19 February 2013

Does Magician of the year mean the same thing as Perfomer of the year?

When Shawn posted the list of current nominations for "Magician of the Year" on the CAM website, I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one completely floored to see the name of an amateur magician in the mix.  (I was floored because the name was mine.  But many of you were shocked, I think, because an amateur was on the list.)

I, like many of you reading, assumed that "Magician of the Year" meant, among other things, "Performer of the Year."  I am incredibly honoured to be listed with all of the fine performers nominated thus far. (Imagine my surprise, to receive messages from people in support of my nomination!)  A casual glance at the names on the list, informs me that I don't stand a chance.

But it has lead to interesting discussions.  I'm pretty convinced that to win Magician of the Year, you have to be a professional peformer.  What do you think?

Should non-professional performers be eligible for CAM's Magician of the Year award?


  1. Personally, when I voted I was thinking about how magicians are making an impact on the international scene. Not so much focused on performing, but those "making a name for Canadian magic".

    I think this blog has been wonderful in supporting and building a stronger community inside Canada, and has my full backing for any and every recognition... but the question comes back to the definition of "Canadian Magician of the Year".

    Perhaps the CAM needs to have an official statement of ideals for somebody deserving of the title. It then becomes a question of "who do you think best lives up to this standard?"

    Then again, any official standard would potentially bias the award, making some people effectively ineligible depending on the way they pursue magic.


    Although it might be premature for our young CAM, I can definitely see the benefit of something like the AMA's categories such as "literary fellowship".


  2. Hi Ryan!

    Thanks for your carefully thought out response!

    Your thoughts on the recipient magician "making a name for Canadian magic" are inline with the Wikipedia comment that the winner is "Awarded for the recipient's contribution to magic in Canada." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Association_of_Magicians]

    However, on the CAM website, the question "What are the qualifications necessary to be come the Magician of the year?" has the answer that:
    All the past recipients show the same qualities. They are proficient magicians, represent Canada, are fine role models for the youth of magic and are Canadian. Please keep this in mind when making your nominations.

    While it doesn't explicitly state that the person must be a professional performer, the suggestion is strong.

    I agree that any official standard could bias the award! There's much to consider for sure.

    While CAM isn't specific to the point of having a "literary fellowship" it does have "Sid Lorraine Achievement" and "Lifetime Achievement."

    I'm surprised that at this time:
    1) Only 7 people have voted (I have not).
    2) 6 of the votes think that amateurs should be eligible!

    Thanks Ryan, for your continuing support of this blog!! We're looking forward to hearing about your WowFest experiences soon!

  3. ABSOLUTELY! Amateurs have contributed significantly to the advancement of magic for ages. What would card magic be today without the work of Ed Marlo and Alex Elmsley, for example? Or even Howard Lyons, whose magazine, Ibidem, allowed creators to publish some of their more extreme (and sometimes brilliant) work?

    I would like to see the CAM definition made more generic, something like: anybody who has had a positive impact on the world of magic. And that means that it doesn't even have to be a magician, amateur or otherwise, nor does it even have to be someone in the magic community per se. But that's fine -- if, for the sake of argument, the popularity of magic is increased throughout the country because a television network executive decided to have a show that showcases magicians, isn't s/he deserving of the award?

    You've got my vote!


  4. Oops! I meant, absolutely NOT, of course. Where's that coffee.....

  5. Hi Ariel!

    Thank you for your insightful comment!

    It's an interesting idea, the one of a more generic definition. I suspect that the award would have to have a name change -- or be an entirely separate award -- for that to be generally accepted. But I understand and agree with your network executive example.

    Please do pass the coffee!

  6. Mark Lewis has posted a similar question over at the CAM website:
    The “proficient magician” part of things may cut possible nominees down quite drastically. Is it possible to nominate someone who is utterly useless as a performer (as most are) but has contributed in some other way ?

    Read Shawn's response here:

  7. A good magician must possess both qualities tricks + performances. He must keep the balance between two grids. Nice discussion every body, continue it.