31 August 2011

Toronto: Browser's Den auction and grand opening party

From the Browser's Den website:
To celebrate this new chapter in our 36 year history, we invite you and your friends to our Grand Opening Party.

There will be discounts, specials, food, beverages and one of our famous MAGIC AUCTIONS…Where you will be offered fantastic bargains.

Read more.

29 August 2011

Toronto: Asi Wind Workshop

From Abracadabaret:
Presented in partnership with the Browser’s Den of Magic.
Asi Wind Workshop - Monday, September 26, 2011 @ 7:00 PM

This hands-on workshop is strictly limited to fifteen participants. It features special treatment on magic with the memorized deck, including “Mnemonicosis” and “The Trick that Cannot Be Explained” and other material from his professional working repertoire, and from his published material, Time Is Money, Chapter One and Switcher.

Read more or purchase tickets.

27 August 2011

Toronto: offering magic VHS tapes

From James Alan:
I've been asked to help dispose of a rather large collection of Magic VHS cassettes. It contains over 380 commercially produced VHS cassettes (L&L publishing, A-1 Multimedia, etc) and includes just about any and all of the major releases you can think of.

It will go to whomever submits the best offer by 5PM on August 31, 2011. All offers will be considered, no matter how high or low.

Two caveats: 1. The collection is in Toronto and must be picked up, it will not be shipped and 2. There is no inventory of what videos are included and the owner has no intention of making one.

But if you're willing to dust off your VCR, this is definitely a huge treasure trove of magic waiting to be rediscovered!

Questions or bids can be sent to info at jamesalan dot ca

Good luck.
James Alan | info at jamesalan dot ca

26 August 2011

Alex Seaman: gold medal winner

From BC Local News:

A 19-year-old magician from Port Coquitlam last month pulled out a gold medal for his award-winning tricks.

Alex Seaman clinched the hardware from the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians and the Canadian Association of Magicians.

Read more.

[h/t: CAM website]

25 August 2011

Rounding the Western rings in September

Check out the makeover for the Vancouver Magic Circle's website!

Confirm details about dates and locations by visiting each club's website.

Calgary, ABRing 66 (Calgary Magic Circle, Les Brocklesby Ring)- Wayne Houchin lecture
Edmonton, ABEdmonton Magic Club- Wayne Houchin lecture
Winnipeg, MBThe Magic Club of Winnipeg- Wayne Houchin lecture
Vancouver, BCRing 92 (Vancouver Magic Circle)- Wayne Houchin lecture
Victoria, BCRing 183 (Victoria Magic Circle)   - Wayne Houchin lecture

Please leave a comment or e-mail me about corrections or omissions.

Rounding the Ontario rings in September

Note that the Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit club has a new home for their redesigned website at IBMRing17.com.

Confirm details about dates and locations by visiting each club's website.

Hamilton, ONRing 49 (The Doug Henning Magic Wand Club) - Discussion of Mike Finney's magic lecture
London, ONLondon Magician's Guild- N/A
Kitchener, ONRing 235 (The Caesar Hat & Wand Magic Circle)- N/A
Ottawa, ONRing 151 (Ottawa Society of Magicians) - N/A
Toronto, ONRing 17 (Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club) - Richard Forget lecture
Woodstock, ONCAM 1 (Friendly City Mystics)   - N/A

Please leave a comment or e-mail me about corrections or omissions.

24 August 2011

Toronto: Asi Wind in Magic With Chutzpah!

Asi Wind is back in Toronto with his show "Magic With Chutzpah!"

From the Abracadabaret website:

Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Venue: The Artscape / Wychwood Barnes
Time: 8:00pm
Price: $30.00

To purchase tickets or for more invormation visit the Abracadabaret website.

23 August 2011

James Randi and behind the scenes

From the previously mentioned appearance of James Randi on ABC Primetime Nightline.

[h/t: MagicNewsWire.com for the video links] 

21 August 2011

Sheldon Casavant on circus camp

Sheldon Casavant talks about Total Under the Big Top Camp in the article "Circus arts build confidence."

From the Sherwood Park News:
Casavant added that it's once a participant masters a skill that they begin to believe in their abilities and that they can perform and amaze someone.
"It gives you the opportunity to do something your parents or your peers can't do, so it kind of creates that sense of confidence," Casavant said. "That confidence, whether they're doing magic or juggling, or any skills that are taught at Under the Big Top, those skills are great when in a couple weeks they go back to school, they've experienced something great at that makes them feel good about themselves as well."

Read more.

20 August 2011

Thanks for your continued support!

Back in November when I started this blog, I had no idea what to expect.  (It seems fitting that my first post was about Jeff Hinchliffe and the post previous to this also features Jeff.)  I thought I'd be doing okay if I scrounged up four or so posts a month.

Look at us now!  This is post number 258!  (Where did all the news come from?)  We've served up well over 6500 page views in 2011 alone and most recently have had over 1000 page views in July and August each!  We have one hundred and three Twitter followers and over 1000 tweets.  We also have forty-two Facebook fans and a couple dozen subscribers.

All this to say, thank you.  Thank you for reading, subscribing, re-tweeting, liking, sharing, submitting news, corresponding, making me aware of typos, guest posting and most of all for your wonderful feedback and continued support!

19 August 2011

Toronto: Card College Clinic at Browser’s Den

From the Browser's Den:

INSTRUCTOR-Mr. Jeff Hinchliffe

Date & Time: Wednesday nights for ten consecutive weeks beginning Wednesday, September 21, 2011. Each class will run from 7:15pm until 8:15pm at our new shop location, 3220 Dufferin Street

Course Focus- Card College Books by Roberto Giobbi

Cost: Only $99.00 plus tax (In Advance Please) for ALL 10 CLASSES!

Read more.

18 August 2011

Toronto: Magic at the Exhibition

[Edited Aug 18 to add information about Majinx.  Thanks for the tip Daniel!]

This year's CNE is showcasing two young Canadian magicians and The Family Majinx.

At The Farm is Daniel Steep's show, Agri-Kidabra, an interactive magic show that educates audiences about Canadian Farming.

In the Busker's Corner you can catch magician Sheldon Casavant, who also wrote the illustrated children's book, "Morton the Magician and His Magnificent Magic Show."

And at Kids' World you can see Majinx perform and also participate in Professor Wick's School of Magic and Illusion.

This year the Ex runs from August 19th to September 5th 2011.  Please check the CNE's website for dates and showtimes.

17 August 2011

James Randi on ABC's Primetime Nightline, Weds. 10pm / 9pm Central

Edited August 21 to embed video found at The Magic Newswire.

From Randi.org:
Wednesday night at 10:00pm (9:00pm Central), ABC's Primetime Nightline will air a one-hour special on psychic abilities.

James Randi, along with JREF President D.J. Grothe, JREF's Million Dollar Challenge Director Banachek, and advisor Jamy Ian Swiss, worked with Nightline producers on two of the segments and participated in three days of taping, including the JREF's first-ever open Million Dollar Challenge event where hundreds of New York City psychics were invited to take our tests.

Read more.

Wayne Houchin: September lectures

Wayne Houchin will be lecturing in Canada this Fall.

The according to to the X-elent Lecture Series website Wayne Houchin's lecture dates are:
He'll be wrapping up the lecture tour with dates in the US (Seattle, Eugene and Portland).
Please confirm details about dates, times and locations by contacting each club directly.

16 August 2011

James Randi Canadian tour

Edited August 26th to add link for Vancouver date.

From Randi.org:
The JREF is excited to announce that our own James "The Amazing" Randi will be embarking on a whirlwind lecture tour across Canada this September.  The tour will be graciously hosted by the Center for Inquiry Canada and will see Randi traveling from coast to coast with plenty of stops on the way.
According to the site, he will be touring following cities:
  • Vancouver, BC (9/22)
  • Kelowna, BC (9/23)
  • Calgary, AB (9/24)
  • Edmonton, AB (9/25)
  • Saskatoon, SK (9/26)
  • Toronto, ON (9/27)
  • Ottawa, ON (9/28)
  • Montreal, QC (9/29)
  • Halifax, NS (9/30)
Check back with his website for announcements about times and venues.

15 August 2011

Links for 2011-Aug-15

Johnny Giordmaine tribute back on line

From John Pellatt, creator of the "A Tribute to John Giordmaine" website:
The on line Tribute to Johnny Giordmaine, Canada's most beloved children's magician (1898-1974) went off line last month. The good news - it's back on line now at its own new dedicated domain. Discover what a gifted performer he was and what memorable achievements he made. Did you know, for example, that he was the very first magician ever to appear on TV in Canada? Or that he was a positive role model and mentor to countless hundreds of young magicians - many of whom ended up working professionally in the business today? Check it all out at http://www.johngiordmaine.com/

Thanks for the update John!

14 August 2011

Festival de magie de Québec

From FestivaldeMagie.ca:
Du 1er au 5 septembre 2011, vous êtes conviés à la première édition du Festival de magie de Québec, un événement organisé par GM Développement et le magasin Benjo, avec l'appui du commanditaire la Caisse Desjardins du Centre-ville de Québec.

Read more.

 Les magiciens:

[h/t: CAMmagic.org]

13 August 2011

Sheldon Casavant at the Whistler Children's Art Festival

From ArtsWhistler.com, Whistler Children's Art Festival August, 13 & 14, 2011:
Passionate about magic from a young age, Sheldon Casavant honed his skills in a real school of Magic and Mystery in Las Vegas. The young magician is one of Canada’s most sought after performers, with a repertoire of magic that is contemporary, fun, and highly interactive. Sheldon’s performances blend fast-paced magic with a friendly patter and playful humour that puts audiences and on-stage participants instantly at ease. Combining sophisticated artistry and casual humour, Sheldon will charm children and parents alike.

12 August 2011

Murry Hatfield on /A\ News Vancouver Island

Watch this YouTube clip, Incredible Evening of Magic with Murray Hatfield, on /A\ News Vancouver Island:

To purchase tickets for An Incredible Evening of Magic or for more information visit MagicInVictoria.com

Calgary: The Amazing James Randi

From the CAM website:

James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.

Join Randi for a lecture at the University of Calgary as well as a special Meet and Greet event. Meet and Greet event takes place at Club Sapien: 1140 10th Ave SW at 11:30am.
[Edited Sept 22 as per comment below to reflect 4pm meet and greet time.]
The lecture will be on Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM (MT)

Visit the CAM website for event details or to purchase tickets.

A Tribute to James Randi was recently published over at iTricks.com.

11 August 2011

Shawn Farquhar at the 2011 Midwest Magic Jubilee

Can't wait until 2012 to see him in Chilliwack?  You can see Shawn Farquhar perform and lecture is at the 2011 Midwest Magic Jubilee.  The Jubilee runs from Aug 11 -13, 2011.  Visit their website for details.

10 August 2011

Chilliwack: SECRETS with Shawn Farquhar

See Shawn Farquhar perform on Saturday, February 25, 2012!

From the Chilliwack Cultural Centre website:
The Chilliwack Arts & Cultural Centre Society presents
SECRETS with Shawn Farquhar
Special Presentation

Shawn offers a fast paced experience that will draw everyone into the entertainment so you will not soon forget. As the International Federation of Magic Societies’ Grand Prix World Champion of Magic, Shawn knows the right blend of magic and comedy to make every audience member believe in the brilliance of illusion.

Read more.

09 August 2011

Halifax: Gazzo lecture

Edited August 9th to add:
Rain forced the event organizers of the Halifax International Busker Festival to cancel yesterday's events.  Hopefully the weather will improve and everyone will get a chance to see Gazzo in action!

From ConjurersCourt.ca:
Gazzo’s lecturing on Sunday, August 14 at 7:00 pm
Split Crow Pub
Visit their website for more details and to RSVP.

[h/t: @magicinfo_ca]

08 August 2011

[Guest post] The new Browser's Den opens in Toronto

The Browser's Den of Magic opened up in its new location last week.  Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to step foot into the new shop.  One of our regular readers, however, not only visited the new shop, he wrote about the experience in the form of a guest post.

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

A guest review by "The Magic Demon"*

From the world famous Yorkdale shopping mall and its easily accessible TTC subway stop it is a short walk down Dufferin Street.

From anywhere by car, the ample free parking out front is a godsend in parking-challenged Toronto.

It's set back a bit from the street, so you really have to go looking for it. The big Red Lobster building is easily seen from Dufferin but our destination is in the strip plaza just behind it. In its large front window
there appears to be theatrical red curtains pulled aside for a display of some of the marvels to be found for sale within.

You first enter a small foyer. You stop for a moment. On the walls you see impressive photographs and awards that have been presented to its owner. Right away you realize - this is no Joe Schmoe operation - this place is the "real deal".

Suddenly you enter the main room - and you are in a magicians' paradise! Truly an Aladdin's cave of magic, of books, of wonders yet to be purchased and revealed.

This is the impressive new home of The Browser's Den at 3220 Dufferin Street in Toronto, the city's oldest brick and mortar magic shop.

When owner Jeff Pinsky found out that the lease on his old location at Bathurst and Eglinton was up and that the old plaza was scheduled for redevelopment into condos he knew he had to look around immediately for a new address. Wanting to keep centrally located but also insisting upon better customer parking, he has done well to establish The Den's new home so quickly and so successfully.

We regular customers all enjoyed the old Den but its interior design could most charitably be described as "cheap and cheerful". Not that any of us cared. What mattered was the camaraderie of its customers and the humour and positive atmosphere created by Jeff and his employees - all still available in abundance (I am happy to report) at the new location too.

The appearance of the new Den is something totally different and unexpected. For starters, the main room seems huge. A commendable illusion because its retail floor square footage is probably almost the same as in the old shop. But the massively high ceiling plus an unusually beautiful stone floor create the sense of enormous space. Space to breathe in magic. Space to stop and look around. Space to enjoy the wonderful books over in one corner across the floor from the long main counter. I was immediately drawn to it and relieved to discover that The Den has maintained its reputation for housing an outstanding collection of magic books for sale.

Yet despite its perceived size the new Den still feels extremely comfortable to visit. Its relaxing colours consist of subdued browns and beiges with accents of white and black. Red signs and colourful framed magic posters cover much of its extensive wall space. And rather than using conventionally uniform retail lighting, there is an intriguing interplay throughout the shop of light and shadows falling mysteriously here and there - drawing your eyes immediately from one magical goody to another on display in the eclectic glass and wooden cabinets lining almost all its walls. Looking skywards there is a kind of slanted awning with reddish rooftop tiles up there all the way around the main room - making you temporarily question whether you are actually inside or are you outside? It's a kind of visual paradox that seems ideal for a magic shop.

Further inside (and across the floor from the main display counters) we come to "The Table". No need to tell fellow magicians what that means! And it's no longer a merely functional card table surrounded by uncomfortable folding metal chairs like at the old Den. The new Den's table is of tastefully finished light coloured wood in a classic oval shape. It's surrounded by matching classy solid wooden chairs with very comfortable green cushioning. They're all placed atop a luxurious red Persian style rug that together create yet another illusion - that of a very intimate space within the main room in which to share tricks and talk with your fellow magic enthusiasts.

The Den's new laid back ambience may require an adjustment of attitude from some old customers who were more accustomed to its brightly lit "cheap and cheerful" past. However the vast majority responded favourably to it right away when I visited. Looking around and soaking up the mood you may also feel (as I did) memories evoked of the great glory days of magic long gone and far away. But of course it's all modern and up to date too. Many of the latest wonders are for sale only inches away from you under the traditional glass top display counters. They run side by side in front of one wall from nearly the front of the shop all the way to the very back (and then around a bit). Hint - you'll find some sweet deals on discontinued effects on sale way in the back. (You're welcome).

If you ask very politely, you may also be shown "the future." In the back (still under construction) is an area designated for children's parties and private lectures/shows. Even further back is a partially hidden staircase leading up to a top secret room - dare I even mention it? - a Browser's Loft, if you will. Its future purpose is currently a complete and utter mystery.

Of course Jeff P and Shawna and Jeff H and Adam et al are all still as welcoming and hospitable as ever. They are friendly, funny, helpful people who could make any location feel like a home away from home for regulars, for new customers and for magicians temporarily visiting Toronto alike.

You must visit the new shop as quickly as you can and experience its unique atmosphere for yourself. If you think brick and mortar shops are dead, think again. This one has not only been reborn - it has been  significantly enlarged and improved. My guess is once you've visited it you'll be back again and again - and again. I know I will.

*Disclaimer: The author of this review has no personal, financial or business relationship with The Browser's Den in any way shape or form aside from being a regular customer for almost five years. The opinions expressed are his and his alone and may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner whatsoever without the prior written consent of Hockey Night in Canada. Thank you.

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

07 August 2011

Toronto: Abracadabaret at Chalkers in August

The next Abracadabaret (formerly Friday Night Magic) will be on Friday, August 19th at Chalkers (247 Marlee Ave, Toronto).

From the Abracadabaret website:
We’re interrupting our summer hiatus to bring you another fantastic show. Why… ’cause we feel like it. Take a break from the beautiful (and boiling) summer weather and join us back at Chalker’s for an evening of magic and mystery featuring:
James Alan – Sleight of Hand Magician
Mysterion the Mindreader
Jason Palter – Comedy Magician
Hosted by Matthew DiSero

Read more.

To purchase tickets or learn more about this event, visit the Abracadabaret website.

06 August 2011

Dan Trommater: profiled by Leah Morrigan

First it was James Alan.  Now it's Dan Trommater being deconstructed by image consultant Leah Morrigan at her blog In the Key of He.

From her post, "Follow the magic leader":
Dan punctuates presentations with magic to lead the audience in the shared experience of wonder and gives them a glimpse into their child-like selves. His tricks challenge assumptions of his audience and they are able to experience reality in a new way, and this is really cool. I say that because I do the same thing with image work.

Read more.

05 August 2011

Sheldon Casavant: updated tour schedule

Sheldon Casavant, Alberta magician and author of the illustrated children's book, "Morton the Magician and His Magnificent Magic Show" has updated his tour schedule.

According to the schedule, there he's doing a number of public shows in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.  Catch him if you can!

04 August 2011

Toronto: Oh, Ryan

From the Abracadabaret website:

Oh, Ryan (Lost at Sea Theatre)
Written and performed by Shawn DeSouza-Coelho
Directed by Chai Lavie and Emma Dines

Read more.
There will be 7 performances of the show this month.

03 August 2011

Lee Asher to be interviewed at Modern Manipulator

From ModernMainpulator.com:

We at Modern Manipulator are proud to announce an upcoming live video interview with Lee Asher.

It will be held on the 11th of August at 8PM EST [12AM GMT] on the Live section of our site. It will be one hour long. For the first half we will interview him and for the rest he will be answering the questions of our members.

Read more.

02 August 2011

Erik Stephany: busking his way to CGT auditions

From the BC Local News article: "Buskers to draw downtown crowds":
Stephany is trying to earn enough money through busking this summer to take him to the Canada’s Got Talent auditions in Vancouver on Sept. 19-20.

“It’s been really fun so far,” he explained.

Read more.

Best of luck Erik!  We'll keep an eye out for Smarticals when Canada's Got Talent airs!

01 August 2011

Magician of the year announced!

Edited August 4th to include link to the announcement on the CAM website.

Richard Forget is the Canadian Magician of the Year! #PCAMCAM2011 #CAM2011less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Keep up to date with Richard via his Facebook page "Magic Stripped with Richard Forget."

[h/t: @magicinfo_ca]