30 May 2023

ICYMI: Guy Hollingworth talks Torn & Restored Card with Glenn West over at the CAM blog

From the CAM blog post "Guy Hollingworth talks Torn & Restored Card /w Glenn West ":

Welcome to Magic Minds: Two Magicians One Trick - An Interview with Guy Hollingworth and Glenn West

Prepare to be amazed as we embark on a magical journey with the Canadian Association of Magicians' new interview series: Magic Minds: Two Magicians One Trick with Glenn West!

In this exciting series, we'll dive deep into the world of magic, exploring the inspirations and techniques behind some of the most renowned magicians and their unforgettable tricks.

In our first video of the series, we are honoured to have the incredible Guy Hollingworth join forces with our very own Glenn West to discuss the mesmerizing art of the Torn & Restored Card. This highly anticipated interview will provide an exclusive look into the history and inspirations of Hollingworth's legendary Reformation and the captivating story of what first introduced him to this magical plot.

But that's not all!

Our dynamic duo will also reveal some of the latest updates to the routine, which, in Glenn West's opinion, take it to a whole new level of astonishment.

Read more and watch video.






29 May 2023

Juliana Chen wins 2023 AMA Performing Fellowship Award, Carisa Hendrix wins AMA Stage Magician of the Year

Congratulations to Juliana and Carisa!


From the May 28th article "Chinese-born magician honored at Hollywood's annual Academy of Magical Arts Awards" in News.cn:  

Recipients of the AMA Performing Fellowship award are the performers who have made an impact on the art of magic. Cardini, a world-renowned magician, was the first to receive the award in 1968, followed by performers such as Jose Frakson, Richiardi Jr., and Marvyn & Carol Roy.

"It is a great honor to be the first magician of Chinese origin to receive the Performing Fellowship Award from the Academy of Magical Arts. This is not only a personal affirmation for me, but also for Chinese magicians," she told Xinhua Thursday night.

Read more.



From the May 26th Instagram post by Carisa Hendrix:




28 May 2023

Broken wand: Paul Neary

Our sincere condolences to Paul's family and friends at this impossible time.

From Marshall Funeral Home:

Paul has found his Shangri-la!
He peacefully passed away surrounded by “The Love of his life” Joyce (Foster), his son Ryan (Orion), with his wife Yen (Nguyen), and our beautiful grandchildren Hunter and Scarlett.
He was MUSIC-professional drummer, and teacher.
He was MAGIC-The Great Schlep, and Toytown Puppets.
He was MINISTRY-Pastor Emeritus-Knox United, and New St. Paul’s United.
Paul touched the lives of many, sharing his love of family, his knowledge, his love of the Lord, and definitely his sense of humour.

Read more.

[via Ron Guttman]





Broken wand: Harvey Raft

Our sincere condolences to Harvey's family and friends at this impossible time.


From Hebrew Basic Burial:

RAFT, Harvey - Passed away on Friday, April 28, 2023 at Baycrest. Beloved husband of Patricia Mars-Raft. Loving father of Irving. Dear brother-in-law of Shep Trubkin. A graveside service will be held on Sunday, April 30th at 12:00 p.m. in the Kiever Podolier section of Bathurst Lawn Memorial Park 6033 Bathurst Street (north of Finch on the east side. Memorial donations may be made to Shaarei Tefillah Synagogue 416-787-1631 or to World Vision Canada www.worldvision.ca

Read more.



[via David Lew]





27 May 2023

Quebec: Luc Langevin's Vérités [Dec 22]

Tickets at Grand Theatre.


From the May 19th Tweet by Luc Langevin (translation by Twitter):

#Québec , I will be back on December 22 with my show #Vérités , this time at the Grand Théâtre! 😃 A great way to start the holiday break... 😉 Tickets on sale now!




26 May 2023

Bill Peterson on CTV Morning Live Atlantic

From the May 25th Facebook post by CTV Morning Live Atlantic:

ICYMI: magician Bill Peterson returned to the studio this morning to share with us some of the newest tricks up his sleeve that are sure to impress!





25 May 2023

24 May 2023

Calgary: Drunk Magic with Wes Baker [Jun 25]

Sun Jun 25, 2023

From The Laugh Shop Calgary:

Wes Barker is 2ND to none. His show features amazing magic tricks, crazy stunts, crowd interaction, and comedy from start to finish. Whether it is a live show in a theatre or a virtual show in your own home, Wes creates the best time and the most fun!

Wes has performed all over the world, both live and on TV. He has appeared on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, America's Got Talent, ELLEN, Wizard Wars, and MTV's Greatest Party Stories Ever to name a few.

For live events you can do no better than comedy magic, and Wes is the best of them all. So whether it's a corporate event, comedy festival, college campus, comedy club, cruise ship, or private party... Wes has wowed audiences on every stage.







23 May 2023

Hamilton: Graemazing at the Smooth Comedy Festival [Jun 23 - 25]

Tickets at Eventbrite.


From the May 10th Instagram post by Smooth Comedy:

Smooth Comedy is putting on a full weekend of shows at the world famous @thestaircase in beautiful Hamilton. We’re calling it…a “FESTIVAL”!

The weekend will feature some of our favourite performers making their Smooth Comedy debut, and some that we really wanted to have back again.

If you’ve ever wanted to come to a show, this is this weekend to do it! Grab a ticket and come on down to one or even all three of the shows. Link is in the bio! SEE YA THERE!

Hosted by the Smooth Comedy crew - Kym Wyatt Mckenzie, Darren Menezes, GRAEMAZING, Zach Berge & Devin Bateson.




22 May 2023

Toronto: The Art of Magic [Jun 3]

Tickets at Eventbrite.


From the May 18th Instagram post by the Toronto Magic Company:

Toronto has spoken! After 24 straight sold out shows The Art of Magic is BACK!

If you missed out on getting tickets for our previous events, good news: in order to ensure everyone has a chance to experience the magic, we’re doing TWO shows on June 3rd!!!

So… what’s it all about? Great question!

The Art of Magic is way more than just a show. It’s an entire evening filled with beautiful magic inspired art, an interactive magical exhibit and most importantly a secret magic show that you have to see to believe!

The Gallery:
The fun begins inside the Super Wonder Gallery . Enjoy delicious drinks and music while you interact with our magical art.

The Exhibit:
After the open gallery viewing it's time for the exhibition. This is a combination of an interactive magic show, and a gallery tour, AT THE SAME TIME. You'll be transported through some of magic's most incredible moments all experienced by YOU in an intimate setting

The Secret Show:
At one magical moment during the night you are whisked away to a private SECRET show. This is a private show, for a small selection of the audience. It's intimate, impossible, and is magic the way it was meant to be experienced: up close and personal.

Seating for this secret experience is extremely limited and is included with your ticket to the Art of Magic show!

In order to ensure every seat in the house is a good one, only 60 tickets are available per showing for this intimate theatre experience. Make sure you order yours before they disappear forever!





21 May 2023

2023 AMA award nominees

Congratulations to Carisa Hendrix and Juliana Chen, who are both nominated for Stage Magician of the Year!  In addition, Carisa Hendrix's alter ego Lucy Darling, is nominated for Lecturer of the Year!

Visit the AMA website for the full list of this year's nominees.




20 May 2023

Shawn Farquhar special guest at TRICS 2023 [Nov 2 - 4]

From the March 31st Facebook post by TRICS:

Final TRICS Talent Announcement!
This time our Guest of Honor. He is a 2 time FISM winner and a great guy. He supported TRICS back when we were just getting started and has allows been a good friend.
I'm so Happy to announce Shawn Farquhar as this year's Guest of Honor.
This year's line-up is now complete!
Shawn Farquhar
Eric Jones
Danny Garcia
Jon Allen
Jon Armstrong
Kayla Drescher
Blake Vogt
David Jonathon
If there has been a better line-up at a small convention, I have never seen it. If you haven't registered, please do so now at www.tricsconvention.com !
Thank you all for he many years of support! See you in November.






19 May 2023

Coquitlam: Rob Teszka, Magic Dropout! - Special Fringe Preview [May 31]

From Eventbrite:

Rob Teszka, almost-PhD of magic, presents an irreverent magic show about failure! Enjoy a mind-blowing cocktail of tongue-in-cheek takes on everything from Mai Tais to academic burnout. Join Rob Teszka, Magic Dropout for the unexpected results of a decade researching the psychology of magic.


This show is an UNFINISHED WORK IN PROGRESS. It will return to BC in September for the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Read more and buy tickets.


[via Chris Yuill]


17 May 2023

Orlando: Keith Brown's Absolute Magic at the Orland Fringe [May 18 - 28]

From the May 16th Tweet by Keith Brown:

Absolute Magic plays @OrlandoFringe

May 18-28th @SavoyOrlando

For showtimes & tickets please visit http://bit.ly/KBOrlando2023





16 May 2023

Welcoming a new sponsor: The Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club

Welcome to our newest sponsor, the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club (IBM Ring 17)!  

Founded in 1941, the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club is Canada's oldest magic club and the only remaining IBM Ring in Toronto.  (Don't let the members of Ring 99 tell you any different.)

This season the club boasted an impressive array of guest lecturers including Paul Romhany, James Alan, Joshua Jay, Jeff Hinchliffe, Bernardo Sedlacek, Anthony Lindan, Richard Lyn, Phil Pivnick, BenTastic, Mel Magic, and Aaron Matthews.

Additionally, Ring 17 hosted a members' night consisting of member performances combined with a swap meet and flea market.  The club also gives back to the community annually.  For the past 3 years, they've raised money for the local food bank by hosting a virtual show put on by members.  Last but not least, they have very well attended monthly social magic jams!

The 2022-2023 executive includes:

    David Peck, President
    Colin Geddes, First VP
    Ian Crawford, Second VP
    Patrick Nemeth, Treasurer
    James Alan, Past President and
    Al Warren, Voting Member at Large

Learn more about the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club at IBMRing17.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Thank you to the 2022-2023 executive of the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club, for your sponsorship of Canada's Magic!   





15 May 2023

Atsushi Ono in the Calgary Herald

Tune into Canada's Got Talent on CityTV tomorrow night to watch Atsushi compete in the live finale!


From the May 12th article "How Calgary magician Atsushi Ono wowed his way to the season finale of Canada's Got Talent" by Eric Volmers in the Calgary Herald

For now, he is in Niagara Falls, Ont., which is where the two-hour live finale of Canada’s Got Talent will be filmed on May 16. Ono, who showcased some genuine nervousness during his initial audition, seemed to legitimately wow the judges, particularly Offishall. The hip-hop artist seemed too enamoured with what he was seeing to sit still.

“I thought I was very lucky,” he says. “The beauty of close-up magic is that you never know what is going to happen. When I saw him (walking away), I thought I can make this funnier. The other thing was that I trust all the judges. They are the real stars … they understand how TV works. So whatever happens, I’m going to trust them. They are going to make me even funnier or make me cool or whatever.”

Still, he admits he is dealing with some nerves leading up to the all-important finale.

“I don’t want to disappoint anybody,” he says. “At the same time, of course, I’m nervous because it’s a live show.”

Read more.





14 May 2023

Brian Glow in KYUK

From the May 8th article "Touring magician spreads anti-bullying message to youth in rural Alaska" by Evan Erickson at KYUK:

“There was a news report on the radio on my way back that had said that the worst suicides in the world were happening in Arctic Canada and Arctic Alaska. I said, you know what, I have some of those skills and I can do something about it,” Glow said.

One of the villages that Glow visited on his recent tour of the Y-K Delta was Tuntutuliak, where he performed for the whole community, as well as for elementary and high school students at Lewis Angapak Memorial School.

“It was a really great experience. He had a really great message that he was providing to the students as well,” said Dean of Students Katie Chearney.

Glow uses a two-fold approach to communicate an anti-bullying message, combining his personal experiences with symbolic illusions, for example, using three different-sized ropes to represent children at different levels of maturity.

Read more.







13 May 2023

Aurora: The Experience with Mindbender [Jun 3]

From the March 20th Instagram post by Mindbender Magic:

‘The Experience’ has been my most-booked show for the past 3 years and up until now, it’s only been available for private bookings. For one night only, I will be bringing this show to the public at Theatre Aurora on Saturday, June 3rd, 2023! My last public theatre show sold out a month before the show date, so be sure to grab your tickets fast because you won’t want to miss this!

Enjoy a family friendly experience packed with magic, mind-reading, comedy, and fun. ‘The Experience’ will also feature one of my most thrilling escapes which I haven’t performed since 2013, and don’t plan on performing ever again in this show. 





12 May 2023

Scotland: Wizard in the Woods with Graemazing [May 24]

From the April 25th Facebook post by All Day Breakfast:

An ancient tale speaks of a level 7 wizard appearing in the woods to perform for a select group of mortals!

Join Graemazing in the Woods on Wednesday May 24th for a special magic and mind-reading experience!

Wizard in the Woods - Magic & Mind-Reading Experience

Click here to order your tickets:







11 May 2023

Thank you to our personal sponsors for May 2023!

A quick reminder of our earlier Mail as Medicine request for Katie Hunt.  If you have the time, Katie and Doug would both benefit from hearing from their friends!


Thank you to John Harrison, Richard Lyn, Joan Caesar, Ian Crawford, Matt DiSero, Doug Hunt, John Smithman, Robin Dawes, Eric Bedard, Loran, Peter Mennie, Graeme Reed, Gwyn Auger, Jokers, George Blott, Noah Nogueira, Ryan Edwards, Aaron Matthews, and Colin Geddes for being Friends of Canada's Magic!

It's good to have friends like you.

You too can Be Our Friend for only $20 per year! 

Donations of any size are always welcome.





10 May 2023

May sale: 40% off yearly sponsorship rates!

Sponsor Canada's Magic 
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 or being Our Friend.)

Join the company of patrons: Clive Court (The Fun-da-Mentalist), Jeff Pinsky (owner of The Browser's Den of Magic), Michael Close (author of the Workers series and other ebooks), Ryan Joyce (the brains behind Magician Masterclass and the OWOW Magic Festival), and IBM Ring 17 (the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club) 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!



09 May 2023

Canada's Got Talent: Vote Magic Ben to the May 16 finale!

To vote Magic Ben to the finale, visit https://cgtvote.votenow.tv/.  Voting is open until 4 a.m. ET / 1 a.m. PT. 


From the May 9th upload "MAGIC BEN’s Charming Card Tricks Dazzle The CGT Stage" on the Canada's Got Talent YouTube channel:

Magic Ben comes to us from The Yukon, where he’s mastered his magic tricks, and his charming stage presence!  After this delightful display of talent, will Canadians choose to make Magic Ben appear in the Live Finale?  








Toronto: Derick Finn lecture [May 20]

Saturday May 20th
at The Browser's Den of Magic


From the May 4th Facebook post by the Browser's Den of Magic:





Saint John: Unreal - An Evening of Magic and Mindreading [postponed]

Updated May 9th to add:

  • This event has been postponed.



The event features Kurt Fuerniss, The Amazing Raven, and Tabraze Sheikh.

Kurt Fuerniss,The Amazing Raven,Tabraze Sheikh,


From the May 4th Facebook post by Zap Magic:

Hope to see everyone come out to our show on the 13th. A great chance to see unique performances and have a nice dinner at the beautiful Phoenix Theatre!
Tickets on sale now! 









08 May 2023

Canada's Got Talent: Checking in with Magic Ben

Two weeks ago we learned that Magic Ben advanced to the Canada's Got Talent semi-finals!

Semi-finalist Magic Ben

Semi-finalist Magic Ben
source: @CanGotTalent

We had the opportunity to check in with Ben ahead of his appearance on the Canada's Got Talent semi-finals tomorrow.

Read our March interview where we learn about Ben's:
 - first memory of magic,
 - magical inspirations,
 - other inspirations,
 - magical influences,
 - motivation to audition,
 - pre-show rituals,
 - thoughts about quitting.
When you first learned you made it to the semi-finals, was your first impulse to add complexity to your semi-final performance?  Or was it to simplify?  Will you be honouring that impulse or did you change your mind

When I first learned I made it to the Semi-Finals, I made sure I performed what I had in mind. In the audition I wanted to make sure one of the judges would feel the magic in their hands. I told the production, this time, let's make sure the 5000 people in the audience feel it in their hands. I've always been about playing to the audience, they are part of the magic, It doesn't exist without them.


 - Watch Ben's audition video "19-Year-Old MAGICIAN Magic Ben’s Audition Freezes Judge Lilly Singh"

 - Read the April 15th article "From Nunavik to national TV: 19-year-old 'Magic Ben' recalls his start in northern Quebec" by Rachel Watts at CBC News.

 - Listen to Jacob Elyachar interview Magic Ben on the April 10th episode "Canada's Got Talent: Season 2- Special #5: Magic Ben" of his podcast "Jake's Take with Jacob Elyachar" 

Will you be performing something from your regular repertoire or have you created something new for the competition?

This is something from my repertoire, I perform it in my shows but it definitely was a first for this kind of audience!

Will you give it everything you’ve got or will you hold something special back for the finals?

 I always give everything I got, but you know, we always have another trick up our sleeve!   ;)


Who is on your team of advisors for your progression to the next round(s) at Canada’s Got Talent? 

For this round I went back to my roots. What routine played the best for the audience? I went and asked people that have seen me perform for 10 years, family, friends. I had great help from my mentor Hypnotist Corrie J as well.

What will it mean to you to advance to the CGT finals?
Advancing to the finals would be an absolute dream come true. It would show that no matter the obstacles that come in life, you can make it through. Obstacles fuel me to push and produce so let's have some fun!


Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers of Canada’s Magic?
To all the readers of Canada's Magic, I don't care how old you are or where you live. If you have a dream, or there is something you want to do - DO IT! Anything is possible and I am realizing it now, be magic my friends..



Thank you Ben, for making the time to answer our questions!  Break a leg on the CGT semi-finals!

Learn more about Ben at his website MagicWithBen.com and follow him on Instagram.

Watch Ben's performance at the Canada's Got Talent semi-finals May 9th on CityTV.






07 May 2023

Prince Albert: Roger Boucher at École Valois fundraiser [May 11]

From the May 6th article "Evening of magic planned to help École Valois launch new archery program" by Nigel Maxwell at PA Now:

Boucher, has been doing magic shows in French for over 10 years, and told paNOW he’s looking forward to wowing the audience. However, Boucher also declined to reveal what tricks he may have hiding up his sleeve.

“What they can expect is an interactive show in French, and lots of laughs,” he said.

The school has a “Magic Club” and the children from the club will be assisting Boucher with the performance.

Read more.









06 May 2023

Vincenzo Ravina in SaltWire

From the April 28th article "Fun childhood experience unlocked Vincenzo Ravina's inner wizard" by Katy Jean at SaltWire:

Though many questions could be asked of someone who has a career in wizardry, asking how he became one seemed of most importance.

“When I was a kid my family and I loved going to this restaurant downtown that had a guy named Dave Moon and he would go around table to table doing magic. And he wore this long flowing purple moon and star robes and he had a long white beard,” Ravina said of a childhood experience that would unlock a lifelong interest.

“I loved seeing magic and being left in a state of mystery. I wanted to learn how to do that and share it with other people.”

Read more.



From the May 1st upload "Vincenzo Ravina: Actual Wizard" at the SaltWire YouTube channel:

SaltWire's Katy Jean has a wish fulfilled by wizard and magician Vincenzo Ravina.
Ravina shares his story of becoming a career wizard and his experiences in the magician industry.






05 May 2023

[Guest post] ‘Magic chose me’: How one man found his calling

The following is a guest post by Sheridan Williamson Fraser.


‘Magic chose me’: How one man found his calling
Mike Segal built a career by perfecting tricks and inspiring a new generation of magicians 

By Sheridan Williamson Fraser,
Journalism Undergraduate at Toronto Metropolitan University

It all started with a single bus ticket that in a flash became two. Day in and day out, Mike Segal, a young boy originally from Montreal, would take the bus to and from his new school in Toronto, carefully holding on to each bus ticket. One day in 1972, while playing outside at recess, another boy snatched the bus ticket from him, closing his tiny fist around the rectangular piece of paper. As Segal’s only way home was crushed between the other boy’s small fingers, concern built within him. Another second passed, then the other boy waved an erratic hand through the air before rolling back his fingers to show not one but two bus tickets lying on his palm. The boy then miraculously handed both tickets to Segal before walking away to enjoy the rest of his short break between classes. Looking down at his hand, Segal was left baffled. To him this was not some simple sleight of hand but an act of real magic.  

This one short instance, this one trick, was the start of a lifelong journey into the art of illusion and the beginning of a career which has spanned four decades. From this moment on, Segal began going to the library, constantly in search of the miraculous ticket trick. Initially he thought “If I could just learn that trick, my parents would never have to buy me another bus ticket.” 

During those days in 1972, flipping through book after book, Segal recalls learning all he could about magic, teaching himself different tricks and eventually building up a repertoire of techniques. “I never did find that trick,” he says, but now nearly 50 years later Segal can still remember that first magic moment, “I’ve seen thousands of magic shows. Can’t tell you anything about them but I remember that trick.” 

As for his own journey, Mike Segal has spent over four decades as a magician performing, teaching and inspiring the next generation of magicians. His career has impacted the trajectory of magic’s evolution in Canada by providing opportunities for young people to get involved with the craft and be supported in forming future careers. 

According to The Canadian Encyclopedia article “Magic,” the first reported magic performer in Canada was Maginnis in Halifax in 1875 but, Indigenous groups in Canada were said to have games and ritual practices prior to European arrival which are reminiscent of present-day performance magic. 

Since then, magic has evolved into a modern stage production involving close-up magic, big production acts and mental illusion among other tricks. 

Segal remembers feeling like the straight-faced and serious persona never fit his personality on stage, he was always more comfortable with presenting magic in a lighter comedic way. His signature performance style is the “magician in trouble scenario,” which appears on stage as a trick going wrong when in reality the act is another illusion in itself. 

This style of magic, which Segal performs to this day, was influenced by something that happened at the start of his career. At age 14, Segal recalls performing a comedic magic show at an elementary school. Following the performance, a young boy, approximately eight-years-old approached him. The boy asked hopefully, “You’re a magician. My brother just broke his arm. Can you make it better?” At that moment, Segal remembers thinking “Wow, okay so these kids think I could really do magic. Well, that’s wrong.” 

Segal says he believes in performing illusions not faking supernatural powers or witchcraft. “We don’t have any special powers. I have the same powers as all of you. I have just learned to create illusions, the way some learn to play tennis or how to play the piano,” Segal said. At the time, Segal felt it was unfair to misrepresent what magic was to young kids, innocent enough to believe his magic was real. 

Missing link: 

By 1982, Segal was nearing the end of high school and focusing on his career, choosing magic over his personal life. 

Jen Segal, Mike Segal’s wife, describes her relationship with Segal as an “Oprah story,” worthy of mushy daytime television. Jen and Mike met at York Mills Collegiate Institute. Shortly after starting high-school they began dating, staying together for years leading up to graduation where they amicably split.

Jen and Mike at prom in 1984

Jen and Mike at prom in 1984
photo source: Facebook

Jen remembers wanting to settle down and start a family, while Segal wanted to work and travel. “I was broken hearted,” Jen explained in an interview. 

After 10 years had gone by, both Mike and Jen had moved on with their lives until a single phone call in 1992 changed everything. “My [friend] Sherry called and she was like ‘Mike’s on BT’ [Breakfast Television] and so I turned on the TV and there he was”. 

In late 1990, Segal began making appearances on the Toronto morning show, BT. “I lived right by there [the studio], they knew me and we had a great relationship… I was part of the City TV family,” he said. 

Over two years, Segal made 100 weekly appearances on the show. Once Segal had built a relationship with the show’s network, he, in addition to his weekly appearances, became the fill-in visitor when scheduled guests were unable to arrive on time. 

“They would have you know, whoever coming into town to promote something that day, but the plane got delayed, or they're stuck in traffic or there's a snowstorm. So, these guys [Breakfast Television producers] would just call me and say ‘Mike, can you be in the studio in like half an hour and bring something?’ And so, I would do that,” said Segal. “I just loved it. The exposure was great. This was before the internet, so this was the greatest promotion I could ask for.” 

As for Jen, after seeing him on TV, she decided to take a chance, picking up the phone and calling the studio where she set up a time to meet Segal. “And that was 30 years ago,” Jen says as she sits on a white couch in the home she shares with Segal. “As soon as we saw each other it was like yeah we’re together forever.”

Creating a path: 

In the late 1980s, a few years prior to Segal’s reconciliation with Jen, he began carving out a place for himself in magic entertainment in Canada.  

After Segal had graduated from York University, he, along with a few friends and classmates freshly out of school, started Magic Unlimited Theater Productions in Toronto, a co-op theatre company that performed original shows for schools which were written based on the current school curriculum. 

John Rotstein, the owner of Rotten Pictures, a video production company, met Segal in a high-school theater class where they became close friends. Rotstein later received a performing arts bachelor’s degree with Segal from York University before joining the theatre production company. 

“Mike was very passionate about doing magic,” Rotstein explained in a phone interview. “He has a natural ability to charm people. He was very driven about his career and he knew what he wanted to do.”  

Segal says the idea for the company came about because they were “struggling artists” at a time when it was very difficult to get a grant for a magic-based performance because magic was not considered a legitimate performance art. 

“We were young and hungry. We hustled” Rotstein said. “We spent a lot of our time hustling for grant money to fund our projects.” 

Segal’s idea for the theatre production company was to bring performance magic some legitimacy and to show people why magic should get the same respect as other artforms. “Magic was such a great performance art and it bugged me so much that everywhere I went people would say ‘oh, magician? You should come and do my kid’s birthday party’. I just hated it.” 

Segal says he wanted to change the perception of magic in Canada by presenting it to young people who would not have preconceived notions surrounding what the craft could be. Connecting magic to youth was so important to Segal because when he was a young person, he had no one to mentor him or to look to for answers.


Mike Segal headshot

Mike Segal, circa early 1990s
photo source: Facebook


Fueling the future of magic: 

In 1980, Segal had his first experience receiving encouragement from a big name in magic entertainment. 

At 16 years old, Segal spent one week working as a stagehand for a CBC movie version of the Broadway hit The Magic Show, starring the famous Canadian magician, Doug Henning. The show was extremely popular, and according to the Internet Broadway Database, the magic musical earned Henning a Tony award nomination for best performance by an actor in 1975. 

A few years after the musical’s Broadway run ended, the CBC began working on a movie version of the show in Toronto, where teenage Segal gained a spot on the crew, skipping an entire week of high school to do so. 

The experience has become a blur, lost in time, except for one moment that would inspire not only Segal’s career but the decades of mentorship that would follow. 

On his last day on set, when Segal was sitting on a set of stairs helping to reset the stage lights, he looked up to see Doug Henning, the star of the show standing next to him. 

Henning walked the remaining few feet towards Segal before saying, “Hey, you’ve been here for a while. You’re a magician, right?” They both sat there on the stairs leading up to the stage talking about magic. 

“To me it seemed like we sat there for hours, we were probably there for 15 or 20 minutes,” says Segal. In that short time Segal recalls that Henning wished him luck in his future endeavors and listened intently when Segal described his future plans even dismissing another crew member who approached him with the flick of a hand. “So that stuck with me until today,” says Segal. “The way he treated me absolutely is part of why I decided to try and do that with younger magicians. If this guy is going to spend time with me now. I thought I should try and guide some people.” 

Segal, first and foremost, describes himself as a performer, though his work in mentorship for youth in magic has become a large part of his career. 

Sorcerers Safari was a Canadian performance arts camp, founded by Mike Segal, teaching youth magic, and it operated for one week every summer from 1997 to 2017. According to the Sorcerers Safari website, a typical day at camp involved various magic classes, outdoor activities and an evening show performed by professional magicians.  

After touring nationally and internationally with the Magic Mike Show for years, Segal recalls wanting to spend more time at home. Sorcerers Safari provided him with the opportunity to stay with his family and create magic education.

“He was the facilitator of mentorship,” says Keith Brown, a Canadian professional magician, who performs all around the world. Brown says he spent years of his adolescent life attending Sorcerers Safari, entering the camp grounds as a camper and exiting as an experienced counsellor. 

Brown fondly remembers his experience travelling to camp for the first time. “I remember making friends on the bus. And then literally jamming and doing card tricks the entire three hours up to the camp. And it was like, ‘Oh my god’, magic camp starts immediately on the bus ride.” 

When looking back on Segal’s creation, Brown said, “He's been around for so long, and is connected to so many different people and camp is like a by-product of that. He created this wonderful place out of love for all of these kids and his friends and his colleagues to come to”.

Brown attributes the days collaborating with peers and well-known magicians to his own success. “Magic camp was a huge influence on me and I would say that I would be a fraction of the magician I am today and I probably wouldn’t be a professional magician without it,” said Brown. 


It wasn't all cards and coins.  Segal (centre front) receives a haircut from Greg Frewin (left), Shawn Farquhar (centre back), and Lee Asher (right).

 "That time at Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp when some World Champion Magicians cut my hair." 
-- Mike Segal, August 2011
photo source: Facebook

Sam Pearce, another professional magician and ex-camper who attended Sorcerers Safari in 2005 and 2006, says his exposure to large illusions and comedy magic as a youth helped influence the magic he performs today. 

“I’m sure being exposed to all those different acts and seeing what was possible was certainly interesting,” Pearce explained. “That’s where I learned to juggle.”

Pearce can be seen incorporating his juggling into many of his performances. Two metal step stools are set up holding two rectangular planks, sandwiching a cylindrical piece of equipment similar to a hollowed out rolling pin, making the top plank reminiscent of a teeter totter. Pearce stands above the top blank shifting from side to side as he tries to balance. This is all made more complicated as he is simultaneously juggling three knives, the blades flying into the air and plummeting back down in quick succession.    

Rosemary Reid, a professional magician and Torontonian, spent 17 years attending Sorcerers Safari until its closure in 2017. 

When Reid first began showing an interest in magic, her father stumbled upon ‘Magic’ Mike Segal on Breakfast Television, while Segal was promoting magic camp, in 2001. 

Reid describes her first year at Sorcerers Safari as “The best experience I’ve ever had. I met some of my best friends who are still my best friends to this day that first year.” Adding, “So after that first year, I was like, I have to go back to magic camp.” 

During her 17 years attending Sorcerers Safari, Reid was a camper and instructor. Given there was only one cabin for girls at the camp, Reid worked as the social media manager and part-time videographer before becoming an instructor. “I kind of just tried to help wherever I could,” she said. 

“I remember speaking with Mike once and his advice to me one year at camp was to dream big. He told me to dream big and I’ve always remembered that and it always helps me to visualize the impossible, which is kind of like my job as a magician.” 

Since her time at camp, Reid has been an avid advocate for women in magic. Her goal is to continue the conversation and increase awareness of the effects of misogyny in the magic industry.  

“I kind of fell in love with [the camp] then watching the kids learn,” said Jen Segal, Mike Segal’s wife and manager of Sorcerers Safari, when thinking about her time walking through the camp grounds, peering into classrooms of overflowing excitement. Jen said she gets emotional thinking about the camp and the countless lives changed over those seven days every year. “Parents would write me or phone me after camp saying ‘my kid came home a different kid, they’re so much more confident’… ‘your camp totally changed them’.” 

Segal opened Sorcerers Safari to build new magic audiences and educate people on what is possible with magic. “In the beginning, we were just trying to find each other,” said Segal. “It became something so much bigger than all its parts. Sounds corny, but it really was like magic. It was the greatest magic trick I’ve ever done and I still don’t know how I did it.”

Dealers' Day' at Sorcerers Safari<br />A day when campers bought magic.

"Dealers' Day" at Sorcerers Safari
A day when campers bought magic.
photo source: Facebook



Thank you Sheridan for guest posting at Canada's Magic!