to life after enjoying acting.
“In clown town, there’s different clown types and personalities,” she said. “A white-faced clown is a lot of work.”
It took Ingram two years to be able to do Sugar’s makeup in an hour.
Sugar may be the most well-known clown in Kelowna’s community, as Ingram spent the last 10 years performing as her.
“I’ve been teaching myself balloon twisting for 10 years,” she said.
As Sugar, she specialized in comedy magic and balloon twisting but it was time for a change, she said.
Now, as Bobbi, Ingram plans to make a video of her adventures in Europe as Bobbi is an online character.
Bobbi is a character clown, who falls down, wears light makeup and can practice juggling without being perfect. She dresses Bobbi with grey hair, a “mama” wig, and in ’60s “old lady makeup,” she said.
Kelly the clown is a goof, able to get wet and receive pies in the face.
Ingram is set on learning the flashy style of European juggling at the Juggling Collective in Limburg and the Mannheim Winter Convention.
The European style of juggling is different than the Western style, as Western focuses on symmetry, she said.
This isn’t Ingram’s first time attending clown conventions to improve her skills.
In 2015, she visited Dubai which ignited the desire to improve her juggling and cycling.
“I performed in Dubai for 6 weeks. I was one of 20 clowns from around the world who was invited to perform during their annual Shopping Festival. Three of us were from Canada and I was the only one from B.C. It was from performing with the other performers from around the world during this time, that spurred on my past yen of juggling and unicycle.”
There’s no clown schools in Canada, so Ingram’s skills are self-taught and learned through conventions.
Ingram starts her journey in Holland, Feb. 10 before travelling to Germany Feb. 24.
The trip is sponsored by the Canadian Council for the Arts and Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson, Kelowna.
Her interest in human behaviour and acting started Ingram’s career as a clown.
“I worked as a behaviourist for 25 years,” she said, teaching college classes before getting involved with acting.
Then she recalled someone asking her if she had an interest in clowning which she stored in her memory for years.
Eventually, her husband asked why she wasn’t involved with clowning and she’s been working full-time as her clown personas ever since, originally starting in White Rock clowning in the Lower Mainland for five years and then in Kelowna for the past six years.
For more information contact Ingram.