12 August 2021

Celebrating Sorcerers Safari, five years later

Five years ago today, a bus full of magic campers left Haliburton for the very last time. 

Some trivia about Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp:


For a peek into  the magic camp experience, read the 12 part series, Diary of a Sorcerers Safari newbie.

A camper's notebook
What made magic camp so fabulous?
From the August 11th, 2012 post "The secret to Sorcerers Safari's success":
There is no one single thing that makes Sorcerers Safari so successful.  As [Mike] Segal has often said, "it is more than the sum of its parts."  And he's right.  He's created, seemingly by alchemy, a unique opportunity for young magic enthusiasts to learn from and network with, professionals who are open and approachable.  When asked how he came by this elusive recipe, a modest Segal said, "I'm totally amazed.  This is the best trick I have ever pulled off in my life." 

Special guests included:

Bill Abbott, David Acer, Michael Ammar, Lee Asher, Wes Barker,Sean Bogunia,  Jason Brumbalow, Eric Buss, Dan & Dave Buck, Ray Chance, Michael & Lisa Close, Daryl, Jason Dean, Scott Dietrich, Matt Disero, Shawn Farquhar, Greg Frewin, Aaron Fisher, Justin Flom, Daniel Garcia, Joe Givan & Carol Massie, Danny Hamill, Dan Harlan, Greg & Kristi Heath, Wayne Houchin, Joshua Jay, Eric Jones, Ryan Joyce, Nathan Kranzo, Peter Loughran, Al Monroe, Oscar Munoz, Glenn Ottaway, Ted & Marion Outerbridge, Johnny Ace Palmer, Chris Pilsworth, Jeff Pinsky, Gordon Precious, Pattrick Przysiecki, Jay Sankey, Jonathan Santiago, Bob Sheets, Soma, Suzanne, Steve Valentine, Trevor & Lorena Watters, Michael Weber, Bill & Becki Wells, Gregory Wilson, Tyler Wilson, Wij, and Asi Wind.
What did the campers think?
From the June 9th, 2016 article
"20 magical memories from Sorcerers Safari":
Many of my favourite memories at Sorcerers Safari come from the late night jam sessions in the campers' cabins.  You never know what newest tricks or guest magicians you'll find.

For example, a few years back, I witnessed Tyler Wilson sharing the longest and most entertaining card revelation I've seen. Over the course of about 45 minutes, the cabin filled with campers as they watched him attempt to find the card.  Pure suspense. Needless to say, he had no idea what the card was, and was playing us the entire time.

The jam sessions offer a great opportunity to see the campers' talent and creativity.  In 2015, Philip B. and I posed an Ambitious Card challenge to the cabin.  They split into 2 teams to work together to create an Ambitious Card routine from scratch.  This impromptu competition went on for close to 2 hours and was a blast to watch!

Sheldon Casavant (SheldonCasavant.com)
Camper: 2003, Counsellor: 2004 and 2007, Instructor: 2015

Did you know that author Erin Thomas went to camp to do research for her book for the 11-14 set, "Forcing the Ace"?

Read the November 13th, 2014 article "A Q&A with Erin Thomas."

Disney made a movie inspired by Sorcerers Safari!
From the August 20th, 2020 article "ICYMI: "Magic Camp," the movie inspired by Magic Mike Segal":

ICYMI, last week Disney released the movie "Magic Camp" which was inspired by Mike Segal's brainchild, Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp.  The first iteration was written by Mike's brother-in-law.  Mike did consulting (as did Justin Willman) for this project which was 17 years in the making!

What did the special guests think?
From the January 13th, 2017 article "Sorcerers Safari 2016: Dear Mike and Jen":

"Thank you for changing my life for the better and helping me find true joy in magic.  My love of teaching was inspired from here.  Thanks for letting me come!" -- Aaron Fisher (Special Guest: 2003; Instructor: 2004-2016.)

Alumni include:
  • Neil Croswell
  • Nick Popa
  • Greydon Gilmore
  • Scott Hammell
  • Michael Kras
  • Sheldon Casavant
  • Kelvin Kwong
  • Rosemary Reid
  • Brad Bond
  • Keith Brown
  • Ben Train
  • Jack Grady
  • Jordan Murciano
  • Alex Zander
  • Mark Clearview
  • Brett Chrest
  • Rob Lewin
  • Bill Cook
  • Daniel Steep 
  • Jason Verners
  • Nathaniel Rankin
  • Chad Juros
Looking back, what are Mike Segal's recollections about camp?
From the August 25th, 2020 Magicians Talking Magic Podcast "Episode 71: Mike Segal: 20 Years of Magic Camp. The camp that inspired the movie":
So our largest year was 175, I think, which was the first or second year at camp White Pine. We never got that high again. It started coming down slowly again, as the internet became more and more popular. I mean, we saw this on the camp website. Kids would be like, well, why do I have to go to camp and fight bugs when I can like, learn this trick online? Oh boy. You know, it was like, okay, well, if all you want to do is learn the trick then yeah. Do it online, you know? But, like you said, if you're a working magician, the things you got from this particular camp! We put kids on, on Murray Hatfield's international tours right across Canada. We gave kids TV appearances.  Canada day, we did Harbourfront and it was all magic campers and all that kind of stuff. It was about really bringing magic to the people.

Who attended?
Have a look below at the group photo from the last year of camp.  It includes 4 Len Cooper Memorial Award winners, 4 World Record holders, 2 Allan Slaight Canadian Rising Stars, a consultant for Penn and Teller's Fool Us, a FISM Grand Prix winner, 2 people who appeared on the Amazing Race Canada, The Toronto Magic Company, and one half of Big Trick Energy!


Check out the Sorcerers Safari YouTube channel to see some entertaining video summaries of camp.  

For a taste of the energy and enthusiasm at camp, we'll leave you with the Sorcerers Safari lip dub orchestrated by Trevor Watters and Mark Baluk, and filmed by Mark Baluk. 


Thank you Mike and Jen!

The magic community is better because of your efforts.





  1. My life wouldn't be the same without this incredible place and the incredible lessons I've learned from it along the way.

    1. The positive energy and synergeries from Sorcerers Safari will be felt for decades to come.

      We are all so fortunate to participate in this fabulous experience!