31 March 2016

#BrowsersBash2016 social media

As many of you know, Saturday is the "Browser's Bash," an all day convention hosted by the Browser's Den of Magic.

Like last year, I plan to be doing some combination of live-Tweeting and live-blogging of the event.  Apologies in advance for clogging your feeds.  To follow my Twitter account, you can use the web or use the Twitter widget on the right side of this page, under the "Selected Anniversaries" feature.

If you're at the event and Tweeting, I encourage you to add the hashtag "#BrowsersBash2016" to your Tweets.  I'll be adding a feature near the top of this page, which collects and posts all Tweets tagged in this fashion.

If it pleases the technology overlords, I'll also upload some footage to the new Canada's Magic YouTube channel.

I look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday!
 

Top 5 posts for March 2016

Here are the most viewed posts at Canada's Magic this month:


5. Greg Frewin's Imagine Tour - Catch him while you can!
4. Toronto: Zack Mirza's "Immaculate Deceptions" - Did you go? What did you think?
3. Monday musings: Search engine optimization - Nothing attracts comment spam, like ranting about comment spam.
2. Shin Lim in the Huffington Post - An interesting read.


and the most viewed post this month  ...

1. Random thoughts on "Outerbridge Clockwork Mysteries" - You can see them at the CAM convention in April!

30 March 2016

Timmins Comedy Festival 2016

From the Facebook page of IncrediBrent and Super Sarah:
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Here's some Big News: On April 2nd, we will be sharing the stage with these other funny folks at the Timmins Comedy Festival! We'll also have our own show at 2:00 in the afternoon on that day.
Posted by IncrediBrent and Super Sarah on Thursday, 18 February 2016


29 March 2016

Ottawa: Michael Bourada

From Michael Bourada's Twitter feed: A note to subscribers: the content of this post is embedded from another website and is not available to preview. To view the content of the post, please visit http://CanadasMagic.blogspot.com. Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

28 March 2016

James Randi's "An Honest Liar" on PBS TONIGHT

Check your local listings.


From PBS:
For the last half-century, James “The Amazing” Randi has entertained millions with his dazzling feats of magic, escape, and trickery. Along the way he discovered that faith healers, fortune-tellers, and psychics were using his beloved magician’s tricks to swindle money from the credulous. Fed up with the fraud, he dedicated his life to exposing con artists with a wit and over-the-top showmanship all his own. An Honest Liar is part detective story, part biography, and a bit of a magic act itself.


Read more.

Toronto: "Magicians: Life in the Impossible"

From Hot Docs:
April 30th, May 2nd, and May 8th

An average magician can entertain but a world-class artist can reawaken your faith in the impossible. In this utterly charming showbiz chronicle, four stellar magicians will amaze even the staunchest of skeptics. But for each of these virtuosos, true success seems illusory. Among them: Brian Gillis was Johnny Carson’s favourite close-up magician and a regular on The Tonight Show; David Minkin can levitate almost anything with his mind; and Jon Armstrong might be the best card trickster in the world—but none of them are satisfied. Each can captivate a crowd, but how long can they chase their dreams and at what cost?

Read more and buy tickets.

27 March 2016

Get well soon Shin!

From Clive Court's Facebook page:
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Tough break! Just as the TV opportunities around the world were beginning to build for Shin Lim, an injury to his hand...
Posted by Clive Court on Friday, 25 March 2016



26 March 2016

Vancouver: Shawn Farquhar at Telus Science World

From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:
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People often ask if I am performing locally, and this time I can say yes! It's a one time only performance at Telus...
Posted by Shawn Farquhar on Wednesday, 23 March 2016



25 March 2016

Billy Kidd on CTV News Edmonton

From CTV News Edmonton:

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24 March 2016

Broken wand: Tom Dawson

From the 52 Plus Joker Facebook page: A note to subscribers: the content of this post is embedded from another website and is not available to preview. To view the content of the post, please visit http://CanadasMagic.blogspot.com. Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

Rhonda Trichter Hawes to 52+Joker43 mins · Truro, MA, United States · I am devastated to pass along the news that...
Posted by 52 Plus Joker on Tuesday, 22 March 2016

23 March 2016

New offerings from Phil Matlin

As many of you know, Phil Matlin, owner of Montréal's magic shop Perfect Magic, is also a professional ragtime piano player.  He's been known to tour now and again.  Recently, he's added some new selections to his YouTube channel.  They include: Chattanooga Choo Choo, Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out, A-Razz-Ma-Tazz, After You've Gone, Basin Street Blues, I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Sentimental Journey, and Alexander's Ragtime Band.


Have a listen to Alexander's Ragtime Band:




Tracks from his CDs Ragtime Daze, or Ragtime Magic, have also been used to accompany some magic acts!







22 March 2016

James Randi on W5 Extended

Last week W5 ran a show about Fortune tellers giving questionable advice.  As part of their web extras, they have a bit with The Amazing Randi showing an example of mentalism to Sandie Rinaldo.

Watch the clip below:



Watch the part one of the show, part two of the show, and read more about it at the CTV website.

21 March 2016

Monday musings: What's the strangest thing that's ever happened to you during a show?

I've seen a lot of strange and unexpected things happen at shows.  I've seen stage platforms give way.  I've seen entire sets fall over actors (thankfully no one was injured), I've seen audience volunteers walk off the stage.  And there was that one time when a smoke machine caused a cape to catch fire...

I haven't performed often enough to experience anything like that.  Best I can do is report a family member who zealously tried to make a fool out of grade-school-me (boy was he surprised when he opened his hands to find an entire family of sponge rabbits!), and the suggestion of "Abracadabra, hey presto!" as a magic "word" by a grade-school student.

I'm sure a number of you have some juicy tales to tell though, and I'd love to hear them!

I'll let James Alan start you off with this video from his Reality Based Magic post, "The weirdest thing to ever happen to me on stage."




And now, over to you. What's the strangest thing that's ever happened to you during a show?





20 March 2016

Eric Leclerc: 2016 entertainer of the year

Congratulations Eric!

From Eric Leclerc's Facebook page: A note to subscribers: the content of this post is embedded from another website and is not available to preview. To view the content of the post, please visit http://CanadasMagic.blogspot.com. Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

HEY guys I won a thing!! #Facesmagazine named me their ''2016 Entertainer of the year''!!And for once I didn't have to pay my grandmother's crew at the retirement home to online power-vote for me for hours
Posted by Eric Leclerc on Monday, 29 February 2016

19 March 2016

Mike D'Urzo 2016 "Performer of the Year"

Congratulations Mike!

From Mike D'Urzo's Facebook page:
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Winner of the 2016 "Performer of the Year" award by Festivals & Events Ontario! #FEO2016
Posted by Mega Magic on Friday, 4 March 2016

18 March 2016

Toronto: Browser's Bash Mystery Guest

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17 March 2016

Random thoughts on "Outerbridge Clockwork Mysteries"

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Marion and Ted Outerbridge perform their show "Clockwork Mysteries" last month.  They had just completed a 5,500 mile US lecture tour.  I caught them at the Milton Centre for the Arts.
[As an aside, I encourage you to go and see a show at this fabulous 500 seat theatre.  It's approximately 25 minutes west of Toronto's western border.  The facilities are modern and spacious.  On the lower level, it appears that all seats have amazing sight lines.  (I didn't venture up to the balcony.)  The seats are a little bit wider than standard theatre seats, which makes them very comfortable!  They offer amenities like a coat check (by donation) and the ability to pre-order intermission refreshments.  Best of all, parking is free and plentiful.]

Here are some random thoughts that came to mind while watching their amazing time travel themed show:
  • A fast paced, extremely entertaining, high-energy show.
  • All illusions, big and small, were masterfully performed.
  • Greta the Psychic Goose earns her keep.
  • There is a nice ratio of grand illusion, intimate magic, and mentalism.
  • I really enjoy watching "assistants" do magic in their own right.  Marion owns it!
  • Those of you who know me well, know that my opinion of magicians is heavily weighted on how they treat their audience members.  One of my favourite moments in the show, lasted no more than 2 seconds.  Ted walked into the audience to select a volunteer.  He found someone he wanted to bring on stage.  She said, "no."  Instead of cajoling or otherwise pressuring her, he simply moved on and found someone else.  That's how you make the audience feel like you can be trusted to treat them right.  Show people respect from the get go.
  • Ted has a knack for picking awesome audience volunteers.  Six year old Archer was a really good sport and owned that stage!
  • Nine year olds can't be trusted to count down from 90.
  • Ted's disco ball jacket is a thing of sheer beauty!
  • I love that audiences in 2016, still enjoy watching someone get sawed in half, into halves, into two pieces.  
  • Among other wonderful pieces, we were treated to: "The Psychic is Right,"  "The Time Machine," "Alarm Clock," "Floating Barricade Light," "Outside of the Box," and their elegantly performed "Levitation."
  • The biggest mystery of the night for me:  How does Marion manage all of those costume changes?


If you get a chance to see them perform their show "Clockwork Mysteries," go and see it!

(If you're at the upcoming CAM convention, you'll get a taste of their show in the Grand Gala performance at the CAMaraderie Convention/Festival de magie de Québec on April 23, 2016.  They're also scheduled to perform at SAM New York's "2016 Salute to Magic" on May 7th.)

To learn more about this fabulous duo, listen to the Scott Wells' podcast 278: The Inner Secrets of the Outerbridges or visit their website at www.outerbridgemagic.com.

Disclosure:  My family and I were guests at this show. The opinions expressed above are entirely my own. I did not receive compensation for the writing or the publishing of this article.

16 March 2016

Broken wand: Pat Lyons (aka Pat Patterson)

From Magicana's Facebook page dated March 15:
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PAT LYONS (PATTERSON)Magicana is sad to report the passing of famed magic illustrator Pat Lyons (aka Pat Patterson)...
Posted by Magicana Sharing Wonder on Tuesday, 15 March 2016


15 March 2016

Toronto: Zack Mirza's "Immaculate Deceptions"

From the "The Drake Hotel Presents: Zack Mirza - IMMACULATE DECEPTIONS - LIVE! Magic Show" Facebook event:
Catch me LIVE! on stage, Friday March 18th at The Drake Hotel. Tickets will be available online through The Drake website (https://guestlistapp.com/events/408468) for $20. Tickets will also be available at the door for $25 dependent upon availability due to limited seating.

14 March 2016

Monday musings: Popcorn and milk

I wonder if anyone has ever incorporated this into their act? A fun experiment for little hands during March break!
"You can fill a glass full to the brim with milk, and fill another glass of the same size brim full of popcorn, and then you can put all the popcorn kernel into the milk, and milk will not run over. You cannot do this with bread. Popcorn and milk are the only two things that will go into the same place."[1]

I wonder, does it really only work with milk?  And if so, why?


From Peter Brown's YouTube channel:



--

[1] Wilder, Laura Ingalls, and Garth Williams. "Winter Night." Farmer Boy. New York: Harper & Bros., 1953.

13 March 2016

Phil Hoffman in the Northwest News

From Northwest News:
Hoffman, who began performing the same year he first started learning magic, won the Under-18 Amateur Magician competition sponsored by Miracles and Magic, according to his mother.

In 2013, he was awarded a scholarship from Ultimate Magic Productions to attend the Sorcerer's Safari magic performance camp in Ottawa, Canada.  [Editor's note:  the camp is in Haliburton, ON.]

"He likes the idea of doing the magic right in front of someone," Mrs. Hoffman said.

"No smoke and mirrors," her son chimed in.

Has the teen found his life's calling?

"I think so," Hoffman said.

Read more.

12 March 2016

Shin Lim in the Huffington Post

From the Huffington Post:
I saw my first magic show when I was 6 years old at a friend's birthday party. While I was easily fooled at that age, I remember not being impressed by the magicians 'tricks.' Now, twenty-something years later, the only moment of magic I witness is when a new episode of Scandal is uploaded to Netflix. So when I came across Shin Lim, an internet 'sleight of hand artist' (aka magician) with 17.5 Million video views, I wanted to find out how someone practicing an art form I thought was dead, could engage and entertain the easily distracted modern audience. By melding new media, music, and sleight of hand card tricks, Lim, a self taught playing-card fiend, returns simplicity to the spectacle of magic. And if I'm honest, something about his authenticity makes even skeptical 6-year-old me believe in the wonder of magic - at least for a few minutes.


Read more.

[via Clive Court]

11 March 2016

Ottawa: "Magic Monday" March

March 28th, with Gabriel Le Marquand Perreault, Steven Lafond, Alex Boyer, and Eric Leclerc!

From Gabriel Le Marquand Perreault's Facebook page: A note to subscribers: the content of this post is embedded from another website and is not available to preview. To view the content of the post, please visit http://CanadasMagic.blogspot.com. Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

Je suis très heureux de vous annoncer que le lundi 28 mars prochain à 21h dans le cadre de MAGIC Monday à LIVE on Elgin...
Posted by Gabriel Le Marquand Perreault on Sunday, 6 March 2016

10 March 2016

Calgary: Malcolm Russell and Atsushi Ono

 From Malcolm Russell's Facebook page:
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Hey everyone! Here it is - the biggest public show I've put together so far. One night only, and it's coming up fast! It...
Posted by Malcolm Russell on Thursday, 3 March 2016





[via Gwyn Auger]

09 March 2016

Toronto: Best Magician Contest 2016

From the Browser's Den of Magic Facebook group:
"Best Magician Contest 2016"

Hello all Magic Lovers, the BEST MAGICIAN CONTEST is BACK for you. This is your opportunity to show your skills.

In the evening of April 16th, 2016, A1 Chinese Radio (http://www.ccue.com/a1_radio/web/) is giving out opportunities to the magic lovers! Bringing along with your own incredible skills, the candidates will enter into an exciting competition held on a magical platform in Market Village.

This is the 5th year magician contest to gather a large amount of Toronto magicians within the magic community and the qualified contestants will be challenge among each other and then finally compete for the fame of Top Magician in Toronto.

This might be the LAST YEAR we are having the contest at MARKET VILLAGE because this famous landmark will be renovating very soon. Hence, this is a historical moment for all magic lover to witness the contest of BEST MAGICIAN one LAST TIME at Market Village.

This Year, we will also have Lee Asher, Jim Tam, Jeff Pinsky and Magic Mike to be our judges.
Performance: Stage Magic or Close-Up Magic.
Contestant: All Ages, All Genders
Event date: Apr 16, 2016 (Saturday) 7:30pm
Venue: Market Village (Steeles & Kennedy) 
(Event will be host in Cantonese and English. Contestants can use any langue for their Magical Routine.)

We are now starting the YOUTUBE audition. From now till 30th of March, all participants only need to submit a roughly 2 - 5 minute video to starz@classicforce.com
- Please submit your video before March 29th, 2015 to waive the $20 entry fee. Any video(s) submitted after March 30th, 2015; a $20 entry fee will be applied.
- When submitting the video, please provide us your name and contact, so we can contact you.

*We will arrange an audition, AFTER we got your videos. Roughly 8 magicians or Magic group/ team will be chosen at the audition by the director of A1 media Toronto. These magicians will be competing on April 16, 2016 for the BEST Magician award 2016 & People choice award. ONE VIDEO entry per contestant only.

The winner of the competition will be receiving the following:
- “Best Magician 2016” trophy, “People Choice Magician 2016”
- Your chance to perform at CNE on with A1 Radio at Canada Day.
- Gift(s) from our main sponsor(s).

Look forward meeting you guys, See you all at there!!


08 March 2016

Greg Frewin's Imagine Tour

Be sure to check the Imagine Tour website often for updates and additions.

From the Imagine Tour website:
BELLEVILLE
TUESDAY MARCH 22, 2016
MARANATHA AUDITORIUM
100 College St W, Belleville


OSHAWA
WEDNESDAY MARCH 23, 2016
EASTDALE COLLEGIATE AUDITORIUM265 Harmony Rd N, Oshawa


BRANTFORD
WEDNESDAY APRIL 20, 2016
SANDERSON CENTRE88 Dalhousie St, Brantford


OWEN SOUND
THURSDAY APRIL 21, 2016
O.S.C.V.I1550 8TH St E, Owen Sound


SIMCOE
FRIDAY APRIL 22, 2016
SIMCOE COMPOSITE SCHOOL40 Wilson Ave, Simcoe


Read more and buy tickets.

07 March 2016

Monday musings: Search engine optimization


It's time consuming to become a master of manipulation.  I get that.  On top of that you're trying to grow your business.  One of your tactics, you're told, should be harnessing the power of your website through search engine optimization.

"Search engine optimization" as defined by Wikipedia:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users.


But you find the tubes and gears and pulleys of the interwebs overwhelming.  So you decide to outsource this task to people who know it better than you.  This makes perfect sense.

What do you really know about these people who promise you high search ranking for your money?  Does it matter?

Yes.  Yes it does matter.

When you hand over the promotion of your internet identity to the lowest bidder, some interesting things can and do happen.  The people doing the work may be located in a different country and may not have a great handle on the English language.  The people doing the work may use the strategy of comment spamming any semi-related website they can find.


Why should this matter to you?

How do you think it reflects on you if the people who are promoting you uses spammy language?  It's a red flag for many people, who view paid comments as meaningless.  (If you're a believer that any publicity is good publicity, then maybe it doesn't matter.)

As for comment spamming to impact SEO, not only does it not work, it can work against you.  It doesn't work for one or more of the following reasons: a) the comment section of many websites are coded so as to not pass on "Google juice," b) comments are sometimes left on untended sites which don't have high PageRank, and c) when comments are left on actively managed sites like this one, the spam comments are deleted within 24 hours  (you've paid good money for something that gets permanently deleted in less than a day!!).

Worse than that, some SEO organizations will target blogs of potential clients, and leave comment spam representing themselves as you and your brand.  These can hurt both you and your SEO in the long term.

When I get those types of spam comments, it's annoying to be sure -- and I remember who you are because you're wasting your money and my time every time I have to cleanup the spammy mess you paid for.  However, when potential clients get those kinds of spammy comments, they often black list you and share your name around with all of their contacts as people to avoid.  It happens.  I've seen it.  It's not pretty.


What should you be doing?

You know your business best.  You know your budget.  I can only suggest to you that you do a quick search for "things you should ask before hiring seo company," and that you remember you pay for what you get.











06 March 2016

Calgary: The Amazing Magic Show - WowFest 2016

From the Calgary Sun:
A Calgary magician hopes to help make some families' money woes disappear with a budget-conscious show.

With thousands of Calgarians experiencing layoffs, Ryan Pilling knows there's little discretionary cash for activities and outings. So the producer of the WowFest Magic Arts Festival is waiving the regular $15 ticket for its main event and letting families decide what they can afford, with a minimum of $5.

"I've always wanted to make it affordable. It's not a hoity-toity artsy attitude," said Pilling. "As a festival producer, it's important to get more people out. This has always been a labour of love for me and the magicians involved."

Read more.

From The Amazing Magic Show - WowFest 2016 Facebook event:
8 March

WowFest bring The Amazing Magic Show to the Cardel Theatre in Quarry Park.

Two Shows! 5:30 PM and 7 PM

This all ages show presents mystery, comedy, and magic in a jam-packed hour of entertainment that is enjoyable for all ages. Amazing skill, jaw-dropping magic that will fool even the eagle-eyed audience members, and lots of fun make it a great, and affordable evening out.

For the past three years, WowFest has been hosting sold-out shows like this at the reasonable ticket price of $15 dollars. With tough times for some Calgary families, we wanted to make sure nobody misses out. You can pick your own price for the tickets this year. While we think the show is well worth $15, we want you to bring the whole family at what you can afford.

Please make some magic for more families by bringing a donation for the Calgary Food Bank. A donation drop box is located in the lobby.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

Read more and buy tickets.

05 March 2016

Toronto: Free magic club

From the Browser's Den of Magic Facebook page:
This Saturday March 5 is our monthly (free) Magic Club at Browser's Den. All welcome to attend. Club meets from 2:30pm until about 5:30pm.
Take care-Jeff & The Browser's Den Team.

04 March 2016

Vancouver: Magique

From Oslen's blog:
April 21-23

Two more months to go and the all new illusion show MAGIQUE will be onstage at the Metro Theatre. We are proud to announce that our choreographer Taryn Elle direct from Las Vegas will be joining us once again in choreographing & directing this new illusion show. Get your tickets now before they disappear!

Read more and buy tickets.

From Oslen's Twitter feed:

03 March 2016

Thank you to our March 2016 Friends!

Thank you to John Smithman, John Harrison, Richard Lyn and Joan Caesar for being Friends of Canada's Magic!

It's good to have friends like you.






You too can Be Our Friend for only $20 per year! 

Donations of any size are always welcome.

Thank you to our March 2016 sponsors!

Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.

This site would not be possible without their backing.

We're grateful to have the support of:
The next time you see them, let them know you saw their sponsorship here!


For more information about purchasing Sponsored Posts or about our Platinum, Gold, or Silver level sponsorships, please visit our Sponsorship page.

Or you can Be Our Friend for only $20 per year! 

Donations of any size are always welcome.

02 March 2016

Top 5 posts in February 2016

Here are the most viewed posts at Canada's Magic this month:

5. Get your Coop on! - You know you wanna ... get yourself Coop'd!
4. David Ben raised over $220,000 for #nohairselfie ! - Well done David et al!
3. Magicana presents: The oldest trick in the book - A wonderful look at a fabulous classic of magic.
2. April 2nd: A magical day - Did you know that April 2nd was such a meaningful day?


and the most viewed post this month  ...

1. Toronto: Shane Cobalt Lecture - Who's going?  Sounds like it's going to be a great night!

01 March 2016

Rounding the Western rings in March 2016

Confirm details about dates and locations by visiting each club's website.


CityClubEvent(s)
Calgary, ABRing 66 (Calgary Magic Circle, Les Brocklesby Ring)- Junior club meeting.
- TBA
Edmonton, ABEdmonton Magic Club- Kainoa Harbottle lecture.
Winnipeg, MBThe Magic Club of Winnipeg- Kainoa Harbottle lecture.
- A Family Day of Magic
Fraser Valley, BCIBM Ring 387 (Fraser Valley Magic Circle, Celeste Evans Ring)- Kainoa Harbottle lecture.
-Third Monday Magic
Vancouver, BCRing 92 (Vancouver Magic Circle)- TBA
Vancouver, BCSAM 95  (Carl Hemeon Assembly)- TBA
Victoria, BCRing 183 (Victoria Magic Circle)  - TBA

Please leave a comment or e-mail me about corrections or omissions.

Rounding the Central rings in March 2016

Confirm details about dates and locations by visiting each club's website.



Montreal, QCRing 62 (20th Century Ring)- Meetup.
Hamilton, ONRing 49 (The Doug Henning Magic Wand Club)- TBA
London, ONRing 265 (London Magician's Guild)- Round robin.
Kitchener, ONRing 235 (The Caesar Hat & Wand Magic Circle)- TBA
- Junior members: Learn the basics for Ventriloquism
Ottawa, ONRing 151 (Ottawa Society of Magicians)- Stand-up Magic
- Initiation Shows
Ottawa, ONOttawa / Gatineau magicians- TBA
Toronto, ONRing 17 (Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club)- Shane Cobalt lecture.


Please leave a comment or e-mail me about corrections or omissions.

Rounding the Eastern rings in March 2016

Does anybody have current information to share about the Magic Circle of St. John?


Confirm details about dates and locations by visiting each club's website.


Halifax, NSRing 316 (Conjourer's Court) - Visit their Facebook page
St. John, NBMagic Circle of St. John- TBA

Please leave a comment or e-mail me about corrections or omissions.