31 May 2014

Top 5 posts in May 2014

It's been a busy month at Canada's Magic, with lots of magical happenings and over 2300 page loads so far!  Let's see what the most popular posts have been:

5. David Merry on Too Much Information - Can anyone who has seen this show report back about it?

4. Winners of the Best Magician Contest 2014 - Congrats again Luiz and Scott!

3. Niagara Falls: Mindtrix the Show - Any reviews out there to share?

2. Win tickets to see The Uncertainty Project in Toronto - Contest closed and won!  Congratulations to all and thanks for playing!

and the most viewed post this month, for the second month in a row, is ...

1. Toronto: The Ghost Experience with Jamie Stam

David Ben on News Talk 1010

From Magicana:
Want to hear more about our Transgressive Magic shows for the Luminato Festival? Tune in to CFRB’s @newstalk1010 on Saturday May 31 at 1:30PM when David Ben (@theconjuror) will be on the air revealing all kinds of secrets!

Darcy Oake through to the BGT Final

From Clive Court's Facebook page:

30 May 2014

Winners to see The Uncertainty Project in Toronto

The contest to win tickets to see "The Uncertainty Project" next month closed last night at midnight.  Here's the list of entrants:
  1. Artemus Syman
  2. Dan McLean Jr
  3. Derek D
  4. Magic Mike Segal
There are four pairs of tickets to be won and four entrants, leaving no uncertainty about who won the tickets!

Congratulations Artemus, Dan, Derek and Mike!  I'll be e-mailing you with instructions about how to claim your prize.  Enjoy the show!  (And don't forget to let me know how you like it.)

Thank you all for playing! A special thanks to James from Abracadabaret for generously making these tickets available to you!

David Ben on Ross Bertram and Sleight-of-Hand

From Magicana's article "Sleight-of-Hand":
Ross Bertram was a legendary figure in the world of magic, first coming to international prominence for his pure sleight-of-hand in the 1940s when he was invited to be part of the “Stars of Magic”, the magic equivalent of a art movement or group, whose techniques were offered by subscription to magicians around the world. Dai Vernon, his friend, and fellow Canadian, and the most influential magician of the 20th century, had invited him to participate. Ross disappeared from view in the 1960s, the stress and strain of a life in show business having taken its toll. He reappeared in the late 70s, just when my interest in sleight-of-hand began to percolate.

Read more.

From Magicana's article "Improvisation":
“Learn as many sleights at as you possibly can and then improvise,” was Ross Bertram’s advice. 
Read more.

29 May 2014

Murray SawChuck's appearance on AGT

iTricks is revisiting magical appearances on America's Got Talent and recently posted footage of Murray SawChuck from a few years back.  Enjoy!

28 May 2014

Review: A Series of Unfortunate Effects

From the Facebook page of A Series of Unfortunate Effects:

27 May 2014

Broken wand: Bob Johnston

From Ring 17:
We are sad to report the passing of one of our members, Bob Johnston. Bob was a member briefly, joining in 2011, and attended meetings occasionally when his schedule permitted. He passed away May 12 following a heart attack. The club sends its sincere condolences to his wife, Debbie. 
Read more.

From Legacy:
JOHNSTON, Bob - Suddenly at home on Monday, May 12, 2014 at the age of 57. Bob, beloved husband of Debbie for 35 years. Cherished son of Margaret and the late Johnny and treasured son-in-law of Ila and the late Jack Ellison. Dear brother of Gary. Bob will be sadly missed by family members, countless friends and much loved pets. 
Read more

Hamilton: Séance with Nicholas Wallace

June 25-27 
Everyone loves a good ghost story. This is your chance to be part of one.

In this completely immersive experience, illusionist Nicholas Wallace invites you to join him in exploring the world of the Victorian spirit medium, in what is reliably being called “the first attempt to use an actual séance as part of a theatrical entertainment.”

Read more and buy tickets.

26 May 2014

Darcy Oake on foreign acts

From the Daily Mail:
But as he prepares to perform live tonight, the 26-year-old said he could accept the point of view that only Britons should be allowed to compete. 
[Darcy] Oake said: 'I totally understand and get that viewpoint. For me, Britain's got talent is literally the biggest talent show in the world. 
Read more.

From Clive Court's Facebook page:

Post by Clive Court.

Best wishes Darcy!

Toronto: The Bill Abbott Experience

Thursday June 19 
The Bill Abbott Experience is a one-man concert featuring a genre-busting hybrid of cutting edge mind reading and magical brilliance that is inarguably awe-inspiring. 
Read more and buy tickets.

24 May 2014

Darcy Oake makes second BGT appearance tonight

From Clive Court's Facebook page:

Invitation to the IBM/SAM Combined Convention

From the IBM/SAM Combined Convention Facebook page:
June 30 - July 5 in St. Louis

23 May 2014

Greg Frewin on Global TV

From Global News:
Thu, May 15: Greg Frewin is a world renowned magician and the first and only winner of: “The International Grand Champion of Magic.” He accomplished the title after winning first place in 20 different countries, stretching to six continents. This is the ninth consecutive season of Greg’s Live “Imagine” show currently taking place in Niagara.

22 May 2014

Buffalo: Matt DiSero at Rob Lederman's Comedy club

From Matt DiSero's Twitter feed:

Mark Correia in Strait from the Heart

Here’s what I had not seen, until now: A young magician who’s willing to spend two weeks inside the (increasingly rank, we assume) confines of a straitjacket, in the middle of a hot Canadian summer.

But that’s what’s happening this July. His name is Mark Correia, and he’s doing it to raise money for Parkinson’s disease. Mark, who is also an actor, is a graduate of Etobicoke School of the Arts and currently enrolled at The National Theatre School of Canada. Mark is a longtime admirer of Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 and currently supports research through his non-profit foundation.

Read more.

21 May 2014

Houdini: The Pickleman punch and J. Gordon Whithead

From "The Pickleman punch" at Wild About Houdini:
We all know J. Gordon Whithead punched Houdini in the stomach in his dressing room at the Princess Theater in Montreal on October 22, 1926. It's debated whether or not the punch caused or just masked his fatal appendicitis, but all agree that Whitehead's punch was the start of a chain of events that would lead to the magician's death on Halloween. But in his seminal work, The Man Who Killed Houdini, author Don Bell uncovered evidence of two other punches delivered by McGill University students during Houdini's stay in the city that might extend that chain a little further back.

One of those punches is said to have occurred in the lobby of the Prince of Wales Hotel. However, that incident is questionable as it only comes via second-hand sources, so I'm going to save it for another time and another post. The punch I want to discuss today is the first of the three for which there is strong evidence. This punch or "test" occurred on October 19, 1926, when Houdini was giving his lecture at McGill University. Bell calls it "the Pickleman punch."

Read more.

From "Is this J. Gordon Whitehead at McGill in 1926?" at Wild About Houdini:
Recently our friends at the Houdini Museum in Scranton and Joe Notaro of HHCE turned up an amazing archive of yearbooks from McGill University. Of course, it was a student from McGill, Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead, who punched Houdini in his dressing room at the Princess Theater on October 22, 1926. Could these books give us our first look at Whitehead as a student?

There is only one known photo of Whitehead, taken almost 25 years after the Houdini incident when he was in his 50s. Because he never graduated, there is no individual yearbook photo of him as a student. However, this group shot of the "Arts '28 Class" in the 1926 yearbook is said to include a "Whitehead, J.G." (as well as Gerald Pickleman, who also "tested" Houdini that week). Unfortunately, it doesn't specify which student is Whitehead.

Read more.

20 May 2014

Toronto: David Peck at the Global Change Initiative

May 30- June 1, 2014
Toronto City Hall Council Chamber 
the global change initiative 
is an annual meeting of collective minds spanning the world of academics, corporate, institution and government; all brought together in Toronto’s core for a two-day, three-night interactive Summit. Sustainability, conscious consumerism and responsible thought leadership rule the weekend. 
MEET David PeckHis paramount passion is contributing to the international development community. He has worked in collaboration with organizations such as UNICEF, Plan, STN, Make Poverty History, and World Vision. He has provided consulting services for health, literacy and restorative justice projects in Cambodia, Mongolia and throughout parts of Africa. He currently devotes much of his time to managing SoChange.

Read more.

19 May 2014

Win tickets to see The Uncertainty Project in Toronto

Updated May 30th:  The contest is now closed and the winners have been announced!

I have been offered four pairs of tickets to give away to my readers, to attend "The Uncertainty Project" in Toronto, Canada.

I will be holding a random draw for each pair of general admission tickets.  (There will be four winners. Each winner will receive a pair of tickets.)  The draw results will be posted on Friday, May 30th.

To enter:
  1. Leave a comment on this post, telling me your favourite thing about James Alan.  (You do not need to be a magician to enter the contest.)(Your favourite thing could be that he offered tickets for 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 Abracadabaret.

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.)
  • The odds of winning depend on how many people enter the contest.
  • Contest closes on Thursday May the 29th at 11:59pm EST.

With thanks to James from Abracadabaret for generously making these tickets available to you!

18 May 2014

Victoria: Mirth and Magic Show

The Victoria Magic Circle presents Mirth & Magic - an evening of magic and comedy featuring the award winning magic of Steve Hignett, Zanthera, Murray Hatfield, and Jason Verners. Competing for the Wansborough Best Comedy Magic Trophy; Donald Dunphy, Craig McKee, Michael Macheck, Dave Morris.

May 24th, 2014.

Berwick Royal Oak

Read more and buy tickets.

17 May 2014

Toronto: SOULO Theatre Festival

Tickets are now on sale for the SOULO Theatre Festival, May 22-25 in Toronto. SOULO Theatre, created by Tracey Erin Smith, highlights solo performances and one-person shows with a focus on personal storytelling.

This is the second year of the festival and I’ve joined their team as their general manager, thanks, I’m sure, to my mother teaching me to make elaborate spreadsheets so I could survive managing Camp Black Belt all those years ago – love you!  (Insert joke about “Selling my soul-o” here.)

The entire festival takes place at The Red Sandcastle Theatre (922 Queen Street). The quality of the performers is exceptional. I was at the launch party which was preceded by a showcase of four short solo shows which were wonderful, heartwarming, disturbing and uplifting (but not necessarily in that order).

Read more.

16 May 2014

Victoria Day sale: 40% off yearly sponsorship rates!

Show your support for Canada's Magic,

"the finest location for up to date information on magic in Canada."
Canada's Magic is offering, for the rest of May, a 40% discount on the listed price of any one year advertising package.  Qualifying packages include the Platinum, Gold, and Silver annual rates. (This offer does not include Sponsored Posts.)

Join the company of patrons Clive Court (The Fun-da-Mentalist), Evelyn & Phil Matlin, owners of Perfect Magic and Jeff Pinsky, owner of The Browser's Den of Magic and sponsor us (or be our friend) today!

Our patrons make this site possible. 

For more information, please visit the "Sponsor" tab, leave your question in a comment below or send an e-mail.

Thank you for your continued support!

Calgary: Calgary International Children's Festival

May 21-24 
Sheldon Casavant 
Passionate about magic from a young age, Sheldon is a highly sought after performer, with a repertoire of magic that is contemporary, fun and highly interactive. 
Sheldon is also hosting a student magic workshop. 
Read more.

Watch Wow Ryan in this festival promo video on YouTube:

15 May 2014

Toronto: The Uncertainty Project by James Alan

It's worth noting that Early Bird tickets are available until May 18th, at a very deep discount.

June 18 - 21 
James Alan appears on stage. Live and unexpected things happen. There is surprise…again and again. Odd things take place that don’t fit neatly into our tidy view of the universe.

This is The Uncertainty Project. Your viewpoint will be turned upside down. Not so gently.

The Uncertainty Project is a presentation of illusion and astonishing moments of wonder unlike the City of Toronto has ever known. It’s about what we know and what we don’t know. It’s about what will happen next or what should happen next…but doesn’t. A leap of faith or a pondering of possibilities. Learning that our assumptions are faulty and that our senses are unreliable.

This isn’t a magic show. This is a show of impossibilities.

Read more and buy tickets.

London: The Amazing Corbin in A Night at the Moulin Rouge

From the Grand Theatre:
May 29, 2014
Join us in celebrating four decades of professional theatre at the 40th Annual Grand Gala fundraiser! 
This RUBY anniversary celebration brings The Grand Gala back to The Grand Theatre MainStage, where guests will enjoy a one-of-a-kind sit-down dinner, frenzied auction activity, and the sights, tastes, and sounds of an opulent Moulin Rouge theme. 
Corbin is a modern, vintage and limited-edition entertainer, presenting practically-perfect prestidigitation for your pleasure. Corbin has been performing all over Canada for close to 20 years. He is currently the President of the London Magician's Guild, a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and is often featured on London's Rogers Television. Corbin looks forward to meeting and entertaining everyone at The 40th Annual Grand Gala event. 
Read more and buy tickets.

14 May 2014

The Amazing Randi Day at Browser's Den

What a wonderful surprise we had last Saturday at Browser's Den.

At about noon none other than The Amazing Randi entered the shop!!! He walked in with his entourage including the president of the Randi Foundation.

Randi was wearing black cape and stylish fedora and sporting a walking cane with a silver skull at it's top.

There were about ten magicians at the shop whose mouths dropped open very wide...I think that I could have pulled out a 50 foot mouth coil from their mouths they were so wide.

I pointed out to Randi that we had a framed poster of him hanging on the wall above the table that magicians hang around and chat.

Randi sat down in the chair directly below his poster. 
Read more.

Be a part of The Magic Festival!

From The Magic Festival:
The 2nd Annual Magic Festival will be held in June of 2014 and we’re now building our database of artists who wish to showcase.  We will be in need of magical artists who can do one or more of the following disciplines:

Street Magic ¤ Comedy Magic ¤ Stage Magic ¤ Close Up Magic

Children’s Magic ¤ Restaurant Magic ¤ Bar Magic

The MAGIC Festival will be produced in a similar fashion to a Fringe Festival.  This means we award artists with extraordinary acts the opportunity to produce their productions as part of the Festival at minimal costs.  By using the bulk buying power of the Festival we have been able to secure several venues at reduced rates.  By presenting several presentations by various artists in the same venue the cost of renting a venue is a fraction of the normal costs.  There will be very few paid positions, several volunteer positions and a good number of producer positions for solo artists or groups wishing to present a compilation style show.

Read more and apply.

13 May 2014

Greg Frewin: Nine years in Niagara Falls

From CHCH:
It is a little bit of Las Vegas right here at home. Magician Greg Frewin has performed over two thousand times over nine years at the Greg Frewin Theatre. He is here to give a taste of what you will see.

12 May 2014

Calgary: Thomas Baxter lecture

From the Vanishing Rabbit:
Mentalist THOMAS BAXTER will be lecturing at the Vanishing Rabbit Magic Shop
MAY 23rd 
Would you like to be able to perform a full- evening show with just the contents of a briefcase, get paid MORE than someone per- forming a complete illusion show, and get standing ovations at every performance? Or perhaps you'd just like to completely astonish your friends and family with NO PROPS, but just your own understanding of human behavior? Thomas Baxter can show you how.

Tom is a professional mentalist from Canada and has been one of Canada's most successful mystery performers for well over 30 years. He’s performed his one-man show in 31 countries around the world, entertained on cruise ships, created and starred in television specials, in night clubs and has even presented hundred of theatrical seances.  
Read more and buy tickets.

11 May 2014

Montreal: Lab Magique

From Regroupement des Magiciens Québécois:
May 21 
Laboratoire experimental pour magiciens et artistes de variety 
With Erick Electrik and Bernard Lebel 
Read more.

[via Perfect Magic]

10 May 2014

Montreal: Spectacular Sunday!

If you're not going to be at Gordon's birthday bash, you should definitely consider attending Spectacular Sunday!

From the Comedy Nest:
Sunday June 1st 
You won’t believe what’s happening here on June 1st… literally! Five world-class magicians take over the Nest for a hilarious and mind-boggling spectacle where so many laws of physics will be broken, Stephen Hawking might show up and give them a ticket! Catch JONATHAN BURNS (Late Show with David Letterman), RICHARD SANDERS (Just For Laughs), ROMAINE (The Magic Castle), ANGELO THE AMAZING FOOD MAGICIAN and more on this special night of awesome astonishment! Reserve your tickets now! 
Read more and buy tickets.

08 May 2014

David Merry on Too Much Information

Starting May 13 
Too Much Information is a new original half-hour comedic panel/variety show exclusively for Super Channel.

Hosted by Norm Sousa and includes the cream of Canadian comedy: Carla Collins, Mark Forward, Stewart Francis, Geri Hall, Dave Merheje, Dave Merry, Naomi Snieckus, Ron Sparks, and Pat Thornton.

Tapings begin May 13-29 at CBC Toronto Studios (250 Front St. W.)
Get your FREE tickets at: hotrows.com/tickets 
Read more.

07 May 2014

Winners of the Best Magician Contest 2014

The results from the Best Magician Contest 2014!

From Popular Magic News:
“Best Magician Contest 2014” was successfully completed on April 26, 2014. Comparing with the past years, there were new talented magicians who came from different parts of Toronto to participate the contest; some of them even came from Ottawa just for showing off their talents and made our audience left with so much wonders and joy. 
Here is the result of the contest: 
Champion Award:  Luiz Castro
My Favourite Magician Award:  Scott Hood
Read more and click through to see photos.

Congratulations to Luiz and Scott!

[via Arthur Poon]

06 May 2014

Niagara Falls: Mindtrix the Show

From the Fallsview Magic and Entertainment Theatre Facebook page:

05 May 2014

Toronto: Canadian Premiere of The Secret Life of Uri Geller - Psychic Spy?

The premiere was last night on May the 4th.  There's a second showing on May the 7th.

From the Toronto Jewish Film Festival:
A self-proclaimed psychic, Uri Geller became an entertainment sensation in the 1970s, famous for his ability to bend spoons with his mind and make watches stop or go faster. But away from the bent silverware and broken clocks, Geller purports to have led a secret life as a “psychic spy” for three decades, working as a secret agent in Mexico as well as being recruited by the CIA and the Mossad. Director Vikram Jayanti (The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector) explores these claims based on freshly declassified information. Was Geller really able to wipe out information from KGB floppy disks merely by thinking “erase, erase, erase”? Did his psychic powers play a role in the Entebbe rescue? This fascinating documentary may not be able to provide definitive answers, but it never fails to entertain us with the possibilities.

Guest: Magic historian David Ben
Read more and buy tickets.

03 May 2014

The Confabulist by Steven Galloway

From the Vancouver Sun:
With his new novel The Confabulist, Vancouver writer Steven Galloway effortlessly blends history and fiction into a thrilling narrative that is as irresistible as it is subtly complex.

It’s difficult to go wrong when you start with legendary escape artist Harry Houdini. While he does spend some time with Houdini’s career on the stage, Galloway builds The Confabulist around Houdini’s crusade against the bogus spiritualists in vogue in the 1910s and 1920s, debunking their claims of communication with the dead and crippling the elaborate confidence games they developed around seances and visitations.

The story centres, however, around Martin Strauss, who claims, in the introduction to the book, “What no one knows, save for myself and one other person who likely died long ago, is that I didn’t just kill Harry Houdini. I killed him twice.” 
Read more.

[via iTricks]

02 May 2014

Darcy Oake says thanks!

Watch a YouTube video of Darcy Oake thanking his Britain's Got Talent fans for their support:

[via iTricks]

01 May 2014

Grateful for our May sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.  This site would not be possible without their backing.

We're pleased to have the support of:

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

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

Donations of any size are always welcome.

Rounding the Western rings in May

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

Calgary, ABRing 66 (Calgary Magic Circle, Les Brocklesby Ring)Karl Hein lecture.
Edmonton, ABEdmonton Magic Club- Abra-Kid-Abra show.
Winnipeg, MBThe Magic Club of WinnipegKarl Hein lecture.
Fraser Valley, BCIBM Ring 387 (Fraser Valley Magic Circle)-  Annual General Meeting.
- Third Monday Magic.
Vancouver, BCRing 92 (Vancouver Magic Circle)- Chris Randall lecture.
Chris Randall lecture has been cancelled.
Vancouver, BCSAM 95  (Carl Hemeon Assembly)- n/a
Victoria, BCRing 183 (Victoria Magic Circle)   Karl Hein lecture.
- Mirth and Magic show
Please leave a comment or e-mail me about corrections or omissions.

Rounding the Ontario rings in May

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

Hamilton, ONRing 49 (The Doug Henning Magic Wand Club) - No meeting this month.
London, ONRing 265 (London Magician's Guild)- Movie themed magic.
Kitchener, ONRing 235 (The Caesar Hat & Wand Magic Circle)- The Annual Auction.
- Robert Barna props and cases to be put up for auction.
- Other clubs are welcome to attend.
Ottawa, ONRing 151 (Ottawa Society of Magicians) - Business Meeting.
- Open Night of Magic.
Ottawa, ONOttawa / Gatineau magicians- n/a
Toronto, ONRing 17 (Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club) - Vincent Hedan lecture.
- Vincent Hedan workshop.

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

Rounding the Eastern rings in May

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

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

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