30 June 2013

Toronto - Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

Various dates in early July.

From Bloor Cinema:
Touted as one of the greats in the world of magic, Jay is dedicated to researching, teaching, performing and perfecting his craft. Magicians would normally be reluctant to let their secrets out, let alone allow a documentary crew to peek behind their velvet curtain, but in Deceptive Practices Jay allows the directors behind the curtain. Shot over ten years, the film examines Jay’s life, career and profession while providing a rare glimpse into the world of magic itself. Robin Smith, Hot Docs

Directors Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein will participate in Q&As on Friday, July 5, at 9:00 p.m., and Saturday, July 6, at 9:00 p.m.

Read more and buy tickets.

[via Sharing Wonder]

29 June 2013

Toronto: Learn the art of magic

From Joylister:
July 20

Learn the Art of Magic with Chad Zhou

Learn the basic principles and theories behind simple, close-up magic tricks, including:
  • Sleight of hand
  • Making items vanish
  • Reading people's minds
  • Manipulating cards, coins, and other daily objects
  • Techniques for a great performance

Absolutely NO experience is required - just be sure to bring a pen, notebook, your curiosity and passion to learn! In this interactive setting, you'll have the opportunity to test out your craft in front of your peers and gain valuable feedback to further improve your performance. 

Read more and register.

28 June 2013

Montreal: Fredo, complètement fou

From Montreal Families:
July 5

Fredo is a magician with a unique style. Incapable of remaining in one place, he has a wild imagination that constantly invents new tricks with the help of everyday objects.

Read more.

[via Perfect Magic]

27 June 2013

Gwyn Auger in Calgary is Awesome

From Calgary is Awesome:
Everyone comes to see the Magician on the stage.  He or she is the Illusionist that take our attention, grabs hold of our imagination and suspends our belief. With a twist of the wrist and a fortuitous puff of smoke, the unbelievable becomes reality.

But that’s just part of the story. It often takes 2 (3 if you include the rabbit) to make the event an act with panache as opposed to a clumsy fumbling of playing cards and rumpled sleeves. After all, the Magician needs his assistant to set the mood, follow the invisible cues and distract the crowd. It takes a special person who can be trusted with all that on stage, PLUS protect the secrets of the ages, float in the air, cheat death and do it all with a smile.  So without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages from 1 to 100, introducing Gwyn Auger, Calgary’s Magic Assistant.

Read more.

Check out Gwyn's company, Sparkle Events Services, which promotes magicians and performers of all ages and of all sorts for public and private events. 

26 June 2013

Help solve the mystery of the Ring 49 photo

Jeph Stahl, CAM webmaster and webmaster from Ring 49, is helping Herb Cullen's granddaughter identify the names of the people in a photograph from the Ring 49 charter year.

Read Jeph's post and help him if you can!

25 June 2013

Toronto: The HUNT -- Magic edition

From Mayhew Productions:
Join the entire magic community as we traverse around Toronto scavenging quirky items, solving magic-related clues, and crisscrossing the TTC tracks taking photos of random awesomeness — for points.

At the end of this game, the team with the most points wins a bag of cash! Sound like something you want to be a part of? Register below, and reserve your spot right now.

Read more and register.

Sounds like fun!  Who's in?

Toronto: James Alan lecture POSTPONED

The James Alan lecture originally scheduled for Sunday July 7 at the Browser's Den has been postponed.  I'll publish the new date when it becomes available.

Calgary: The last Garden Variety Show

From James Jordan's Twitter feed:

24 June 2013

Please help flooded Calgary magicians!

Updated June 25th to add Ryan Pilling's fundraising efforts at BC's Magic Festival.
Updated at 13:06 to add additional method of fundraising through Garden Variety Show ticket sales.

The Calgary Magic Circle has a PayPal link up that you can use to contribute money to help Calgary based magicians who have suffered losses due to the recent flooding.  If you live in the area, you may also donate books, tricks, DVDs and gift cards by contacting Gwyn Auger.

Other ways to reach out to those impacted:

Thank you Gwyn for letting me know.

Stay safe Calgary.  I hope the recovery is swift.

Dave Attwood interviews Julie Eng

On June 12th, Dave Attwood interviewed Julie Eng.  Julie "talks about growing up in magic and living the life in Toronto."

Listen to the interview at Dave Attwood's site.

23 June 2013

Bill and Chico on cover of Rubber Chicken

From Bill Abbott's Twitter feed:

22 June 2013

Port Coquitlam’s mayor to saw a Farquhar in half

From the Tri-City News:
Don’t be fooled when you see Port Coquitlam’s mayor at the first annual Magic Festival on Sunday.

Greg Moore will not only cut the ribbon for the inaugural event at Leigh Square Community Arts Village, he’ll also saw a woman in half.

“It’ll be my wife,” Maple Ridge resident and festival organizer Shawn Farquhar said. “It’s all in good fun.”

Moore will take to the stage at 2 p.m. on June 23 and will be followed by a free family magic show by the Vancouver Magic Circle, Canada’s largest magic group headed up by PoCo’s Alex Seaman.

Read more.

Chad Juros honored for cancer fundraising efforts

Chad Juros is a counsellor at Sorcerers Safari magic camp.  Congratulations Chad and keep up the great work!

From Shore News Today:
Egg Harbor Township resident Chad Juros was diagnosed with leukemia in 1991 at age 3. Four years later, he relapsed and spent 17 months in the cancer ward, during which time his father, Dr. Donald Juros, kept his spirits up by teaching him magic tricks.

Sadly, soon after he was released from the hospital, his beloved father was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and passed away in 2000. In January 2003, Chad was once again confronted with grave illness, and when he recovered, he decided it was time to make his father’s dying wish his own living wish.

He founded the nonprofit Spread the Magic Foundation to fulfill his father’s hope that he would “continue to spread the magic around the world.” Today, Juros is an accomplished magician and inspirational speaker whose performances raise money for pediatric cancer care.

Read more.

[via Wayne Kawamoto]

21 June 2013

More Luminato 2013 reviews

From The Globe and Mail:
Monday evening: George Brown House, an Ontario heritage building situated just south of the University of Toronto, is named, of course, after the distinguished Father of Confederation and founder of The Globe, the newspaper that became the newspaper you are reading. Normally off-limits to the great unwashed, Brown’s stately home was the venue chosen by Luminato’s go-to magic man, David Ben, to showcase the extraordinary legerdemain of American magician Steve Cohen.

The setting proved an apt backdrop for Cohen’s act, which owes a considerable debt to Johann Hofzinser, the 19th-century Austrian known as the father of card magic. At New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Cohen’s unofficial home, he typically entertains audiences of no more than 50. For the Toronto cohort, only slightly larger, the diminutive Cohen – nattily attired in morning coat, waistcoat and striped trousers – deftly stick-handled his way through a series of jaw-dropping tricks, each seemingly more difficult than the last.

Read more.

From Mooney on Theatre:
I straightened my bowtie and tucked in my pocket square this evening to see Steve Cohen perform his show Chamber Magic at George Brown House for Luminato, where the dress code is as fancy as the attendees (let’s just say that for this evening anyhow, his sobriquet The Millionaires’ Magician was well deserved). The show, a classic parlour magic display designed for close audiences, sent me running home to the interwebs to try to figure out how some of his tricks had been performed. I’ll say only this: even online, magicians are pretty tight-lipped.

The pleasure of a magic show is in allowing yourself to be amazed – and it’s nice to be able to stay amazed. Cohen’s skills are really a pleasure to watch as he performs of variety of tricks that are indeed bewildering and delightful. You understand that, on some level, something must be happening somewhere you can’t see it, but that feels beside the point for a moment (except to the gentleman sitting a bit in front of me, who murmured his guesses to his companion frequently). When the card is turned or the glass fills with the correct colour of liquid, we in the audience both expect it and cannot fathom it.

Read more.

From Opus One Review:
We enjoyed being fooled. We pay good money to people who can trick us. We long for the impossible, and what Miguel Puga does is impossible, but there it is.

To help us catch him in his onstage trickery while we are seated in an auditorium, Sr. Puga shows some of his illusions live on a big screen, so we can scrutinize his hands. For openers,  he mixes a deck of cards, draws the Ace of Hearts out of the deck, mixes again and draws again, until he has ‘randomly’ drawn out all the hearts in sequence from deuce to King. While his assistant at the piano, Ms. Paz Sabater, plays Manuel de Fallas’ El Amor Brujo (Love, the Magician), Puga turns the cards face down and their backs spell out EL AMOR BRUJO. Impossible! How did he do it? I’ve no idea, but I want to see him do more ‘magic’. And he does.

Read more.

Toronto: Mentalist Mark Fletcher – Live

From Mark's website:
Mark it down on your calendar folks! On Friday July 12th, 2013 An Evening with Mentalist Mark Fletcher will be taking the stage at the Al Green Theatre in Toronto for One Night Only! Tickets are on sale now.  There are a limited number of seats available for this performance so be sure to get yours early.

Read more.

[via: Deborah Fallick]

20 June 2013

Keith Brown on CTV News

The clip of Keith was on the CTV London/Windsor: News at 6, June 16.

From Keith's Twitter feed:

Broken Wand: William Anderson

Recently we were notified by Dennis Schick, the editor of the Broken Wand in the International Brotherhood of Magician's magazine, The Linking Ring, of the passing of William Anderson. Dennis is graciously allowing me to pass this on to you.
Dennis also pointed out that the more ALL of us share news and information about magic with the REST of us, the better off the entire magic community will be.
I take this opportunity to ask you to not just ASSUME that we already know about some magic news that YOU hear about. Please tell us about it. We would always rather hear some news SEVERAL times rather than not at all!



The I.B.M. Headquarters recently learned that William J. (Bill) Anderson, 83, of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, died July 29, 2012 of cancer. His member number was 63254, and he had been a member since 2002. He became interested in magic as a teenager, and it became a life-long hobby. He was literally a jack of all trades, from a master plumber and welder, to a carpenter and furniture and antique restorer, He and his wife lived and traveled throughout Canada and the United States over their almost sixty-four years of marriage. Survivors include his wife, Phyllis; children Richard, Heather (Alex) Chiong, and Judith (Mike) Meyer; and grandchildren, Nora, Mark and Tina.


19 June 2013

[Guest post] Steve Cohen Performs at Luminato

The following is a guest post from Ian Crawford.


For years I have wondered what it would be like to attend one of Robert-Houdins' Soirée Fantastic.  Steve Cohen brought the essence of Robert-Houdin to life last night at his Luminato performance in historic George Brown House in Toronto.  First you must understand the setting.  George Brown House is a national historic site, the home of a father of confederation and founder of the Globe newspaper.  The Edwardian house has been perfectly restored to its former glory and is the ideal setting for a performance that celebrates parlour magic.  And Steve Cohen is one of the few magicians with the presence, experience and passion to bring the parlour magic experience to near perfection.

Steve performed a mix of classic magic and mentalism that honoured past masters while acknowledging a twenty first century sensibility.  A lifetime of study, 16 years of performances combined with an engaging intelligence and perfect diction makes Cohens' performances ideal for the Luminato audience.  He expected an intelligent audience, and the tickets even suggested that suitable dress was "cocktail attire".  In return Cohen performed 90 minutes of witty, engaging magic.  He was also suitably attired in a modern morning suit with yellow waistcoat and aqua tie.

Cohen's magic was direct, simple, elegant and completely fried many of the magicians and all of the rest of the audience of more than 60.  Beginning with a multiple card selection, he immediately engaged his audience.  He invited the back rows to stand and others to come and surround him while he performed some coin vanishes culminating in a solid, real brick appearing under his hat.  Appropriately, it was a reclaimed brick.  He performed a classic linking finger rings with style and grace and engaged the audience with some predictions about the inscriptions inside the rings.

One of Cohen's trademark tricks is based on Hoffman's Think a Drink.  While performed part way through the show, this could have easily been the closer.  Five different drinks were predicted, poured and enjoyed by audience members, the last being poured by a volunteer.  Cohen went out of his way to acknowledge and thank the volunteer for dressing appropriately, nice touch.  His message was clear that an evening out should be an experience for all, in keeping with the setting.

Cohen finished his set with a map prediction and then went into some mentalism using billets and an unusually large journal.  The mix of magic and mentalism was clearly a salute to Robert-Houdin, and Cohan engaged his audience constantly.

For his finalé, Cohen asked the audience to come closer and gather round to watch as he performed what I can only describe as a a two deck Triumph.

If you missed Cohen, you can always catch him in New York at the Waldorf Astoria in Chamber Magic.

Toronto is blessed to have a magic benefactor in the Slaight family who sponsored the evening.  And David Ben and Julie Eng of Magicana should be thanked for bringing some of the best magic to Luminato year after year.  Together they have elevated magic to a respectable place.  Robert-Houdin would have been proud.

Ian Crawford


Thank you Ian for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

Toronto: Buster Canfield and His Amazing Fleas

Playing various dates in July and August.

From Brown Paper Tickets:
Ladies & Gentlemen Boys and Girls of all ages!
Step right up and behold the most miraculous manifestation of mite-sized marvelosity ever to appear on any stage!

Buster Canfield's Circus of Industrious Fleas!

Come one, come all!
Be stunned!
Be astounded!
Scratch your skin with delight at our microscopic, entomic entertainment!
"Little creatures can do Marvelous Things."

Buster Canfield & His Industrious Fleas is a TYA play for solo actor, puppets, masks, parlour magic, and the Greatest Humbug Flea Circus ever seen on any stage!

Buster is a small boy, growing up in Port Hope, Ontario in the late 1800s. He is small for his age, shy, bullied, and feels overwhelmed by the world around him. His life changes when meets a mysterious old man from Europe by the name of Louis Bertolotto.

Read more and purchase tickets.

18 June 2013

Welcoming a new patron: Perfect Magic!

Welcome to our newest sponsor, Evelyn and Phil Matlin from Perfect Magic!

In Montreal in 1976, Perfect Magic was founded as a mail-order company run out of a basement, selling their own original products.  In short time, they grew out of their basement and into a retail property of their own.  They expanded their catalogue with more original products.  In 1979, they collaborated wtih C.W. Vermeys to launch the very first Magie Montréal convention!  Magie Montréal ran annually until 1998.

In the words of David Acer, "Today, Perfect Magic continues to be a highly respected manufacturer, distributor and retail outlet, supplying tricks and accessories to magicians around the world."

If you haven't already, check out their blog, Perfect Magic Then and Now, where Evelyn shares wonderful stories from her 30+ years of experience in the magic business.  If you keep tabs on their Facebook page or Twitter feed, you will be notified when new blog posts are up.

Did you know that Phil is also a professional ragtime piano player?  Browse through his YouTube channel! I enjoy both of his CD's, Ragtime Daze and Ragtime Magic.

I had the pleasure of meeting both Evelyn and Phil at this year's Spring CAM-JAM.  They are warm, and wonderful people!

Thank you Evelyn and Phil, for your constant support of the Canadian magic scene and your sponsorship of this website!