We are currently experiencing larger than anticipated quantities of life. This may result in irregular posting and delays in communication. Thank you for your understanding.

Showing posts with label # general. Show all posts
Showing posts with label # general. Show all posts

17 October 2020

Mike D'Urzo consulting for TallBoyz

From the October 3rd Facebook post by Mega Magic:

On set as the Magic Consultant for Season 2 of the hit show TallBoyz on CBC airing in 2021. Let's just say it's going to be awesome! Definitely an interesting experience shooting TV during these times!

13 October 2020

A clear solution for face coverings?

Recently on social media, I’ve seen it suggested that clear plastic "mouth shields" are ideal cloth mask substitutes for performers because they allow the audience to see your facial expressions.

Before you throw away your cloth face masks, be sure to ask yourself (or the mouth shield manufacturer):

Is there scientific evidence to suggest their mouth shield is as good as cloth masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19?

If the manufacturer says that their mouth shields are just as effective as face shields in preventing the spread of COVID-19, consider that the health care community does not support the use of face shields alone as source control (not sharing your germs) or as protection (not getting other people's germs). [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10]


Cheryl Brown of CBC News, published the following on August 29, 2020 in the article "Can I use a mouth shield instead of a mask? Your COVID-19 questions answered" [emphasis mine]:

  • "The experts say no."
  • "'I don't think they're a really good alternative at all,' said Dr. Susy Hota, medical director for infection prevention and control at the University Health Network in Toronto, in a recent interview on The National." and
  • "Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, also said he's 'not a fan' because mouth shields don't collect droplets like a mask would."


As you make your decision, please consider your health and the especially the health of those with whom you'll be spending your time.






[1] “Focus on: Face Shields for Source Control of COVID-19.” Public Health Ontario, 16 July 2020, www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/main/2020/07/covid-19-face-shields-source-control.pdf?la=en.
[2] Gray, Richard. “Why a Face Shield Alone May Not Protect You from Coronavirus.BBC News, BBC, 6 Aug. 2020, www.bbc.com/future/article/20200806-are-face-shields-effective-against-covid-19.
[3] Roberge, Raymond J. “Face Shields for Infection Control: A Review.Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Taylor & Francis, 2016; 13(4): 235–242 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015006/.
[4] Woods, Michael. “Face Shields vs. Face Masks: Which Is Better?CTV News, CTV, 14 July 2020, ottawa.ctvnews.ca/face-shields-vs-face-masks-which-is-better-1.5023909.
[5] Hensley, Laura. “Face Shields Are Easier to Talk in, but Are They Safer than Masks?Global News, Global News, 18 June 2020, globalnews.ca/news/7075262/face-shields-covid-19-coronavirus/.
[6] “Can a Face Shield Be Used as a Substitute or a Replacement for a Mask?” Ottawa Public Health, www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/masks.aspx.
[7] Duong, Diana. “Masks vs. Face Shields: Which One Is Safer?Healthing.ca, PostMedia, 27 July 2020, www.healthing.ca/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus/face-shields-vs-masks-guess-which-one-is-safer.
[8] Schimelpfening, Nancy. “Why Plastic Face Shields Aren't a Safe Alternative to Cloth Masks.Healthline, Healthline Media, 1 Sept. 2020, www.healthline.com/health-news/why-plastic-face-shields-arent-a-safe-alternative-to-cloth-masks.
[9] “COVID-19: Considerations for Wearing Masks.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 Aug. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html.
[10] “Face Shield or Face Mask to Stop the Spread of COVID-19?ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 1 Sept. 2020, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200901112231.htm.

11 October 2020

How to date a deck of (USPC) playing cards

ICYMI Lee Asher Tweeted: Oct 14th -17th @52PlusJokerClub will hold their annual playingcard collecting convention virtually- free to all. YOU ARE INVITED! 


From Lee Asher's blog:

How Old Is Your Deck?

The following material, designed to assist collectors in dating their U.S. decks, is produced here courtesy of the 52 Plus Joker Organization. It appeared originally in an article by Margery Griffith, then curator of the United States Playing Card Co. Museum in Cincinnati, in their quarterly bulletin 'CLEAR THE DECKS' in April 1991.

Find Your Ace of Spades

Like knowing the grade of your cards, a dating aid can be very useful. For decks manufactured by United States Playing Card Co., a dating code was placed on the Ace of Spades at time of manufacture. The code first came into use in 1904 and it applies only to Aces of Spades that bear a letter plus a four digit number. Combinations with fewer numbers have no meaning for collectors.

Right from the beginning in 1904, the same codes were used by National Playing Card Co. and New York Consolidated Card Co., subsidiaries by then of USPC. Andrew Dougherty and Russell Playing Card Co. also used these codes, as they became part of USPC in 1907 and 1929 respectively.

Read more.

10 October 2020

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

From the Government of Canada website:

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

CRB application is not yet open

Details about how you can apply will be available on October 12, 2020.

Read more.

[with thanks to Peter Mennie]

04 October 2020

Congratulations to Murray Sawchuck and best wishes to Dani Elizabeth

Congratulations and best wishes to you both!


From Murray Sawchuck's September 29th Instagram post:

Me and @danishowgirl did a thing today! She said YES!





03 October 2020

Congratulations to Sawyer Bullock

Congratulations and best wishes to you both!  


From Sawyer Bullock's September 27th Instagram post:

Asked my best friend to hang around a bit longer 💍💃🏼🕺🏼

23 August 2020

Magician attacked by squirrel

Another curious find by Lee Asher, published on Twitter on August 13th:

So #Magic #playingcard legend Derek Dingle got into a fight with a #Torontonian Squirrel ... and lost. #VisciouslyBitten I mean if it was a #beaver, I'd understand. But a #squirrel???

21 August 2020

Former RCAF officer is Christchurch's Official Wizard

From the August 10th article "This man gets paid US$10,000 a year to be a city's official wizard" by Julia Hollingsworth in CTV News:

For decades, the city has had an official wizard. Born in the United Kingdom, Ian Brackenbury Channell settled in New Zealand in the 1970s, where he became known as The Wizard. As if to reinforce how serious he is, he even held a New Zealand driver's license issued to The Wizard, although he says he hasn't officially changed his name.

Over the years, he became a fixture in the city. On the paved square in front of Christchurch's cathedral, he pontificated on his life theories, wore wizard robes and became such a well-known figure that he earned himself a TripAdvisor rating (four out of five stars). Since 1998, he's been paid 16,000 New Zealand dollars (US$10,400) annually by the Christchurch City Council for "wizardry."

Read more.

08 August 2020

Did you know that Harry Potter performed in Canada in 1858?

Technically, not Canada.  Yet.  But in what is now Canada.

From the August 28th, 2015 post "Harry Potter and Itinerant Entertainment in Dundas" by Emily Herron from the Dundas Museum:
On May 21st 1858, there appeared in the Dundas True Banner and Wentworth Chronicle, an advertisement. This advertisement would be exciting for readers — especially young readers — today. Why? It announced that Harry Potter was coming to Dundas! And Harry Potter was a magician, known as the original American Wizard! The ad reported that Harry Potter would entertain audiences at the Town Hall the next night. Modern readers would be surprised — and delighted — to read of Harry Potter in a 19th century Dundas newspaper. While this appears to be a coincidence, we want to know more about this performer.

29 July 2020

First magic performance in Canada?

Updated August 6th to add this find by Lee Asher:

Updated at 8:45am to add this find by Joe Culpepper:


Lee Asher asked an interesting question on Twitter Monday morning.
What is the name of the first magician to perform in Canada?

Was it Maginnis (circa 1875) as reported in The Canadian Encyclopedia?
Technically it could be yes, as The Dominion of Canada was officially born on July 1, 1867.  But lets expand the question to the first magician to perform in what is now considered Canada.

Was it MacAlister performing in Montreal in 1854 as shown by this clipping in the Ottawa Daily Citizen?


How about Philippe in Quebec City September 30th in 1846?

Wrong again.

From an Ottawa Daily Citizen article published on May 22nd in 1852, discussion a performance by a Signor Blitz:

So far the earliest named and documented magic performance in what is now Canada, goes to Mons. Desage, as referenced in the Kingston Chronicle and Gazette December 30 1835.

There's evidence of an unnamed woman doing magic in Kingston in 1835!

And ventriloquists too.

People were complaining about magicians as early as the January 21st 1805 edition of the Quebec Mercury:

A final very important note from Joe Culpepper:

With thanks to Lee Asher for asking this question and Bill Mullins and Joe Culpepper for their hard work and sharing their findings!

25 June 2020

A safe place to scream into the void

Many of you are processing the impact of COVID-19 on your livelihood, family, and sense of self.  Some of you are open about it and share your concerns publicly.  This can provide a feeling of relief to others reading, knowing that they're not alone in feeling the things they're feeling.

We've created this post to act as a "Post Secret"* type of electronic repository, where magicians can ANONYMOUSLY document things that they may not want to share on their own social media.  We're hoping this repository can serve two purposes:
  1. To let others in the community know that they are not alone in feeling what they're feeling.
  2. By putting in writing the thoughts in your head, it may help you to dwell on them less and provide some catharsis.

To participate:
  1. Comment ANONYMOUSLY on this post.
  2. Do NOT identify yourself.
  3. You may state whether you're full time, part time, or semi-retired.
  4. You may state the number of years you've been in the business.
  5. You may state what country you are from.
  6. Do NOT use profanity. 
  7. This is not a place to ask about or reveal the secrets of magical effects.

If your life is in danger or you know someone’s life is in danger DIAL EMERGENCY NOW (often 911 in your area) DO NOT HESITATE!

LifeLine Canada has a list of Canadian Crisis Centres
enables callers anywhere in Canada to access crisis support by phone, in French or English: toll-free 1-833-456-4566 Available 24/7  

Comments are moderated, which means they won't show up until we get a chance to review them. Canada's Magic reserves the right to refuse to publish any comment we don't feel is appropriate for this project.

* From Wikipedia: Post Secret is an ongoing community mail art project, created by Frank Warren in 2005, in which people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard. Selected secrets are then posted on the Post Secret website, or used for Post Secret's books or museum exhibits.

14 June 2020

[Guest post] Vancouver BC and Lower Mainland Magic Enthusiasts Rejoice!

The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon. 

Vancouver BC and Lower Mainland Magic Enthusiasts Rejoice!

Canada's only remaining brick and mortar dedicated magic shop west of the Great Lakes has reopened.

Let Quincy and Iris warmly welcome you back to their compact but well stocked outlet for all things magical, as well as a range of professional juggling equipment, a vast array of practical jokes, and a small but impressive book selection.

The "Clownin' Around" magic shop in the Kids' Market on Granville Island in the heart of Vancouver is now open seven days a week at the reduced and revised times of 11 am to 4 pm. (This is accurate and supersedes any other opening times for the Kids' Market mentioned on the Granville Island website.)

Mask wearing and social distancing practiced.

We aren't being encouraged to travel far this summer. So if you're already anywhere near Vancouver, consider unique Granville Island as a must-visit-stop and play tourist in your own backyard. You won't regret it.


Thank you The Magic Demon for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

13 June 2020

[Day 92] Because I'm too tired to contact each of you individually

I hope that you are well and are taking good care of yourselves, your loved ones, and each other.  Be kind if you can.

Sending you all virtual applause and gasps of astonishment.

You got this!

10 May 2020

Remembering Roy Horn

The ABC show 20/20 aired an informative documentary "Siegfried and Roy: Behind the Magic" last fall.  Clips can be found on the ABC YouTube channel:

From Greg Frewin:
... the magic community has lost one of the greatest. Roy was not only one of the best showman in our industry and one of the most dynamic energies to have ever been onstage, but he was also a very kind man to all of gods creatures. His work with his animals, the connection he had and the love he gave all of them has always been an inspiration for me. Very few people can have the spirit that he did. Roy is no longer with us but his spirit will always remain as powerful as the day I first met him.
God Bless you Roy for making millions of people and animals lives better with your presence. You will be missed....❤

From Matt DiSero:
Before there was David Copperfield or even Doug Henning, there was Siegfried & Roy. They didn't just shape magic but Las Vegas itself. Not many magicians of my generation or older who didn't make the pilgrimage to Vegas to see their show. You'd hear things like "what? a DRAGON picks up one of them and impales...what? how..?nooo". It was like that. They made magic a spectacle and a draw to Las Vegas. We owe them a debt of gratitude for doing the work.

09 May 2020

Quarantine bingo

Since we won't be playing Magic Convention Bingo any time soon, have a shot at Quarantine Bingo!

Filled the board?  Refresh your page and play again.

Make your card here: https://canadasmagic.com/bingo/quarantine.html

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Canadas Magic (@canadasmagicdotcom) on

12 April 2020

[Guest post] "What can I do?"

The following is a guest post from an author who wishes to be known as The Magic Demon. 

Some great ideas if you're motivated to do something but stuck on what to do to pass the time!


Random suggestions for magic aficionados during current circumstances

by The Magic Demon for Canada's Magic

I can...
  • Dig out all my old magic magazines and reread every single one until I find a trick I love and want to learn;
  • Dig out all my old magic books and find a sleight or routine I always meant to learn but "never had the time to" until now;
  • Ditto with my old DVDs;
  • Dig out all my old magic tricks that I never looked at twice and try to figure out what made me buy them in the first place. (This may take some time!);
  • Sort out and clean up (and repair if necessary) my magic collection and reacquaint myself with all my old favourites;
  • Go online and study every magician I can remember to name and find on You-Tube;
  • Try restringing my broken "Electric Deck". (This will ultimately prove futile but can easily take up a few "stay at home" days before I give up in frustration);
  • Go online and look for websites devoted to history of magic and magicians and learn about them. First stop: Magicana;
  • At long last carefully press or iron flat all my crumpled up (and frequently vanished) silks;
  • Go online and hit the "random" button on Genii's Magicpedia page and keep reading until my eyes cross;
  • Support my favourite brick & mortar magic store by ordering something from them online (and if I don't have one support one of the sponsors of this site);
  • Take an online magic course or lesson;
  • Watch every movie and TV series online I can find about magic or magicians;
  • Participate in a magic forum;
  • Go through all my old beginner tricks, clean them up and snail mail them to my favourite youngster-at-a-distance (niece, nephew, grandchild, etc.) with the explanation that I'll teach them how they work by phone, internet or semaphore. I could also video myself performing them and send that along too (or a link to where I uploaded them);
  • Go through my old pile of business cards and reach out to fellow magic enthusiasts I've met or been in touch with in the past just to see how they are doing;
  • Buy two magic books online I have always wanted but "would never have the time to read" until now. One about tricks, the other a biography or about magic history;
  • Gently wash all my old sponge balls and bunnies. Permanently retire those with an unidentifiable shape or less than one ear;
  • Consider donating to a magic-related charity (such as CauseToWonder.org profiled in the March 2020 issue of Genii) [editor's note: consider donating to the Allan Slaight Relief Fund];
  • Expand this list of suggestions by using the comments feature (below);

    and finally
  • Proceed backwards and read every post on Canada's Magic since it started and enjoy its unique service to our community throughout the years!


Thank you The Magic Demon for guest posting at Canada's Magic!

10 April 2020

CBC Creative relief fund


The new Fund expands CBC’s ongoing efforts to find new ways to support Canadian creators in response to the COVID-19 crisis. On Wednesday, April 15, CBC Podcasts is launching THE SHOW MUST GO ON, a new PlayME original series featuring audio adaptations from Canadian playwrights whose plays have been postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic. In support of documentary filmmakers, CBC and Hot Docs are launching HOT DOCS AT HOME ON CBC on Thursday, April 16, offering exclusive, first-run documentary premieres from the postponed 2020 Hot Docs Festival to Canadian audiences on CBC TV, CBC Gem and documentary Channel.


The Innovation Stream offers support of big, bold ideas that are innovative and take creative risks, to be considered for multiple development and production opportunities on all platforms. Both established and emerging creators are invited to apply; applicants must have one television, audio or digital credit, or be partnered with an experienced existing production company. Genres include the following:

Scripted - Comedy and Drama
Unscripted - Factual Entertainment
Kids & Tweens; Youth & Young Adult
Podcasts - Multiple Genres

The Playwright Pilot Stream is open to playwrights with at least one produced play to submit either new concepts or existing plays for adaptation on all platforms. CBC is looking for concepts that are a natural fit for either limited or ongoing series in the comedy or drama genres, episodic or serialized, and will fund the writing of a pilot script with an intended broadcast duration of either 30 or 60 minutes.

CBC Short Docs is inviting documentary filmmakers from across Canada to showcase their unique perspectives on what’s happening in the world during this time of COVID-19. Productions must be produced and delivered within three months or less, with filmmakers adhering to all local and national COVID-19 safety guidelines. CBC Short Docs is looking for standalone, immersive documentaries under 40 minutes in length, intended for a digital audience.

Read more.

03 April 2020

Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA

For information about how to apply for CERB, please visit the Government of Canada website.

From the CRA Twitter feed:
To make sure we can help you quickly, as of April 6th we’re asking you to apply for the #CERB on different weekdays depending on your birth month.

Find out more at http://ow.ly/QjKH50z3N3Q #COVID19 #CdnTax

[via Peter Mennie]

01 April 2020

Champions Of Magic Concert Album

We're delighted to announce that Canada's Magic is the exclusive Canadian distributor for the Champions Of Magic Concert Album! 

This has the potential to be as fabulous as the 1974 Bell Records release of Doug Henning's “Magic Show” Vinyl Cast Album.

From the Champions of Magic Press Release:

The producers behind the internationally touring illusion show Champions Of Magic have announced the upcoming release of a live concert album of the production in a world first for the genre.

The show’s director of research and development Al Tostig said “We’ve spent the last 2 years diving deep into magic history to find brand new things to bring to the world of illusions both on-stage and off. It suddenly hit us that despite the fact live albums have been popular in music for a long time, and had a heyday in stand-up comedy, no magicians have released an album of their live show. We didn’t think about it for a moment longer and decided Champions Of Magic should be the first.”

Tostig continued “Unfortunately due to licensing restrictions, the music we use in the show alongside the illusions can’t be re-produced on the album so the recording is mostly patter, props moving and some crowd noise. The whole thing is a really immersive way to enjoy magic, that’s often overlooked by those more caught up in the visuals”.

Champions Of Magic, one of the world’s largest illusion shows, tours theatres and arenas across the UK, USA, and Canada

Watch this space for pre-order information.


Or, y'know, check the date of this post.

[With thanks to Alex J from Champions of Magic.]

30 March 2020

Our sponsors' shops are open online!

It is a challenging time for the entertainment industry.  No doubt about it.  This is a reminder that our sponsors also have bills to pay and mouths to feed.

Three of our generous sponsors are brick and mortar shop owners (Perfect Magic, The Browser's Den of Magic, and The Vanishing Rabbit Magic Shop).  One of our generous sponsors, Michael Close, has been offering daily magic jams for free.

If you have the means, please support them by placing an online order.