30 March 2014

Orlando: Bill Abbott

From Bill Abbott's Twitter feed:

28 March 2014

Random thoughts about Magic @ The Cage

Over March Break, we made our way to The Cage to catch Abracadabaret in action.   On tap were James Alan, Chris Westfall and Jamie Stam.
  • The Crimson Lounge at The Cage is a great venue for dinner theatre.  [This is a cash only venue.]
  • Performers who are aware that there minors in the audience, and adjust their script / set to accommodate for young people, win over the children's parents immediately.  Doubly so if the show wasn't billed as a child friendly show.
  • Performers who mind their language because of the presence of young persons with perhaps delicate ears, can be more entertaining than if they had ignored the fact entirely.  [Kudos and thank you to James Alan!]
  • Adults are surprisingly entertained by children volunteers on stage, as long as the children are enjoying themselves and especially if the children are laughing.
  • Kidlet has seen a balloon animal act before, a few times, more times than I can remember and was still well entertained by Chris's handling.  Impressive Chris!
  • I'm always delighted to see James on stage with a roll of duct tape in hand.  Because I know what follows is going to be wonderful.
  • Jamie presented some material I hadn't seen him perform before.  Very creative, visual and effective.
  • Most of the Sunday (and some of the Tuesday) shows this month have been sold out.  Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance to reserve your seats!  (If you have comps, do let James Alan know which date you're hoping to attend.)

26 March 2014

Montreal: Chris Westfall's Calculated Chaos

From Montreal Magic Jam:
April 3rd

One of the things we enjoy most about organizing these lectures is being able to introduce you to new up-and-coming magicians, so we’re very excited to be bringing Chris Westfall to Montreal. Chris is a true student of magic as well as a worker in every sense of the word. With thousands of performances under his belt in a multitude of venues, Chris has developed a style and repertoire suited for the real world. Chris’s material has been published in Magic, Genii and M-U-M, and he was an invited speaker at the acclaimed 2013 Magi-Fest convention.

Read more (également en français) and buy tickets.

I should also remind you that Chris is giving his lecture in Ottawa on April 1st:

25 March 2014

Wendy's missing seven

Earlier I mentioned that there were 7 missing videos from the “Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger Magic Show.”

Here they are!

Watch Extra Trick 4, Ken Margoe, on YouTube:

Watch Extra Trick 5, Baldini, on YouTube:

Watch Extra Trick 6Rob Testa, on YouTube:

Watch Extra Trick 7, Baldini, on YouTube:

Watch Extra Trick 8, Baldini, on YouTube:

Watch Extra Trick 9, Mark Lewis, on YouTube:

Watch Extra Trick 10, Adam Swaye, on YouTube:

Wendy's makes magic

Last summer, a number of Canadian magicians were involved in an ad campaign for Wendy's.

From Strategy Online:
Working with agency MacLaren McCann, Wendy’s auditioned 10 different magicians and asked them to incorporate the burger into their routines. The stunt was filmed, with each of the 22 magic tricks shot in one take, and uploaded to Facebook and YouTube over several weeks as part of the “Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger Magic Show.”

Read more.
[via Reality Based Magic]

Those of you who were paying close attention, remember the following acts:

Which means we're 7 tricks short of the 22 shot.  According to the post at Reality Based Magic, at least one of those involves Mark Lewis.

Off to search the internet we go!

24 March 2014

Review: Sankey lecture, Card collectors and Bobby Motta

From the Browser's Den:
Since most of us are talking as much about the weather as we are about our latest sleight of hand moves I am pleased to report that I will make a prediction.

As popular is mentalism these days it was never of much interest to me for most of my formative years studying magic.  Though I do appreciate it more now than then...I still enjoy scarves changing colour and canes changes to candles, linking rings and coins and cups and balls, etc.etc.

That being said, I have decided that I will make a prediction regarding our weather. The cold will disappear by the time I write my next Blog!

Read more.

Jeff, about your prediction, I hope you're right!  (And write soon!)

23 March 2014

Murray Sawchuck on Penguin Live

From Penguin Magic:
Murray Sawchuck LIVE: Sunday Mar 23rd 
Who is he?

Murray’s star power has exploded onto the entertainment scene with the charisma, personality and talent of an entertainer born to be on stage and screen, after his successful run as a semi-finalist on NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent.”

The #1 network summer series was viewed by over 22 million fans nationwide. Murray dazzled the judges: Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel by producing a Ferrari from thin air, transforming a girl locked in a cage into a 450 pound tiger and did the largest trick ever on “AGT” by vanishing an entire 1918 steam train locomotive in mere seconds.

All of these illusions took place before a “live” and national “TV” audience, and brought standing ovations from the judges.

Read more and buy ticket.

[via iTricks]

22 March 2014

Sharing wonder with the help of Magicana

From Magicana:
Through our Tony Eng Youth Fund, Magicana sponsored two young people to attend the John Carney Lecture in Toronto on Feb 15, 2014.

The pair are actively part of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto – an organization near and dear to Magicana as past partners in our My Magic Hands program. Through a happy coincidence, Big Brother, Mike Johns, happened to hear about the lecture and thought it would be the perfect outing with his Little, Wes.

Wes is a budding 12-year old magician with a huge interest in magic and his Big, Mike – equally interested in magic – thought it would be the perfect outing for the two of them. But, limited funds proposed a challenge. Resourcefully, Mike reached out to Magicana and through our Tony Eng Youth Fund, we were able to make their attendance possible. After all that’s what the fund is all about – to motivate and inspire young people who are passionate about magic.

Read more.

21 March 2014

Screenings for "An Honest Liar: The Amazing Randi Story"

You may recall an earlier post about the Kickstarter campaign to get this James Randi documentary off the ground.  And a post about with the work-in-progress trailer.  And the post quoting from the Hot Docs Forum report.  So it's fitting that I post about the completed film's upcoming screenings in New York and Toronto.

From "An Honest Liar":
Upcoming Screenings  
Tribeca Screenings (New York City, USA)  
FRI 4/18
SUN 4/20
WED 4/23
FRI 4/25

Hot Docs Screenings (Toronto, Canada)  
Wed Apr 30 at Hart House Theatre
Thu May 1 at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Sat May 3 at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

20 March 2014

Scott McClelland's The Necromancer

Tour dates for The Necromancer from Scott McClelland.

From The Paranormal Show:
  • Ottawa, March 22nd
  • Hamilton, March 29th
  • Toronto, April 4th

19 March 2014

Review: The Evasons in South Tyneside

From The Shields Gazette:
Jeff and Tessa Evason left everyone completely gobsmacked as they delved into minds, pulling out the information they needed.

It’s absolutely impossible to explain how they did what they did.

Read more.

From The Journal:
Unless I’m much mistaken, there will be a few hundred people like me still wondering: How on earth did she do that?
The apparent mind-reading ability of Tessa Evason of The Evasons prompted a standing ovation to conclude this final South Tyneside International Magic Festival in style.

Read more.

18 March 2014

Congratulations to Mike D'Urzo

Congratulations Mike D'Urzo on being named 2014 "Performer of the Year" by Events Ontario!

14 March 2014

Vaughan: Diamond and Ottaway

From Ring 17:
We would like to make a prediction... or perhaps reveal a prediction:

After reading the subject line, fifty percent of you are saying, "Who's Dustin Diamond?" And fifty percent are saying, "Who's Glenn Ottaway?"

For those born after 1985, Glenn Ottaway is the godfather of comedy magic in Toronto. Mostly retired at the moment, you may have seen him at the Morrissey Magic anniversary parties or at our own comedy magic workshop a few years ago.

For those born before 1985, Dustin Diamond was "Screech" on Saved by the Bell (1989-1993), one of the great television nerds of all time.

This Saturday night (March 15), there is a special comedy gala headlined by Dustin Diamond and hosted by the legendary Mr. Ottaway himself at Dave & Busters (Highway 400 &7).

Read more.

13 March 2014

Toronto: Vincent Hedan's The Wish

From the Abracadabaret Facebook event:
Wednesday, 30 April 2014

French champion of magic, Vincent Hedan, will be joining us in Toronto for one night only for a performance of his new show The Wish. Vincent has performed in Europe, Australia, and Asia and has performed for Fortune 500 companies including Calvin Klein, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz. This is his first public performance in North America.

Read more and buy tickets.

12 March 2014

Toronto: Sorcerers Safari Open House 2014

11 March 2014

Toronto: Best Magician Contest 2014

From Arthur Poon:
Hello to all Magic Lovers, the moment is finally here.

In the evening of April 26th , 2014, “[A1] Chinese Radio” is giving out opportunities to the magic lovers in Toronto! Bringing along with own incredible skills, the candidates will enter into an exciting competition held on a magical platform in Market Village.

Same as the previous years, this magic contest will gather all of professionals and entertainers within the magic scope and the qualified contestants will compete among themselves. After all, they are going to the same stage to compete for the fame of Top Magician in Toronto. It is absolutely an extraordinary experience to give yourself a chance to present your talent.

Date: April 26, 2014 (Saturday)

Time: TBA

Contestant: All Ages, All Genders (The show will be hosted in Cantonese. However, English and other language speakers are welcomed.)

Performance: Stage Magic or Close-Up Magic. For stage magic, it does not have to be “big stage illusion; any magic that can be performed on stage is fine, such as producing a rabbit from an empty hat etc.)

Venue: Market Village (Steeles & Kennedy)

Audition: We will start with YOUTUBE audition right away. From now till March 22nd, all participants only need to submit a roughly 2-minute video to: starz@classicforce.com. All videos should be titled as “Best Magician Contest 2014 1st Audition: XXXXXX (the title of your performance)”. (P.S. Video editing is permitted; HOWEVER, no editing on the MAGIC PERFORMANCE. Two minutes are including the effect AND all of the editing.)

• By submitting your video before March 16th, 2014, the entry fee will be automatically waived. Any video(s) submitted after March 16th, 2014, a $20 entry fee will be applied.
• When submitting the video, please provide us your name and contact, so we can contact you.
• ONE video entry per contestant.

The winner of the competition will be receiving the following:

a. “Best Magician 2014” trophy,

b. Your chance to perform live at CNE on July 1st, 2014 Canada Day.

c. Gift(s) from our main sponsor(s).

Look forward meeting you guys, See you all at there!!

10 March 2014

Toronto: Browser's Den Auction 4/2014

From the Browser's Den:

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 dear customers get to bid on magic equipment, tricks, books and DVDs at fantastically low prices.

For those of you who would like to bring in items to be auctioned off… Please bring in those items to the shop anytime between March 10 and April 3.

Please note that you may bring in no more than 3 LOTS.  However, a LOT may consist of more than one item. Please try to make sure that everything has directions and is in good working order.

Read more.

09 March 2014

Random thoughts about Ring 17 Members' Night

  • Shout out to everyone who hosted and performed at Members' Night last week! 
  • It takes incredible courage for amateurs to perform in front of the club.  Well done everyone who made it up to the front of the room! 
  • The presence of a child, whom James Alan referred to as Urchin, allowed all of the women in the room to let out a collective sigh of relief.  (They were spared the fate of "volunteering" for the evening.)
  • Urchin was treated very well while volunteering.  Impressive.  I've seen highly respected "legendary" professionals treat children horribly.  Keep up the great work folks!
  • There are some very talented magicians in Ring 17.
  • Ariel Frailich knows a lot.
  • The members behaved very respectfully during situations where life wasn't going quite according to plan.  It's nerve-racking performing in front of talented professionals.  Thanks for being supportive!
  • There's truth to the proverb:
    'Tis a lesson you should heed:
    Try, try, try again.
    If at first you don't succeed,
    Try, try, try again.
  • Are all magicians from Calgary named Chris as talented as the two we saw last week?
  • I finally witnessed a peformance by Mark Lewis with young people in the room.  I'm a fan.  Doubly impressed that he took Urchin aside at the end of the night, to teach an alternate presentation of an effect shared that evening.
  • James can tie a perfect bowtie without the aid of a mirror.

Toronto: Wonderz @ Whistler's

From Chris Westfall at the Browser's Den of Magic Facebook page:
Excited to announce the debut of "Wonderz @ Whistler's". It's a hilariously elegant and intimate magical experience hosted and performed by yours truly in this unique set up last Monday of the month! It's magical and delicious! Tickets officially for sale so reserve now at: http://www.chriswestfallmagic.com/public-events/whistlers/

Read more.

08 March 2014

Remembering Jack Bateman

On February 19th, I reported on the passing of Jack Bateman.  On March 3rd, Ring 17 sent an e-mail with recollections of Jack by Dick Joiner.  I'm republishing them here, with Dick's permission.
Recollections by past president, Dick Joiner:

Jack L. Bateman, 95, of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, died February 17, 2014, in a local hospital. He was a former member of the I.B.M. (1945-1965), and Ring 17 (Toronto).

He became interested in magic as a schoolboy after watching a performance by magician "Laurante," and magic became a passion the rest of his life. He always carried props in his pockets so he could practice wherever he went. In his youth he developed his comedic talents and an illusion show, featuring his own versions of a "sub trunk" and "cut the lady in six." He invented many tricks, some still on the market, such as "Rub-a-dub-dub," featured on a Bill Malone video.

He also was a teacher of magic; one of his pupils was Doug Henning. He was the Technical Supervisor for Outside Broadcasts for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He developed the first mobile television broadcast units for the CBC.

When he died in the hospital, there was a paddle at his bedside, no doubt to entertain the nurses.

07 March 2014

Free Trick Friday: Chris Westfall

From Ring 17's Twitter feed:

Breaking Magic 2

From Discovery:
Wednesdays from 12th March, 8.00pm & 8.30pm

BREAKING MAGIC is back for another season of jaw-dropping illusions and mind-blowing tricks.  Performed by an international, all-star cast of the freshest magic talent, including British Ben Hanlin, alongside  Wayne Houchin, Billy Kidd, and newcomer  Nate Staniforth, each week the stellar cast perform phenomenal street magic, across London, New York and Warsaw, baffling bystanders and audiences at home alike.

Read more.

06 March 2014

Broken wand: Sandy Gregory

From The New Brunswick Beacon:
Alexander Payson (Sandy) Gregory, former Saint John city councillor, died on Tuesday of natural causes in the Saint John Regional Hospital. He was 91.

Most commonly known as Sandy, he was a man that wore many hats. If he wasn’t serving the city through council he was putting on a magic show, or becoming the founder of a scuba diving club.

Read more.

From Brenan's:
Alexander Payson "Sandy" Gregory of Rothesay, husband of Mildred A. (Monteith) Gregory, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at the Saint John Regional Hospital.  Born in Saint John on March 10, 1923, he was a son of the late Hugh and Elsa (Payson) Gregory. 
Read more.

From In Memoriam:
GREGORY, ALEXANDER “SANDY” – Alexander Payson “Sandy” Gregory of Rothesay, husband of Mildred A. (Monteith) Gregory, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at the Saint John Regional Hospital. Born in Saint John on March 10, 1923, he was a son of the late Hugh and Elsa (Payson) Gregory. Sandy was a graduate of Rothesay Collegiate School and the University of New Brunswick.

Read more.

[via The Puppet Lady]

05 March 2014

Grateful for our March 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.

Or you can Be Our Friend for only $20 per year! 

Donations of any size are always welcome.

03 March 2014

[Guest post] An open letter from the president of Ring 17

The following is a guest post from the president of the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club .

Dear Canada's Magic readers,

It is my responsibility as the president of the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club  IBM Ring 17 in Toronto, to clarify a point of some controversy based on my comments in the "President's Message" of the March 2014 newsletter.

By way of background, the club hosted a special lecture on Thursday, February 6, 2014 which featured the cast of the Mosquitoes Suck Project  an instructional magic download designed to raise money to fight malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and featuring such notable magicians as Bill Abbott, Jay Sankey, Joshua Jay, Bobby Motta, David Peck, Anthony Lindan, Brian Roberts and James Alan*. In attempt at humour in stark violation of John Cleese's Three rules of comedy** we dubbed the event, "The Lecture That Sucks."

In our March 2004 newsletter, I reported that the lecture was a complete success, citing well known member and terror of the Internets, The Great Mark Lewis who posted on the Facebook that the lecture sucked:
According to Mark Lewis' posting on Facebook, the the lecture sucked so it was, in principle, a complete success. And more importantly, through the evening, we raised $400 for the Mosquitoes Suck Tour, which translates to 40 bed-nets, which will protect up to 200 people for up to five years. So we are extremely grateful for your support.

In point of fact, his full commentary (divided into two posts before and after the event) was:
I am in great dread that it may not just be the mosquitos that suck.  
Only half of it sucked. Naturally I am far too tactful to say which half.

While Mr. Lewis feels that his views were misrepresented in the newsletter, I believe my remarks were faithful to his original sentiment. Of course it is now up to the reader to decided whether this is, in fact, so.
What's really at issue here is the applicability of the term "sucks" in an environment with an abundance of puns and a deficit of a well defined sense of humour in people with (clearly) too much time on their hands. Does the act of sucking blood automatically imply "sucks" in the pejorative schoolyard sense? Does it work the other way as well? 

The Ring 17 Philosopher in Residence and Professor Emeritus of Ring Reportage of the P. Howard Lyons Ring, Dr. Sammy Jakubowicz suggested, when reached for comment, "We might consult the writings of Lewis Carroll here. He may have been right when he wrote, 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.' On the other hand, he may have been wrong. It is difficult to say with certainty. Why are you bothering me with this anyway? I was out of the country and nowhere near the lecture."

It's also clear that the actual quality of the lecture plays no part forming Mr. Lewis' opinions and can safely be set aside for the purpose of this discussion.

If you feel the need to weigh in on the matter, please feel free to contact the Ring 17 Goodwill Ambassador, Matt DiSero with your thoughts.

Thank you very much for your kind attention as we attempt to resolve this misunderstanding. We look forward to seeing our members at the next meeting, Thursday, March 6, 2014.

*Present on the DVD but absent from the lecture were Joshua Jay, who was reportedly in the United States working on his six-pack and Brian Roberts who was alphabetizing his sock drawer. Matthew DiSero did turn up, somewhat against his will.

**No puns, no puns and no puns.


Thank you, I think, for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

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)Michael Ammar lecture.
Edmonton, ABEdmonton Magic Club- n/a
Winnipeg, MBThe Magic Club of WinnipegMichael Ammar lecture.
Fraser Valley, BCIBM Ring 387 (Fraser Valley Magic Circle)- General Meeting we'll be hosting special guest lecturer Michael Ammar!
- Third Monday Magic
Vancouver, BCRing 92 (Vancouver Magic Circle)- Comedy competitions.
Vancouver, BCSAM 95  (Carl Hemeon Assembly)- n/a
Victoria, BCRing 183 (Victoria Magic Circle)   - Michael Ammar lecture.
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) - n/a
London, ONRing 265 (London Magician's Guild)- Dollar store magic.
Kitchener, ONRing 235 (The Caesar Hat & Wand Magic Circle)- Possible exchange night with
Hamilton & London Clubs.
Ottawa, ONRing 151 (Ottawa Society of Magicians) Stand-up Magic
Ottawa, ONOttawa / Gatineau magicians- n/a
Toronto, ONRing 17 (Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club) - Members' night.

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) - check out their great new website!
St. John, NBMagic Circle of St. John- n/a

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

02 March 2014

Manitoba museum an honour to son

Updated at 2:50pm to add:

Philip's Magical Paradise
"Preserving Canada's Magical Heritage with treasures donated by magicians from around the world."

From the Winnipeg Sun:
It's been operating for 22 years in the RM of Ste. Anne and believed to be the only museum of its kind in Western Canada, but most Manitobans have never heard of it.

"We're a hidden treasure out here," Marilyn Hornan said Wednesday morning.

Philip's Magical Paradise is a magic museum that opened south of Winnipeg in the village of Giroux in 1991. It's a tribute to Marilyn and Gordon Hornan's youngest son, Philip Hornan.

Philip had been a magician since he was a youngster and his love for magic only grew as he got older.

"Unfortunately, cancer took him at the age of 15," Gordon said. "His request was to create a room for everyone to enjoy, to keep the magic in life."

Read more.
The article goes on to discuss how "performers who provided items were Gunnarson, Lance Burton, Doug Henning and Peter Reveen."   In addition they mention a piece on display which includes something once owned by Houdini himself!

[via Owen Anderson]

01 March 2014

Christopher Hart, Lee Asher et al at the Atlanta Harvest of Magic

From Lee Asher:

This year's Atlanta Harvest of Magic runs from September 11-13, 2014.

Also scheduled to appear are friends of Sorcerers Safari: Nathan Kranzo and Steven Kline!