31 July 2013

Wendy's: Act 10 - Rob Testa (again)

The tenth act in Wendy's advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

You can read about the promotion over at Reality Based Magic.

Watch Act 10, Rob Testa, on YouTube:

Previous acts:

Wendy's: Act 9 - Mike D'Urzo (again)

The ninth act in Wendy's advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

You can read about the promotion over at Reality Based Magic.

Watch Act 9, Mike D'Urzo, on YouTube:

Previous acts:

30 July 2013

Toronto: Chair Suspension raffle at Browser's

From the Browser's Den Facebook group:
This Saturday, August 3rd from 2:30pm to 5:00pm is our next Free Magic Club. All interested in talking magic with others are welcome.

And as a special bonus for all those who attend the club a raffle ticket will be given and at 5pm one lucky winner will receive for free a Chair Suspension Illusion. You read that right!

Read more.

Remembering the stars from Magie Montréal

Evelyn Matlin over at Perfect Magic has a wonderful tribute post, remembering the performers from Magie Montréal that are sadly no longer with us.

From Perfect Magic:
When I started writing this I didn’t realize how many magicians that made Magie Montréal, the great and fun loving convention that it was, had passed away. This blog is a tribute to them, to the performers  who graced our stage and close-up tables that are no longer with us. I don’t have photo’s of them all.

Read more and see photos!

29 July 2013

Magicana's Helping Hands

How wonderful to see magic making such a big difference in these patient's lives!  Well done Julie, keep up the great work!

From Sharing Wonder:
For the past few weeks, lead by magicienne Julie Eng, we made one of our favourite stops to Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab to bring some magic to the Helping Hands program.

Helping Hands is a modified constraint induced movement therapy (CIMT) for clients with hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body) secondary to an acquired brain injury or stroke. Participants are required to wear a splint or cast on their non-affected hand. Activities that encourage the functional use of their hemiplegic arm, such as magic, help participants in their physical therapy.

Read more.

28 July 2013

Can a hypnotist make a man propose?

Watch as Dave Curran hypnotizes a young man.  While hypnotized, the participant proposes to his girlfriend!

Was it Dave's hypnosis?  See for yourself!

27 July 2013

Toronto: Summer Head Games with Bobby Motta

... and a touch of Mayhew!

From the Head Games Facebook page:
Wednesday August 7

After the last sold out show we received dozens of emails requesting one more summer appearance so we've decided to give you one more...plus a very special surprise!!

Ticket will be on sale until the 1st of Aug but we suggest you get them now as the last show sold out quick.

All tickets must be purchased in advanced through

Read more and buy tickets.

26 July 2013

New Westminster: Michael Dardant lecture

From the Vancouver Magic Circle:
Saturday, July 27, 2013

VMC is bringing in the hilarious Michael Dardant for a lecture on Saturday July 27th! Come join us at Douglas College New Westminster at 7:00pm to learn how and why Michael took 1st place in nearly all the major competitions across the continent! This guy is doing it right, and you can too!

Read more and buy tickets.

Hamilton: Contemporary Conjuring with Nick Wallace

From the Hamilton Fringe:
Fri July 26 to Sun July 28

In only 25 minutes, and with minimal props, Nick Wallace creates something that few modern conjurors can – a genuinely mysterious experience.  Because this show is designed to be experienced close up – EACH PERFORMANCE WILL HAVE VERY LIMITED SEATING!

Read more and buy tickets.

Wendy's: Act 8 - Rob Testa

The eighth act in Wendy's advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

You can read about the promotion over at Reality Based Magic.

Watch Act 8Rob Testa, on YouTube:

Previous acts:

Wendy's: Act 7 - Baldini (again)

The seventh act in Wendy's advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

You can read about the promotion over at Reality Based Magic.

Watch Act 7, Baldini, on YouTube:

Previous acts:

25 July 2013

Welcoming a new patron: The Browser's Den of Magic!

Welcome to our newest sponsor, Jeff Pinsky from The Browser's Den of Magic!

Len and Bernice Cooper opened The Browser's Den of Magic in Toronto in 1975.  Initially, it was a place to buy books, records, games, souvenirs, and it had a little area for magic in the front corner of the shop.  In time, Len dedicated the entire shop to magic and The Den became a "home away from home" for many magicians and enthusiasts.  Vintage Toronto has an old photo up on their Facebook page.

In 1984, the store moved from its Bay and Bloor location to Bathurst and Eglinton.  The Coopers retired from the magic store business in 1995 and handed over the keys to its current owner, Jeff Pinsky.  In 2011 The Den moved to its current home at 3220 Dufferin St. It is the Toronto's oldest brick and mortar magic shop!  (Let's face it, stuff like this will never happen when you're shopping online.)

Jeff first became interested in magic in the 1970s.  He owned and operated a magic shop at Canada's Wonderland for 14 seasons.   I first met Jeff when I joined Ring 17, back in 19 *mumble* *mumble*.  I remember him being warm and friendly, just as he is now!

You can read Jeff's posts at the Browser's blog where he writes about life, lectures and other musings.  One of my favourite posts dates back to May of this year, where he talks about how he "finds it interesting getting older."

The Den also has an active Facebook group and Twitter account.

On a visit to Browser's you are likely to see the smiling and helpful faces of Jeff's fabulous team:  Shawna Ross-York, Lisa Close and Dennis.

As part of Jeff's commitment to fostering excellence in the magic community, he initiated the Len Cooper Memorial Award in 2003.  This honour is awarded annually to a magician who is less than 25 years old and is serious about magic and shows potential to continue to strive in 'magic'.

Thank you Jeff, for your ongoing support of the magic community and for your sponsorship of Canada's Magic!

24 July 2013

Toronto: Magical Mystery Cabaret

From the Magical Mystery Cabaret Facebook page:
Thursday July 25

Come out for a cool evening of entertainment with Vojin Vasovic, Natalie Mathieson, Sasha Kovacs, Joe Culpepper (aka Ars Mechanica) and friends at the Reposado Tequila Bar.

Drink a cold "cerveza" with us as we raise funds, raffle off prizes and sell early tickets for our upcoming Summerworks production "Show and Tell Alexander Bell" www.arsmechanicatheatre.com

What will happen at this party? Who knows?!
It's impossible to predict a magical mystery cabaret!

Read more.

Murray Sawchuck in the Las Vegas Weekly

From the Las Vegas Weekly:
There is a high volume and range of entertainers and assorted familiar names to skewer Goodman in the spirit of the old Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (and newer Comedy Central roasts). The roastmaster is Murray SawChuck, comic magician at the Tropicana’s Laugh Factory. The lineup of roasters includes Mac King, Clint Holmes, Pia Zadora, Rich Little, Steve Rossi, the Amazing Johnathan, chef Carla Pellegrino, Rick’s Restorations star Rick Dale, KLUC DJ Chet Buchanan and Review-Journal columnist Norm Clarke. Lon Bronson will front the house band, and “surprise guests” are promised.

Read more.

23 July 2013

Ben Train on Full Circle Magic

From Full Circle Magic's, March 11th Q&A with Benzi Train:
What I have noticed, in the real world, from those who succeed is that they are IRREPLACEABLE. If you’re just a guy who does card tricks then ANYONE who does good card tricks can fill in for you. But if you’re LAURA, and that means something, then no one can fill in for you. It could be your character, or the clients perception about who you are and what you do. Either way, if the client thinks “I want LAURA” rather then “I want a magician”, you’re on you’re way to, well, something.

Read more.

22 July 2013

Reveen: The legend continues

From YouTube:
The Reveen Legend Continues!

2013 Tour Dates begin on October 12th.

Reveen's show was without a doubt the most popular attended theatre show in Canadian history during the 20th century.

Now Ty Reveen; the son of the World's most famous Hypnotist, chosen by his father to follow in his footsteps is doing so with tremendous success.

On September 22nd of 2011 during a special ceremony in Las Vegas hosted by Jeff McBride during a Wonderground Event, The Great Reveen passed his Tuxedo on to his son Tyrone to allow the Reveen legacy to live on!

Read more and watch the video of Ty Reveen.

[via Perfect Magic]

21 July 2013

Our sincere condolences to David Ben and his family

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of the recent passing of David Ben's wife, Jan Howlett.

For those of you unfamiliar with this remarkable woman, I refer you to her tribute site:

David penned a touching obituary which can be read here:

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate that donations in Memory of Jan Howlett be sent to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

Updates will be posted on the Facebook page, In Memory of Jan Howlett.  A celebration of Jan's life is being planned for August 10th.  Please RSVP if you plan on attending.

Our sincere condolences go out to David and to his sons Courtney and Harrison.  Our thoughts are with you at this most difficult time.

20 July 2013

Toronto: Open mic magic night

From the Open Mic MAGIC Night Facebook event:
Thursday July 25th

Jekyl & Hyde Pub & Restaurant
2340 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P 4B2
Come witness 3 of Toronto's TOP Magic Performers as they
amaze and astound!
Strolling Performances, Close Up Magic, Stage Shows!

Read more.

19 July 2013

Wendy's: Act 6 - Ken Margoe

The sixth act in Wendy's advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

You can read about the promotion over at Reality Based Magic.

Watch Act 6, Ken Margoe, on YouTube:

Previous acts:

Wendy's: Act 5 - Mike D'Urzo

The fifth act in Wendy's advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

Watch Act 5, Mike D'Urzo, on YouTube:

Previous acts:

Wendy's: Act 4 - James Alan (again)

The fourth act in Wendy's advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

You can read about the promotion over at Reality Based Magic.

Watch Act 4, James Alan, on YouTube:

Previous acts:

18 July 2013

Shawn Farquhar and Alex Seaman promoting the IBM convention in Phoenix

Watch this YouTube clip of Alex Seaman, Oscar Muñoz and Bill Cook talking about the IBM Convention in Phoenix on ABC.

And watch this YouTube clip of Shawn Farquhar on KPHO News:

Toronto: Dan FREE at Harlem

From Dan McLean Jr's Facebook event:
Saturday, July 20

FREE show at this really wonderful soul food & soul music club! Three-and-a-half hours of solo acoustic soul. Philly, Motown & more, plus a few originals.

This show always is sold out for most/all of the night, so your best best is to make reservations. 416-368-1920. The food really is great. My faves are the Southern Fried Chicken & Waffle, the Blackened Catfish, the Jerk Beef Meatloaf, and the Guinness-Marinated Stewed Chicken.

Read more.

17 July 2013

Ariel Frailich on Full Circle Magic

From Full Circle Magic's May 6th Q&A with Ariel Frailich, owner of I Saw That Exclusive Magic:
Magic is theatre, not circus. With proper attention to presentation, we can invoke any emotion we want, we can show who we are, we can become real people instead of cardboard cut-outs. Then we become unique, uncopyable, and with any luck, in demand. It’s the difference between people saying, “I saw Ariel perform”, rather than, “I saw a guy do card tricks”.

Read more.

16 July 2013

Wendy's: Act 3 - Magic Mike Segal

The third act in Wendy's advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

Watch Act 3, Magic Mike Segal, on YouTube:

Previous acts:

15 July 2013

Vintage Toronto: Browser's Den

Over at the Vintage Toronto Facebook page, they've posted a photo of a "1982 Interior of The Magic Store" (photo via Cathy Pitre).

This is what Jeff Pinsky had to say about it at the Browser's Den Facebook Group:
I love this. Just a nice shot of the shop and it really captures the feel of the shop with Len and Bernice running the operation. This was the second location of Browser's Den. Four years later Len & Bernice moved the shop to Bathurst & Eglinton.

14 July 2013

The Zombie post, now with pictures!

The unabridged version of  the "Michael Weber Zombie Workshop" post is now available with photographic illustrations over at Reality Based Magic.

You're welcome.

Magic in the Rockies

James Alan thought our readers might be interested in reading the note below:


I am the Secretary for Ring 250, the Presto Digitators, in Fort Collins, CO.  I am contacting you on behalf of our Ring and our annual convention, Magic In The Rockies.  After some consideration of not having our 20th anniversary edition of the convention (due to problems with our hotel's availability) we are trying to get the word out that we will have the convention, just on different dates than in the past.  Would it be possible to get the following notice into your monthly club newsletter, or otherwise pass it along to your membership?  We would appreciate any help you could provide in getting the word out to magicians in your area.


Magic In The Rockies 2013

We are pleased to announce that Magic In The Rockies, our 20th anniversary edition, will take place this year, though we have a few changes in store.  The biggest change is the date.  This year, MITR will be held Oct 3-6 at the Marriott in Fort Collins, CO, a full month later than in years past, but otherwise it will be the same convention that all of our regular attendees have come to know and love.  We have headliners and attendees from all over the world yet the convention is still an intimate gathering (usually under 250 magicians) where you get to rub elbows with some of the great names in magic.  For a review of last year's MITR, take a look at your December copy of The Linking Ring, page 42, for a review of last year.  Also, there is a slide show of highlights from last year's convention on our club website, www.prestodigitators.com.

One thing that has not changed for 2013 is our prices.  We have kept the registration fees the same as last year!

Keep checking our website www.magicintherockies.org or www.prestodigitators.com for updates, headliner and dealer lists, and registration information.  Additional names of headliners, dealers and schedules will be added soon.   For questions or registrations, we can be reached by email at mitrcon@gmail.com.

Thanks in advance, and please let me know if you have any questions.


Bob Blea
IBM Ring 250, The Presto-Digitators

13 July 2013

Wendy's: Act 2 - Baldini

The second act in Wendy's advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

Watch Act 2, Baldini, on Youtube:

Previous acts:

12 July 2013

David Ben wins Milbourne Christopher Foundation’s Masters Award

From Sharing Wonder:
Magicana’s Artistic Director, David Ben, received the Masters Award in recognition for his contribution to the art of magic. The award was presented on July 6, 2013 in Arlington, Virgina at the Society of American Magician’s National Convention.

The Milbourne Christopher Foundation was established to encourage excellence, originality and leadership in the magical arts and to help conjuring to remain on par with other entertainment mediums such as dance, drama, comedy and music.

Read more.

Congratulations David!

11 July 2013

Wendy's: Act 1 - James Alan

Apparently Wendy's has a new advertising campaign featuring nine Canadian magicians performing real magic!

Watch Act 1James Alan, on Youtube:

10 July 2013

Toronto: Learn hypnosis

Taught by Gabriello Pitman:

From Meetup.com:
Sunday, July 14, 2013

Come out and get an introduction to hypnosis! We'll run through the basics and get you learning how to test for suggestibility. You'll get the chance to practice hands-on with other attendees!

Read more.

09 July 2013

Thank you to our July sponsors!

Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.  We're pleased to have the support of Clive Court - The Fun-da-Mentalist, Ryan Pilling author of Finding The Funny and Evelyn & Phil Matlin, owners of Perfect Magic!

The next time you see them, let them know you saw their sponsorship here!

For more information about purchasing Sponsored Posts or about our Platinum, Gold, or Silver level sponsorships, please visit our Sponsorship page.

08 July 2013

Rounding the rings in July

The Magic Club of Winnipeg has an event on July 21st.
The Ottawa / Gatineau magicians will be meeting on July 23rd.  (And met on July 9th!)

06 July 2013

[Guest post] Michael Weber Zombie Workshop

Updated July 11 to add:  The unabridged version of the "Michael Weber Zombie Workshop" post is now available with photographic illustrations over at Reality Based Magic.

The following is a report from Ring 99.


Michael Weber Zombie Workshop
June 30, 2013

While we may occasionally pretend to be men (and even women) of our word, our illustrious membership has less collective willpower than Augustus Gloop in a room full of Wonka Bars.

Earlier this year, as a result of a rather vague controversy, we vowed to send our beloved Ring to the grave and ne'er speak of it again. We thought we had succeeded. But when Michael Weber sent word that he would be in town (for reasons we are unable to relate here as they are so secret we have yet to determine them) and was interested in doing a workshop, we rose like zombies and gathered to feast on the contents of his magnificent and delicious brain.

This was no small order as the weekend he has selected was not only the long weekend celebrating our country's founding (uncreatively named Canada Day - Max Maven and Allan Slaight could have done better), but also the glorious orgasmic climax to Pride Week, which is always enjoyed most enthusiastically in Toronto. Nevertheless, we forewent the excessive indulgence in alcohol, fireworks and public nudity and assembled at the usual place. We were not disappointed for our efforts.

The ex-president (James Alan) accompanied by another James (James Harrison), and Keith Brown (recently named Toronto's Best Magician in a silly little contest held outside of Toronto to save on parking and avoid both traffic and credibility) rushed over from their fabulous performance at the gay pride installment of Abracadabaret (Canada's only variety show dedicated to magic, mystery and to-die-for shoes) on the other side of town to not miss any of the mind-blowingness. Two underaged attendees even managed to secure fake IDs to gain entry to our secret speakeasy-cum-clubhouse for the event.

Mr. Weber did not disappoint. He offered a marvelous assortment of practical, commercial and diabolically clever card magic, money magic, mentalism, and personal grooming accessories. We cannot divulge the contents of this super-secret workshop as we have all been sworn to secrecy. The penalty for violating this solemn oath is being forced to watch certain unnamed members of the city's other ring perform all of Ben Train's unpublished material. Twice. They would also be made to judge next year's Chasing Dovetails Bingo tournament. We are not permitted to  explain that he shared the stories  behind two of the long uncredited Vernon and Miller items from Kaplan and Expert Card Technique. We can say he taught his own mischievous and devious twists on three items hidden in the pages of the recent Graham-Diaconis book on math and magic. Weber closed out the night by demonstrating a small non-card treasure he unearthed in a letter written by Charles Jordan. Suffice it to say that we were all thoroughly delighted and will be keeping our yaps shut.

The special meeting room also features a VIP viewing gallery at the back to which the ex-president, Chicago's David Solomon and Aspen's Eric Mead were banished to prevent them from causing too much trouble. To keep the peanut gallery quiet, a second, younger more vertically-challenged Mr. Weber held court. Due to a strategically timed nap (and apparently a better fake ID than any of us had ever seen), young Master Weber was able to share the real work on several captivating iPad apps well past the point any sensible person would consider bedtime. The legumes on the periphery did manage to poke their heads up occasionally as Weber the senior got around to what we might call "the good bits" which happened what we may call "often".

Following the official programming there were additional things which cannot be explained and an informal session with Eric Mead which deteriorated rapidly into philosophical discussions of gastronomy, techniques for setting things on fire and looking at baby pictures.

So having had our fix, we put yet another silver bullet in the chamber and return the illustrious Ring 99 to oblivion... until the next guy comes through town.

To read more about the adventures of Ring 99, see Ninety Nine Fabrications Volume 1 and Volume 2.


Thank you to the Zombies of Ring 99 for guest posting at Canada' s Magic!

05 July 2013


The contest to win tickets to see "DECEPTIVE PRACTICE: THE MYSTERIES AND MENTORS OF RICKY JAY in Toronto" on July 5th closed last night at midnight.  Here's the list of entrants:
  1. Dan McLean Jr
  2. Phil DC
  3. Magic Mike Segal
  4. Derek D
  5. Keith Browne (not to be confused with magician Keith H. Brown)

Given that there are five pairs of tickets to be won and five entrants, I will save the suspense and the random drawing for another point in time.

Congratulations Dan, Phil, Mike, Derek and Keith!  I'll be sending you an e-mail with the name of the contact person.  Enjoy the show tonight!

Thank you all for playing! A special thanks to Patrycja from Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival for generously making these tickets available!

Pointe Clare: Family Fair Day

From Montreal Families:
July 11

Inflatable games, Euro Bungy, live music, BBQ, animated games and activities, magician, petting zoo and more.

Read more.

[via Perfect Magic]

03 July 2013


Updated July 5th:  The winners have been announced!

I have been offered five pairs of tickets to give away to my readers, to attend "DECEPTIVE PRACTICE: THE MYSTERIES AND MENTORS OF RICKY JAY" at the 9 PM screening on Friday, July 5, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.  (I understand that there's a Q&A with the directors after this screening.)

I will be holding a random draw for each pair of general admission tickets.  (There will be five winners. Each winner will receive a pair of tickets.)  The draw results will be posted on Friday July the 5th.

To enter:
  1. Leave a comment on this post, telling me your favourite Ricky Jay memory (from a personal encounter, an interview, a performance etc).  (You do not need to be a magician to enter the contest.)(Your favourite memory could be entering this contest!)
  2. Leave your name, along with a way that I may contact you (e-mail address, phone number, website, Twitter handle etc.) so that I can notify you if you win.
  3. If you win, you must be willing to provide your full name and contact information for me to share with Patrycja from Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

The fine print:
  • To participate in the contest, you must be 18 years of age or older.
  • One entry per person.
  • This giveaway is open to Canadian residents, excluding residents of Quebec. (Je m'excuse!)
  • This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.
  • If you experience difficulties leaving a comment, you may e-mail it to me for posting.  (I am not responsible if your e-mail is misdirected or gets stuck in my Spam folder.)
  • You must be able to use the tickets as offered.  (No cash value will be offered if you cannot use the tickets.)
  • Photo ID will be required to claim the tickets at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema box office prior to the show on your way into the screening.
  • The odds of winning depend on how many people enter the contest.
  • Contest closes on Thursday July 4th, 2013 at 11:59pm EST.

With thanks to Patrycja from Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival for generously making these tickets available to you!

Toronto: Let's get Mysterion to Japan!

From Mysterion's Japan Fundraiser Facebook page:
Let's get Mysterion to Japan!

Mysterion has been asked to participate as a judge in "C'est Magnifique," a Japanese burlesque talent festival, and he needs your help to get there.

Read more.

[via James Alan]

02 July 2013

Houdini diary entry from Toronto

From Wild About Houdini:
There's a lot to love about this. First is the glimpse into the politics of showbiz that a newspaper won't write stories about an act unless the theater buys advertising. Houdini's shorthand "O.D. Stunt" appears to be his catch-all for "outdoor stunts" (bridge jumps, overboard box, suspended straitjacket). Finally, Houdini's expression of hurt at not being thanked feels very genuine. Doesn't matter if you're the world's greatest mystifier; everyone likes to be thanked.

Read the quote.

01 July 2013

Toronto: Juston Flom lecture

From the Browser's Den of Magic:
Sorcerers Safari & Browser's Den of Magic present the Justin Flom Lecture in Toronto - Sunday August 25th, 2013

Fresh from his recent appearance on the ever-popular Ellen Degeneres show, Justin Flom visits Toronto to spend time with you before heading up to Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp. In his acclaimed lecture, Justin shares strong versions of his best-selling routine Card Artistry including several new clever touches not included in the original write-up.

Justin also plans to share unreleased routines as seen in his popular YouTube video series. Come to this lecture & learn great magic using objects like: Dollar Bills, Post-it Notes, 6th Fingers, Playing Cards, Silver Coins, Invisible Thread Loops, Photographs, and even something including Donald Trump. (You must see it, to believe it!)

Read more and buy tickets.

[via Magic Information Canada]