Showing posts with label Joe Culpepper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joe Culpepper. Show all posts

03 September 2020

Joe Culpepper: Magic Languages at Concordia University

From the August 31st blog post at

“Engl 398 — Magic Languages: Written, Oral and Visual Traditions of Conjuring” is open for registration at Concordia University’s department of English.

This special topics course examines how individuals express and experience magic through various storytelling media. Texts related to conjuring by Reginald Scot, Shakespeare, Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, Adelaide Herrmann, Jorge Luis Borges and others will be explored with conceptual tools from theories of adaptation, postcolonialism, cinema studies and performance studies. A special emphasis will be placed on the so-called Golden Age of stage conjuring in the West (1880-1930) and how scientific technologies, exoticism, and colonialism from that period are at once present and questioned by contemporary performance today.

Read more.

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!

03 September 2017


From Joe Culpepper:
It’s not the magician who teaches the children. It’s the children who teach the magician.

I had a great time working with the McCord Museum’s education team to teach over 100 different mini-Montrealers how to perform magic onstage this summer as part of their ABRACADABRA camps.* This series of week-long summer camps was inspired by the ILLUSIONS exhibition. The exhibition contains beautiful chromolithograph posters from the Allan Slaight collection acquired with help from the Emmanuelle Gattuso Foundation. Each week, the ABRACADABRA kids took a tour of this magnificent collection as part of their discovery of Montreal’s entertainment history. They then worked with me and their camp counselors (Skippy, Scala, Echo, Stein and Marc-André) to learn a new effect or two each day as preparation for their “Grand Spectacle” at the end of the week. As part of preparing for this big show for their friends and family, they learned fine motor skills, creative brainstorming techniques, performance vocabulary, public speaking skills and how to interact with audience members onstage.
Read more.

04 August 2017

McCord Museum: Magic, music, and dance

From Perfect Magic:
If you haven’t been to the McCord Museum this summer it’s worth going to. Not your usual museum exhibition. It’s called ILLUSIONS – The Art of Magic and Luc Langevin is the ambassador of the exhibit. It’s the Allan Slaight collection, which was acquired by the McCord with the help of the Emmanuelle Gattuso Foundation.  A tip of the Top Hat to the people who designed it.. Phil and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

We were invited by magician Dr. Joe Culpepper, magician, scholar, consultant and friend and customer of Perfect Magic. Before the guided tour, we were treated to a magic show, in a lovely little theatre there, given by the young students, who attended the McCord Museum Camp, Abracadabra, who were guided and taught by Joe and the counsellors. The kids did a great job and they all knew how to take a bow when the applause came.

So what’s the link between magic and music?

Read more.

10 May 2017

Montreal: Masters of Spectacular 5

From the Masters of Spectacular 5 Facebook event:
11 June
Dollar Cinema

A family friendly stage show featuring magic, illusion, juggling, comedy & more!
Hosted by Ozzie E. 

More acts to be added!!!

24 April 2016

Houdini and Doyle: World of Wonders

You may already know that "Houdini and Doyle: World of Wonders" launched earlier this month.  But were you aware of the Canadian connections?

According to Joe, "The goal of the web series was to share some magic history and practical demonstrations inspired by the real-life relationship of Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle."

How well do you think they did?

12 March 2015

Joe Culpepper in Montreal and Toronto

Joe Culpepper will be:
  • At McGill giving a Visiting Scholar Lecture, Friday, March 13 at 2PM, Redpath Museum (auditorium) at McGill, 859 Sherbrooke West
  • In Toronto on  Sunday, March 22nd giving a workshop with fellow Ars Mechanica members called "Adapting Magic Effects for Contemporary Performance."

08 October 2014

Report: David Kaplan and Buster Keaton

Last night I attended my first magic lecture since moving to Montréal. David Kaplan, also known as The Great Kaplan, shared some tips, tricks, and stunts from his professional repertoire.

Since I’m in this city to research the relationship between magic and other circus disciplines, I enjoyed hearing Kaplan’s thoughts on variety material. He performed a version of the torn and restored newspaper for us that ends with a giant, over-sized newspaper that he gets tangled up in. The inspiration for this piece came from a Buster Keaton film

Read more.

24 July 2013

Toronto: Magical Mystery Cabaret

From the Magical Mystery Cabaret Facebook page:
Thursday July 25

Come out for a cool evening of entertainment with Vojin Vasovic, Natalie Mathieson, Sasha Kovacs, Joe Culpepper (aka Ars Mechanica) and friends at the Reposado Tequila Bar.

Drink a cold "cerveza" with us as we raise funds, raffle off prizes and sell early tickets for our upcoming Summerworks production "Show and Tell Alexander Bell"

What will happen at this party? Who knows?!
It's impossible to predict a magical mystery cabaret!

Read more.

15 December 2011

Toronto: Joe Culpepper’s Exits and Entrances at the New Gendai Workstation

From The Toronto Review of Books:
In his performance art–magic act Exits and Entrances, performed Friday 25 November at New Gendai Workstation, Joe Culpepper explored thresholds as places of illusion—“liminal boundaries,” he notes, “that separate the inside from the outside; the interior from the exterior.” Thresholds are also boundaries that invite us to cross over; they mark a space between, even as they reveal what lies just beyond.


The gallery will be exhibiting the aftermath of the performance space as an installation from 13 December to 17 December (11.00AM to 6.00PM).  Footage of Exits and Entrances will be projected onto the gallery walls for any visitors who wish to see a recording of the event while standing in its traces and remnants.  New Gendai Workstation is an open gallery and there is no cost for admission.

Read more.

22 November 2011

Gazzo interviewed by Joe Culpepper

From The Magic Broadcast:
“Streets is a lifestyle,” says Gazzo. And he should know.

Garry Osborne has been busking as a magician in Britain, North America, and all over the world since he was fifteen. Join me, Joe Culpepper, in episode two of the Culpepper Cast as I catch up with him at Toronto’s recent Buskerfest (August 2011).

Read more and listen to the interview.

19 October 2011

Toronto: Show and Tell Alexander Bell

From the Facebook page:

October 20th, 21st, 22nd , 8 pm, $10
October 23rd 2pm PWYC

(postdramatic performance)

Created by Vojin Vasovic, Natalie Mathieson, Sasha Kovacs, Myrto Koumarianos and Joe Culpepper
A surreal exploration of the famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Living with a mother and wife who both lost their sense of hearing at an early age, this Canadian star creates a device to fulfill his dreams of communication with the ones he loves.

Read more.