31 August 2017

Toronto: Save the date for 'Browser's Magic Bash 2018'

From the Browser's Den of Magic's Newsletter:
Dear Magic Friend,

We hope that you and family have had a happy and fun summer.

As we approach September we are very excited to tell you about two important dates.

The date of the 'Browser's Magic Bash 2018' is: SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2018.

Tickets go on sale for the Bash on: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 at 10:00am.

As in past years you will be able to purchase tickets on the Bash website or if you prefer by phone with a Visa or MasterCard. The price of the tickets will be the same as Bash 2017.

As always everyone involved with the Bash thanks you for your wonderful support of this day.

Read more.

Toronto: Free magic club

From the Browser's Den of Magic Facebook group:
This upcoming Saturday, September 2nd will be our next Magic Club Meeting.

The club meets at Browser's Den from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. All are welcome.

Thank you-The Browser's Den Team.
Serving Magicians Since 1975

Top 5 posts in August 2017

Of all the posts at Canada's Magic this month, here are the 5 most viewed posts in the past 30 days:

5. Random thoughts from "Magic Theory, or Magic Fact? Let's Find Out." - If you get a chance to see Michael Close lecture, do it!
4. McCord Museum: Magic, music, and dance - Sounds like a wonderful day!
3. Broken wand: Eugene Burger - Another bright light gone dark too soon.
2. Canadians remember Eugene Burger - Keeping the memories vibrant.

and the most viewed post this month  ...

1. [Guest post] Random thoughts about "UNBELIEVABLE! A Magical Experience" - I've been fortunate to see both Murray and Shawn perform a number of times.  I'm not surprised the show is reported to be amazing!  With thanks to The Magic Demon.

30 August 2017

Champions of Magic: North American Tour dates

From Champions of Magic:
Direct from a hit season in London’s West End, the world-class illusionists that make up the Champions Of Magic team return for a spectacular night of mystery that’ll keep you guessing for a long time to come. With over 20 million online views between them, and sold out shows on their 2014, 2015 and 2016 tours, the cast includes international award winners presenting incredible mind reading, stunning close-up magic and daring large-scale illusions. Their skills have been seen around the world, and on TV in the UK appearing on ITV’s ‘Next Great Magician’ and ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’.

With over 20 million online views between them, Champions Of Magic includes a cast of Britain’s top magicians. International award winners presenting incredible mind reading, stunning close-up magic and daring large-scale illusions, their skills have been seen around the world on TV with appearances on ITV’s ‘Next Great Magician’, ITV/The CW’s ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’, CNN’s ‘A Quest For Magic’ and NBC’s ‘Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon’.
Canadian dates include:
  • Friday 3rd: REGINA, SK (Canada) - Casino Regina - Tel 1-800-555-3189
  • Saturday 4th: WINNIPEG, MB (Canada) - Pantages Playhouse - Tel (204)-989-2889
Read more and buy tickets.

29 August 2017

Qualicum Beach: Spectacular Magic Fundraiser

Sunday October 1st. Paul Romhany, Eric Bedard, and The Magic of Zanthera.  Now with silent auction.

From Eric Bedard's Facebook page:

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28 August 2017

Richmond: Murray SawChuck

Murray SawChuck, is coming to River Rock Show Theatre on Friday, October 27, 2017. 

From Ticketmaster:
Murray SawChuck, one of the most sought after viral magicians with over 500 million online views, is coming to River Rock Show Theatre on Friday, October 27, 2017. Hailing from Burnaby, BC, Murray is returning to his hometown for one show only. Murray made his mark as a household name when he exploded onto the entertainment scene after his successful run as a semi-finalist on NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent.” He impressed judges by producing a Ferrari car from thin air, transforming a girl locked in a cage into a 450 pound tiger and did the largest trick ever on the show by vanishing an entire steam train locomotive in mere seconds.

Read more and buy tickets.

26 August 2017

Jean-Pierre Parent in the Montreal Times

Congratulations to  Jean-Pierre Parent!

From the Montreal Times:
Montreal Magician Jean-Pierre Parent – In the spirits of Montreal’s 375th anniversary making waves for the metropolis within the four corners of the globe, we can be proud of our people of Quebec, especially those who stand out with art and/or entrepreneurship! Montreal’s very own Jean-Pierre Parent Magician Comedian is a 4th season winner of the prestigious Penn and Teller: Fool Us contest that aired last Thursday, August 17th.

Read more.

Watch on Jean-Pierre Parent's YouTube channel:

25 August 2017

[Guest post] Random thoughts about "UNBELIEVABLE! A Magical Experience"

The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon. 

"UNBELIEVABLE! A Magical Experience"

Running nightly at 7:30 pm in the Pacific Coliseum at the PNE in Vancouver, BC until September 4th. Free with admission.  [The PNE is closed on Monday, Aug. 28th.]

Random Thoughts For Canada's Magic
by The Magic Demon

It's UNBELIEVABLE... that a whole year has gone by since the first edition of Unbelievable! debuted in 2016.

It's UNBELIEVABLE... how fast the 90 minute coliseum-size magical extravaganza whizzed by.

It's UNBELIEVABLE... again how good it was.

Performance viewed on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017.

Murray Hatfield and Teresa have returned to the annual summer PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) with their second incarnation of Unbelievable! - a  magical phantasmagoria of illusion, pyrotechnics, music and sheer wonder.

Joining them on stage are American magicians Chipper Lowell and Danny Cole and Canada's own Shawn Farquhar - all performing at the top of their games, combining unique energies to synthesize an evening's worth of spectacular visual entertainment.

I don't propose to review the show element by element  but I would like to refer to a few hastily scribbled notes and mention a few memorable highlights.

Murray and Teresa  - first and foremost and as always, magnificent performers, classy and compelling to watch. I love all their often fire-enhanced big box illusions. At one point they featured three big box illusions at once on stage (which must be some kind of world record!) Later they also did a show-stopping, breathtaking up to date version of "Metamorphosis." I've not seen it done in person since Doug Henning and his version for me was the one to beat. I think I can honestly say that they have finally done so. I was also truly impressed by Murray's innovative and suspense-filled variation of an effect familiar to some of us. I won't give away which one -- but when I saw it I marveled at his sheer brilliant audacity for turning such a classic close up effect into a coliseum-sized miracle. Murray, I salute you!

Chipper Lowell. What does one say about such a comedic phenomenon? He quickly won the audience over with his outrageous antics. We were soon laughing at all his seemingly spontaneous frenetic presentations. His very verbal style is ideally suited to such a massive forum (seating 10,000 at full capacity). It is hard to describe -- it's very "over the top" and somewhat "camp" but extremely focused even when it looks like he's made a mistake. (Hint: He doesn't.) It's hard to combine magic and outright comedy. To make it also look so easy and effortless as Lowell does is the mark of a real pro.

Another impressive talent is American Danny Cole. His silent act (done to the pounding beat of contemporary Latin dance music) assisted by his graceful wife, borders on the poetic. His suits change colour, his ties take on a life of their own, coat hangers behave most mysteriously, chairs defy gravity, CDs multiply, appear and disappear. Throughout these visual impossibilities appearing right before our eyes (and magnified by the two huge screens to each side of the stage) Cole remains the epitome of stylish, sophisticated elegance. This is a magician's magician.

For me, perhaps the most enjoyable moments of the evening were courtesy Canada's own Shawn Farquhar. His opening effects performed from the audience directly to the cameras were stunning card manipulations done to cleverly mirror the lyrics of an accompanying song. The audience loved it. But where he really excelled were his interactions with audience members. His version of "Topsy Turvy" bottles was a genuine delight because of his interaction with his audience volunteer. And it was his "Dancing Hankerchief" routine with a cute little five year old girl picked from the audience to assist him that so won everyone's hearts and unconditional appreciation. You could tell his volunteers really liked him and trusted him and the audience picked up on that. It was an invaluable lesson for all performers.

TIP: Bring earplugs unless you want to go partially deaf early in life. The music is loud.

I said it last year and I see no reason not to repeat myself again this year. Good advice is good advice!  If you are in or near Vancouver run (do not walk) to the PNE and see "Unbelievable! A Magical Experience." You will not regret it.

Congratulations to Murray and Teresa for masterminding another outstanding success.


Thank you The Magic Demon for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

24 August 2017

ET Canada: Property Brothers talk acting and magic

From ET Canada:
“I went to Vancouver to pursue that, and I was taking acting courses, networking and doing all the things I had to do to make sure that I was being seen,” he continues. “In the end, that experience was really important because it created the buzz for our first auditions, which got us on TV and made it worth it.”

Jonathan, on the other hand, was pursuing his dream of being a magician, but a miscreant crushed that hope. His props and equipment were stolen, effectively putting the twin out of business. Nevertheless, he learned an important lesson that day.

Read more and watch videos.

23 August 2017

For those of you going through magic camp withdrawal

Some of you out there may feel like there's someplace you should be, or should have been a week or so ago.  You may have an inexplicable need to find your way to Haliburton, Ontario.  Or you could just be experiencing the emptiness of Sorcerers Safari magic camp withdrawal.

For you, I present Camp TV 2.  The last of the Sorcerers Safari videos.  This one, created by Chris Mayhew, has highlights from last summer (2016) as well as previous years.

Watch Camp TV 2 on the Sorcerers Safari YouTube channel:

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I think there's something in my eye ...

22 August 2017

Penn Jillette apologizes to the people of Newfoundland

Penn Jillette's grandfather came from the Conception Bay North area of Newfoundland.

From the CBC:
"I apologize to people of my favorite place, Newfoundland, and my family for screwing up on Real Time," he tweeted. "May I apologize without apologizing or mitigating to the people of Newfoundland. I was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong."
Read more.

21 August 2017

Magic at the 2017 CNE

See Majinx, from The Ex:
In the last century Canada has produced several award winning magicians including Doug Henning, The Amazing Randy, Dia Vernon and even Kreskin.   Master magicians Professor Wick and Beatrix Beckoncall aka, MAJINX, will reintroduce these icons of magic to a new generation of audience while showcasing some of the incredible feats of wonder that made them famous.  Spectacular illusions and thrilling escapes make for an entertaining and educational experience for the whole family.

Now come and watch the wonders of MAJINX as they dazzle your senses with impossible feats of illusion with their new show MAJINX's Tribute to the Magic of Canada!

Read more.

See Double Vision, from The Ex:
Identical twins and magicians, Double Vision will wow and amaze you with their one-of-a-kind magic show! For the past twenty seven years Double Vision has performed across North America with special appearances for the Prime Minister at his official residence in Ottawa, the Magic Castle, in the heart of Hollywood, California and at numerous corporate events.

Packed with comedy, magic, illusions and sleight of hand, Double Vision is sure to delight visitors at Busker's Corner Daily at the CNE. Come on out and become a part of Twinstory!
Read more.

20 August 2017

Murray Hatfield in The Georgia Straight

From The Georgia Straight:
Murray Hatfield’s career trajectory was set back at his childhood home in Calgary, when he saw a 13-year-old magician perform at his younger brother’s birthday party.

“Well, I’m in my 50s now, and I still haven’t had a real job,” the Victoria-based magician tells the Straight over the phone.

Starting this week, Hatfield is producing and performing in Unbelievable! A Magical Experience, with nightly shows at the PNE’s Pacific Coliseum. He’ll be joined on-stage by colleagues Chipper Lowell, Shawn Farquhar, and Danny Cole—as well as his wife, Teresa, Hatfield’s on-stage partner and creative collaborator.

Read more.

[via The Magic Demon]

19 August 2017

McCord Museum mentioned in Blouin Artinfo

From Blouin Artinfo:
“Illusions – The Art of Magic” an exhibition featuring the art of illusions is on view at McCord Museum, Québec.

The selection of works on display features magic show posters not exhibited before. These posters date back to the 1880s till 1930s. The exhibit consists of 71 chromolithographs and wood engravings few of them in large formats and highlights some of the most popular faces of the period such as Herrmann, Kellar, Chung Ling Soo, Thurston, and Houdini. The exhibit draws from the Allan Slaight Collection, acquired by the museum in 2015.  ‘Illusions – The Art of Magic’ looks at the Golden Age of Magic by creating an immersive and spell binding environment through sights, sounds, and colors.

Read more.

18 August 2017

Camilo Dominguez at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

From the CBC:
Magician Camilo Dominguez travelled from Vancouver to perform in his second Edmonton Fringe Festival.

His magic show debuts on Saturday in Venue 8, the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre. It's called "The Art of Magic."

He'll do card tricks with a camera and projector so that everyone in the audience can see, and then move on to bigger illusions like making things fly.

"It's a show where I do most of the old illusions that the magicians used to do. It's the kind of magic that I grew up watching so I'm going to pay a tribute to the old magicians in my show," said Dominguez.

Read more and watch video.

17 August 2017

Owen Sound: Now with Michael Weber

Earlier this summer, we shared the news about a workshop retreat Michael Close is hosting with special guest Jason England.  Those in attendance at "Magic Theory, or Magic Fact? Let's Find Out." earlier this week at the Browser's Den of Magic heard Michael hint that he was hoping to add another special guest to the roster.

It's official!

From Michael Close's Twitter feed:

From Michael Close:
You are cordially invited to join Michael Close and Jason England on October 17-20, 2017, for a unique workshop in the beautiful cottage country of northern Ontario (Owen Sound, ON). You’ll be away from the physical and mental noise of the city, but you won’t be roughing it; the accommodations are luxurious.

You’ll fly into Toronto on Monday, October 16, Tuesday morning you'll be bused to beautiful Owen Sound, ON where you will spend most of Tuesday, all day Wednesday, and all day Thursday talking magic and receiving personalized instruction from two of the most knowledgeable magicians on the planet. You'll return to your hotel in Toronto on Friday, and fly home on Saturday.

Read more and register!

16 August 2017

Winnipeg: Piff the Magic Dragon

Thursday Aug 17th - Sunday Aug 20th

From Piff the Magic Dragon's Facebook page:

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15 August 2017

Random thoughts from "Magic Theory, or Magic Fact? Let's Find Out."

Updated August 16 to add:

You may remember that I had the good fortune of spending time with Michael Close at Sorcerers Safari.  (I even snagged a mini-interview with him.)  I was always thoroughly impressed with the wisdom he shared with his advanced card classes. 

When I heard Michael was lecturing locally, I knew I had to make it if I could.

From the Canada's Magic Twitter feed:

Sunday night, the stars aligned and I was able to attend "Magic Theory, or Magic Fact? Let's Find Out."

Also from the Canada's Magic Twitter feed:

Among other things, during the lecture Michael discussed:
  • theory's place in performance arts (with wonderful music analogies)
  • his wonderfully complete definition of magic
  • how to find (and cure) trouble spots in performance
  • the importance of emotion and intellect
  • the importance scripting
  • assumptions that laymen make
  • control, repose, and chaos
  • "The Big Lie"

We got to see some magic too!  Of note, he performed "Red Blue Mama Fooler" and then pointed out The Big Problem and how he fixed it.  I was also delighted with a yet to be published routine from his upcoming eBook "Paradigm Shift."

Attendees were provided a discount code for MichaelClose.com which includes The Workers series, and Closely Guarded Secrets.  We were also tipped to the great sale price of Magic in the Real World.  (And if you didn't already know, there's this little thing called "Magic In Mind" that you can get for free at Vanishing Inc, which includes an essay from Michael as well as 32 other highly regarded professionals.)

If you haven't seen the announcement, Michael is hosting a workshop with Jason England and Michael Weber (and perhaps an additional mystery guest) in October.  Only eight spots remain.

Bottom line, as with Phil Matlin's report from a 2014 lecture by Michael, I was very impressed!

Far out Magic Dude.

Read Michael's thoughts about his lecture.

The last Tweet from Canada's Magic Twitter feed:

14 August 2017

CBC interview with Matt DiSero

An interview from August 2016, where Matt thinks he said something that upset a listener.

From the CBC:
For Matt DiSero, the magic came first—and then the comedy followed.

His uncle was a sword-swallower and fire-breather who first introduced him to magic. Matt credits performing in comedy clubs with the help he needed to hone his funny magic act.

Read more and listen to interview.

13 August 2017

Canadians remember Eugene Burger

From Perfect Magic:
Eugene Burger was special, as a magician and as a person. The first and most important memory I have of him was when he came to Montreal to lecture for Magie Montréal. It was many years ago and I was not that into magic at the time, but I went to the lecture to help Phil and Vim Vermeys with registration, etc.  and stayed of course for the lecture.

Anyone at that lecture learned valuable lessons. I don’t rememberphil-eugene-and-tom one trick that he did. It wasn’t about the tricks, it was about performing. Every word was well thought out and had a reason for being there. His jokes were not to get a laugh, which they got, but as he explained, when you laugh you close your eyes for a second and that’s all the time he needed to do what he had to do in front of your eyes.

Read more.

From Derek Selinger's Facebook page:

From Lawrence Larouche's Facebook page:

From Ben Train's Facebook page:

From the Facebook page for Michael Close:

From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:

Visit the Eugene Burger Memorial Page, McBride Magic & Mystery School on Facebook.