Almost 20 years ago, armed only with the idea of making magic more accessible to kids who want to learn magic, "Magic Mike" Segal opened the doors to Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp. Sorcerers Safari is Canada's only sleepaway magic camp, hosting up to 150 campers a year.
Words fail to adequately describe the phenomenon that is Sorcerers Safari. Everyone comes away from camp with their own unique experience. To mark their upcoming 20th anniversary, here’s a list of:
20 magical memories from Sorcerers Safari (in no particular order):
- My favourite camp memory would have to be when I first went to Sorcerers Safari. I saw all of my idols in magic and there were so many magicians that I had watched on TV and on YouTube. It was brilliant to see them perform and not only to see them perform but just to have a normal magic or even non magic conversation with them was amazing to me. It was literally like a dream come true!
- A favourite memory was making a card flourish duel that appeared in the 2013 camp video.
Instructor: 2000 - 2015
- a) The first time (repeated over the years) that all the campers hit the stage on the final night to present their interpretation of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” ... (always a fun moment).
b) Seeing the "shy and timid" take the stage for the first time in front of their peers and proudly present an effect they have learned at camp.
c) The meal times with the table banging under the direction of Lee Asher.
d) Seeing a camper on TELEVISION presenting magic... and only a few years earlier not being able to communicate...
e) Year after year - the reunions. Campers emailing each other to make sure they would be in the same dorm.
f) The chant of "we love Dick, we love Dick."
Dick Joiner, (DickJoiner.com)
- I have so many wonderful memories of camp that it's near impossible to choose just one. But a camp classic that we continually reminisce about all the time happened on my first year when Rob 'Fish The Magish' Fishbaum secretly hid in the woods during the middle of the night, waited until I walked by, then jumped out making a loud squealing pig noise. I shrieked like a little girl, jumped into Steve Kline's arms completely terrified, and almost crapped my pants.
It was an amazing moment. It's also when I knew these people would be part of my family for the rest of our lives. The best part, scaring the newbie staff has since become a long-standing camp tradition.
Lee Asher (LeeAsher.com)
Special Guest: 2001, Instructor: 2002-2015
- a) I remember one night at the nightly stage shows in the Pinetages theatre: the air was hot and thick… the performers were breaking a sweat after literally 30 seconds on stage. And out of the blue we see Lee Asher come out and perform a trick (and a dance!) in a massive eggplant costume! It was epic.
b) One year we decided to do a lip dub. It was amazing to see everyone come together and participate with such passion and precision. Check out the video it took us about a half-day to film. It was truly awesome.
Eric Leclerc (EricLeclerc.com)
- My favourite memory from camp was probably performing for Michael and Lisa Close's daughter on stage. I was able to use her last name to do a hilarious bit for the entire camp while poking fun of their last name.
Chris Westfall (ChrisWestfallMagic.com)
- a) Performing on the camp stage. The first time I worked a stage, wore a mic, stood in front of the lights, and performed for a "big" crowd all came at camp. I'll never forget the love and support people showed me, and it's probably a major reason why I'm still getting up there today!
b) Watching my campers grow up. I still maintain relationships with campers I had a decade ago. Some have become better performers than I would have ever imagined. Some are even better than I am... which is both awesome and infuriating! One that stands out to me is Nathaniel Rankin. I watched him grow from a cute, but shy, juggler to a world class magician performing on cruise ships around the world. I don't take credit for his success -- that was all him -- but I'm glad to have been a stepping stone on his path to finding something that makes him so happy.
Ben Train, (BenTrain.ca)
Counsellor in Training: 2000-2001, Staff: 2002-2015
- My favorite memory is when Magic Mike told us that the visiting volleyball camp found an (invisible) deck, and not knowing what it was straightened all of the cards for us. I retell that story to magicians all the time.
Jonah Babins (JonahBabinsMagic.com)
Camper, Counsellor in Training, and Instructor
- Playing capture the flag with the kids during active time, then one of them realizing that I was the entertainer he watched on stage the night before! He was so excited, then I noticed a few more kids running around with me to beat the game!
Trevor Watters (TrevorWatters.com)
The 2016 season of Sorcerers Safari will run from Sunday August 7th through Friday August 12th, 2016. For more information, or to register, please visit SorcerersSafari.ca