02 July 2016

2016 Allan Slaight Award Recipients

Congratulations to this year's winners!

From Magicana:
Lifetime Achievement Award ($15,000) - TON ONOSAKA
Sharing Wonder Award ($15,000) - DARCY OAKE
Sharing Secrets Award ($10,000) - RICHARD KAUFMAN
International Rising Star ($5,000) - JORGE BLASS
Canadian Rising Star ($5,000) - LUC LANGEVIN

Read more.

Revisit "The Magic Palace"

From Magicana:
The Magic Palace was a Canadian television series, produced and hosted by Dale Harney, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which was an inspiration for a generation of magicians. In an age before YouTube and the Internet, the show gave viewers a broad sampling of magic acts from North America and Europe in an unprecedented scale. 
Almost lost to history, it is now one of the most important collections of magic performances. Magicana is delighted to share this material and, perhaps, inspire another generation of magicians all over again. 
Read more and enter exhibit.

Watch the teaser:


01 July 2016

Thank you to our May 2016 Friends!

Thank you to John Smithman, John Harrison, Richard Lyn and Joan Caesar for being Friends of Canada's Magic!

It's good to have friends like you.

You too can Be Our Friend for only $20 per year! 

Donations of any size are always welcome.

Toronto: Free magic club meeting

Hi There- This Saturday, July 2nd is our next (FREE) Magic Club Meeting. 
We meet at Browser's Den from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. All interested in talking magic are welcome.  
And we are pleased to let you know that it looks as if Jeff Hinchliffe will be joining us at the meeting. 
Happy Canada Day!
Jeff & The Browser's Den Team.
Serving Magicians Since 1975

Thank you to our July 2016 sponsors!

Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.

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Or you can Be Our Friend for only $20 per year! 

Donations of any size are always welcome.

30 June 2016

Top 5 posts of June 2016

Again with the high number of duplicate-ish entries in this list, so to level out the playing field, here are the 10 most viewed posts at Canada's Magic this month:
10.  Montreal and Toronto: Let’s Make uberMAGIC - Did you participate?  How was the experience? 
9.  Diary of a Sorcerers Safari newbie - part 10 - The latest instalment of imaginary camper Alex's experiences at Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp. 
8.  Toronto: Fundraising for Fort McMurray - Shout out to all the magicians out there raising money for this good cause. 
7.  Diary of a Sorcerers Safari newbie - part 9 - In which we see Daryl get up close and personal with pie. 
6.  20 things you need to know about Sorcerers Safari - Who can tell me about the origins of "Farquhar Lake" mentioned in item 6? 
5.  Diary of a Sorcerers Safari newbie - part 6 - Camp photo! 
4.  Diary of a Sorcerers Safari newbie - part 7 - “Cheerleader" by Omi and "Love Is An Open Door" from Frozen.  Need I say more? 
3.  20 magical memories from Sorcerers Safari - Have you ever seen Lee Asher in an egg plant costume? 
2.  Chris Funk on America's Got Talent - Go Chris, go!

and the most viewed post this month  ...

1.  20 amazing alumni from Sorcerers Safari - Did you know that Neil Croswell (gold medal ‘Magic of China, International Magic Championships” 2015), Bill Cook (three-time award winner at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas), and Kelvin Kwong (first place Magi-Fest junior close-up, second place IBM junior close-up) have all attended?

29 June 2016

Vancouver: 3 of clubs 2016

From the 3 of Clubs Convention:
Register today and join us on November 11th-13th, 2016 for our favourite I.B.M. Ring Reunion, the 3 of Clubs!
We’re bringing together some of our favourite talent and greatest friends we’ve met throughout the years we’ve spent travelling the magic convention circuit.
If you saw yourself in the photo above, we want YOU!  If you don’t see yourself there, we REALLY want you!
Come see what your West Coast magic family has to offer, and see what makes us one of the best magic communities in North America!
Read more and register.

28 June 2016

Diary of a Sorcerers Safari newbie - part 10

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A camper's notebook. Photo by Rosemary Reid
A camper's notebook.

Day 5: Tuesday August 18th*
Cheesy omelette breakfast.  I saw the rabbits again!  And I saw a bright green frog too.  Still no sign of the deer. 
At card class Shawn Farquhar talked to us about stuff I’d never considered.  He said, “give people a sense of wonder.  Don’t make them feel stupid or small.”  And then he said this quote from American poet Maya Angelou:   
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We played “Capture the Flag” which was so. much. FUN!

The camper show was fantastic.  Before the show, Lee Asher made his group perform walk around for the audience.  They did really well. 

Pre-show walk around. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Pre-show walk around.

Then the show started.  Some of the kids performed things they just learned (or even made!) this week!  Others made stuff up and some came prepared with things they’d been working on the whole year.  Shout out to them all!
Emcees: Chaz and RJ.
Performers: Cathy, James, Brad, Matt, Tariq, Jordan, Ava, Vincent, Landon, Matthew, Nathan, Will, Ben, Jack, Nick, and Jeff.
Backstage: Simon, Holden, Serena, and Jarrett.
Sound and tech: Steve Kline (for this and all the other shows!).
Production assistants: Mike and Lisa Close, Dan Wiebe, and Mike Toal.

Owning the stage. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Owning the stage.

Sponge balls. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Sponge balls.

Something big is about to happen! Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Something big is about to happen!

The coolest thing about the show was that everyone’s performance looked good.  Beginner kids went first so they didn’t have to go after someone who had more experience.  I don’t see any competition between the kids.  The adults want us all to shine. 
Today’s electives were Pulp Friction (with Lee himself!), linking rings, Gravity Half Pass (with Aaron Fisher!), Assistant’s Revenge stage illusion, Miser’s Dream, any card at any number, and Patriotic Ropes. 

Bill Wells and Sheldon Casavant talking coins. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Bill Wells and Sheldon Casavant talking coins.

Patriotic ropes with Phil DaCosta. Photo by James Carey Lauder.

I did the linking rings and was kinda surprised (and disappointed) to learn how they work.  It seems that some of the most wonderful effects are based on simple ideas.  Loran was a great teacher, but I’m going to have to practise a lot more until I feel comfortable doing it in front of anyone!

Rats. Camp swim got rained out.  (I wish I tried the high jump yesterday).  Silver lining: we all piled into the Staff Lounge and had a big impromptu panel with Shawn, Eric, Phil, and Mark.  They do things off the top of their head better than I can do anything I’ve rehearsed a million times.  I wonder how much of it is pure talent and how much of it is hours and hours of practise.

Shawn speaking at the panel. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Shawn speaking at the panel.

To be continued ...

The 2016 season of Sorcerers Safari will run from Sunday August 7th through Friday August 12th, 2016. For more information, or to register, please visit SorcerersSafari.ca

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* The “Diary of a Sorcerers Safari Newbie” is primarily based on the 2015 camp season.  It is an aggregate of many perspectives, and at times includes events from previous years.

27 June 2016

Vancouver: "UNBELIEVABLE: A Magical Experience"

The show will run at the PNE August 20 – September 5, 2016 (Closed Monday August 22 and 29).

From the Pacific National Exhibition website:
A world-class magical showcase not to be missed! Watch in amazement and witness grand illusions. Come and be thrilled as we present champions of magic! UNBELIEVABLE magic, comedy and breathtaking illusions - get a front row seat to a magical experience you will simply describe as UNBELIEVABLE!

From the stages of Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Shanghai, Unbelievable brings together some of the world's champion Magicians:
  • International Award Winning, Canada's Master Illusionists, Murray Hatfield and Teresa present unbelievable magic, interactive comedy and jaw dropping, state-of-the-art illusions.
  • Get ready to jump into the world of Magic and comedy with American comedian magician Matt Marcy who will leave you laughing and gasping in astonishment.
  • From the United States, Scott Pepper will amaze you with his unbelievable talent, as he pays tribute to Houdini by attempting a version of an escape that would have made Harry Houdini himself nervous.
  • Then to the Weird & Slightly Dangerous, Marty Putz who will bring the arena to it's feet in his world of whacky magic.
  • Then be amazed by The First Lady of Magic, Juliana Chen, leading master of manipulation. Chen known around the world, and perhaps the best-known female magician today, will blow your mind.

Collectively, these world champion magicians have performed around the world and have come together to take you on a magical journey that is Unbelievable!

Read more and buy tickets.

26 June 2016

Broken wand: Gordon McIntosh

From the Abby News:
McINTOSH, Gordon
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Gordon McIntosh on June 17, 2016. Gord was a man of many talents, you could know Gord for his entire 67 years and you would still only scratch the surface of this great man. He was a proud man, who was pleased to call you his family or friend. Gord was predeceased by his wife Sheila and his son David. Gord leaves behind his two sons Chris (Tanya) & Anthony, his two step daughters Cheri (Dan) & Jennifer (Jeff), and his grandchildren Chandelle, Maizie-Skye, Elana, Carmin, Samuel, Bryan, Ryan, Eric & Austin. His love of magic brought his life so much joy and amazing friendships! Thank you to the VMC & FVMC for your friendship to Gord. It means a lot. Thank you to the Doctors and Nurses at the Abbotsford Hospital for all your hard work. Celebration of Life to be July 24. More details to follow.

25 June 2016

Catching up with Discourse in Magic

Jonah Babins and Tyler Williams have been steadily producing podcasts since their launch in April.  Have a look at what they've released so far...
As an aside, am I the only one wondering when someone is going to launch Datcourse in Magic?

From Discourse in Magic:
Welcome to the Discourse in Magic podcast! This is where we tackle magic’s hardest issues, theories, philosophies, discussion, and more to help you explore.  We jump into all sorts of resources and most importantly actionable tips to help better the art and become a killer performer!

  • Episode 11 – How to be a Great Teacher, Mentor and Student of Magic with Aaron Fisher and Adam Grace
    June 16th, 2016
  • Episode 10 – Playing Card Innovation and Economy in the Era of Crowdfunding with Lee Asher June 9th, 2016
  • Episode 9 – Community Month: Introduction Magic Shops, Camps and Friends June 2nd, 2016
  • Episode 8 – Performing Tips for the Working Magician, From Restaurants to Big Illusions with Chris Westfall May 26th, 2016
  • Episode 7 – Ethics and morals for the modern magician with Ben Train May 19th, 2016
  • Episode 6 – Creating a fictional premise with conflicts and twist endings that rock May 12th, 2016
  • Episode 5 – Designing magic for the screen and the stage with Patrick Kun May 5th, 2016
  • Episode 4 – Improv and being open to change with Chris Mayhew April 29th, 2016
  • Episode 3 – Personality, character and connecting with your audience with Eric Leclerc April 27th, 2016
  • Episode 2 – Going viral, the Reddit secret, and Rubik’s cubes with Steven Brundage April 23rd, 2016
  • Episode 1 – Introduction Episode April 20th, 2016

Read more and listen to podcasts.

24 June 2016

Toronto: Browser's Back Room

How exciting! I look forward to visiting soon.

From the Browser's Den of Magic Facebook page:
Dear Magic Friends, 
Jeff Pinsky here. I hope that all is well. 
I am very pleased and excited to announce something new at Browser's Den. 
We have transformed the back room of Browser's Den (some 500 square feet) into a Collector's and Used Magic Centre! 
This new centre is open to you during our regular store hours. There you will find a treasure trove of both used and collectable magic at very low and reasonable prices. 
Read more.

23 June 2016

Vancouver: Wes Barker lecture

From Jeff Christensen's post at the CAM Facebook page:
Up next on the Vancouver Magic Circle's lecture series is none other than Wes Barker. Live and direct from his TV appearances on Fool Us to his international tour stops with major comedy festivals around the world. Wes is an innovative performer that makes magic current, hip and engaging. Come find out how you can make your magic more interesting and engaging for your audiences. The first thing an audience member thinks when you enter the stage is "Who is this person and why should I care?" Wes Barker will answer all of this and much much more. All will be answered on Friday July 22nd 7pm (doors open at 6:30) at Douglas College. You won't want to miss Wes Barker Stunt Magician!

22 June 2016

Montreal: Le lab magique Jun 29

Catch the last lab before summer break!

Patrice Meunier - magicien fantaisiste

André Rancour Ventriloquie
Hamza Araqui - cirque
Le testeur surprise

Animé par - Erick Elektrik et Bernard Lebel

From Le lab magique'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.

Magicana teases next online exhibition

From the Magicana Facebook page:
We've got a secret!
Here is the first look at a new online exhibition we will be releasing in a few weeks. Who remembers watching this?

21 June 2016

Diary of a Sorcerers Safari newbie - part 9

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A camper's notebook. Photo by Rosemary Reid
A camper's notebook.

Day 4: Monday August 17th (cont)*
After lunch (burgers and lemonade and ice cream!) everyone gathered around a bunch of the adults on benches.
Cook out for lunch! Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Cook out for lunch!

There was excitement in the air and I could barely see what was going on.  It turns out that Daryl eats his pie in a really unexpected way.  Who knew?

Great elective choices today:  cups and balls, memorized deck, mentalism, rope magic, spoon bending, and dancing canes.  I picked the dancing cane and it was so much fun!  I can actually make it look like I’m levitating it and making it move.  (And it’s so much easier than juggling.)  I need to own one. 

Dance cane, dance! Still from footage by Chris Mayhew.
Dance cane, dance!

Cups and balls. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Cups and balls.

At performance workshop we played the “questions only” game.  You can only reply to someone by asking another question. Much harder than it sounds!  It’s supposed to help us to listen and to think on our feet. It’s hilarious.  I laughed so much I cried!
Questions only! Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Questions only!

All I remember about dinner was ice cream with chocolate sauce!

The lip syncs rocked.  I especially liked Shawn and Lori Farquhar doing "You're The One That I Want" from Greece, and Magic Mike Segal (and Stephanie Kline, Chris Galonska, Jen Segal, and Lisa Close) doing "Mahna Mahnam" from the Muppet Show.

Mahna Mahnam. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Mahna Mahnam.

It was a super talented show again tonight.  Loran did an elegant time themed piece, Mark did some stage stunts, Philip and Jonah and Chris Mayhew were fantastic.  The show ended with the Marion and Ted Outerbridge doing a fabulous stage show with big props, fancy costumes and great illusions.  Ted has the best disco ball jacket ever!

Loran. Photo by James Carey Lauder.

Ted and Marion Outerbridge. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Ted and Marion Outerbridge.

Marion stopped by our cabin to visit. She had amazing stories of touring and performance.  She MADE Ted’s sparkling jacket.  So. much. WORK!

To be continued ...

The 2016 season of Sorcerers Safari will run from Sunday August 7th through Friday August 12th, 2016. For more information, or to register, please visit SorcerersSafari.ca

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* The “Diary of a Sorcerers Safari Newbie” is primarily based on the 2015 camp season.  It is an aggregate of many perspectives, and at times includes events from previous years.

20 June 2016

Greg Frewin on "The Peet & Reet Show"

While we're on the topic of Greg Frewin, have a look at his recent appearance on "The Peet & Reet Show."

From The Peet & Reet Show YouTube channel:

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.

Grand champion magician honoured at the 2016 Academy of Magical Arts awards

As a follow-up to this post, read the official press release from the Greg Frewin Theatre:
Hollywood, California - May 16th, 2016 EST - The Academy of Magical Arts delightfully announced Greg Frewin as the 2015 recipient of the Performing Fellowship Award. Established in 1968, the award recognizes outstanding achievement and significant contribution to the performance art of magic.  Frewin is the 2nd Canadian in the Academy’s history to have won this award.

"We were honored to bestow Greg with the Performing Fellowship for his great work in his Niagara Falls theatre," commented Academy of Magical Arts President, Randy Sinnott. “Greg has done a tremendous job advancing the Art, and with his creativity and energy and his year round/full-evening show has created a positive image of magic for the thousands that have seen him perform."

Frewin performs nightly at his own theatre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He and his long-running production have become one of magic's great destinations in the world.

Previous to owning and running his own theatre in Canada, Frewin appeared on stages all over the world, including Caesars Palace, Tropicana and Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas, Showboat in Atlantic City, Crystal Palace Casino in Nassau, Bahamas, the fabulous Genting Resort in Malaysia, Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia. He has also appeared on over 35 television programs, including NBC's World's Greatest Magic, ABC's Champions of Magic, CW's Masters of Illusion, and his own three-part CBC special Magic Man: Home for the Holidays.

"It's a great honour to be singled out by the Academy of Magical Arts & Magic Castle," Frewin remarked after learning of the award. "Bringing the prestigious fellowship home to Canada means so much to me, my family, and those who share my vision at the theatre. Moreover, I feel extra special to win because world renowned Illusionist Doug Henning, my childhood hero, is the only other Canadian to ever win this award. I'm in excellent company!"

"Greg Frewin's influence on magic is deep and broad," said Vittoria Wikston, the General Manager of the Greg Frewin Theatre. “He performs nightly entertaining thousands of people from different walks of life, all while creating lifelong devotees of magic in the process. Additionally, Frewin tirelessly demonstrates that if you keep focused, committed and true to yourself then you will attain your dreams. Now that's real magic!"

Among Frewin's awards are 'Magician of The Year' from the World Magic Awards, First Place in the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) competition of professional magicians, The Gold Medal of Excellence, First Place at the Society of American Magicians (SAM) annual magic convention competition, and First Place at FISM, the Olympics of magic.

Driven by the promotion and development of the art of magic, The Academy of Magical Arts is the proud founder of the Performance Fellowship award. Since its inception almost fifty years ago, the AMA has continually been a passionate advocate for the magical arts.


For more information about the magic of Greg Frewin visit the official website:

And from the Greg Frewin Theatre Twitter feed:

19 June 2016

How old were you when you got your first magic trick?

Click over to the Perfect Magic blog and let Evelyn know!

From Perfect Magic:
“I bet when Darcy Oake got his first magic trick, as a kid I presume, the furthest thing from his mind was that one day he would be going to London to visit the Queen. Get your kid a magic trick !”

Then I got to thinking that I got my first magic trick when I was 8 years old. My father went to New York  and went to Tannen’s  (I think that’s where he got it) and when he came home he gave me a Nickels to Dimes trick, made of brass. I can look back and see myself  sitting on the blue linoleum kitchen floor, banging away with that bang ring. I wonder if it left marks in the floor. I treasured it and found it amazingly clever, but I don’t remember performing it for anyone outside of the family. They did not have “Show and Tell” in school when I was in Grade 2. If they did, I surely would have brought that because it was something that none of the other kids would have had.

Read more and share your story.

18 June 2016

McSorley & Chung Magic Hour interviewed at Bad Feeling

From Bad Feeling magazine:
Grant McSorley & Derrick Chung are two scholars in engineering and mathematics, respectively, whose 10+ years friendship grew out of a love of magic while working together behind-the-scenes for renowned magicians.

With years of magical knowledge, part of which were imparted by some of the best illusionists in the world, they debuted their first two-person show at the Black Theatre Workshop last Friday and played a sold-out show on Saturday, where they amazed audiences with their twists on the effects that have sparked their own love for the craft. Complemented with their teaching backgrounds, their approach to the realms of the known and the baffling has always been to engage their audiences and pupils.
None of that male chauvinism of lovely assistants as eye-candy, no boxes sawed in half. This is stripped down sleight of hand prestidigitation down to its fundamental basics, performed in front of an intimate crowd reminiscent of parlor sessions during the heydays of vaudeville. Feel like a kid again full of wonderment, this is magic accessible to all!

I had the chance to nerd out with these two about magic & the known realm…

Read more and catch McSorley and Chung at the Montreal Fringe.