30 September 2013

Broken wand: Ray Parker

From the Times Colonist:
PARKER, Raymond May 25, 1929 - July 15, 2013 Ray passed away peacefully at the Royal Jubilee Hospice, surrounded by his family. Born in Wolverhampton, England, Ray, a noted entertainer, performed his first show at the age of eleven as a puppeteer. He soon expanded his skills to include acting, clowning, mime, dance, singing, and stand-up comedy. At the age of eighteen, while in the British armed forces, he performed in East Africa, while serving as a Royal Engineer. During this time, he developed an impersonation act, which led to theatre, BBC television, and radio engagements. In 1965, Ray and his young family immigrated to Canada, where his career continued to flourish. Ray's acts included his children as a family of clowns, performing vaudevillian slapstick comedy. At the age of 50, Ray fell in love with magic, and thrilled his audiences with yet another dazzling talent.

Read more.

29 September 2013

Rounding the Western rings in October

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
Vancouver, BCSAM 95  (Carl Hemeon Assembly)- n/a
Victoria, BCRing 183 (Victoria Magic Circle)   - n/a

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

Rounding the Ontario rings in October

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

Hamilton, ONRing 49 (The Doug Henning Magic Wand Club) - cards and coins
London, ONRing 265 (London Magician's Guild)- schemes, swindles and scams
Kitchener, ONRing 235 (The Caesar Hat & Wand Magic Circle)- Shane Cobalt lecture
Ottawa, ONRing 151 (Ottawa Society of Magicians) - n/a
Ottawa, ONOttawa / Gatineau magicians- n/a
Toronto, ONRing 17 (Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club) Tyler Wilson lecture

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

Rounding the Eastern rings in October

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

Halifax, NSRing 316 (Conjourer's Court) -  Halloween Magic
St. John, NBMagic Circle of St. John- n/a

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

28 September 2013

Ray Chance: cameo in Shawn Desman's Stuck video

Go over to Much Music and watch Toronto magician Ray Chance's cameo in Shawn Desman's new video, "Stuck".  Ray appears at about the 1:30 mark.

To see more of Ray's magic, visit his YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/chancemagic which includes his appearances on Much Music, Breakfast Television and stage show clips.

27 September 2013

Fundraiser: Stop the Sucking

From Ring 17:
The Mosquitoes Suck Project, organized by SoChange, has released an instructional download including tricks from:
  • Bill Abbott
  • James Alan
  • Joshua Jay
  • Anthony Lindan
  • Bobby Motta
  • David Peck
  • Brian Roberts
  • Jay Sankey
For $10, you get a 106-minute, 3gb download of original magic. The download is available from dontbiteme.ca. $10 is the cost of an insecticide treated bed net, including delivery, which protects a family for up to ten years. These nets are distributed in Africa by Spread The Net. So download your copy today!

Read more and buy a download to Stop the Sucking.

26 September 2013

A second season of Breaking Magic

From The Futon Critic:
(Silver Spring, MD)-Discovery Networks International (DNI) today announced the return of original series BREAKING MAGIC. Behind every trick is science, and this 14x30 series from Objective Productions brings back its international cast of magicians,  Ben Hanlin, Billy Kidd, Wayne Houchin, along with newcomer, Nate Staniforth, for even more mesmerizing stunts and street magic. BREAKING MAGIC will premiere on Discovery Channel in 224 countries across Europe, Middle-East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America beginning February 2014. 
Read more.

25 September 2013

Review: Bobby Motta lecture

From the Browser's Den blog:
Such is his energy and enthusiasm and natural ability to entertain that the two hours flashed by in an instant. Trying to recapture Bobby's performance in print is no easy task - it is so relaxed and he is so genuinely funny that it would be easy to mistake it all for an impromptu session. But that it looks so effortless and natural is because of the years of hard work and dedication to his art that Bobby has undertaken. He admits to close to 3000 professional performances in his 13 year pro career. It shows. Interestingly, he actually started out as a hobbyist at the Den (at its old location on Eglinton).

Read more.

23 September 2013

18 September 2013

Random thoughts from Sorcerers Safari 2013

  • Mike and Jen Segal are totally awesome and inspiring people!
  • It is tremendous that organizations such as Ellusionist support Sorcerers Safari. (Kids, did you remember to send a quick "thank you" e-mail to them for the generous gift you received?  Do it now!  -- Mom)
  • Justin Flom is a super nice and super talented young man. (Read about his Toronto lecture at the Browser's Den blog)
  • I learned of a disconcerting, non-standard use for Mod Podge.
  • When asked to think of a famous painting, a LOT of people think of "Starry Night"
  • There's more humidity in Haliburton than in Vegas.
  • "Overnight successes" take a lot of work and planning.
  • Lee Asher is such a great teacher even _I_ learned how to produce minor card miracles. #BeginnerCardClass
  • Sometimes you get lucky and are the ONLY one in an elective. #PrivateClassesAreAwesome
  • Steven Kline is the guy you want in the booth during your show!
  • You never know when you might meet a fiction author
  • The health and safety of the children is clearly a priority.
  • Being levitated takes strong neck muscles.
  • Non-magicians aren't always the best choice for volunteers during a show.
  • Some Australians have incredible peripheral vision!
  • Spotted in 24 hours: Mike and Jen SegalDan WeibeKeith BrownEric LeclercAaron FisherDave MitchellShawn FarquharCarey LauderChad JurosLee AsherDick JoinerJustin FlomSteven Kline, Lisa and Michael CloseBen Train, Chris Mayhew, Bobby Motta ... I'm sure there were more!
  • Carey Lauder is an incredible photographer.  (See samples of his magic camp from two years back in Vanish magazine.)
  • Chris Mayhew shot some fabulous footage – I can't wait to see this year's camp video!
  • Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp gets better every year!
  • Mike Segal and Mike Toal should be very proud of what they started together over 17 years ago.
  • Sorcerers Safari is full of genuinely nice, caring, talented individuals!

Not at all.  I can't wait until the next time I'm there!

17 September 2013

An update from Perfect Magic

Keep your eye on the Perfect Magic Facebook page and Twitter account.   They have some exciting news to announce this week!

16 September 2013

Toronto: Steve Reynolds workshop and show

From the Browser's Den Facebook group:
Ben Train has organized a STEVE REYNOLDS WORKSHOP ($100) on Friday, September 20. Full details below. (For Workshop Tickets please call Ben Train directly.)

PLUS... there will be a FREE One Hour Magic Show by Steve Reynolds at Browser’s Den on Saturday, September 21, 2013. You read that right…The show at Browser’s Den on the Saturday is FREE!


Read more.

15 September 2013

A bit about Sid Lorraine and Ring 17

From Reality Based Magic:
In just over two weeks, a new season of the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club will be starting. [Edit: after a weird scheduling snag which forced us to push our opening lecture back a week... sorry for that]

Sid Lorraine, was a prominent figure among Toronto magicians. The Club was half-renamed after him (It was always the Hat & Rabbit Club) after he passed away. I was four years old when he passed away, and had never met him, but I had the odd chance to get to know him as I had to transcribe his handwritten memoirs (assembled from taped interviews with another past-president, Peter Isaacs) for a memorial blog. The blog, or “ChatterBox” as it’s properly called, is a fun read and paints a fascinating picture from the early part of the Twentieth Century of magicians in particular and Canada and England in general.

Read more.

14 September 2013

Erin Thomas at Sorcerers Safari

This summer I had the good fortune of meeting author Erin Thomas, while she was doing research for her book about a teenaged magician.  She blogged about her experience at Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp:
For some time now, I’ve been working on a book about a teenaged magician. Magician as in sleight-of-hand, not as in Harry Potter. It’s slated for publication sometime in 2014, as part of Orca’s new performing arts-based series, Limelights.

And as I’ve been researching the book, I keep coming to the same conclusion:  I really like magicians. As it happens, they’re a lot like writers. For one thing, there’s an awful lot of work behind the scenes before anything ever reaches an audience.

I’ve had the chance to interview a lot of people, about a lot of different things, over the past few years. Being a writer sometimes feels like a get-out-of-jail-free card for nosiness. And people are generally happy to talk about what they do for a living, or what they care about. But magicians… they go beyond that.

Read more.

I'm eager to get a look at the book she's finishing up!

13 September 2013

Toronto: Friendly reminders from the Browser's Den

From the Browser's Den Facebook group:
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22-Bobby Motta Lecture. Only $10.00. Please visit the homepage of our website for full details.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29-Jay Scott Berry Lecture. Only $15.00. Mr. Berry is from Australia and has not given a lecture in Toronto for more than ten years. Please visit the homepage of our website for full details.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5-Special Guest Visit for our Magic Club-TYLER WILSON will be spending the afternoon at our shop from 2:30 until 4:30pm to talk magic and show some stuff.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17-Browser’s Den 38th Store Anniversary Party! All invited to attend (Mini Auction in Morning, Discounts, Prizes, Trivia Quiz, Len Cooper Memorial Award, Sandwiches, Birthday Cake AND…BERNICE COOPER THE WIFE AND PARTNER OF LEN COOPER WILL BE HANDING OUT FOR FREE A SPECIAL MOMENTO OF LEN COOPER FOR ALL WHO CAN ATTEND. Bernice will be at the shop in the middle of the afternoon).

Read more.

12 September 2013

Kickstart the Can-eh-diana deck

The previously mentioned Can-eh-diana deck is now an official KickStarter project.

From KickStarter:
I have been a deck collector for quite a while now, and have yet to find a Canadian deck that isn't filled with stock photos of scenery (basically a souvenir deck).   So, having combined that fact and my passion for playing cards, I have designed a deck of playing cards with a Canadian theme.

The deck will feature maple leaves instead of the the typical spade suit.  The suit colours will be two shades of red (bright red, and maroon), instead of red & black like in a typical deck of cards.

The most customization for the deck can be found on the court cards.  I have featured nine world famous Canadian magicians.

Read more and pledge.

11 September 2013

Rogers TV: Behind the Magic with James Harrison

From Rogers TV:
Using some of Barrie's well known facilities, James Harrison entertains us with his magic. You may even learn a trick or two.

Read more.

10 September 2013

Ottawa: David Merry at the Canadian Comedy awards

I have it on good authority that David Merry [warning: sound] is part of the "and more" listed in the blurb below!

From Canadian Comedy:
October 4, 2013
Canadian Comedy All Stars Show

Hosted by Alan Thicke and featuring Harland Williams, Nikki Payne, Mark Forward, Sean Cullen and more! These Canadian comedians spin comedic gold right before your eyes! When else will you get to see these old favourites and rising stars all in one place? Here's a show not to miss!

Read more and buy tickets.

09 September 2013

Vancouver: The Music, The Magic, and The Movement

From the Global Speakers Summit:
The evening of Monday, December 9, 2013 will be a CAPS Foundation Fundraising event that includes entertainment, fellowship, and auctions, all in a good cause. We invite our CAPS members and our GSF guests to actively participate in this Foundation Fundraising event.

Read more.

The magic will be provided by:


08 September 2013

Broken wand: Daniel McIlroy

From Obits for Life:
DANIEL ROBERT McILROY (Retired TTC Driver, Member of Bobcaygeon Baseball and Dunsford Food Bank volunteer) Entered into rest suddenly on Saturday, January 28, 2012. Dan was the beloved husband of the late Rose Ann (nee Carter). Loving father of Robbyn (Terry Moore), John (Dorothy), Donald (Nuala), Kimberly, and David. The loved uncle of Edgar "Eddie" Tonna. Dear companion of Shirley Read. Adored grandfather of Krystal Rose, Kati (Lauren Hassard), Devlin, Hilary, Shane, Monica, Michael, and Jack. Cherished great grandfather of Camdyn, Caleb, and Grace. Predeceased by his sister Irene. He was a chivalrous gentleman, a magician, a family man, who always had a fantastic story or joke to tell. He loved the theater, symphony, crosswords, old movies, sports and relaxing with his family at the cottage. He was notorious for showering his grandchildren with toys and cookies.

Read more.

[via The Linking Ring, Vol 93, #8, August 2013]

07 September 2013

Once upon a time, Doug Henning hired a struggling comedian

06 September 2013

Toronto: Free magic club meeting

From the Browser's Den Facebook Group:
THIS SATURDAY/SEPTEMBER 7, AT 'BROWSER'S DEN' IS OUR NEXT...(free)MAGIC CLUB MEETING. All interested in talking/showing magic are welcome! .

Read more.

05 September 2013

04 September 2013

Thank you to our September sponsors!

Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.  We're pleased to have the support of:

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.


02 September 2013

Montreal: Steve Reynolds lecture

From Montreal Magic Jam:
Sunday September 15th

What do Bill Malone, Jon Racherbaumer, Allan Ackerman and Lance Pierce have in common?

They all agree about one thing: If you want to transform how you think about magic and how you can be the performer you were meant to be, you MUST spend quality time with Steve Reynolds.

Those magicians who do not consider themselves technical virtuosos choose Steve’s versions of their favorite effects because they are easy to do and fun to perform. Technicians also choose these same methods because they create the clearest effect on their audiences. However, Steve will not just be teaching his effects, he will be teaching The Monks Way: his philosophy on how to create great magic and how to become a great magician in order to truly entertain and fool your audiences.

Read more and buy tickets.

[via Perfect Magic]

01 September 2013

Update to the Johnny Giordmaine tribute site

From the curator of the Johnny Giordmaine tribute site:
Just uncovered: a rare 1930s promotional postcard from Johnny Giordmaine, Canada's most beloved children's magician (1898 to 1974). It has not been seen by anyone for perhaps almost 80 years. Come check it out! The site continues to celebrate its fifth anniversary online with twelve new pages of material honouring the legacy of this late, great Canadian magician. Your memories of Johnny are also always most welcome.

The website is here: http://www.johngiordmaine.com