29 December 2020

2020 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 190 votes were cast in this "bragging rights" only contest.  You all have a lot of devoted fans!

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


Some general comments were submitted:

  • "Regardless of who wins, I hope they are all considered for Allan Slaight awards."
    Excellent observation, I hope that our readers respond accordingly when Allan Slaight Award nominations open in the New Year!
  • "They were all Fantastic," "Everyone is great!"
  • "Thanks again for doing this... "
    You are very welcome!  Thank you for helping spread the word about Canada's wonderful talent!



Beacons of Inspiration (in alphabetical order by surname)

2020 Beacon of Inspiration: Gwyn Auger
Gwyn Auger (aka The Magic Assistant)

Nominated by Jonathan I. who wrote:
"The bigger the magic, the more important all of the team players are, and when it comes to a magic community, the same definitely applies. For me, personally, when I returned to magic about 10 years ago, Gwyn kindly befriended me (not knowing who I was) and it’s been an important part of my ongoing journey through the art of magic. She’s been quite an ambassador for the art and is one of those glues that holds a community together—which is especially important during a time like this. So, I humbly nominate Gwyn for this recognition."

Editor's note:

Website: Magician.org/member/magicassistant.


Comments from Gwyn's fans include:
Gwyn Rocks!

2020 Beacon of Inspiration: Ryan Joyce and Graeme Reed

Ryan Joyce and Graeme Reed (aka Graemazing)

Nominated by Ryan P. who wrote:
"They have been producing a ton of stuff, podcasts, tv shows, pizza parties and more all giving an opportunity for other Canadian magicians to perform and connect. The high quality standards of their production are certainly inspiring to me!"

Additionally, Graeme was nominated by Doug H. who wrote:
"He has not let COVID 19 interfere with his ability to present his magic. He has and continues to perform his excellent Magic in awesome creative ways - online. He is not only the most entertaining guy I know, he's Graemazing!"

Editor's note:


Website:  RyanJoyce.com and GraemeReedMagic.com.

Comments from Ryan and Graeme's fans include:
These guys are amazing. Entertaining and creative.
Graeme is great, but that Ryan guy is ...
  [Editor's note:  Ryan, cut that out!]

2020 Beacon of Inspiration: Magicana

Magicana (David Ben and Julie Eng)
Nominated by Ben T. who wrote:
"My nomination this year is Magicana. Not only did they start the year off by helping curate the Art of Illusion exhibit at the AGO - which created all sorts of new magic fans - but they also mobilized quickly to set up the "Allan Slaight Magicians Relief Fund" to help magicians across Canada deal with the pandemic."
"Because of all that they've done for the community this year, I nominate Magicana!"

Editor's note:
  • The Illusions: The Art of Magic exhibit at the AGO featured more than 55 colourful vintage posters from the Allan Slaight Collection, in addition to employing many local magicians.
  • They handled the implementation and administration of the Allan Slaight Relief Fund, which helped to defray cost-of-living expenses incurred by professional Canadian magicians early in The Great Pause.
  • Magicana also runs the annual Allan Slaight Awards which recognize excellence in magic.


Website:  Magicana.com

Comments from Magicana's fans include:
The work this team puts together is essential to our magic community. They are truly keeping the spirit alive.
that AGO thing was awesome for bringing magic to a multitude of muggles

2020 Beacon of Inspiration: Phil Pivnick

Phil Pivnick (aka WonderPhil)
Nominated by Ian C. who wrote:

"Phil is already Toronto’s best family and children’s entertainer (A1 media) and has a 5 star rating on Google and YELP.  But apart from that he is truly a really nice guy. He’s recently started creating magic for sale to the magic community demonstrating his creativity.  He’s really helpful to anyone who asks.  Sitting down for a session with Phil is a roller coaster of ideas.  What if we do this, how about this or that move.  I’ve always been impressed with his business sense and it shows in his marketing and shows."

Editor's note:

Website: MagicInToronto.com

2020 Nominee: Romaine

Romaine (aka Roman Szydlowski)

Nominated by Luiz C. who wrote:
"I nominate Romaine ( Roman Szydlowski).  He has been one of Canada's hidden talent for too long.  He shared stage with the best magicians, has been a mentor to many famous magicians and inspiration to thousands.  If you ever had a chance to sit down with him you know that you always learned something new from him."

Editor's note:

Comments from Romaine's fans include:
Best Canadian manipulator of all times.
While Romaine is not as active in magic these days, and in poor health, this man deserves credit for his longevity and talent.

Editor's Choice

2020 Editor's Choice: Alex Zander

Alex Zander

Nominated by Shawn F. who wrote:
"I would like to nominate Alex Zander, who during this year has united magicians, not only in Canada but around the world by using the IBM JAM online to bring magic into the homes of all of us at no cost. For the first thirty days of the lock down we had a lecture every single day and now, eight months later the IBM JAM continues on a weekly basis to offer all magicians a way to connect. He gained nothing personally from doing this task and it taxed his free time greatly. It's inspiring to see the selfless acts of another in support of the greater good."


Editor's note:
  • Alex, the youngest IBM President, finished his term with tough decisions to make about the IBM Convention.
  • He was part of the organizing committee for this year's virtual PCAM.

Website: GottaBeMagic.com

Comments from Alex's fans include:
Hope he wins! He’s worked so hard this whole year and has had many sleepless nights from working out all the tech issues and he deserves this!
I have attended many of the IBM JAMs (lectured at one too) so I know the great value they've been in keeping the magic community connected when we can't connect in person. Alex even took time to virtually attend my magic club's first digital meeting back in April. He is a tireless worker for the greater good of magicians everywhere and I can't think of a more worthy recipient of the 2020 "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!
He’s a kind a generous guy...helped me (a total stranger) get tix to the Magic Castle for my 50th for my best friend, mom and husband. It was so special. Thank you Alex!
Amazing leadership at such a young age!
A huge thank you for Alex organizing all the IBM JAMs!! Loved them, a great distraction from all the craziness.


Readers' Choice

2020 Readers' Choice: Carisa Hendrix, Miranda Allen, and Richard Lee

Carisa Hendrix, Miranda Allen, and Richard Lee (aka Team Lucy Darling, The Star Ship Quarantine)
Nominated by Anonymous.

Congratulations to Carisa, Miranda, and Richard for winning the 2020 "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!

Keep up the great work!

Website: CarisaHendrix.com, MirandaAllen.ca, and NorthernLightTheatre.com/richard-lee-hsi/.


Comments from Carisa, Miranda, and Richard's fans include:
To go from regularly performing all over the world to a consistent string of high quality online shows (with some runs lasting for months) is a phenomenal effort in these unprecedented times.
- They are absolutely wonderful!!!!
I am beyond inspired by how these three built an amazing remote show while quarantined together, including building pieces of their set. I'm grateful for their existence!
Sparkle and joy were in short supply till Lucy did her online show
All nominees sound outstanding, but the level of professionalism, innovation, dedication, and prestidigitation that Team Lucy Darling puts into their performances is outstanding to say the least. They are the clear winners of this competition and I'd award it to them, not just for the great country of Canada, but arguably for the world as well.





























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