29 February 2012

Mosquitoes Suck with Matt DiSero and David Peck

From Babble On Communications:
Malaria is no laughing matter but comedian Matt Disero (who opens for Drew Carey and Jerry Seinfeld) and David Peck, the founder of So Change, a social justice organization, know that if you don’t engage your audience, you might as well be laughing alone.
So they created Mosquitoes Suck, a fast-paced, laugh-packed, high-energy school show about Malaria coming to Ontario schools in the coming months and later across Canada. The show is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and is produced in partnership with Spread the Net founders Belinda Stronach of the Belinda Stronach Foundation and comedian Rick Mercer.

Read more.

Watch a promo video:

MST intro part 2 from MosquitoesSuckTour on Vimeo.

28 February 2012

Lee Asher: Promo video for trip to China in March

Chris Mayhew and folks at the Classic Force put this video together, promoting Lee Asher's upcoming tour of China.

Bon voyage Lee!

27 February 2012

Rounding the Western rings in March

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

Calgary, ABRing 66 (Calgary Magic Circle, Les Brocklesby Ring)- N/A
Edmonton, ABEdmonton Magic Club- N/A
Winnipeg, MBThe Magic Club of Winnipeg- N/A
Vancouver, BCRing 92 (Vancouver Magic Circle)- N/A
Victoria, BCRing 183 (Victoria Magic Circle)   - meeting and round table
Please leave a comment or e-mail me about corrections or omissions.

Rounding the Ontario rings in March

Confirm details about dates and locations by visiting each club's website.
Hamilton, ONRing 49 (The Doug Henning Magic Wand Club) - Ring exchange to and from Buffalo Ring 12  
London, ONRing 265 (London Magician's Guild)- Doug Hunt lecture
Kitchener, ONRing 235 (The Caesar Hat & Wand Magic Circle)- Kid Show Favourites
Ottawa, ONRing 151 (Ottawa Society of Magicians) - Stand-up Magic
- Charity Show:  Rehabilitation Hospital Show
Ottawa, ON Ottawa / Gatineau magicians- N/A
Toronto, ONRing 17 (Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club) - Morrissey's Magic Shop
Woodstock, ONCAM 1 (Friendly City Mystics)   - N/A
Please leave a comment or e-mail me about corrections or omissions.

Rounding the Eastern rings in March

Confirm details about dates and locations by visiting each club's website.
Halifax, NSRing 316 (Conjourer's Court) - TBA 

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

26 February 2012

Richard Forget at Blackpool

From The Stage Reviews:
Magic from the USA and Canada comprised the second gala show and emceed by Jimmy Tamley. Appearing were Danny Cole with a modern comedy dress change act, Dirk Losander who blew soap bubbles, made a handkerchief dance and floated a table, Andost produced coloured light bulbs at his fingertips, and Chris Hart had a scarf penetrate his neck, and did the floating hand.

Charlie Frye & Co breathtakingly combined juggling, comedy and magic that had the audience gasping. Then there were The Evasons in a very fast mind-reading double act, Richard Forget had flames that floated and danced, produced drumsticks and a set of drums, and finally a girl from a telephone box that had formed part of the stage setting.

Read more.

25 February 2012

More from Matt about Ron Leonard

Another comment from Matt DiSero, on the post Remembering Ron Leonard:

I just found a old VHS tape of a hat and rabbit club show I was on with Ron from 1996... he was the emcee. Black Tux, Red cummerbund. White Hair. It was later in his life...but he was still great. He did the production of the oranges and lots of great emcee bits. Man he's fun to watch. I miss him. Jeff Pinsky is right...he was an amazing business man... I STILL to this day, every day, use bits of professional advice he gave me.

He had an older style of performing, but people loved him. 
What stuck me most after watching this video was, that most of the acts on the show were younger " up and coming" acts... the new guys... all slick with their tricks and style of performing....but when you really watch the tape, you could see the audience still liked Ron best. Man he was funny. A zillion one liners... Just goes to show ya... no substitute for a solid, worked in act.

For me, Ron embodied something you don't see much of anymore. A guy who liked to PERFORM. Not just come up with tricks and moves to sell...but he liked his act. He impressed upon me the importance of always working on it, and always loving to perform. Its good advice. You don't hear it much anymore.... I wonder what Ron, or Herb Morrisey, or Len Cooper would think of the state of acts of late?

24 February 2012

Grand Forks: Murray Hatfield and Theresa in an “Incredible Evening of Magic”

From the Grand Forks Gazette:
Magic! That’s family entertainment – spellbinding, heart-throbbing-in-the-throat suspense, uproarious laughter and brilliant surprises as the Boundary District Arts Council presents its grand finale of the 2011-2012 Performance Series with Murray Hatfield and Theresa in an “Incredible Evening of Magic”.

On Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m., the Grand Forks Secondary School Auditorium will transform into a world of jaw-dropping illusion.

Read more.

23 February 2012

Toronto: Magic camp open house at Browser's Den

From The Browser's Den:
Saturday, April 14/2012 at Noon
Free to Attend! 
Dear Magic Friend,
Come to meet the campers and staff of Sorcerers Safari and enjoy the MANY MAGICAL EVENTS planned throughout the day!


A MAGIC PERFORMANCE (With a Very Special Surprise Guest!) * Unveiling New Summer Video * Exciting Upcoming Plans * Special Guests Booked for Camp * Door Prizes & More * Coffee, Cookies, Snacks. 
Read more and view the schedule events.

22 February 2012

James Randi: An Honest Liar - A Documentary in Production

From An Honest Liar:
An Honest Liar profiles the life of famed magician turned professional skeptic James “The Amazing” Randi as he embarks on a series of public crusades to expose America’s beloved psychics, mentalists, preachers, and faith healers with religious fervor. Along the way, the film will show how easily our perceptions can be fooled – by magicians, con artists, and even documentaries.
Watch the work-in-progress trailer:

An Honest Liar - Work-in-Progress trailer from Justin Weinstein on Vimeo.

[h/t: iTricks]

21 February 2012

Shawn Farquhar: Sleight-ly perplexing

From the Chilliwack Times:
No sooner has the fourth-generation magician, who performs at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre next week, shaken your hand than he will launch into a seamless stream of funny quips, quotations and anecdotes-all while getting you to pick a card or stick your finger into a tiny guillotine.

Read more.
 The piece also states that young Hannah will be "premiering a new piece on her own."  How exciting!

20 February 2012

19 February 2012

Montréal: Bob Fitch workshop

From Montreal Magic Jam:
Bob Fitch
When: Feb 25, 2012, 1pm – 5pm
MainLine Theatre
3997 Boul St-Laurent
Read more.

[h/t: MagicInfo.ca]

[Guest post]: Remembering Sam Cramer

I am grateful to Phil Matlin and all of his input to the creation of the Broken Wands page. In the absence of a proper tribute page, Phil offers some memories of Sam Cramer, from Montréal:

One of the names I gave you was Sam Cramer. Although I am not sure I believe he had the first magic shop in Montreal. My first visit to his store was in 1947. I was 10. For about 2 or 3 months he sold me what I wanted (i.e. what he demonstrated) and then one day he wouldn't sell me another trick until I bought books. He set me up with a plan that if I gave him $3.00 every 2 weeks he would give a volume of the Tarbell course. I eventually got all 5 (that's how many there were then). The price of each volume was $6.00. When he retired, his brother-in-law Alex Chervin took over the store and kept it. Had to move a few times and finally closed it up when the city expropriated the land they were on. Alex's main interest was stamp collecting but he also was a wonderful magician. Alex is still around. I spoke to him a few months ago. He is still living by himself, (his wife died close to ten years ago), and confided in me that he was 94 years old. Between Sam and Alex, every magician in Montreal then and now owe them, because without them, magic in Montreal as we know it today would never have happened. I know that Sam Cramer from Montreal was a cover feature in an issue of MUM. So far I have been unable to find it.

18 February 2012

Baldini: Seeing is believing

"Seeing is Believing!" - A Ryerson Graduate Film School short documentary project about Magic, featuring Baldini:

17 February 2012

Jeff Pinsky and Matt DiSero remember Ron Leonard

In response to the earlier post Remembering Ron Leonard, the following comments from Matt DiSero and Jeff Pinsky have been added to the original post.

From Matt DiSero:
Ron was so nice to me as a kid at the magic club...when I got to be on a show with him for the first time it was one of the biggest thrills of my career at that time. He was so nice, and generous.... I miss him.

[Copied with permission from Facebook.]

From Jeff Pinsky:
I have fond memories of Ron Leonard. I was born in 1966. Thus I really only have my childhood memories during the decade of the 1970s.
Of course for those of us who were bitten by the wonderful magic 'bug' in Ontario Ron Leonard was an important figure.
How exciting it was to learn at the beginning of the Uncle Bobby Show that magic guest Ron Leonard was on. If memory serves me right he was not on all of the shows. That I learned many years later was due to his strong business acumen; busy with many professional performances and a gifted commercial painter.
In an era when there were about 12 television stations - one being in French - anything to do with magic appearing on television was exciting. Can you imagine the first Henning special? Or seeing for the first time Slydini on the Dick Cavett Show?
What was for me particularly wonderful about seeing Mr. Leonard perform on the Uncle Bobby Show was that he was using at times props which I might be able to afford if I saved my money. I could not dream of buying something I saw Doug Henning perform. And of course until I studied 'Magic of Slydini' I had no idea how Slydini's effects were done.
It was sort of a video catalogue for a magic shop well before there was any video! Watch Ron Leonard... then decide if I like the trick... then look it up in the (printed) magic catalogue and find out the price.
Years later after I took over Browser's Den of Magic I would have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Leonard. He was quite different than his TV personality. And why wouldn't he? On the show he was performing for little children at home.
But he was always pleasant when he would visit even with his poor hearing and health beginning to fail. One could tell it was affecting his enjoyment of life but at least he still had some 'magic' in him.
Jeff Pinsky
Browser's Den of Magic
Toronto, Canada
February 16, 2012

[With thanks to The Magic Demon for passing this along.]

Rama and Thunder Bay: Masters of Illusion - Live!

The Masters of Illusion - Live! 2011/2012 tour will be passing through Rama and Thunder Bay this weekend.  View the tour schedule for more information.

Dai Vernon mentioned in Magic Castle article

From the LA Weekly article "Magic Castle Battles Back From a Halloween Fire. Was it a Message From Houdini?":
The late Dai Vernon, sleight-of-hand master, who once performed a card trick so confounding even Houdini couldn't figure it out, spent the last 28 years of his life holding court at the Castle. Upon his death in 1992, his ashes were interred in a small wooden box, high up on a ledge outside the Parlor of Prestidigitation.

Read more.

16 February 2012

Coquitlam: Penn and Teller

From Boulevard Casino:
Friday, March 30, 2012
Red Robinson Show Theatre
Penn & Teller have performed together for over thirty years combining the art of magic with comedy. And along the way, they have made the hardest trick of all – a remarkable career that ranges from stage to television to three best-selling books – look easy. Since first teaming up in 1975 when they combined Teller’s silent, occasionally creepy magic with Penn Jillette’s clown college education and juggling expertise, the duo have created an entertainment success story that went from the streets to small clubs to national theatre tours.

Read more and purchase tickets.

15 February 2012

James Randi remembers Ron Leonard

The following is correspondence from James Randi in response to the earlier post Remembering Ron Leonard.  These thoughts have been added as a comment to the original post.  James, thank you very much for making the time to put some thoughts about Mr. Leonard together to share.

(And thank you to The Magic Demon for making this happen!)

I recall that one of the very first magicians I ever saw - live - was Ron Leonard, at a large theater somewhere in Toronto. I sat in the very front row, the music played, and Ron stepped out fanning and manipulating cards. Then he paused for applause, riffled through the deck until he was told to stop, and extracted that card, its face toward him. He pointed at a man on the aisle and asked him to name a card - "any card." The gentleman did, and Ron flipped the card around - it was correct! Only backstage in his dressing-room, did he reveal the secret. It had been a total fluke! His usual line, he told me, was to simply reply to the card named, with "Absolutely correct, sir!" - without revealing the face of the card. He was only right about once every 52 guesses, but I'd been lucky to witness such a moment...

Handsome, well-dressed, well-spoken and elegant, Ron Leonard was one of my early heroes, though he was only five years my senior. In fact, when I was on my own in Toronto as a teen, I responded to an ad offering a room for rent, only to find that it was being rented out by Ron's mother, a spare room that she had available! It was a couple of months before that lady noticed my interest in the conjuring profession, and proudly announced the identity of her son...! I was appropriately floored by the coincidence.

Ron, along with Johnny Giordmaine, Ross Bertram, Dai Vernon, Raymond Lowe, Howard Lyons, Bruce Posgate, Tom Ransom, Sid Lorraine, and our spiritual father, Harry Smith, saw me through the tortures of a top-change, multiplying billiard balls, and various rope-ties until I was able to head off to the USA as a pro. I'll never forget these chaps, all of whom made it possible for me to enjoy a long and happy career as a performer...

James (The Amazing) Randi.

[via The Magic Demon]

Las Vegas: Juliana Chen's Avant Garde

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
"Avant Garde" opens Tuesday at the Plaza's vintage showroom as a variety show with international appeal. It's directed and headlined by Juliana Chen, a Chinese-born magician who came to live in Las Vegas by way of Canada.

Read more.

14 February 2012

Toronto: Browser's Den auction

From the Browser's Den:
11 am until 4:00 pm
At ‘Browser’s Den of Magic’
Cost to Attend: Free!

Dear Magic Friends,

It is time for another fun-filled and bargain-filled magic auction!!

This is the time of the year when you our customers get to bid on magic equipment, books and dvd’s at fantastically low prices.

For those of you who would like to bring in items to be auctioned off…Please bring in those items beginning March 12 until March 22.

Read more.

13 February 2012

Toronto: Baldini's Palpable Parlour Magic

From the Palpable Parlour Magic Facebook page:
Enjoy an intimate evening - up close & personal - of a powerful display of parlour prestidigitation put on by the Man of Magical Mystery himself, Baldini.

This will be Baldini's first live solo show outside of the Ontario Science Centre, and coupled with the fact that the room only holds a maximum of 50 people, tickets are sure to go very quickly.

Tickets can be purchase on line at ComedyBar.ca or at the Comedy Bar Box Office. Tickets can also be purchased directly from either David Grosfield or Scott Baragar.

Read more and purchase tickets.

[h/t: Deborah Fallick]

12 February 2012

Broken wands page

I have been moved by the number of heartfelt responses received regarding February 3rds post "Broken wand tribute sites."   There is now a tab to the left of the "Advertise" tab labelled "Broken wands" which will take you to a list of Canadian Magicians who are no longer with us.

If there is someone out there who would be so kind as to translate the few lines below into French, I would greatly appreciate the favour.

Remembering those who have passed before us.  Through your passion and spirit you have helped shape the magic community in Canada and around the world.  Thank you.

This list is far from complete.  Please e-mail additions or corrections to "canadasmagic at gmail dot com" or leave them in the comments below.

[Guest post] Remembering Ron Leonard (1923-1998)


I had the pleasure of making Mr. Leonard's acquantaince through Toronto's Hat and Rabbit club.  He was always a true gentleman, the likes of which are rare these days.  As I sat through his Broken Wand ceremony, I was deeply moved by the impact he had on the lives around him.  I attended an art showing of his, in his memory, and was awestruck by his talent and passion for painting.
There is no official tribute site for Mr. Leonard.  Thank you Magic Demon for putting this together.
The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon.

by The Magic Demon

When I was a kid the first Canadian magician I ever saw on TV was probably the late Toronto-based Ron Leonard. Ron was tall, lanky, and silver or white haired with a friendly wide grin. He had an engaging style of presentation which was both kind of sophisticated and kind of goofy at the same time. I thought he was terrific. Although Ron performed magic on and off for most of his life he is probably best remembered for his numerous appearances during the 1960s and 1970s (and rerun for years thereafter) on the daily CFTO/CTV children's show "Uncle Bobby". The British-born host Bobby Ash always appeared during Ron's performances on the show, playing the part of his seemingly dimwitted stooge and creating a fun chemistry between them. Ron's weekly fast-paced appearances featured the classics of magic performed with energetic mock vaudeville-like gestures and intonations. Ron and Bobby really did seem to enjoy themselves which is why they were such great fun to watch working together.

Ask any grown up Canadian kid of a certain age today about the magician on Uncle Bobby's show. They will probably at least remember Ron's trademark explanation for all his minor miracles, "It's maaaaaaaaaagic!" Those words, repeatedly sung (merrily) during the course of a telecast by one or both of them (badly), would serve to comedically punctuate the climax of any particular routine or effect.

Ron was a former President and Life Member of Toronto's IBM Ring 17. His name appears as a young founding member on its original IBM Ring Charter issued in 1941. His brother, the late Canadian ventriloquist Cy Leonard, was also a regular weekly visitor to the Uncle Bobby Show over the years.
I remember writing a fan letter to Ron in care of the Uncle Bobby show and getting back an autographed 8x10 b&w photograph and a very kind handwritten reply encouraging me in the hobby of magic. In today's digital world full of instantaneous tweets and e-mails it's perhaps hard to imagine the sheer joy of receiving a snailmailed letter like that after anxiously waiting several weeks. Even after all these years I can still recall that he generously provided details about Ring 17 (which I was too young at the time to join) as well as what was then Toronto's only magic retail outlet, The Arcade Magic & Novelty Shop (now long vanished.)
If you do a search on line on Ron Leonard today you are more likely to find references to his much sought-after artwork than his magic. His magic seems to have been only a part-time profession for most of his life which he juggled alongside his other avocation (painting) and a full-time day job.
Among the few notable magic-related on line links about Ron that I've found to date:

Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Ron Leonard in person he seemed to be a genuinely nice man as well as being a talented and very entertaining magician.

Chilliwack: SECRETS with Shawn Farquhar

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

From the Chilliwack Cultural Centre website:
What sets Shawn Farquhar apart from every other rabbit pulling magic act? Just that! He's not some rabbit pulling magic act! 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.

11 February 2012

Toronto: Wayne Houchin lecture

From the Brower's Den Facebook group:
You read that right! Superstar magician Wayne Houchin will be in Toronto to give a two-hour lecture. This is part of his WORLD TOUR!
You know him as the inventor of all types of magic including his crazy popular 'Thread'.
Thank you to Lee Asher and Mike Segal to help make this lecture happen

DATE: SUNDAY, APRIL 15 from 2pm until about 4pm
LOCATION: MONTECASSINO HOTEL (3710 Chesswood Drive, Toronto, Ont. M3J 2W4).

Read more and purchase tickets.

10 February 2012

Whitby: Harry Anderson

From Class Act Dinner Theatre:
Harry Anderson, Saturday May 19, 2012
8 time host of Saturday Night Live & star of Night Court
Join us for a night filled with magic, comedy and stories from Harry's life as an entertainer.
Tickets $95 per person
(includes a magical buffet dinner, preshow entertainment, Harry's show, taxes and gratuities)

Read more and buy tickets.

09 February 2012

Toronto: Ben Train and Chris Mayhew

From the Browser's Den of Magic Facebook group:
That's right two for the price of one! This two and a half hour lecture will be shared by Toronto’s Ben Train and Canada’s very own Chris Mayhew.
Ben and Chris are two outstanding Canadian magicians! If you have never seen their work with cards we hope to see you there!

Full details will be found on our website over the next but we want you to know that tickets are for sale now

Date: Sunday, March 11 from 4:00pm until 6:30pm

Read more.

08 February 2012

Broken wand: Steven Felsher

From The Montréal Gazette:
The family announces the passing of Steven Felsher on Saturday, January 7, 2012, after a lengthy illness. Cherished and devoted son of Ruth and the late Edward Felsher. Beloved brother of Guila Herchkowitz. Steven was a loving and caring person, who always put others before himself.

Read more.
With appreciation to Phil Matlin for letting us know.

07 February 2012

Prince Rupert: Outerbridge, The Time Capsule Tour

From The Northern View:
On the evening of Saturday, February 18, audience members will gather at the Lester Centre of the Arts to witness Ted Outerbridge “the most successful magician in Canada”, and his wife Marion’s brand new, family-friendly show full of mind boggling illusions as part of the couple’s Time Capsule Tour.

Read more.

06 February 2012

Toronto: Dan Harlan lecture

From Morrissey Magic:
Dan Harlan Lecture March 28th 8PM 2012

World Famous for his Unique Magical Creations, Dan Harlan travels the globe performing and teaching incredible magic. One of the most innovative modern magicians, Harlan’s cutting-edge miracles are coveted by discerning connoisseurs of fine magic done well.

Read more and buy your tickets.
I had the pleasure of seeing Dan lecture a number of years ago, in the basement of a North York deli.  I still remember the moment he had me make the final tear in his demonstration of Starcle.  Very magical!  And despite the "inscription" on the cover of his lecture notes, I have referred to them often!

05 February 2012

Broken wand: Francis Martineau (1922-2012)

From the Ring 92 newsletter (PDF):
Sadly, Francis Martinau passed away January 8th, 2012. Francis was a charter member of the VMC and Past President (1954). Francis was a Canadian magician, magic illustrator and author. Best known for his amazing artistic contribution to the three-volume Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic for which he drew thousands of illustrations and hand-lettered the entire text.

Read more (PDF).

04 February 2012

David Acer at the 84th Annual I.B.M. Convention

There's a new poster up at the IBM Convention Facebook pageDavid Acer is one of the five featured performers on the poster! 

Hopefully more details will be available soon!

03 February 2012

Broken wand tribute sites

Some time ago, a good friend of the blog suggested the great idea that a section of real estate here be used to honour those who are no longer with us by linking to their tribute sites. 
The sites will be listed under the header "Broken Wand tributes" and will be published immediately following the Magical blogs listing in the middle column.
Currently listed are:
As always, please let us know of errors or omissions.

Thanks for the great idea!  Keep 'em coming!

02 February 2012

Darcy Oake in Vegas!

From the Winnipeg Free Press:
Winnipeg magician Darcy Oake has conjured up his first paying gig in Las Vegas.
Oake, 24, has been signed to appear for a week starting March 15 as part of Vegas Magic Theatre, a new showcase with a rotating cast at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino.  
"This is a big opportunity," Oake says. "It's the entertainment capital of the world."
Read more.
Congratulations Darcy!

01 February 2012

Making a Difference: My Magic Hands

[Edited Thursday, February 2nd to add the link to (and content from) Sharing Wonder.]

Tonight, on Global News Hour (5:30pm - 6:30pm) in Toronto, look for Susan Hay's segment, "Making a Difference."  In it, Susan will interview Julie Eng and James Alan and discuss the impact of Magicana's My Magic Hands program in a Toronto area school.

Watch the video at Global Toronto or in the player below:

From Sharing Wonder:
Since the program’s inception in 2004, we have run 94 sessions in different centres throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) engaging 1,670 participants584 volunteers and interacting with 5,695 community members. The program continues today thanks to the generous support of our title sponsor, Slaight Communications.
Read more.

Looking for a magician in Vancouver? Toronto? Calgary? Ottawa?


The Directory of Canadian Magicians has been relaunched!  It now features the ability to filter results by province and to sort by name, city and province.
You can still list your name, website, Twitter handle, city and province in this directory for free!
You can also include:
  •     a photo (75px x 75px)
  •     whether you perform locally, provincially, nationally, or internationally
  •     whether you perform for kids, adults or both
  •     your genre(s) of magic
for only $20 per year.

For more information, visit the directory.  Find out how to subscribe via PayPal.