Showing posts with label # general. Show all posts
Showing posts with label # general. Show all posts

08 August 2020

Did you know that Harry Potter performed in Canada in 1858

Technically, not Canada, yet.  But in what is now Canada.

From the August 28th, 2015 post "Harry Potter and Itinerant Entertainment in Dundas" by Emily Herron from the Dundas Museum:
On May 21st 1858, there appeared in the Dundas True Banner and Wentworth Chronicle, an advertisement. This advertisement would be exciting for readers — especially young readers — today. Why? It announced that Harry Potter was coming to Dundas! And Harry Potter was a magician, known as the original American Wizard! The ad reported that Harry Potter would entertain audiences at the Town Hall the next night. Modern readers would be surprised — and delighted — to read of Harry Potter in a 19th century Dundas newspaper. While this appears to be a coincidence, we want to know more about this performer.

29 July 2020

First magic performance in Canada?

Updated August 6th to add this find by Lee Asher:

Updated at 8:45am to add this find by Joe Culpepper:


Lee Asher asked an interesting question on Twitter Monday morning.
What is the name of the first magician to perform in Canada?

Was it Maginnis (circa 1875) as reported in The Canadian Encyclopedia?
Technically it could be yes, as The Dominion of Canada was officially born on July 1, 1867.  But lets expand the question to the first magician to perform in what is now considered Canada.

Was it MacAlister performing in Montreal in 1854 as shown by this clipping in the Ottawa Daily Citizen?


How about Philippe in Quebec City September 30th in 1846?

Wrong again.

From an Ottawa Daily Citizen article published on May 22nd in 1852, discussion a performance by a Signor Blitz:

So far the earliest named and documented magic performance in what is now Canada, goes to Mons. Desage, as referenced in the Kingston Chronicle and Gazette December 30 1835.

There's evidence of an unnamed woman doing magic in Kingston in 1835!

And ventriloquists too.

People were complaining about magicians as early as the January 21st 1805 edition of the Quebec Mercury:

A final very important note from Joe Culpepper:

With thanks to Lee Asher for asking this question and Bill Mullins and Joe Culpepper for their hard work and sharing their findings!

25 June 2020

A safe place to scream into the void

Many of you are processing the impact of COVID-19 on your livelihood, family, and sense of self.  Some of you are open about it and share your concerns publicly.  This can provide a feeling of relief to others reading, knowing that they're not alone in feeling the things they're feeling.

We've created this post to act as a "Post Secret"* type of electronic repository, where magicians can ANONYMOUSLY document things that they may not want to share on their own social media.  We're hoping this repository can serve two purposes:
  1. To let others in the community know that they are not alone in feeling what they're feeling.
  2. By putting in writing the thoughts in your head, it may help you to dwell on them less and provide some catharsis.

To participate:
  1. Comment ANONYMOUSLY on this post.
  2. Do NOT identify yourself.
  3. You may state whether you're full time, part time, or semi-retired.
  4. You may state the number of years you've been in the business.
  5. You may state what country you are from.
  6. Do NOT use profanity. 
  7. This is not a place to ask about or reveal the secrets of magical effects.

If your life is in danger or you know someone’s life is in danger DIAL EMERGENCY NOW (often 911 in your area) DO NOT HESITATE!

LifeLine Canada has a list of Canadian Crisis Centres
enables callers anywhere in Canada to access crisis support by phone, in French or English: toll-free 1-833-456-4566 Available 24/7  

Comments are moderated, which means they won't show up until we get a chance to review them. Canada's Magic reserves the right to refuse to publish any comment we don't feel is appropriate for this project.

* From Wikipedia: Post Secret is an ongoing community mail art project, created by Frank Warren in 2005, in which people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard. Selected secrets are then posted on the Post Secret website, or used for Post Secret's books or museum exhibits.

14 June 2020

[Guest post] Vancouver BC and Lower Mainland Magic Enthusiasts Rejoice!

The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon. 

Vancouver BC and Lower Mainland Magic Enthusiasts Rejoice!

Canada's only remaining brick and mortar dedicated magic shop west of the Great Lakes has reopened.

Let Quincy and Iris warmly welcome you back to their compact but well stocked outlet for all things magical, as well as a range of professional juggling equipment, a vast array of practical jokes, and a small but impressive book selection.

The "Clownin' Around" magic shop in the Kids' Market on Granville Island in the heart of Vancouver is now open seven days a week at the reduced and revised times of 11 am to 4 pm. (This is accurate and supersedes any other opening times for the Kids' Market mentioned on the Granville Island website.)

Mask wearing and social distancing practiced.

We aren't being encouraged to travel far this summer. So if you're already anywhere near Vancouver, consider unique Granville Island as a must-visit-stop and play tourist in your own backyard. You won't regret it.


Thank you The Magic Demon for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

13 June 2020

[Day 92] Because I'm too tired to contact each of you individually

I hope that you are well and are taking good care of yourselves, your loved ones, and each other.  Be kind if you can.

Sending you all virtual applause and gasps of astonishment.

You got this!

10 May 2020

Remembering Roy Horn

The ABC show 20/20 aired an informative documentary "Siegfried and Roy: Behind the Magic" last fall.  Clips can be found on the ABC YouTube channel:

From Greg Frewin:
... the magic community has lost one of the greatest. Roy was not only one of the best showman in our industry and one of the most dynamic energies to have ever been onstage, but he was also a very kind man to all of gods creatures. His work with his animals, the connection he had and the love he gave all of them has always been an inspiration for me. Very few people can have the spirit that he did. Roy is no longer with us but his spirit will always remain as powerful as the day I first met him.
God Bless you Roy for making millions of people and animals lives better with your presence. You will be missed....❤

From Matt DiSero:
Before there was David Copperfield or even Doug Henning, there was Siegfried & Roy. They didn't just shape magic but Las Vegas itself. Not many magicians of my generation or older who didn't make the pilgrimage to Vegas to see their show. You'd hear things like "what? a DRAGON picks up one of them and impales...what? how..?nooo". It was like that. They made magic a spectacle and a draw to Las Vegas. We owe them a debt of gratitude for doing the work.

09 May 2020

Quarantine bingo

Since we won't be playing Magic Convention Bingo any time soon, have a shot at Quarantine Bingo!

Filled the board?  Refresh your page and play again.

Make your card here:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Canadas Magic (@canadasmagicdotcom) on

12 April 2020

[Guest post] "What can I do?"

The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon. 

Some great ideas if you're motivated to do something but stuck on what to do to pass the time!


Random suggestions for magic aficionados during current circumstances

by The Magic Demon for Canada's Magic

I can...
  • Dig out all my old magic magazines and reread every single one until I find a trick I love and want to learn;
  • Dig out all my old magic books and find a sleight or routine I always meant to learn but "never had the time to" until now;
  • Ditto with my old DVDs;
  • Dig out all my old magic tricks that I never looked at twice and try to figure out what made me buy them in the first place. (This may take some time!);
  • Sort out and clean up (and repair if necessary) my magic collection and reacquaint myself with all my old favourites;
  • Go online and study every magician I can remember to name and find on You-Tube;
  • Try restringing my broken "Electric Deck". (This will ultimately prove futile but can easily take up a few "stay at home" days before I give up in frustration);
  • Go online and look for websites devoted to history of magic and magicians and learn about them. First stop: Magicana;
  • At long last carefully press or iron flat all my crumpled up (and frequently vanished) silks;
  • Go online and hit the "random" button on Genii's Magicpedia page and keep reading until my eyes cross;
  • Support my favourite brick & mortar magic store by ordering something from them online (and if I don't have one support one of the sponsors of this site);
  • Take an online magic course or lesson;
  • Watch every movie and TV series online I can find about magic or magicians;
  • Participate in a magic forum;
  • Go through all my old beginner tricks, clean them up and snail mail them to my favourite youngster-at-a-distance (niece, nephew, grandchild, etc.) with the explanation that I'll teach them how they work by phone, internet or semaphore. I could also video myself performing them and send that along too (or a link to where I uploaded them);
  • Go through my old pile of business cards and reach out to fellow magic enthusiasts I've met or been in touch with in the past just to see how they are doing;
  • Buy two magic books online I have always wanted but "would never have the time to read" until now. One about tricks, the other a biography or about magic history;
  • Gently wash all my old sponge balls and bunnies. Permanently retire those with an unidentifiable shape or less than one ear;
  • Consider donating to a magic-related charity (such as profiled in the March 2020 issue of Genii) [editor's note: consider donating to the Allan Slaight Relief Fund];
  • Expand this list of suggestions by using the comments feature (below);

    and finally
  • Proceed backwards and read every post on Canada's Magic since it started and enjoy its unique service to our community throughout the years!


Thank you The Magic Demon for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

10 April 2020

CBC Creative relief fund


The new Fund expands CBC’s ongoing efforts to find new ways to support Canadian creators in response to the COVID-19 crisis. On Wednesday, April 15, CBC Podcasts is launching THE SHOW MUST GO ON, a new PlayME original series featuring audio adaptations from Canadian playwrights whose plays have been postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic. In support of documentary filmmakers, CBC and Hot Docs are launching HOT DOCS AT HOME ON CBC on Thursday, April 16, offering exclusive, first-run documentary premieres from the postponed 2020 Hot Docs Festival to Canadian audiences on CBC TV, CBC Gem and documentary Channel.


The Innovation Stream offers support of big, bold ideas that are innovative and take creative risks, to be considered for multiple development and production opportunities on all platforms. Both established and emerging creators are invited to apply; applicants must have one television, audio or digital credit, or be partnered with an experienced existing production company. Genres include the following:

Scripted - Comedy and Drama
Unscripted - Factual Entertainment
Kids & Tweens; Youth & Young Adult
Podcasts - Multiple Genres

The Playwright Pilot Stream is open to playwrights with at least one produced play to submit either new concepts or existing plays for adaptation on all platforms. CBC is looking for concepts that are a natural fit for either limited or ongoing series in the comedy or drama genres, episodic or serialized, and will fund the writing of a pilot script with an intended broadcast duration of either 30 or 60 minutes.

CBC Short Docs is inviting documentary filmmakers from across Canada to showcase their unique perspectives on what’s happening in the world during this time of COVID-19. Productions must be produced and delivered within three months or less, with filmmakers adhering to all local and national COVID-19 safety guidelines. CBC Short Docs is looking for standalone, immersive documentaries under 40 minutes in length, intended for a digital audience.

Read more.

03 April 2020

Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA

For information about how to apply for CERB, please visit the Government of Canada website.

From the CRA Twitter feed:
To make sure we can help you quickly, as of April 6th we’re asking you to apply for the #CERB on different weekdays depending on your birth month.

Find out more at #COVID19 #CdnTax

[via Peter Mennie]

01 April 2020

Champions Of Magic Concert Album

We're delighted to announce that Canada's Magic is the exclusive Canadian distributor for the Champions Of Magic Concert Album! 

This has the potential to be as fabulous as the 1974 Bell Records release of Doug Henning's “Magic Show” Vinyl Cast Album.

From the Champions of Magic Press Release:

The producers behind the internationally touring illusion show Champions Of Magic have announced the upcoming release of a live concert album of the production in a world first for the genre.

The show’s director of research and development Al Tostig said “We’ve spent the last 2 years diving deep into magic history to find brand new things to bring to the world of illusions both on-stage and off. It suddenly hit us that despite the fact live albums have been popular in music for a long time, and had a heyday in stand-up comedy, no magicians have released an album of their live show. We didn’t think about it for a moment longer and decided Champions Of Magic should be the first.”

Tostig continued “Unfortunately due to licensing restrictions, the music we use in the show alongside the illusions can’t be re-produced on the album so the recording is mostly patter, props moving and some crowd noise. The whole thing is a really immersive way to enjoy magic, that’s often overlooked by those more caught up in the visuals”.

Champions Of Magic, one of the world’s largest illusion shows, tours theatres and arenas across the UK, USA, and Canada

Watch this space for pre-order information.


Or, y'know, check the date of this post.

[With thanks to Alex J from Champions of Magic.]

30 March 2020

Our sponsors' shops are open online!

It is a challenging time for the entertainment industry.  No doubt about it.  This is a reminder that our sponsors also have bills to pay and mouths to feed.

Three of our generous sponsors are brick and mortar shop owners (Perfect Magic, The Browser's Den of Magic, and The Vanishing Rabbit Magic Shop).  One of our generous sponsors, Michael Close, has been offering daily magic jams for free.

If you have the means, please support them by placing an online order. 

26 March 2020

Women seen as worse magicians

From the March 7th article "Women seen as worse magicians despite identical skills" from Neuroscience News:

Study participants were shown close-up videos of 14 magic tricks. Only the hands and arms of the magician presenting the tricks were visible. The figure wore white gloves and long sleeves which prevented participants identifying cues about whether they were male or female.

The performer was introduced to half the participants as ‘Nathalie’ and to half the participants as a ‘Nicolas’. Those who believed they were seeing tricks performed by ‘Nathalie’ rated them more negatively, and less impressive, than those who believed they were watching tricks performed by ‘Nicolas’.

Read more.

25 March 2020

Breaking news: Allan Slaight Relief Fund for Professional Magicians

With tremendous thanks to the Slaight Family Foundation for their generosity!

From Magicana:
And just like that, the Canadian magic industry has vanished.

In response to difficult and devastating times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for magicians who work in the gig economy, the Slaight Family Foundation has pledged to help.

Allan Slaight Relief Fund 

To contribute during these trying times, the Foundation has established the Allan Slaight Relief Fund of $150,000 to help defray cost-of-living expenses incurred by professional Canadian magicians. The Slaight Family Foundation has partnered with Magicana to administer the payment of funds to applicants who meet eligibility.
The relief fund was initiated to help with monthly costs, such as groceries, utilities, phone and Internet bills, up to a maximum of $500 per application. Because of the uncertainty of how long we must maintain strict social distancing, applicants can reapply for assistance thirty days after receiving a prior payment, until the fund is depleted.
If you are a Canadian citizen, living in Canada, working as a full-time professional in magic with at least three years of experience, you are eligible for funding assistance. We understand that many magicians are semi-professionals. We would, however, ask that applications at this time be reserved for those who rely on magic as their sole source of income.

Read more to learn about the application process.

19 March 2020

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Details available at Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses.

From the Canadian Actors' Equity:
Self-employed workers not eligible for EI, aka most Equity members ARE COVERED under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan! Some excellent news we all needed to hear.

15 March 2020

Peter Mennie's list of 5

5 low or no cost things to do if you can't perform over the next few weeks:

1. Go for a walk.
2. Write new material.
3. Clean/repair/upgrade your props.
4. Do your taxes (and invest your refund).
5. Don't worry. The work will come back in greater abundance.

The Social Distancing Festival

From The Social Distancing Festival:
The Social Distancing Festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing that has come about due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Personally, a production of a new musical of mine was cancelled on March 13, 2020. Yeah, Friday the 13th. Like, come on right? It’s such a weird mix of feelings. Yes it was absolutely the right decision. 100%. But so, so, SO disappointing. That production was years in the making, and my co-creator and artistic team had a lot invested. We didn’t just lose  a chance to develop the work, but also to share it, celebrate it, and potentially connect with further opportunities. Instead, I went home, where I was alone, disappointed, and facing a whole lot of free time.

I have three main goals with this project:

1) It helps to get some of the great work that you’ve done out to the world, and projects that were cancelled get the word of mouth that they missed out on;

2) We are able to keep feeling a sense of artistic community, even from our living rooms, and;

3) Artists are able to continue to engage with their projects by making videos, sharing work, and celebrating the work of others. 

Read more and submit your work.

29 February 2020

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.

01 January 2020

Happy 2020!

Wishing you and yours a year filled with health, joy, and wonder!

29 December 2019

2019 Readers' Choice award results

Thank you all for participating in the spirit in which the awards were intended:
a fun way to recognize and celebrate all of the wonderful things being done by the fabulous talent in our country.

Over 500 votes were cast in this "bragging rights" only contest.  You all have a lot of devoted fans!

Here are the results of our fourth annual "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!

Beacons of Inspiration (in alphabetical order by surname)

2019 Beacon of Inspiration: Gwyn Auger

Gwyn Auger (aka The Magic Assistant)

Nominated by Aaron.
"I would like to nominate Gwyn Auger the Magic Assistant. Gwyn’s endless enthusiasm and passion for magic and the magic community is an inspiration, whether it is helping support young local magicians in Calgary, promoting the value of the assistant in the industry and her eagerness to help others at conventions or shows at the drop of a hat. Gwyn is one of the most professional, kindest, freelance magician assistants in the business who also recently branched out to perform her own act as part of the Celebrities of Magic in Bakersfield, CA. This year Gwyn was also the first assistant to perform at the new Magic Castle Cabaret in Santa Barbara, CA with Lance Burton."

"Gwyn is truly an amazing ambassador for the business!"

Website: Gwyn Auger

Comments from Gwyn's fans include:
Gwyn totally deserves this she has been instrumental in the Calgary magic community as well as many larger circles globally.
- Talented and skilled people, one and all, but only Gwyn has the magic presence that makes those around her shine.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Frank Loesser / Hoagy Carmichael, Queen, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

2019 Beacon of Inspiration: James Harrison

James Harrison (aka Pickpocket James)
Nominated by Unknown, Amy Thibodeau, Missa Deadlove, Rex P., Mike Weiland, Anonymouos, and Unknown.  The quote below is from Unknown.

"James Harrison. He's the pickpocketing MASTER, he's got a YouTube video that is going viral like crazy right now with 2 million views and counting and he works like crazy, at home and internationally. So all of that is amazing, but here's why I think James REALLY deserves a nomination: He's the kindest, most giving magician I've met in years. When he's not on stage, he's off stage sharing his knowledge to apply what he's learned in the trenches to help others. So in short, I think James is inspirational because he covers both bases. He's one hell of a performer with incredible original creations and he's one hell of a good person to go with it."

Editor's note:


Comments from James' fans include:
Stole my watch while I 'watched' and I still missed it...AMAZING.
- I've seen him perform multiple times and can't tell you how great he is! Charismatic, talented and just a decent guy. Good for any event.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Bach, Peter Gabriel, and Green Day.

2019 Beacon of Inspiration: Carisa Hendrix

Carisa Hendrix (aka Lucy Darling)
Nominated by Lukas Stark.
"I would like to nominate Carisa Hendrix not only is her public work charming and incredible, her success in a primarily male dominated industry (and world), and her humble Canadian beginnings, but her penguin lecture is the best 5 hours I've spent thinking about my magic for years and the best work I've ever heard about bringing character to your magic."

Editor's note:

Website: CarisaHendrix

Comments from Carisa's fans include:
Phenomenal entertainer and lecturer. Goes out of her way to give of herself to anyone who asks.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, and Elton John.

2019 Beacon of Inspiration: Ryan Joyce
Ryan Joyce
Nominated by Anonymous.
"Ryan Joyce for creating Canada's most unique magic festival. The OWOW Magic Festival brought more than a dozen of the top magicians to the most magical place in Canada - Fergus, ON to perform for the public this past Halloween. For magicians, Ryan has created a fun-space where they can gather and further their own careers - Wondertown - which includes Magicians Masterclass and the new podcast Magicians Talking Magic. We should all be so dedicated in furthering the art and the perception of our art."

Editor's note:

Comments from Ryan's fans include:
His work and efforts speak volumes and he is all about bringing the magic community together.

Voters' musical tastes include:  The Beatles, Pitbull, and Ed Sheeran.

2019 Beacon of Inspiration: 
Ken McCreedy

Ken McCreedy
Nominated by Jason Maiuri.
"Ken McCreedy for his vast knowledge of Canadian magic as well as being a mentor to so many great acts."

Editor's note:
  • Ken has an extensive knowledge of Canadian magic history and is very generous with sharing his knowledge! 


Comments from Ken's fans include:
Always entertaining and full of surprises.  He is a kind and patient teacher.  It is an Honour to be his assistant.

Musical tastes include:  Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, and  Deep Purple.

2019 Beacon of Inspiration: The Sentimentalists

The Sentimentalists (Chris Mysterion and Steffi Kay)

Nominated by Ross.
"I always felt the Toronto fixtures known as "The Sentimentalists" would shine on a bigger international stage. Their numerous TV appearances this year solidified this. They are an inspiration as a fellow Toronto based Canadian performer. Especially Steffi being the first woman Mentalist to fool Penn and Teller."

Editor's note:
  • After being eliminated from America's Got Talent Season 14 during the Judge Cuts, they returned as the wildcard in the quarterfinals!


Comments from The Sentimentalists' fans include:
These two are AMAAAAAAAAAZING. Been in the business nearly half a century, at this point, and I've never seen a live mentalism act to top theirs. Just a stunning act. Stunning.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Steve Miller, Queen, and Harry S. Miller.

2019 Beacon of Inspiration: 
Anastasia Synn

Anastasia Synn (aka Sia Synn)
Nominated by Krystal Lawrence.
"She's a freakin cyborg pioneering a new brand of magic! It's been getting worldwide attention, she's been on international news with her crazy implants."

Edtitor's note:

Anastasia's fans were people of few words.

Musical tastes include:  Radiohead, Crystal Eyes, and Rag'n'Bone Man.

Editor's Choice

2019 Editor's Choice: Ted and Marion Outerbridge
Ted and Marion Outerbridge

Nominated by Unknown.
"I would like to nominate Ted & Marion Outerbridge as being truly inspirational entertainers in the world of magic. What you see on the stage is exactly what you get off the stage. They are soft spoken, humble and sincere - but extremely passionate and talented in everything they do. From costuming to scripting, choreography and illusion, they do it all!"

Editor's note:

The Outerbridge's fans were also people of few words.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Smash Mouth, Brockhampton, and Frank Sinatra.

Readers' Choice

2019 Winner: Mike Norden

Mike Norden
Nominated by Anonymous.

Congratulations to Mike for winning the 2019 "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!

Keep up the great work!


Mike's fans were most likely to not follow instructions, and also most likely to get the date wrong.

Musical tastes include:  A wide assortment of Christmas music.