29 February 2020

Top 5 posts in February 2020

There were 30+ posts at Canada's Magic last month.  Here are the 5 most viewed posts in the past 30 days:


5. Toronto: Mario the Maker Magician - By all accounts, this is sure to be an incredible experience!
4. Rounding the Western rings in February 2020 - Lots happening on our west coast!
3. David Ben in the Globe and Mail - Did you hear David's talk at the AGO last Wednesday?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!
2. Niagara Falls and Forest: Peter Mennie - Look for more shows from Peter in March!

and the most viewed post this month  ...






1. Random thoughts about the Carisa Hendrix Ring 17 lecture - I had a fabulous time at this lecture.  I hope you'll get a chance to see her lecture too!

Elliott Smith in the Comedy Hall of Fame Museum

From the February 25th press release "Ottawa Comedy Magician, Elliott Smith, makes history at National Comedy Hall of Fame Museum in Holiday, Florida" in the Digital Journal:
Comedy Magician Elliott Smith made history once again. On February 23, 2020, he made his hometown of Ottawa and all of Canada proud by being the first and only Comedy Magician to appear on the Wall of The Great Touring Comedians at the National Comedy Hall of Fame Museum located in Holiday, Florida.

Read more.




Toronto: Houdini movies at the AGO

From the February 22nd post "Three Houdini movies screening at AGO in March" by John Cox at Wild About Houdini:
Toronto's AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) will screen three Houdini movies in March as part of their Illusions: The Art of Magic exhibition programing.

First up will be Houdini's 1923 Haldane of the Secret Service on March 4 with live musical accompaniment by Tania Gill. Then on March 6 the gallery will screen The Man From Beyond with live musical accompaniment by Marilyn Lerner. Both films will be introduced by Alicia Fletcher.

Finally, AGO will screen the classic Paramount biopic Houdini (1953) starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh three times on March 18 at 2pm, 5pm, and 8pm.






Owners of Houdini's water torture cell

Last month John Cox posted a story about Houdini's water torture cell possibly being in Canada.


On February 26th, John posted "Canadian Mystery Cell owners revealed" at his blog Wild About Harry:
I'm taking a break from my break to bring some breaking news. The owners of the mysterious Chinese Water Torture Cell that was uncovered in Canada and revealed here last month have decided to go public. The cell was acquired by Richard Sherry and Dayle Krull of Sherry and Krall Magic.




27 February 2020

Portland and Lincoln City: Shawn Farquhar

From Oregon this Week:
Thursday, March 26, 2020

This year, the Festival of Illusion offers you the chance to meet a magician who has fooled Penn & Teller -- twice! Festival headliner Shawn Farquhar has been entertaining audiences around the globe for over two decades. His magic has been seen on Television shows like the X-Files and Highlander, in Motion Pictures like Spooky House and the Fly II, for corporate clients like IBM and Konica, and on the most luxurious cruise vessels such as Norwegian Star and Radiance of the Seas.

Read more.


From the PDXMagicJam:
March 27 - 29

Shawn is a 2-time World Champion of magic, and has appeared on Ellen, Masters of Illusion, and Fool Us, where he became the first magician to fool Penn & Teller twice!  Shawn’s magic can be seen on Hulu, Netflix, & YouTube where many of his videos have been viewed millions of times.  Shawn has performed in more than 40 countries including extensive tours of China, Europe & Japan, as well as shows in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and off Broadway in NYC. 

Among countless other awards, Shawn is the only person in history to be awarded both Stage Magician of the Year and Sleight of Hand Magician of the Year by the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He's also won the highest award in magic - the Grand Prix World Champion of Magic at the Olympics of Magic in Beijing.

His infectious attitude and amazing magic will leave you breathless.

Read more and register.



26 February 2020

Ottawa: Sky High Magic Series - Professor Wick’s Incredible Magic Factory with Majinx

From Ingenium:
March 8, 2020

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is proud to present the lineup for this year’s Sky High Magic Series.

Prepare to be captivated by amazing magic and science-based illusions. These talented, high-energy magicians perform unbelievable feats of magic, blended with fast-paced comedy. They’ll tickle your funnybone, while leaving you utterly mystified!

Seating is limited. To avoid disappointment, please reserve your tickets in advance.

Ingenium members will receive a discount code to apply towards the admission fee!

*Please note that tickets for the Sky High Magic Series do not include access to the Museum.

Majinx: Professor Wick’s Incredible Magic Factory

Read more.

25 February 2020

Kent Wong on Global News Edmonton

From the February 18th post "Edmonton parents turn to local magician to help raise money for their school" on Global News:

Some Edmonton parents have found a creative way to raise money for their school amid tough economic times. As Sarah Komadina explains, they’ve turned to a local magician.
Read more and watch video.

24 February 2020

Random thoughts about the Carisa Hendrix Ring 17 lecture

After the many hours I've spent with Carisa's voice in my head (via Shezam, the podcast that hopes to make itself obsolete), it is delightful to know she's as wonderful in person as she sounds in the podcast!

Those of you who know me, know that I arrive early to magic lectures with the specific intent of securing a back row seat.  Imagine my surprise when, just before the lecture started, we all shifted 180 degrees and I found myself in the front row!  I'm delighted it happened.  It was great to have a clear view for such an inspiring lecture!
  • Generally speaking, men seem less patient listening to magical ideas they can't directly apply, than women are.  
  • Carisa created an effect that may make it worth getting one's ears pierced.
  • Her "pickpocketing" coin routine is fabulous.
  • Her insights around creating a fool proof structure for an effect (and a performance) were well thought out and supported by extensive field testing.
  • She has put a tremendous amount of thought and effort towards developing concrete metrics by which to measure the success of her performances.  ("What gets measured, gets managed." -- Peter Drucker)
It will come as a surprise to no one, what the potato chip flavour or choice was for the pseudo-ex-pat lecturer:
  • To borrow a phrase from the medical community, this data-driven approach clearly makes her an "evidence-based" performer.  This approach serves her well.
  • She personifies the advice she gives in the podcast with respect to audience volunteer interaction.  I look forward to a day when every performer treats their volunteers with this level of respect.
  • She had excellent thoughts on the parallels of comedy and magic.
  • It was wonderful to learn about the evolution of the book production that made its way to Penn and Teller: Fool Us!
  • We were treated to the distillation of $32K worth of art school into ~30 minutes with a crash course in Meta-Modernity.  Lots of food for thought.







    A post shared by James Alan (@jamesalanmagician) on

  • And of course no magic lecture is complete without a deck of cards. Nothing like a variation of a Tommy Wonder routine by Carisa and Kayla Drescher to end the night!

Thank you for an excellent lecture Carisa!

Congratulations to Bob Taylor, who was awarded honourary lifetime membership!



The Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club has posted some photos on Facebook.  Canada's Magic has some photos on Instagram.


Here's what James Harrison thought about the lecture:




23 February 2020

David Ben in the Globe and Mail

A reminder that David will be speaking about The Golden Age of Magic at the AGO later this week.



From the February 22nd opinion piece "Magicians are the original purveyors of ‘fake news.’ They can’t help it" by David Ben in the Globe and Mail:
Magicians were masters of cultural appropriation. There are many examples in the exhibition, particularly of Western magicians portraying themselves as Asian – both onstage and off – capitalizing on the then-burgeoning interest in all things exotic. My favourite: Fu Manchu, the onstage persona of David Bamberg, an eighth-generation Dutch-Jewish magician who was raised in the United States and educated in England and found fame in South America performing as a Chinese magician who spoke Spanish. (Not to be confused with the villainous Dr. Fu Manchu of Sax Rohmer’s novels and the films starring Christopher Lee.)
Read more.

21 February 2020

Thank you to our February 2020 Friends!

Thank you to John Harrison, Richard Lyn, Joan Caesar, Ian Crawford, Matt DiSero, James Renoire, Gwyn Auger, Jason Maiuri, Doug Hunt, David Johnson, John Smithman, and Richard Hough 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 February 2020 sponsors!

Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.

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Ty Reveen in "Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money!"

What happens when you mix Bubbles having a traumatic experience, a deranged puppet, and The Man They Call Reveen?

Yesterday, Ty Reveen made his mobile video game debut in "Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money!"














20 February 2020

Random thoughts about "Illusions: The Art of Magic"

Visit "Illusions: The Art of Magic" February 22nd to May 18, in the AGO’s Sam & Ayala Zacks Pavillion.

The exhibition is free for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 years and under.
I participated in the recent media preview of the upcoming AGO exhibition, "Illusions: The Art of Magic," which features more than 55 colourful vintage posters from the Allan Slaight Collection.*  The collection is guest curated by Magicana’s artistic director and historian David Ben.



Adolph Friedländer, Comedians de Mephisto Co.
Adolph Friedländer, Comedians de Mephisto Co. Allied with Le Roy-Talma-Bosco, 1905. 186.5 × 266.5 cm. M2014.128.318. ©McCord Museum



The exhibition is a journey back to the Golden Age of Magic.  During this time magicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were among the first artists to embark on international tours.  Promotional posters portrayed magician's magical powers through illustrated advertisements ranging in size from postcards to wall-sized posters.

“These posters tell us so much about that time – the public’s fascination with Asia, with spiritualism, the occult and the changing role of women in society,” says Julian Cox, the AGO’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator. “Toronto was a popular stop on the international touring circuit for magicians, and Houdini performed here numerous times over his career. These works and the stories behind them remain as captivating today as they were one hundred years ago.”

The Metropolitan Printing Company, Adelaide Herrmann and Company, About 1905, 20th century, 76.7 x 50.2 cm. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso. M2014.128.207. © McCord Museum



Listen to the February 18th interview with Julie Eng in the CBC q studio where she talks about the exhibit, cultural appropriation, the role of women in magic, and how many of their stories have been overshadowed and forgotten.
There are many focal points within the exhibition, such as: women in magic, spiritualism, cultural appropriation, and the symbolism of devils, skulls, & demons.



More than posters.

In addition to the beautiful posters, there are wonderful video clips too.  For example:

A still shot from video of Harry Blackstone and his dancing handkerchief

A still shot from an interview with Julie Eng talking about her life in magic.

A still shot from video of Houdini's variation of a forearm riffle.




Keep an eye open for these "hole in the wall" viewing portals to catch a peek of more video!



Make your own magic poster
There's a station where you can digitally create your own magic poster!  (Complete with a legend that explains what all the animals and other objects on the posters represent.)



The exhibition also features other magcially historical items such as:
  • wonderful selections from David Ben's collection, including Hofzinser cards and items particular to magic in Toronto (including a vistors' book from Arcade Magic!)
  • handcuffs used by Houdini, and
  • Houdini's straitjacket

Hofzinser cards from David Ben's collection

Visitor book from Arcade Magic.  From David Ben's collection.

Houdini's straitjacket.


Av Yaga, Alexander, the Man Who Knows, 1915, 20th century
207.9 x 107.7 cm. Purchase, funds graciously donated by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso. M2014.128.3. © McCord Museum

But wait!  There's more!

There will be daily live performances at the exhibition provided by the Toronto Magic Company.  Confirmed performers include:

- James Alan (Classics of Magic)
- Jonah  Babins (Interactive Impossibilities)
- Harry Zimmerman and Chris Mayhew (Close-Up Magic)
- Toronto Magic Showcase
- Toronto Magic Company (Making Magic)
- Ben Train (Mental Mysteries)

Check the Toronto Magic Company website for the performance schedule.






Visit "Illusions: The Art of Magic" February 22nd to May 18, in the AGO’s Sam & Ayala Zacks Pavillion.   The exhibition is free for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 years and under.


--
* ABOUT THE ALLAN SLAIGHT COLLECTION
Acquired by the McCord Museum thanks to La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, the Allan Slaight Collection is one of the world’s largest collections of rare magic posters comprising more than 600 posters and more 1,000 documents and rare books. The collection was named in honour of the Canadian businessman and magic enthusiast Allan Slaight.

19 February 2020

Hamilton: Wes Barker at the Levity Comedy Club & Lounge

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18 February 2020

Chris Ramsay in Bloomberg Businessweek

From the February 13th article "For Customers Addicted to Stave Puzzles, the Torture Is the Point" in Bloomberg Business:
“There’s just something cool about unraveling a puzzle’s secrets,” says YouTube puzzle expert Chris Ramsay, who has 3.6 million subscribers to his channel, where he broadcasts videos grappling with $3,000 locks and rare Enigma boxes. “The rush of figuring it out yourself only comes with a level of mind-numbing patience, where you start thinking abstractly a little, and it leads you in the right direction. If you’re running or owning a business,” he continues, “this deconstructing mindset is huge. It’s problem solving.”

Read more.

15 February 2020

Toronto: Julie Eng a Life in Magic

From the AGO:
Wednesday March 11

Julie Eng was literally born into the world of magic. Her father, Tony Eng, a famed magician on the West Coast, also had a magic shop for many years in Victoria, BC, called Tony’s Trick and Joke Shop. Julie grew up learning and performing magic side-by-side with her father, behind the counter of the shop, and emerged from this family apprenticeship an accomplished magician in her own right. “I wasn’t delivered by a stork, I was pulled out of a hat,” she jokes now about this unusual artistic upbringing. Join Julie as she considers—through the kaleidoscope of her varied experiences and unique perspectives as a woman of Chinese heritage—her singular life in magic.

Read more and buy tickets.

14 February 2020

Toronto: The Golden Age of Magic with David Ben

From the AGO:
Wednesday February 26

Illusions: The Art of Magic transports you back in time to the Golden Age of Magic when grand illusion, daring escapes and showmanship turned performers like Alexander Herrmann and Harry Houdini into world-famous celebrities. Join David Ben – a conjuror, historian of magic and guest-curator of Illusions, for a fascinating talk exploring the golden age of magic through the lens of the exhibition.

Read more and buy tickets.

13 February 2020

Shawn Farquhar and Matt Johnson at FISM NACM 2020

A quick reminder that the deadline to register to compete is rapidly approaching!


Shawn Farquhar and Matt Johnson will be there.  Check out the bottom of the post to see more names!


Watch a message from Joan Caesar about the competition:



From the FISM NACM 2020 Facebook page:
We are so proud to announce that Shawn Farquhar will be with us from May 6 to 10, 2020! Nous sommes très fiers d'annoncer que le magicien Shawn Farquhar sera des nôtres du 6 au 10 mai prochain!















12 February 2020

Toronto: Mario the Maker Magician

Save the date:  Thursday March 26.


From the Toronto Magic Company Facebook post:
Do you have tickets to our Mario the Maker Magician show?

Mario’s family show is unlike any magic you or your kids have ever seen!

Mario combines the worlds of entertainment and STEAM to inspire and encourage kids to make and create without limitations.

Known for his clever integration of DIY tech into his show, Mario used techniques such as 3D design and 3D printing, Arduino programming, and other DIY electronics to create his unique, robotic props that interact with him and his audiences.

It’s magic through the lens of the Maker Movement. Mario has appeared on Sesame Street and NBCUniversal’s Sprout and even opened for David Blaine on his latest North American tour.



11 February 2020

Airdrie: Grand Illusion Magic Show

From Bert Church Live Theatre:
Sunday, February 23, 2020

With a wonderful mix of escapology, sleight of hand, and grand illusions, have your mind blown at this interactive, comedy magic show.



From Facebook:
LIVE at the Bert Church Theatre in Airdrie, Tristan Court with an Evening in Vegas, presenting his Grand Illusion Magic Show, a wonderful mix of escapology, sleight of hand, and grand illusions, have your mind blown at this interactive, comedy magic show.

There will be an fully stocked bar with snacks for the show and a photo booth in the lobby, so take a photo to remember the occasion.



10 February 2020

Whitehorse: Shawn Farquhar and Magic Ben

February 18.


From What's Up Yukon:
The only magician to fool Penn & Teller not once, but twice! 2 time World Champio of Magic Shawn Farquhar brings his fascinating magic to Whitehorse to entertain you for one night only! Opening act is Whitehorse's teenage magic sensation "Magic Ben".

Tickets are $25 each or you can treat your group of 4 to the show for $80 and we'll throw in the popcorn!

Tickets can be purchased by clicking on the link in this ad or by visiting Sport Yukon (4061 4th Avenue, Whitehorse).

Read more and buy tickets.







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09 February 2020

Houdini's water torture cell in Canada?

From the January 29th post "A Water Torture Cell has been discovered in Canada " by John Cox at Wild About Harry:
Today I have something truly astounding to share. Below are photos of what appears to be an exact duplicate of Houdini's Water Torture Cell. This was purchased from an elderly man in Canada who, unfortunately, would not provide any information about where he got it. The buyer of the cell wishes to remain anonymous. I have NO idea if this is the biggest find of all time or the biggest fake. But there are aspects of this cell that are very intriguing.





08 February 2020

Niagara Falls and Forest: Peter Mennie

February 16 - Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls
February 17 - Forest, ON


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07 February 2020

Toronto: John Carney workshop

From the Browser's Den of Magic:
As we mentioned a couple of week ago we are Super Excited that John Carney,one of the world's premiere sleight of hand masters will be lecturing and performing at the 2020 Bash (Saturday, April 4)!

We also mentioned that Mr. Carney will be offering a Workshop at our store on Sunday, April 5 from 12:30pm until about 4:00pm.  This is truly a once in a life time opportunity to get some advice that will change the way you think about your magic!

The price of the Workshop is $75.00. And space is limited.


Read more and buy ticket.


06 February 2020

Oshawa and Alliston: Magic & Music Extravaganza

Oshawa: Feburary 16 - Magic & Music Extravaganza
Alliston: February 17 - Laugh Out Loud Magic


From Brent and Sarah's January 24th Instagram post:
Family Day weekend is only 3 weeks away and we’ve got a show you won’t want to miss!! Our favourite Kid's musicians @teamtandj will be sharing the stage with us for a Magic & Music Extravaganza!! ✨

On Sunday, February 16th we will be celebrating Family Day Weekend at the Regent Theatre in Oshawa 
















05 February 2020

London: Magic at the Marienbad Valentine's day show

From the Magic at the Marienbad Valentine's day show Facebook event:
Bring your dates and prepare yourselves for a magically romantic night out. Our skilled performers will wow you with illusions that will make this evening one you will remember for a long time. The amazing Graemazing Reed is returning to opening the night. Then headlining the show is the mysterious mentalist Ryan Edwards!!! His show will leave you mystified and amazed. magic, mystery and Romance! Bring your dates and couples who wish to get engaged that night may get in free! (some conditions apply)