Showing posts with label David Ben. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Ben. Show all posts

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.

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.

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.

02 August 2019

Toronto: Golden Age of Magic

From Magicana:
In February 2020, the Golden Age of Magic will once again emerge—this time in Toronto—in the forthcoming exhibition, Illusions: The Art of Magic at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).
Originally curated by Christian Vachon of the McCord Museum in Montreal, and guest curated by Magicana’s artistic director and historian David Ben, the exhibition will showcase fifty-five gorgeous, vintage posters from the Allan Slaight Collection of the McCord Museum. The exhibition celebrates magic’s greatest luminaries, including the one and only Harry Houdini, highlighting photographs, films, documents, autographs and objects once belonging to Houdini.

Read more.


From the Sharing Wonder Twitter feed:


07 May 2019

Magicana recipient of AMA Literary and Media Fellowship

Congratulations to David Ben, Julie Eng, and everyone else who has poured their energy into Magicana, the 2018 recipient of the Academy of Magical Arts Literary and Media Fellowship!


From the Magicana 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.

17 February 2019

David Ben: U of T Featured Alumni

From the January 22nd article at the University of Toronto Alumni website:
“The news of my retirement is greatly exaggerated,” says David Ben (UC 1983), a Toronto-born conjuror, historian of magic, writer and consultant.

Ben, a renowned expert in sleight-of-hand magic, is in the midst of creating a new show that will revisit some of his old tricks and add a selection of new ones. Each time he creates a show, he is a writer, director and set designer all in one, weaving together a story that incorporates each of his chosen tricks.

“I believe that to be an artist, you need great technique, a great understanding of the past and a vision for the future,” he says.


Read more and watch video.

23 May 2018

Toronto: David Ben is part of "The Walrus LIVE"

Make sure you go to the bottom of the post on Magicana's website to take advantage of the generous coupon code!


From the May 22nd post "The Walrus LIVE" by David Ben at Magicana:
What is The Walrus LIVE? Here's more:

A showcase of leading voices on the future of social innovation, city-building, data, tech, and more - The Walrus Live will also give you the opportunity to be part of these important conversations. Attendees will connect with an influential community of thought-leaders through multiple programmed spaces, including keynote speeches, hands-on workshops, and in-depth panels, as well as a special edition of The Walrus Talks and a cocktail reception celebrating the 15th anniversary of The Walrus magazine.

Read more and register with coupon code.



From David Ben's Twitter feed:

22 March 2018

Who are the top 10 Canadian magicians of all time?

Updated April 3rd at 6pm to add the following nominations:
  • Celeste Evans and Reveen The Impossiblist (Reveen Sr.)
Updated March 31st at 9pm to add the following nominations:
  • Greg Frewin and Mahdi Gilbert
Updated March 29 at 7am to add the following nominations:
  • Billy Kidd, Carisa Hendrix, Joan Caesar, and Julie Eng
Updated March 24 at 10am to add the following nominations:
  • Alain Choquette, David Drake, Mickey Hades, and Shin Lim
Updated March 23 at 9am add the following nominations:
  • Bob Farmer, Carl Coultier, Francis Martineau, Gary Ouelette, Howard P. Lions, Mel Stover, Romaine, Roy Cotte, Tom Ransom, Tony Eng, Willis Kinney
Updated March 23 at 7am add the following overnight nominations:
  • Additional submissions:  Bedros "Spidey" Akkelian, Bill Abbott, Bobby Motta, Dale Harney, Eric Leclerc, Johnny  Giordmaine, Juliana Chen, Leon Mandrake, Sid Lorraine, Stewart James, Ron Leonard, and Vincent C
Updated at 12:15pm to add:
  • Additional submissions: Darcy Oake, Luc Langevin, Murray Hatfield, Ross Bertram, Tom Auburn
Updated at 10:15am to add:
  • The following names have been submitted for consideration:  Chris Ramsay, Dai Vernon, David Acer, David Ben, Doug Henning, Gary Kurtz, James Randi, Jay Sankey, Martin Nash, Richard Sanders, Shawn Farquhar

Complete list of nominations received (alphabetical by first name):

  1. Alain Choquette
  2. Bedros "Spidey" Akkelian
  3. Bill Abbott
  4. Billy Kidd
  5. Bob Farmer
  6. Bobby Motta
  7. Carisa Hendrix
  8. Carl Coultier
  9. Celeste Evans
  10. Chris Ramsay
  11. Dai Vernon
  12. Dale Harney
  13. Darcy Oake
  14. David Acer 
  15. David Ben
  16. David Drake
  17. Doug Henning
  18. Francis Martineau
  19. Eric Leclerc
  20. Gary Kurtz
  21. Gary Ouelette
  22. Greg Frewin
  23. Howard P. Lions
  24. James Randi
  25. Jay Sankey
  26. Joan Caesar
  27. Joel Machtinger
  28. Johnny Giordmaine
  29. Juliana Chen
  30. Julie Eng
  31. Leon Mandrake
  32. Luc Langevin
  33. Mahdi Gilbert
  34. Martin Nash
  35. Mel Stover
  36. Mickey Hades
  37. Murray Hatfield
  38. Reveen The Impossiblist (Reveen Sr.)
  39. Richard Sanders
  40. Romaine
  41. Ron Leonard
  42. Ross Bertram
  43. Roy Cotte
  44. Shawn Farquhar 
  45. Shin Lim
  46. Sid Lorraine
  47. Stewart James
  48. Tom Auburn
  49. Tom Ransom
  50. Tony Eng
  51. Vincent C
  52. Willis Kinney


Devon Murphy recently posted the article, "Top Canadian Magicians and the Tricks That Made Them Famous," at the CBC website.  Devon lists seven outstanding magicians (Julie Eng, Dai Vernon,  Doug Henning, Billy Kidd, Mahdi Gilbert, Greg Frewin, and David Ben).  (Of note, two of the seven on that list are recipients of the "Editor's Choice Award" in the Canada's Magic "Readers' Choice Award" festivities.)

Devon's list got me wondering.

Who do you, dear readers, consider to be the top 10 Canadian magicians of all time?

For those of you who don't like to be influenced by the decisions of others, we're going to start with a clean slate and let you choose all ten!

Submit your nominations in the comment form below,* by 11:59PM EDT on Friday April 6th.  You may nominate as many Canadian magicians as you like.  (Number of nominations don't influence the vote.  If you see your choice(s) listed, please refrain from submitting duplicates.)  Voting will open shortly thereafter.  

What say you?  Who are your top (living or dead) Canadian magicians of all time?


--
* or email me.  I'll send a confirmation back to let you know I received your email.




27 October 2017

The Canadians: Stewart James

If you missed this project by Daniel Zuckerbrot on television back in 2012, Historica Canada has published it's episode "The Canadians: Stewart James" on YouTube:

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.



22 March 2017

David Ben on the cover of Genii

Congratulations to David Ben, who is on the cover of the April 2017 edition of Genii!

David is also scheduled to perform at the Genii convention this coming October.

(Dai Vernon is also listed as a performer.   Interesting.)

27 December 2016

David Ben's "Hocus Pocus" in the media

From Magicana'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.

From Magicana's Twitter feed:


Also from Magicana's Twitter feed:







11 December 2016

David Ben on the "Toronto Files"

From the Twitter feed of Rogers TV Toronto: 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.

22 November 2016

Julie Eng on the cover of Genii

Congratulations Julie!


From Richard Kaufman's Facebook page:
This issue our cover is adorned by the remarkable Julie Eng. Lest. As the author of our piece, David Ben, aptly points out, not only is Julie a beloved figure and an accomplished magicienne, she also possesses the near superhuman ability to get almost anything that comes her way DONE. Yes, all caps for emphasis. She does much good work for kids, seniors, and behind-the-scenes good deeds for magicians that goes unheralded—but the word is now officially out. 




02 October 2016

Rounding the Central rings in October 2016

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



Montreal, QCRing 62 (20th Century Ring)- Free form Fridays.
- Public open house.
- Stage workers.
- Trix R Treats.
- Houdini Halloween supper.
Hamilton, ONRing 49 (The Doug Henning Magic Wand Club)- TBA.
London, ONRing 265 (London Magician's Guild)- TBA.
Kitchener, ONRing 235 (The Caesar Hat & Wand Magic Circle)- David Ben lecture.
Ottawa, ONRing 151 (Ottawa Society of Magicians)- TBA.
Ottawa, ONOttawa / Gatineau magicians- TBA
Toronto, ONRing 17 (Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club)- Lawrence Hass lecture and workshop.


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

30 September 2016

"Hocus Pocus" discount code and David Ben lecture in Kitchener

From Magicana:
Individual tickets are available for Hocus Pocus, an intimate evening of magic by David Ben - part of Soulpepper's Family Festival and 20th anniversary celebration. Performances run from December 10 to December 31 with twenty-two performances to choose from. Join us at Soulpepper at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts - located in Toronto's Distillery Historical District.

Single and subscription tickets are available now starting from $25.00. Our subscribers receive a 10% discount on shows from December 10 to 21 by entering the code MAGIC10 (near the top right corner of the Buy Tickets page).  


Read more and buy tickets.


From the KW Hat and Wand Magic Club:
  • Thursday, October 13th 2016 - Lecture by David Ben

06 August 2016

Toronto: David Ben in "Hocus Pocus"

Edited September 27th to add:
  •  From Magicana's website: "Receive a 10% discount for shows from December 10 to 21 by entering the code MAGIC10 (near the top right corner of the Buy Tickets page)."

Show dates from December 10 - 31, 2016.

From Magicana:
Spoken word, cinema, sleight-of-hand; the old, the new, the beautiful and the mysterious: it's all Hocus Pocus.

World-renowned magician David Ben returns to Soulpepper's Family Festival with his ever-evolving exploration of spellbinding illusion and wonder. Ancient mysteries with modern twists for all ages performed in an intimate salon-like setting.

Read more and buy tickets.

09 July 2016

Catching up with David Peck's "Face 2 Face"

Edited at 10:15am to add a list of magicians David's interviewed over the years:

  • Matthew Disero - episode 3
  • Jay Sankey - episode 5
  • David Merry - episode 27
  • Anthony Lindan - episode 45
  • Gabe Fajuri - episode 48
  • Tom Ogden - episode 102
  • David Ben - episode 145
  • James Alan and Mike Close - episode 79
  • Lawrence Hass - episode 150
  • Viveka Melki - 177 - On the Circus
  • Marcie Hume - filmmaker - about the movie "Magicians" - episode 187
  • Jeff McBride - episode 188
  • Mac King - episode 189

Coming soon:
  • Lawrence Hass (Part 2)
  • Bobby Motta 
  • Jeff and Tessa Evason
  • Matthew Disero (Part 2) 




David's got a long list of interesting guests on his "Face 2 Face" podcasts this year.  Check out his interviewees, then click through to his site and have a listen!  (I'm hoping to get a chance to listen to the Mac King and Jeff McBride interviews soon.)

From David Peck Live:

  • Greg Paul – Episode 193
  • Brian McKenna  – Ep. 192
  • Alex Hinton – Episode 191
  • Jay Whitelaw – Episode 190
  • Mac King – Episode 189
  • Jeff McBride – Episode 188
  • Marcie Hume – Episode 187
  • Michael Coren – Episode 186
  • Mitch Abrams – Episode 185
  • Nicholas Greco – Episode 184
  • Susanne Regina Meures – Episode 183
  • Peter Stockland – Episode 182
  • Christal Earle – Episode 181
  • Alethea Arnaquq – Episode 180
  • Todd & Jedd Wider – Episode 179
  • Anjali Nayar – Episode 178
  • Viveka Melki – Episode 177
  • “Best and Most Beautiful Things” – Ep. 176

Read more and listen to podcasts.



16 April 2016

David Ben in the National Post

From the National Post:
DAVID BEN: Canadian magician. Recognized as one of the world’s greatest sleight of hand artists.

There’s something I’ve worked on (the Dad Stevens Riffle Cull); it’s probably the most difficult sleight of hand technique in the world. The famed magician Dai Vernon discovered it from a gambler, who told him it took 18 years of practice. I thought that was crazy, but I also thought I was young enough that I could give it a shot. I’ve now been working on this technique every single day for 15 years (45 minutes a day at first, but now it’s about 15 minutes) and I’m only just getting it. I studied with master magician Ross Bertram, and he told me that the one thing he couldn’t teach me was enthusiasm. That has to be innate.

Read more.

06 February 2016

David Ben raised over $220,000 for #nohairselfie !

Congratulations David!

From Magicana:
David Ben’s #NoHairSelfie campaign concluded yesterday, February 4, 2016 with a public shaving at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. With some last-minute donations arriving by mail, the total has now passed $214,000 raised for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

As promised earlier, donors who requested our Unusual Collectible your hair will be in the mail very soon. We’ve also learned that the cards will be signed by Pat Lyons, the artists who designed them.
For those wishing to verify the authenticity of the hair, you can watch it being severed below. The shaver is Gary Slaight, son of Allan Slaight.

Read more and watch video.

05 January 2016

David Ben's ‪#‎NoHairSelfie‬

World Cancer Day is February 4, 2016.

From James Alan'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.

My friend David Ben is raising money for cancer research, and he's willing to shave off his glorious mop for the cause. Check out his campaign, the #NoHairSelfiehttp://www.nohairselfie.com/davidben
Posted by James Alan on Monday, 16 November 2015