31 December 2023

In memoriam 2023

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 (er, 3) posts in December 2023

There were 49 posts at Canada's Magic this month.  The two ticket contests and the 2023 Inspirational Canadian Magician Showcase (ICMS) swept the top 10 board!  Consolidating the ICMS posts, the top 3 posts in the previous 30 days were:

3. Toronto: Win tickets to see "Potted Potter" [Dec 21 - Jan 14] - Catch them in Toronto until January 14!
2. Toronto: Win tickets to see "Champions of Magic" on December 30th, 2023 - Last show in Toronto today at 2pm.  Catch them in BC, AB, SK, and MB in the spring!


and the most viewed post this month  ...

1.  2023 Inspirational Canadian Magician Showcase





Thank you for your support in 2023!

Thank you for your suppport! 
We couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you to our readers, our fans, our followers, our wonderful guest posters, and last but not least, thank you to all of this year's friends (John Harrison, Richard Lyn, Joan Caesar, Ian Crawford, Matt DiSero, Doug Hunt, John Smithman, Robin Dawes, Eric Bedard, Loran, Peter Mennie, Colin Geddes, Graeme Reed, Gwyn Auger, Chris Gowen, Cam Dix, Jokers, George Blott, and Noah NogueiraRyan Edwards, Aaron Matthews, Ian Batterbury, and Eric Bedard as well as all of our 2023 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 2023

A peek behind the curtain with Potted Potter Toronto [2023]

A peek behind the curtain with Potted Potter FB

A peek behind the curtain with Potted Potter

We're delighted to bring to you a brief interview with the Toronto Performers of Potted Potter, Josephine Starte, Lottie Bell, and Amelia Gann.

Potted Potter in Toronto

Amelia Gann as Harry (left) and Lottie Bell as Voldemort


What is your first memory of magic?  How old were you?

Josephine:  I changed primary schools when I was 6 and immediately started a very popular flying club, which centred around doing spells on each other and then jumping off tables at playtime. It was very serious, there were tests, and certificates. I sort of believed I was really flying and really passing on my great wisdom, and I sort of knew I was lying. And then I became an actor.

Josephine Starte

Josephine Starte


Each of you perform an effect that some professional magicians also have in their shows.  What was your experience learning how to do magic for Potted Potter?

Lottie:  Chaotic. I mean I struggle with magic tricks in the real world. So I didn’t ever perform magic tricks on anyone before the show. However, ironically, I love doing them as Lord Voldemort in the show because I can add Voldemort’s cheeky humour to the trick! Even though he’s evil it’s the one time that Voldemort gets the audience's support and that really does help my confidence in the trick so thank you to Lord Voldemort and all his fans! (in that moment). 

Lottie Bell

Lottie Bell



Do you want to learn how to do any additional magic tricks? 

Amelia:  Absolutely! It's an aspect of performance I hadn't experienced before this project so I'm looking forward to improving my showmanship and slick delivery, especially with cards - as there's so much to learn and try out! Maybe if I build up my repertoire we can bring some new tricks into each show. 


Amelia Gann

Amelia Gann

Were there any hurdles or obstacles you needed to overcome, in order to perform a script originally written for an all male cast? 

Josephine:  The script changed a tiny bit, like the odd word here and there, and I think we possibly perform more characters than the guys as a result. But broadly it’s exactly the same show on paper, and it works brilliantly because there was always gender flipping (read: lots of wigs) in Potted Potter, the guys always played Hermione, Ginny etc, so that license to be flexible with gender is baked in. I mean, it was never a searing, naturalistic kitchen-sink drama about men being manly, it’s always been two delusional clowns throwing water at each other and pretending to be wizards. So it never occurred to me that those roles couldn’t be women. They just need to be really stupid (hello). 


What do you enjoy most about Potted Potter?

Josephine:   I love the audiences we get and how they respond to all the interactive bits, how generous they are. We’ve been so lucky, we’ve only ever had the nicest, wildest audiences, everyone’s always up for a good time when they come. It’s pure joy. I also love when young people seek us out after shows to talk about acting and comedy, it’s fantastic to be around for those light bulb moments. 


Performing the same show over and over can get tedious.  What do you do to keep your performance fresh for both your audience and you?

Lottie:  I have ADHD so for me personally as a performer I need to be always finding new things and I feel the audience really helps with this especially in the live Quidditch that everyone gets involved in, so it does help with this show that it is different every night - there’s always a surprise! 



How much of the show is scripted and how much is improvised?

Lottie:  The show's script came from a lot of ad-libbing and improv from our writers Dan and Jeff and then they’ve taken bits of ad-lib from further performers whilst either performing or rehearsing and popped it in the show. That’s another big reason why I love working on this show because the team behind it are all so supportive of their actors. It gives the actors a real freedom to play and make choices in the space creating the spontaneous and witty comedy in the show. Now that's real magic!



 Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Amelia:  Well it's been lovely to chat to you and we hope that you are intrigued to come and join in with the magical chaos that is Potted Potter. Expect the unexpected, silliness, games, perhaps a bit of audience participation (if you're brave enough). And please tell us all your magic secrets after the show!

Thank you Josephine, Lottie, and Amelia, for making the time to answer our questions! 

Potted Potter runs until January 14, 2024.  Tickets are available from Live Nation.

Potted Potter in Toronto


Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff is flying back to Toronto!

Seen by over a million muggles around the world Potted Potter has fans flying off their seats (or broomsticks) with laughter and for the first time in North America the Toronto production will feature an all-female cast. Lottie Bell and Josephine Starte will lead the run with Hanna Berrigan swooping in as Associate Director. The cleverly curated show features perfect Potter props complete with wand and sorting hat, appearances from your favourite characters, and a live Quidditch match!





29 December 2023

Random thoughts about "Champions of Magic" 2023

Catch Champions of Magic in Toronto, until December 31st.  Tickets at Ticketmaster.  

  Additional Canadian dates:  
Check the Champions of Magic website for updates.


Yesterday afternoon, KOP and I made the trek to Toronto's Meridian Hall.  

  • The last time we were at Meridian Hall it was called the Sony Centre and it was to see Darcy Oake's show "Edge of Reality" in 2015.  (Although we're still likely to refer to it as the O'Keefe Centre or possibly even the Hummingbird Centre.)
  • All of the theatre staff were super helpful, professional, and generally fabulous! 
  • While not mandatory, a good number of the patrons and ushers were masked.
  • The show is about an hour for the first half, with a 16 minute intermission, and about an hour in the second half.
  • As always with this show 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.

There's a videographer on hand to capture close-up miracles and project them nice and big on a screen so everyone can see!

(In yesterday's show, there were three screens in play.  One on the main stage and one each to the left and right of the stage.)



Regular readers of the blog have probably guessed that this would be our summary of the show:

So. Much. Fun!

  • The audience arrived ready for a fun time.  There were plenty of children in the audience and some families came in from as far as Bomanville to catch the show!  They were rooting for the performers from the get-go and the cast had the crowd eating out of their hands by the end of the show!
  • It felt like there was an exponential increase in production values for this run, in comparison to the shows we've seen previously.  There were more lights, the lights did fancier things, and there were additions to the sound track that really enhanced the visuals.  (And for those in the know, yes, the fun extra bits are still there too.)

  • There was a unexpected change in cast.  We were crushed when we learned that Alex McAleer was unable to do the show.  We were really looking forward to getting another look at his beautifully constructed homage to Keller that we first saw in Kitchener last year
  • Stepping in for McAleer was Kent Axell.  This was our first time seeing Axell and we were very impressed!

  • Hollie England, Kent Axell, Fernando Velasco, Richard Young and Sam Strange all do what they do very well! 

If memory serves, there are no standard card tricks in the show!
  • This show is very different from the one presented in Oshawa in 2019, and significantly different than the one mounted in Toronto in 2018.  Much of the content is similar to the 2022 show we saw in Kitchener, with the added bonus that with every passing year, the cast are more authentic and the show feels more organic.  Which translates to a demonstrable increase in entertainment value!
  • There are several whole cast moments, which make the show less of a patchwork piece and more of a thoughtfully woven production.

  • There's LOTS audience participation with both children and adults!  By our count, 16 volunteers were involved.

  • The show is absolutely visually stunning!

Whether you're new to magic or are a professional magician, there's something for everyone!

  • Axell demonstrated some baffling mentalism and his 9 year old volunteer James was an absolute star!

  • England showcased a strong skill set and talent that is intensely theatrical!  She really brought the heat (through fire!) in her set and I'll never look at a cup of tea the same way again.
  • For those who have seen the show already, not to worry!  The cornerstone crowd-pleasers are still in the show, tweaked and refined!

  • Aerialist Michelle Mazzarella amazed and dazzled from above.

  • Velasco succeeded 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!

  • Young and Strange have carefully pruned their wonderful grand illusions and introduced some new things in their place.  Even after having seen them perform a similar set thrice 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!  Their collaborative piece with Velasco  has a very strong audience reaction.  As a bonus, they were able to stage a couple of effects we'd read about on social media but had never seen them perform live.  It was well worth the wait to see it live on stage!

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!

  • This was the fourth time seeing the show in the last 5 years and we were thoroughly entertained!  There are so many moments of joyous laughter, and periods of being completely enthralled in the spectacle.

  • It is clear that the acts and the scripts are a work in progress and continue to be thoughtfully curated, updated, and revised.  It gets better every time!
We highly recommend it!
(Even if you've seen it before.)




Disclosure:  KOP 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.

With thanks to
Starvox Entertainment for the tickets.



  Champions of Magic  

Champions of Magic is touring across Canada in 2023 - 2024:

Check the Champions of Magic website for updates.


Read our 2023 interviews with:

Learn more about Champions of Magic at ChampionsOfMagic.co.uk and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Champions of Magic Worldwide Wonders Tour


28 December 2023

Highgate: Absolute Magic with Keith Brown [Jan 20]

Tickests at MaryWebbCentre.ca 


From the December 21st Instagram post by Keith Brown:

ABSOLUTE MAGIC with Keith Brown coming to The Mary Webb Centre For The Arts, Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 8 PM

Critics are saying: "Real deal magician, and wonderful storyteller", "5 Stars!", Magic Done Right", "MIND-BENDING, MIND BOGGLING and MIND-BLOWING".

Get your tickets now at marywebbcentre.ca or through link in my bio. Or at our local vendors: Mittons in Ridgetown, Treasures on Talbot in Blenheim and GraveDiggerz' Variety & Restaurant in Highgate.





27 December 2023

FREE: Master the Memorized Deck with Michael Close

From the December 15th Facebook post by Michael Close:

Members! Master the Memorized Deck with Michael Close

We're thrilled to offer our members a new FREE resource from Michael Close – and if you're not a member yet, don't worry, joining is completely free!  


This Practice Drill Sheet is perfect for magicians working with the memorized deck, helping you improve memory retention, customize your training, and track your progress.

Sign up as a member, download your free PDF, and watch your memdeck skills flourish! www.MichaelClose.com






25 December 2023

ICYMI: David Acer hosts the Happy Pawlidays Virtual Show

From the December 13th Facebook post by David Acer

I tried to kick off this digital holiday special for The Official SuperDogs with some decorum but no such luck... Writing it was a blast and a phenomenal team of trainers came together to make it one of the cutest, sweetest holiday celebrations you'll ever see. If you like dogs this is a no-brainer—grab some eggnog and watch the full 17-minute special here:

From the December 19, 2020 upload on the Official SuperDogs YouTube channel:

Join The President's Choice SuperDogs for their magical, musical holiday celebration, "Happy Pawlidays."



23 December 2023

With an Extra Helping of Magic 2023

December 21, 2023

Toronto's Sid Lorraine Hat and Rabbit Club (IBM Ring 17) hosted a virtual fundraiser in support of mental health initiatives in Toronto and in support of North York General Hospital.

Watch the show and donate at:










Toronto: American Sign Language interpreted magic show [Dec 28]

They first offered this for their show in 2018.  Nice to see it available again!


From the December 18th Facebook post by Starvox Entertainment:

Champions Of Magic in Toronto will have an ASL interpreted performance on Thursday, December 28 at 8:00pm!

TO Live and Starvox Entertainment are happy to offer the following access measures:
ASL interpreted performance: Thursday, December 28 at 8:00pm.

The performance will be ASL interpreted by Amanda Hyde and David Bell-Patterson.

Please contact the TO Live box office by phone at 416-366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754, or by email at boxoffice@tolive.com to book tickets with an optimal view of the ASL interpreters.
🎟️ bit.ly/3teaOSZ
👉 Champions Of Magic Access Guide
👉 Champions Of Magic Pre-Show Audio Notes
👉 Email boxoffice@tolive.com to book tickets with an optimal view of the ASL interpreters




  Champions of Magic  

Catch Champions of Magic touring across Canada in 2023 - 2024:

Check the Champions of Magic website for updates.


Read our 2023 interviews with:


Learn more about Champions of Magic at ChampionsOfMagic.co.uk and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Champions of Magic Worldwide Wonders Tour



22 December 2023

Winner of tickets to see "Champions of Magic" on December 30th, 2023

The contest to win tickets to attend see Champions of Magic at Meridian Hall is closed.  Thank you to everyone who played! 

Champions of Magic in Toronto

Prepare to be enchanted this holiday season with Champions of Magic. Brace yourself, for a heart-pounding escape from Houdini's legendary water torture cell, predictions that will leave you questioning reality itself, and gravity-defying levitation acts that will have you floating high above the stage in pure amazement. And when you think you've seen it all, the grand finale will defy explanation leaving you in sheer disbelief!

Toronto don't miss this chance to witness the extraordinary and become part of the magic phenomenon as of December 27!

Read our 2023 interviews with:


Their run started on December 27th and is extended to the 31st.  If you didn't win you can purchase tickets at TicketMaster.

There were some fabulous favourite magic effect submitted, including:

  • The Asher Twist, performed by its creator for over 30 years!  (Hi Lee!)
  • Hopping Half, a favourite for over 35 years
  • Card to Wallet, a staple for years
  • Twenty-one card trick
  • My monopoly bills across routine where at the end i cut their signed bill out of a lemon, for over 5 years
  • Three Card Monte, for 15 years
  •  News Of The World, over 10 years and
  • Chicago Opener for 3 years



The winner has been notified and prize has been distributed.  Rafflecopter only contains information from the winning entry.

Congratulations to our winners!  We hope you enjoy the show!

With thanks to Starvox Entertainment for generously making these tickets available to you!

Welcoming a new sponsor: The Hermit Magazine

Welcome to our newest sponsor, the The Hermit Magazine!  


The Hermit is a labour of love by Scott Baird, who writes, illustrates, and promotes this magazine. It's an online publication that produces a physical annual collection of its issues.

For the past two years, The Hermit has sourced original magic creations and thoughts for its readers.

Learn more about The Hermit Magazine at its website at HermitMagic.com and follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you Scott and The Hermit Magazine for your sponsorship of Canada's Magic!





21 December 2023

Calgary: Introducing the "Wit & Wizardry - Comedy Magic Cabaret" [Jan 31, Feb 21, Mar 27]

From the December 17th Facebook post by Ryan Pilling:

This project has been whispers on the wind, but it's time to break wind and release the whispers! Wit & Wizardry - Comedy Magic Cabaret is *appearing* in Calgary at the end of January.

I'm at my best in a small theatre venue, so you'll get to see me at my most magical, along with some equally astonishing friends. ("What, Ryan has real friends? I'm astonished!")

I will be promoting this relentlessly, forevermore, so you might as well give up now and hop aboard the Wizard Train™. Choo choo, muggle huggers.




More details are available at the Wit & Wizardry - Comedy Magic Cabaret Facebook event.






20 December 2023

2023 Inspirational Canadian Magician Showcase summary

This concludes the 2023 Inspirational Canadian Magician Showcase

We hope you enjoyed reading about many of the talented magicians across the country.

A huge shout out to everyone who trusted us enough to submit names and supporting text last month, even though you didn't know exactly how it was going to be used.  

We couldn't have done this without the help of:

Thank you for the work involved in sending us your submission.


Congratulations again to everyone featured.  Keep up the great work!

Welcoming a new Friend: Ian Batterbury

Welcoming our newest Friend, Ian Batterbury (Magic Ian)!

Based in Brampton, Ian has performed magic for over 35 years and is dedicated to creating a fun, interactive, and magical experience for all ages.

To learn more about Ian visit his website at MagicianToronto.ca and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Thank you Ian, for befriending Canada's Magic!   




19 December 2023

Wes Barker: Inspirational Canadian Magician

Sixteenth in this year's Inspirational Canadian Magician Showcase, is Wes Barker!

Wes Barker: Inspirational Canadian Magician

Wes Barker: Inspirational Canadian Magician.

Wes is by far the most dedicated magician we have working in Canada, his work ethic is unparalleled. Add to that the volume of creative output -- a new live show, taped a TV show, produces and tours shows, wrote a book and put it out to audio book, hosts podcasts and creates viral videos.  I rarely leave a meeting with Wes not inspired.  Every time I hang out with that dude he's always making me want to try new things and see what else I can push for.  I rarely do them, that's on me.

Submitted by Matt DiSero




The show Wes Barker: Live on Tour dropped on Wes Barker's YouTube channel this morning: 


Congratulations Wes!  Keep up the great work!

To learn more about Wes Barker visit his website WesBarker.ca, visit his store 2nd to none, listen to his podcast Bottom of the Barrel (with Chris Ramsay) and follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


Thank Matt for your excellent submission!

To learn more about Matt DiSero, visit his website MattDiSero.com and follow him on Facebook and Instagram.