31 May 2014

Top 5 posts in May 2014

It's been a busy month at Canada's Magic, with lots of magical happenings and over 2300 page loads so far!  Let's see what the most popular posts have been:

5. David Merry on Too Much Information - Can anyone who has seen this show report back about it?

4. Winners of the Best Magician Contest 2014 - Congrats again Luiz and Scott!

3. Niagara Falls: Mindtrix the Show - Any reviews out there to share?

2. Win tickets to see The Uncertainty Project in Toronto - Contest closed and won!  Congratulations to all and thanks for playing!

and the most viewed post this month, for the second month in a row, is ...

1. Toronto: The Ghost Experience with Jamie Stam

David Ben on News Talk 1010

From Magicana:
Want to hear more about our Transgressive Magic shows for the Luminato Festival? Tune in to CFRB’s @newstalk1010 on Saturday May 31 at 1:30PM when David Ben (@theconjuror) will be on the air revealing all kinds of secrets!

Darcy Oake through to the BGT Final

From Clive Court's Facebook page:

30 May 2014

Winners to see The Uncertainty Project in Toronto

The contest to win tickets to see "The Uncertainty Project" next month closed last night at midnight.  Here's the list of entrants:
  1. Artemus Syman
  2. Dan McLean Jr
  3. Derek D
  4. Magic Mike Segal
There are four pairs of tickets to be won and four entrants, leaving no uncertainty about who won the tickets!

Congratulations Artemus, Dan, Derek and Mike!  I'll be e-mailing you with instructions about how to claim your prize.  Enjoy the show!  (And don't forget to let me know how you like it.)

Thank you all for playing! A special thanks to James from Abracadabaret for generously making these tickets available to you!

David Ben on Ross Bertram and Sleight-of-Hand

From Magicana's article "Sleight-of-Hand":
Ross Bertram was a legendary figure in the world of magic, first coming to international prominence for his pure sleight-of-hand in the 1940s when he was invited to be part of the “Stars of Magic”, the magic equivalent of a art movement or group, whose techniques were offered by subscription to magicians around the world. Dai Vernon, his friend, and fellow Canadian, and the most influential magician of the 20th century, had invited him to participate. Ross disappeared from view in the 1960s, the stress and strain of a life in show business having taken its toll. He reappeared in the late 70s, just when my interest in sleight-of-hand began to percolate.

Read more.

From Magicana's article "Improvisation":
“Learn as many sleights at as you possibly can and then improvise,” was Ross Bertram’s advice. 
Read more.

29 May 2014

Murray SawChuck's appearance on AGT

iTricks is revisiting magical appearances on America's Got Talent and recently posted footage of Murray SawChuck from a few years back.  Enjoy!

28 May 2014

Review: A Series of Unfortunate Effects

From the Facebook page of A Series of Unfortunate Effects:

27 May 2014

Broken wand: Bob Johnston

From Ring 17:
We are sad to report the passing of one of our members, Bob Johnston. Bob was a member briefly, joining in 2011, and attended meetings occasionally when his schedule permitted. He passed away May 12 following a heart attack. The club sends its sincere condolences to his wife, Debbie. 
Read more.

From Legacy:
JOHNSTON, Bob - Suddenly at home on Monday, May 12, 2014 at the age of 57. Bob, beloved husband of Debbie for 35 years. Cherished son of Margaret and the late Johnny and treasured son-in-law of Ila and the late Jack Ellison. Dear brother of Gary. Bob will be sadly missed by family members, countless friends and much loved pets. 
Read more

Hamilton: Séance with Nicholas Wallace

June 25-27 
Everyone loves a good ghost story. This is your chance to be part of one.

In this completely immersive experience, illusionist Nicholas Wallace invites you to join him in exploring the world of the Victorian spirit medium, in what is reliably being called “the first attempt to use an actual séance as part of a theatrical entertainment.”

Read more and buy tickets.

26 May 2014

Darcy Oake on foreign acts

From the Daily Mail:
But as he prepares to perform live tonight, the 26-year-old said he could accept the point of view that only Britons should be allowed to compete. 
[Darcy] Oake said: 'I totally understand and get that viewpoint. For me, Britain's got talent is literally the biggest talent show in the world. 
Read more.

From Clive Court's Facebook page:

Post by Clive Court.

Best wishes Darcy!

Toronto: The Bill Abbott Experience

Thursday June 19 
The Bill Abbott Experience is a one-man concert featuring a genre-busting hybrid of cutting edge mind reading and magical brilliance that is inarguably awe-inspiring. 
Read more and buy tickets.

24 May 2014

Darcy Oake makes second BGT appearance tonight

From Clive Court's Facebook page:

Invitation to the IBM/SAM Combined Convention

From the IBM/SAM Combined Convention Facebook page:
June 30 - July 5 in St. Louis

23 May 2014

Greg Frewin on Global TV

From Global News:
Thu, May 15: Greg Frewin is a world renowned magician and the first and only winner of: “The International Grand Champion of Magic.” He accomplished the title after winning first place in 20 different countries, stretching to six continents. This is the ninth consecutive season of Greg’s Live “Imagine” show currently taking place in Niagara.

22 May 2014

Buffalo: Matt DiSero at Rob Lederman's Comedy club

From Matt DiSero's Twitter feed:

Mark Correia in Strait from the Heart

Here’s what I had not seen, until now: A young magician who’s willing to spend two weeks inside the (increasingly rank, we assume) confines of a straitjacket, in the middle of a hot Canadian summer.

But that’s what’s happening this July. His name is Mark Correia, and he’s doing it to raise money for Parkinson’s disease. Mark, who is also an actor, is a graduate of Etobicoke School of the Arts and currently enrolled at The National Theatre School of Canada. Mark is a longtime admirer of Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 and currently supports research through his non-profit foundation.

Read more.

21 May 2014

Houdini: The Pickleman punch and J. Gordon Whithead

From "The Pickleman punch" at Wild About Houdini:
We all know J. Gordon Whithead punched Houdini in the stomach in his dressing room at the Princess Theater in Montreal on October 22, 1926. It's debated whether or not the punch caused or just masked his fatal appendicitis, but all agree that Whitehead's punch was the start of a chain of events that would lead to the magician's death on Halloween. But in his seminal work, The Man Who Killed Houdini, author Don Bell uncovered evidence of two other punches delivered by McGill University students during Houdini's stay in the city that might extend that chain a little further back.

One of those punches is said to have occurred in the lobby of the Prince of Wales Hotel. However, that incident is questionable as it only comes via second-hand sources, so I'm going to save it for another time and another post. The punch I want to discuss today is the first of the three for which there is strong evidence. This punch or "test" occurred on October 19, 1926, when Houdini was giving his lecture at McGill University. Bell calls it "the Pickleman punch."

Read more.

From "Is this J. Gordon Whitehead at McGill in 1926?" at Wild About Houdini:
Recently our friends at the Houdini Museum in Scranton and Joe Notaro of HHCE turned up an amazing archive of yearbooks from McGill University. Of course, it was a student from McGill, Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead, who punched Houdini in his dressing room at the Princess Theater on October 22, 1926. Could these books give us our first look at Whitehead as a student?

There is only one known photo of Whitehead, taken almost 25 years after the Houdini incident when he was in his 50s. Because he never graduated, there is no individual yearbook photo of him as a student. However, this group shot of the "Arts '28 Class" in the 1926 yearbook is said to include a "Whitehead, J.G." (as well as Gerald Pickleman, who also "tested" Houdini that week). Unfortunately, it doesn't specify which student is Whitehead.

Read more.

20 May 2014

Toronto: David Peck at the Global Change Initiative

May 30- June 1, 2014
Toronto City Hall Council Chamber 
the global change initiative 
is an annual meeting of collective minds spanning the world of academics, corporate, institution and government; all brought together in Toronto’s core for a two-day, three-night interactive Summit. Sustainability, conscious consumerism and responsible thought leadership rule the weekend. 
MEET David PeckHis paramount passion is contributing to the international development community. He has worked in collaboration with organizations such as UNICEF, Plan, STN, Make Poverty History, and World Vision. He has provided consulting services for health, literacy and restorative justice projects in Cambodia, Mongolia and throughout parts of Africa. He currently devotes much of his time to managing SoChange.

Read more.

19 May 2014

Win tickets to see The Uncertainty Project in Toronto

Updated May 30th:  The contest is now closed and the winners have been announced!

I have been offered four pairs of tickets to give away to my readers, to attend "The Uncertainty Project" in Toronto, Canada.

I will be holding a random draw for each pair of general admission tickets.  (There will be four winners. Each winner will receive a pair of tickets.)  The draw results will be posted on Friday, May 30th.

To enter:
  1. Leave a comment on this post, telling me your favourite thing about James Alan.  (You do not need to be a magician to enter the contest.)(Your favourite thing could be that he offered tickets for this contest!)
  2. Leave your name, along with a way that I may contact you (e-mail address, phone number, website, Twitter handle etc.) so that I can notify you if you win.
  3. If you win, you must be willing to provide your full name and contact information for me to share with Abracadabaret.

The fine print:
  • To participate in the contest, you must be 18 years of age or older.
  • One entry per person.
  • This giveaway is open to Canadian residents, excluding residents of Quebec. (Je m'excuse!)
  • This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.
  • If you experience difficulties leaving a comment, you may e-mail it to me for posting.  (I am not responsible if your e-mail is misdirected or gets stuck in my Spam folder.)
  • You must be able to use the tickets as offered.  (No cash value will be offered if you cannot use the tickets.)
  • The odds of winning depend on how many people enter the contest.
  • Contest closes on Thursday May the 29th at 11:59pm EST.

With thanks to James from Abracadabaret for generously making these tickets available to you!