31 December 2019

In memoriam 2019


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



Please email additions or corrections to "canadasmagic at gmail dot com" 

Top 5 posts in December 2019

There were 30+ posts at Canada's Magic last month.  Here are the 5 most viewed posts in the past 30 days:
5. Shin Lim takes on Bohemian Rhapsody - A very creative and magical take on this classic!
4. ICYMI: Darcy Oake and Chris Ramsay in "A Series of Impossible Events!" - Super fun video!
3. The 2019 "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award  - Thank you all for helping us celebrate the great talent in this country.
2. Random thoughts: "Champions of Magic" 2019 - Quick recap:  so. much. FUN!  (Remaining Canadian dates: Saskatoon (January 16), Regina (January 17), Prince George (January 26), and Rama (February 29).)

and the most viewed post this month  ...






1. Vote now for the 2019 Readers' Choice award  - And vote you did!  Congratulations again to the winners and to all of the nominees!

Thank you for a great 2019!

We couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you to our readers, our fans, our followers, our wonderful guest posters, The Toronto Magic Company and Eldritch Theatre who offered up prizes for contests, those who sent news our way, and last but not least, thank you to all of this year's friends (John Harrison, Richard Lyn, Joan Caesar, The Outerbridges, Ian Crawford, Owen Anderson, Ryan Pilling, Matt DiSeroJames Renoire, Gwyn Auger, Jason Maiuri, Doug Hunt, David Johnson, John Smithman, and Richard Hough and all of our 2019 sponsors (be sure to support them!):












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.





30 December 2019

Murray's magical mittens

Watch Murray's Christmas give-back this year as he distributes mittens knitted by his mom to homeless people in Las Vegas.


From Murray Sawchuck's Youtube channel:
Surprising The Homeless with MAGIC! (Try Not To Cry)





29 December 2019

2019 Readers' Choice award results

Thank you all for participating in the spirit in which the awards were intended:
a fun way to recognize and celebrate all of the wonderful things being done by the fabulous talent in our country.

Over 500 votes were cast in this "bragging rights" only contest.  You all have a lot of devoted fans!

Here are the results of our fourth annual "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!



Beacons of Inspiration (in alphabetical order by surname)

2019 Beacon of Inspiration: Gwyn Auger

Gwyn Auger (aka The Magic Assistant)

Nominated by Aaron.
"I would like to nominate Gwyn Auger the Magic Assistant. Gwyn’s endless enthusiasm and passion for magic and the magic community is an inspiration, whether it is helping support young local magicians in Calgary, promoting the value of the assistant in the industry and her eagerness to help others at conventions or shows at the drop of a hat. Gwyn is one of the most professional, kindest, freelance magician assistants in the business who also recently branched out to perform her own act as part of the Celebrities of Magic in Bakersfield, CA. This year Gwyn was also the first assistant to perform at the new Magic Castle Cabaret in Santa Barbara, CA with Lance Burton."

"Gwyn is truly an amazing ambassador for the business!"

Website: Gwyn Auger
 

Comments from Gwyn's fans include:
-
Gwyn totally deserves this she has been instrumental in the Calgary magic community as well as many larger circles globally.
- Talented and skilled people, one and all, but only Gwyn has the magic presence that makes those around her shine.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Frank Loesser / Hoagy Carmichael, Queen, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.




2019 Beacon of Inspiration: James Harrison


James Harrison (aka Pickpocket James)
Nominated by Unknown, Amy Thibodeau, Missa Deadlove, Rex P., Mike Weiland, Anonymouos, and Unknown.  The quote below is from Unknown.

"James Harrison. He's the pickpocketing MASTER, he's got a YouTube video that is going viral like crazy right now with 2 million views and counting and he works like crazy, at home and internationally. So all of that is amazing, but here's why I think James REALLY deserves a nomination: He's the kindest, most giving magician I've met in years. When he's not on stage, he's off stage sharing his knowledge to apply what he's learned in the trenches to help others. So in short, I think James is inspirational because he covers both bases. He's one hell of a performer with incredible original creations and he's one hell of a good person to go with it."

Editor's note:

Website: PickpocketMagic.com


Comments from James' fans include:
-
Stole my watch while I 'watched' and I still missed it...AMAZING.
- I've seen him perform multiple times and can't tell you how great he is! Charismatic, talented and just a decent guy. Good for any event.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Bach, Peter Gabriel, and Green Day.





2019 Beacon of Inspiration: Carisa Hendrix


Carisa Hendrix (aka Lucy Darling)
Nominated by Lukas Stark.
"I would like to nominate Carisa Hendrix not only is her public work charming and incredible, her success in a primarily male dominated industry (and world), and her humble Canadian beginnings, but her penguin lecture is the best 5 hours I've spent thinking about my magic for years and the best work I've ever heard about bringing character to your magic."

Editor's note:

Website: CarisaHendrix



Comments from Carisa's fans include:
-
Phenomenal entertainer and lecturer. Goes out of her way to give of herself to anyone who asks.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, and Elton John.









2019 Beacon of Inspiration: Ryan Joyce
Ryan Joyce
Nominated by Anonymous.
"Ryan Joyce for creating Canada's most unique magic festival. The OWOW Magic Festival brought more than a dozen of the top magicians to the most magical place in Canada - Fergus, ON to perform for the public this past Halloween. For magicians, Ryan has created a fun-space where they can gather and further their own careers - Wondertown - which includes Magicians Masterclass and the new podcast Magicians Talking Magic. We should all be so dedicated in furthering the art and the perception of our art."

Editor's note:
Website: RyanJoyce.com



Comments from Ryan's fans include:
-
His work and efforts speak volumes and he is all about bringing the magic community together.

Voters' musical tastes include:  The Beatles, Pitbull, and Ed Sheeran.






2019 Beacon of Inspiration: 
Ken McCreedy

Ken McCreedy
Nominated by Jason Maiuri.
"Ken McCreedy for his vast knowledge of Canadian magic as well as being a mentor to so many great acts."

Editor's note:
  • Ken has an extensive knowledge of Canadian magic history and is very generous with sharing his knowledge! 

Website: KenMcCreedy.com




Comments from Ken's fans include:
-
Always entertaining and full of surprises.  He is a kind and patient teacher.  It is an Honour to be his assistant.

Musical tastes include:  Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, and  Deep Purple.





2019 Beacon of Inspiration: The Sentimentalists



The Sentimentalists (Chris Mysterion and Steffi Kay)

Nominated by Ross.
"I always felt the Toronto fixtures known as "The Sentimentalists" would shine on a bigger international stage. Their numerous TV appearances this year solidified this. They are an inspiration as a fellow Toronto based Canadian performer. Especially Steffi being the first woman Mentalist to fool Penn and Teller."

Editor's note:
  • After being eliminated from America's Got Talent Season 14 during the Judge Cuts, they returned as the wildcard in the quarterfinals!

Website: TheSentimentalistsMagic.com




Comments from The Sentimentalists' fans include:
-
These two are AMAAAAAAAAAZING. Been in the business nearly half a century, at this point, and I've never seen a live mentalism act to top theirs. Just a stunning act. Stunning.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Steve Miller, Queen, and Harry S. Miller.






2019 Beacon of Inspiration: 
Anastasia Synn

Anastasia Synn (aka Sia Synn)
Nominated by Krystal Lawrence.
"She's a freakin cyborg pioneering a new brand of magic! It's been getting worldwide attention, she's been on international news with her crazy implants."

Edtitor's note:
 
Website: Synnister.com



Anastasia's fans were people of few words.

Musical tastes include:  Radiohead, Crystal Eyes, and Rag'n'Bone Man.



Editor's Choice


2019 Editor's Choice: Ted and Marion Outerbridge
Ted and Marion Outerbridge

Nominated by Unknown.
"I would like to nominate Ted & Marion Outerbridge as being truly inspirational entertainers in the world of magic. What you see on the stage is exactly what you get off the stage. They are soft spoken, humble and sincere - but extremely passionate and talented in everything they do. From costuming to scripting, choreography and illusion, they do it all!"


Editor's note:
 
Website: TedOuterbridge.com



The Outerbridge's fans were also people of few words.

Voters' musical tastes include:  Smash Mouth, Brockhampton, and Frank Sinatra.




Readers' Choice

2019 Winner: Mike Norden

Mike Norden
Nominated by Anonymous.

Congratulations to Mike for winning the 2019 "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!


Keep up the great work!


Website: MagicShows.ca


Mike's fans were most likely to not follow instructions, and also most likely to get the date wrong.

Musical tastes include:  A wide assortment of Christmas music.







28 December 2019

Shin Lim takes on Bohemian Rhapsody

From Shin Lim's YouTube channel:
This was extremely challenging making this video!
Absolutely no CGI was used on the card tricks in this routine.

One of my all time favorite songs, I hope you like this tribute to it.





Sonny Patel on The Kind Of Late Show

From Sonny Patel's Facebook post:
Check out my interview on The Kind Of Late Show with host/comedian Veronica Antipolo!

Also some very funny Christmas tunes by comedian Nikki Yee. Thanks to Frequency5fm for having me out!








27 December 2019

Perfect Magic writes about Magicians Without Borders

From the December 21st post "Magicians Without Borders" by Evelyn Matlin at Perfect Magic:
You must have heard about Doctors Without Borders, well yesterday we had a visit from Magicians Without Borders, a non-profit organization founded by Tom Verner and Janet Fredericks. It was a real fun and fascinating day.  These people go around the world spreading magic. What fun that must be. Harry Chaucer  (on the right) was here with a friend. Harry is a magician without borders.

Here are a couple of photos. They’ve been all over the planet entertaining people. The audience seems to be enjoying it.  According to the literature they left me, they have been performing  since 2003 for one million children in many of the most war-torn, difficult places in the world like Haiti, Sudan, Burma, and Bangladesh as well as for veterans in the US.  They came up from Vermont to see us and it was fun and educational.

Read more.


26 December 2019

Oakville: 2019 Spectacular Showcase

From Scott Hood's Facebook post:
I will be in the 2019 Spectacular Showcase December 28 & 29. This cabaret show is a fun two days to be part of an ensemble cast. If you are looking for a fun family show between Christmas and New Year come out and join us. I you are going to be at one of the two shows, shoot me a private message so we can catch up following the show.


25 December 2019

Chris Funk on the Masters of Illusion Christmas special

From Chris Funk's Facebook post:

A note to subscribers: the content of this post is embedded from another website and is not available to preview. To view the content of the post, please visit http://CanadasMagic.blogspot.com. Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

24 December 2019

Niagara Falls: Mike D'Urzo

From Mike D'Urzo:
Excited to be back at my home away from home- Niagara Falls! Upcoming Shows...

Dec 21- 24: Sheraton the Falls : 8:30 pm
Dec 25: Fern Resort : 8:30 pm
Dec 26- 28: Sheraton on the Falls: 8:30 pm
Dec 29-30: Crowne Plaza Hotel Niagara: 8:30 pm
Dec 31: Invista Centre Kingston: 8:00 pm
Jan 1- 4 : Crowne Plaza Hotel: 8:30 pm

23 December 2019

Pittsburgh: Free IBM Jam

From Alex Zander:
FREE I.B.M. JAM!‬
‪Spend a full day of learning and jamming with magic masters. Open exclusively to I.B.M. members.

‪Jan. 12, 2020. ‬
‪10am-4pm, WyndhamGrand Pittsburgh‬
‪Details at IBMJAM.com‬

*Advertisers in The Linking Ring get a free Dealer Table!*



Shawn hosted a couple of free CAM JAMs in his time (Niagara Falls and Port Coquitlam) and they were great fun.  If you can attend the JAM in Pittsburgh, go!





22 December 2019

Broken wand: Gail Elsie Burke-McMullen

The following was sent to us by Peter Mennie who informs us that Gail was a magician, clown, and balloon artist.  Thank for you for letting us know Peter.

Our thoughts go to Gail's family and friends.



From The London Free Press:
Peacefully with her family by her side, on Sunday, December 8th, 2019, at St Joseph's Hospice, London, Ontario, in her 68th year. Beloved wife of John McMullen for nine years. Loving mother of Angela Gilbert and Holly Ridgeway, stepmother of Marci Hutchinson, Alex McMullen and Josh McMullen, adored grandmother of Chase, Cienna, Ciara, Aiden, Ali, Grace, Eleanor, Nicole, Jordyn, and Harlea. Survived by sisters Dianne and Janet. Predeceased by her parents Lillian and Clifford.

Read more.

21 December 2019

Reader's Digest puts Acer on 2019 watch list

For those of you keeping track, David Acer was on last year's list of  "22 Canadian Comedians to Watch Out For—and Their Best Jokes."



From the article "50 Canadian Comedians to Watch Out For—and Their Best Jokes" at Reader's Digest Canada:
36. David Acer

I just bought a Canada Goose jacket. I love it—it’s warm, it’s comfortable. The only problem is, whenever I run into other people wearing Canada Goose jackets, we all have to walk in a V-formation.

Follow Montreal comedian David Acer on Twitter @David_Acer.

Read more.

20 December 2019

Random thoughts: "Champions of Magic" 2019

A quick reminder that the Champions of Magic are half-way through their Canadian tour.  Remaining dates:  Saskatoon (January 16), Regina (January 17), Prince George (January 26), and Rama (February 29).


Champions of Magic. 
Photo credit: Champions of Magic.



Last Saturday Kidlet, Kidlet's Friend (KF), Kidlet's Other Parent (KOP), and I made the trek in the wet snow, to Oshawa's Tribute Communities Centre (TCC).  We arrived early and had a chance to get the feel of the arena. 
  • This was my first time attending a show at the TCC.   (My first arena show too.  Thank goodness McAleer posted that arena shows are cold.  We were dressed accordingly!)
  • All of the arena staff were super helpful, professional, and generally fabulous!  Special thanks to (TCC's) Kayla for her time spent with Kidlet. 
  • The show is about an hour for the first half, 15 minutes intermission, and about an hour in the second half.
  • Again I am genuinely afraid of posting spoilers.  The less you know going in, the more you'll enjoy it.

 

On with the show...

Note to parents of young children:  The music can be very loud at times throughout the show.  There's also a smoke machine involved.  Forewarned is forearmed.



I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

So. Much. Fun!

 

KOP's review: A great cast puts on a great performance!
  • While the show has the same overall structure as the one at The Bluma Appel Theatre that I saw last year, there are many new wonderful moments.  (Sadly, there were fewer Chimpions.  Also missing: a dinosaur and two folding chairs.) 
  • They've refined their scripting and introduced some brilliant new lines.
  • The audience came ready to have a good time!  They were all very friendly and primed to be entertained.  (It seemed like everyone in the audience knew each other, at least where we were sitting.)
  • The four magic acts are interwoven through the show, which works really well at keeping each of the disciplines fresh and reduces down time.
  • KF had this to say: They did a really good job of making a coherent show while preserving each magician's unique style.
  • Kayla Drescher, Alex McAleer, Fernando Velasco, and Young & Strange all do what they do very well!
  • The cast seem to genuinely get along amazingly well both on and off stage.
  • The show starts strong with Young and Strange and keeps up an astonishing pace.  It's refreshing to see a man get put into boxes to be squished and skewered!  
  • Even after having seen them perform a similar set before, Young and Strange are remarkably entertaining to watch.  One can't help but get caught up in the fun they are having on stage!
  • They sure know how to play to the crowd!

    Young (sporting the jersey of the Oshawa Generals) and Strange.
    Photo credit: William Balfour, Spectra Experiences.

  • There's LOTS audience participation with both children and adults!
  • McAleer does impressive mind reading.  If he asks you how you are, be sure to ask him how he's doing too, so he knows that Canadians are a caring bunch. 
  • He masterfully handles the subject of geography from a unique frame of reference.
  • Should I ever be in a position to interview McAleer live, I'm going to need to wear an aluminum foil hat to keep him out of my thoughts!

  • Kelly and Dave help out Alex McAleer. 
    Photo credit: William Balfour, Spectra Experiences.

  • Velasco succeeds in breathtaking, heart-stopping escapes and then some.  Even though I've seen him do many of these things before, everything he does makes me nervous!  He made some else in the audience nervous too.  About the same time the photo below was taken, I could hear someone shout "Common! GET OUTTA THERE!"

    Fernando Velasco in danger.
    Photo credit: William Balfour, Spectra Experiences.

  • During intermission, the audience was amazed and energized from the first half.  I heard many people wondering out loud, "How on earth did they do that?"
  • The second half opened with a "new to me" segment that is very engaging.  It gave us a chance to connect with each of the performers in a simple but meaningful way. 
  • Drescher did some fabulous close-up in the audience, and a couple of types of "arts and crafts."  (Also of note, Drescher's volunteer Sean, was reluctant to break her heart.)
  • I need to mention that Drescher's handling of volunteers, especially young Mason, was EXCELLENT!  Things were explained in advance.  Consent was obtained.  Respect was given.   As it should be.  (This should come as no surprise to anyone who listens to  "Shezam," the podcast she co-hosts, which has touched on the topic of volunteer handling on more than one occasion.)

    Kayla Drescher with Mason and Brian.
    Photo credit:  William Balfour, Spectra Experiences.

  • Canadian trivia: Gerry Frenette's original illusion is still in the show!
     
  • Note to performers: Always be extra nice to the sound techs.  You never know when they WILL exact their revenge!
  • I'll never get tired of watching Young and Strange channel their inner SARMOTI in their high energy illusion medley!  
  • Marissa Maiorana, the aerialist was fabulous!

    Marissa Maiorana flying high.
    Photo credit: William Balfour, Spectra Experiences.

  • Also fabulous:  Kaylan, Brendon, Brandon, Will, Matt, and the rest of the stage crew and theatre crew.  Especially Alex J.  These folks hustle to keep the pace going!
  • The show felt lighter and more playful this year.  Everyone was on board with it! 
  • Drescher said in her interview: "We work hard to make the show not just magically impressive, but an absolutely fun time.

    Achievement unlocked.
     
  • Kidlet really enjoyed the show.  Even knowing what it was going to be, Kidlet still really loved the ending!
  • Although this was the second time seeing the show, I was again thoroughly entertained!  There are so many moments of joyous laughter, and periods of being completely enthralled in the spectacle. 
  • Bonus post-show magic: three primary school aged girls in adorable dresses, created piles of golden confetti, threw the shiny pieces up in the air and danced and sang "red light, green light" as it showered down over them.  Repeatedly.


While excellent magic is at the core of this experience, it's clear that the focus is providing a fabulously entertaining evening.

They definitely hit their mark!


Don't just take my word for it, have a read of TCC Reviewer Sherri Norton's December 15th post "#TCCreviewer: CHAMPIONS OF MAGIC."  Here's part of her review: "The memories? Priceless - a must see show!"


Catch the Champions of Magic in Saskatoon (January 16), Regina (January 17), Prince George (January 26), and Rama (February 29).




Disclosure:  My family and I were guests at this show. The opinions expressed above are entirely my own. I did not receive compensation for the writing or the publishing of this article.


For more photos, read Sherri's review "#TCCreviewer: CHAMPIONS OF MAGIC" or visit the Tribute Communities Centre Instagram.


















19 December 2019

Broken wand: Randy Burtis

Our thoughts go out to Randy's family and friends at this difficult time.


From Yeatland Wong:
On Dec 16, 2019, Calgary Magician and Past President of the Calgary Magic Circle Ring 66, Randy Burtis passed away after a year long battle with cancer. Randy had performed magic for over 25 years, and had a passion for gospel magic. He is the author of "Gospel Illusions: Object Lessons you can do!". Randy enjoyed working with kids and families, both in magic and as a pastor. Randy is survived by his wife and two daughters. His family will be hosting a celebration of life at 11am on Dec 20 at the Centre Street Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honour of Randy to Samaritan's Purse.


From Piersons:
Randy was born on September 2, 1969. He passed away peacefully at his home in Calgary on December 17, 2019. Randy was a loving, nurturing father and husband with a deep, abiding faith is Jesus Christ. He was a children's pastor at Centre Street Church, a published author and a talented magician.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Cara; their daughters, Katie and Julia; his mother, Heather and cousin, Mitch Bell and all of Cara's family.
Read more.



From Gwyn Auger:
Randy wrote a book earlier this year, I’ve been encouraging people to consider purchasing even if it’s not their type of magic.
https://www.amazon.ca/Gospel-Illusions-Randy-Burtis/dp/1628628162

18 December 2019

Philadelphia: The Sentimentalists at Smoke and Mirrors

From The Sentimentalists Facebook page:
10 Jan 2020 at 20:00 – 11 Jan 2020 at 23:00
They are back... for real this time.

Fresh off this Season of Americas Got Talent (Quarter finalists) and last season on Penn and Tellers Fool Us (Foolers), The Sentimentalists. 

World renowned mentalist Mysterion teams with The first lady of mentalism Steffi Kay creating a two person mind reading experience that is truly breathtaking. Steffi brings back classic couture. Her vintage look  will transport you back to the golden age of magic. Mysterion has appeared on stages around the globe and on countless TV appearances. Together they showcase their incredibly special way of communicating, with a touch of humor and most importantly class. 



17 December 2019

Toronto: James Harrison lecture

In case you missed it, here are links to two recent highly viewed videos featuring James:


From The Browser's Den of Magic:
James Harrison Lecture
Saturday, January 11, 2020

Whether you are a hobbyist looking to learn a new skill, or a professional looking for a proven trick, don’t miss this rare opportunity to add pickpocketing to your repertoire!

After 20 years of performing close up, strolling magic, James Harrison has established himself as a pickpocket specialist.  He has shared his knowledge as an author for Street Magic Magazine, as well as at conferences and conventions across North America and Europe. His television show, Behind the Magic, aired on Rogers TV and his recent appearance on Modern Rogue has been trending on YouTube.

James will teach you how to interrupt and entertain any audience with the opening series from his strolling magic repertoire that lets everyone know that he is worth their time!

Tricks and topics include:

Repeat Card to Pen
A great repeat card to impossible location and Why it’s important to have more than just a Sharpie pen.

Wallet Pen
Wow a table with just a coin and pen with this series based off of Rune Klan, David Stone and Harrison’s own ideas.

Necro Tagged
A thought of word book test with a great scary story, still safe for corporate.

Card CollectionA great segue for handing out business cards – it is a card trick without playing cards!

Grift SenseA con man’s prediction of a spectator’s series of choices.

Ring to WatchIf you like Garret Thomas’ Ring Thing, you will love this perfect segue into pickpocketing.

PickPocketingWatch? Wallet? Cell phone? Anything that is not nailed down! How to deal with change in clothing styles. Who to choose, and more importantly, who NOT to choose!

"It's been a pleasure to work with James at one of the largest hackers convention in Vegas. I watched him explain the how to’s of pickpocketing to a packed room, and still steal off them mere moments later. Watch and learn from him now, while you still can, because soon the whole world will be booking him up.”
Brian Brushwood - host of Modern Rogue and Scam Nation

“I will highly recommend James Harrison’s knowledge and skills… an opportunity not to be missed out on” James Brown, Professional Opportunist

We look forward to you joining us on the 11th!


Read more and buy tickets.

16 December 2019

Steve Valentine in the MD Theatre Guide

A reminder that the "The Illusionists - Magic of the Holidays" plays at Meridian Hall from January 1 to January 5, 2020.  Get your tickets at through Tickemaster.



From the December 4th article "Theatre Review: ‘The Illusionists Magic of the Holidays’ at National Theater" by Michael Garvey in the MD Theatre Guide:
Steve stole the show and had a shining moment with his personal story of how he told and showed his daughter all about snow, as they were moving from California to Canada. He got a girl of 9 to join him on stage as he made it snow from his hands from water and literally nothing and then the snow engulfed the entire stage to create a shining, spectacular white Christmas illusion.  If you are in town, this show is a must, and well worth the price of admission.   The performances will leave you inspired and feeling all the magic of the holidays.

Read more.

14 December 2019

OWOW Recap by Ryan Joyce

From the December 7th article "Magic festival appears in Fergus Ontario" by Ryan Joyce:
We organized a three-day magicians convention, produced a four-day festival featuring five stage shows, two parlour shows, and first-ever Livestream Magic Special during the seven days.

The OWOW Festival scheduled magicians performing table-to-table at local restaurants, secret sessions for magicians, world-class gala magic shows at the Fergus Grand Theatre and exclusive private events around town. 

This year we featured twelve internationally acclaimed magicians, Stephen Bargatze, Michael Close, Greg Frewin, Carisa Hendrix, Rick Merrill, Paul Romhany, Jay Sankey, Nicholas Wallace, Owen Anderson, Ryan Joyce, Cody Moynihan, Peter Mennie, Graemazing Reed and Ed Stone.

Read more.

13 December 2019

Toronto: Holiday magic at the Rec Room

Beyond Mental Borders (Alexandra Brynn and Armand Antony) presents Holiday Magic at the Rec Room in Toronto on Sunday December the 15th.



12 December 2019

Brandon: Matt DiSero

From Matt DiSero's Facebook group:
The producers of a show I'm doing at the Keystone Amphitheatre in Brandon Manitoba on Jan 25th, asked me to make a teaser video for the performance. Here it is,...A little low res, low tech ( just like me )video promo. I'm really looking forward to being there. Thank god I'm not in video production, I'd go broke.







11 December 2019

Saint John: Magic Show at the Arts Centre

From the Magic Circle of Saint John Facebook group:
January 19th is confirmed for our annual Magic Show at the Arts Centre. Two shows: 1 pm & 3 pm. We are not able to perform in the Frazee Gallery like last year as the Gallery will have an exhibition set up,but we can use the smaller room that seats about 45 people.



10 December 2019

Toronto: Show in the Snow

From the Facebook event:
To celebrate the end of our THIRD season of the Newest Trick in the Book we’re throwing a party. No wait, a show. No wait, we’re throwing BOTH!

Join us at See-Scape for our last event of the Year - and also our biggest one ever. Doors open at 8pm and then the show starts at 8:30, featuring TEN of our favourite performers from the past year, including:
  • Mark Correia
  • Bobby Motta
  • Jacqueline Swan
  • Patrick Nemeth
  • Chris Mayhew






09 December 2019

Vote now for the 2019 Readers' Choice award

Reader's Choice logo 
The nominations are closed and voting is now open for the fourth annual 2019 "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!

Congratulations to everyone for inspiring someone(s) enough for them to submit your name!  (I'm always tempted at this point, to declare all of the nominees as winners and not bother with the voting part. However, a vote was promised and a vote there shall be.)

Voting will close on Monday, December the 23rd at 11:59pm EST.

To vote, scroll down to the bottom of this post and participate in the poll. (Click through the PollJunkie link if the poll does not appear in your browsers.)

Let's have a look at the nominees (listed in alphabetical order by surname):


2019 Nominee: Gwyn Auger

Gwyn Auger (aka The Magic Assistant)

Nominated by Aaron.
"I would like to nominate Gwyn Auger the Magic Assistant. Gwyn’s endless enthusiasm and passion for magic and the magic community is an inspiration, whether it is helping support young local magicians in Calgary, promoting the value of the assistant in the industry and her eagerness to help others at conventions or shows at the drop of a hat. Gwyn is one of the most professional, kindest, freelance magician assistants in the business who also recently branched out to perform her own act as part of the Celebrities of Magic in Bakersfield, CA. This year Gwyn was also the first assistant to perform at the new Magic Castle Cabaret in Santa Barbara, CA with Lance Burton."

"Gwyn is truly an amazing ambassador for the business!"

Editor's note:

Website: Gwyn Auger




2019 Nominee: James Harrison

James Harrison (aka Pickpocket James)
Nominated by Unknown, Amy Thibodeau, Missa Deadlove, Rex P., Mike Weiland, Anonymouos, and Unknown.  The quote below is from Unknown.

"James Harrison. He's the pickpocketing MASTER, he's got a YouTube video that is going viral like crazy right now with 2 million views and counting and he works like crazy, at home and internationally. So all of that is amazing, but here's why I think James REALLY deserves a nomination: He's the kindest, most giving magician I've met in years. When he's not on stage, he's off stage sharing his knowledge to apply what he's learned in the trenches to help others. So in short, I think James is inspirational because he covers both bases. He's one hell of a performer with incredible original creations and he's one hell of a good person to go with it."


Editor's note:

Website: PickpocketMagic.com




2019 Nominee: Carisa Hendrix

Carisa Hendrix (aka Lucy Darling)
Nominated by Lukas Stark.
"I would like to nominate Carisa Hendrix not only is her public work charming and incredible, her success in a primarily male dominated industry (and world), and her humble Canadian beginnings, but her penguin lecture is the best 5 hours I've spent thinking about my magic for years and the best work I've ever heard about bringing character to your magic."

Editor's note:

Website: CarisaHendrix





2019 Nominee: Ryan Joyce

Ryan Joyce
Nominated by Anonymous.
"Ryan Joyce for creating Canada's most unique magic festival. The OWOW Magic Festival brought more than a dozen of the top magicians to the most magical place in Canada - Fergus, ON to perform for the public this past Halloween. For magicians, Ryan has created a fun-space where they can gather and further their own careers - Wondertown - which includes Magicians Masterclass and the new podcast Magicians Talking Magic. We should all be so dedicated in furthering the art and the perception of our art."

Editor's note:
Website: RyanJoyce.com




2019 Nominee: Ken McCreedy

Ken McCreedy
Nominated by Jason Maiuri.
"Ken McCreedy for his vast knowledge of Canadian magic as well as being a mentor to so many great acts."

Editor's note:
  • Ken has an extensive knowledge of Canadian magic history and is very generous with sharing his knowledge! 

Website: KenMcCreedy.com





2019 Nominee: Mike Norden

Mike Norden
Nominated by Anonymous.
"It gives me great pleasure to nominate Mike Norden for Canadian Magician of the Year. Mike has worked tirelessly for the magic community over the last 15 years. He has organized and co-hosted at least 8 local conventions, and several weekends of magic. He has held the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary and Sergeant at Arms in several local magic organizations, including the Vancouver Magic Circle, the Fraser Valley Magic Circle, & the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians. He was instrumental in creating the local KIDabra Chapter, as well as one of the newest rings in Canada, IBM Ring 387, aka FVMC. He spearheaded the creation of 3rd Monday Magic, a monthly magic show held in his hometown, and has performed in and produced countless of those shows. He hosted all lectures at his house for more than 8 years, and continues to host all local meetings of the FVMC. He has, and continues to donate untold hours to the art of magic, through the clubs he belongs to, the conventions he runs, the shows he produces, and the youth he mentors. Mike truly embodies all that is magic, and exemplifies what it is to be an ambassador of one's art."

Editor's note:
  • This is a very complete nomination submission.  I've got nothing to add!

Website: MagicShows.ca




2019 Nominee: Ted and Marion Outerbridge

Ted and Marion Outerbridge
Nominated by Unknown.
"I would like to nominate Ted & Marion Outerbridge as being truly inspirational entertainers in the world of magic. What you see on the stage is exactly what you get off the stage. They are soft spoken, humble and sincere - but extremely passionate and talented in everything they do. From costuming to scripting, choreography and illusion, they do it all!"

Editor's note:
 
Website: TedOuterbridge.com





2019 Nominee: The Sentimentalists

The Sentimentalists (Chris Mysterion and Steffi Kay)

Nominated by Ross.
"I always felt the Toronto fixtures known as "The Sentimentalists" would shine on a bigger international stage. Their numerous TV appearances this year solidified this. They are an inspiration as a fellow Toronto based Canadian performer. Especially Steffi being the first woman Mentalist to fool Penn and Teller."


Editor's note:
  • After being eliminated from America's Got Talent Season 14 during the Judge Cuts, they returned as the wildcard in the quarterfinals!

Website: TheSentimentalistsMagic.com




2019 Nominee: Anastasia Synn


Anastasia Synn (aka Sia Synn)
Nominated by Krystal Lawrence.
"She's a freakin cyborg pioneering a new brand of magic! It's been getting worldwide attention, she's been on international news with her crazy implants."

Edtitor's note:
 
Website: Synnister.com







Cast your vote now at Poll Junkie!













08 December 2019

Darcy Oake: How to do magic on TV

From Darcy Oake's November 19 Instagram post:

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07 December 2019

ICYMI: Unsolicited Advice for performing on Penn and Teller Fool US

Matt's blog post (below) is also quoted in the Looper article "The untold truth of Penn & Teller: Fool Us" by David Lebovitz.  (The article also has a nice shout out to Michael Close.)



From the November 25th blog post "Unsolicited Advice for performing on Penn and Teller Fool US, a repost" by Matt DiSero:
Regarding the actual shoot. Look, I’ve been a full time act since I was 16. I’ve never had a day job. I’m a lifer and as a result, like many of you, the social aspect of being on a multi person show is huge. It IS the juice. I have better sets when I’m joking around with the other acts before I go on. It helps me get into the zone. This will NOT happen on Fool US. When you shoot you’ll be isolated from the other acts.

You can’t watch them do camera block, tech rehearsal or shoot the live show. You can’t be in the audience. You literally sit in a little room waiting to be called to go out and tape. After make up you’re kind of in a jail cell. If you’re hoping to hang with the acts backstage, forget it. Afterwards in the bar yes, but during the show, no. It’s hard to be alone and not get to chill with the acts especially on such a high pressure shoot. Be aware of that and get ready for it.
 
Read more.



06 December 2019

Toronto: Free magic club

From the Browser's Den of Magic Facebook group:
Our next Free Magic Club Meeting is this Saturday December 7 from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. All welcome!

05 December 2019

Doug Hunt at Brantford Lights

Check out these awesome photos of multiple Guinness World Record holder Doug Hunt from his time last week at Brantford Lights opening night.

Doug Hunt developed this stilt character to help them celebrate. The back pack is a music system that played sci fi special effects music and sounds.

Magic arts come in all different forms!

Brantford Lights at Glenhyrst runs until January 1, 2020 at Glenhyrst Art Gallery.