10 December 2017

A very Canadian optical illusion

I remember seeing this at a lecture, but I'm not sure which one ...

Thanks Owen, for reminding me about it!

From Owen Anderson's Twitter feed:

09 December 2017

Vote now for the 2017 Readers' Choice award

Reader's Choice logo 
The nominations are closed and voting is now open for the 2017 "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!  Voting will close on Saturday, December the 23rd at 11:59pm EST.

To vote, scroll down to the bottom of this post and participate in the poll.  (Unfortunately, the poll does not appear in the mobile version of the site.)

Let's have a look at the nominees (in no particular order):

2017 Nominee: Caiden Finch
Caiden Finch (12 yo)
Nominated by Phil Matlin.
"He has performed on stage for paying audience and I might say he was great. His magic was excellent. He was dressed for the occasion. He had a themed routine and what I really liked was that came in [to Perfect Magic] about week before the show and asked for some advice. I talked, he listened and implemented 95% of it in his show."

I had the pleasure of meeting Caiden at Sorcerers Safari in 2016.  He's a fine young man with a bright future ahead of him!


2017 Nominee: Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown
Nominated by dmdlfyer.
"Ryan started performing magic very early in school. While he was in my class, he would bargain his work completion in order to go to the kindergarten class and perform his latest trick. He continued to perform and cam back several years to perform free at our school's fun fair. True school and community spirit. Ryan has inspired many of the students to believe in their dream and to work hard to achieve it. He continues to seek advancement in his craft by seeking peer help and taking classes taught by more experienced magicians. In 2017 Ryan performed at Screemers at Exhibition Place Toronto in October. Great show Ryan!!  Increased his knowledge of magic by taking classes in Las Vegas with the master of masks and magical knowledge, Jeff McBride earlier this year."

"Ryan Brown is an example of a young man who knew what he wanted to accomplish, kept focused under difficult conditions, and has achieved it - a life in magic. Not only is he talented, he is a joy to work with, both personally and professionally. My agency had the pleasure of mentoring and booking Ryan from early in his career. He takes his magic very seriously, and is constantly working to raise the bar on his show and learn from others. He is worthy of an award."

"The magic or Ryan Brown. I have known Ryan for many years and not only is he a close friend but amazing magician who is dedicating his life to magic and works extremely hard so he definitely deserves an award."

"I'd like to nominate Ryan Brown ("The Magic of Ryan Brown"). I've known Ryan since he was a youth and was shown his first magic tricks. From that point on, Ryan became dedicated to learning the craft, and perfecting tricks and routines. He recently won a scholarship to an exclusive magic school in Las Vegas where he had opportunity to perfect his craft further. Ryan creates routines to amaze his audiences with thought to ages he he performing in front of. He continues to create illusions himself. Seeing a performance by Ryan is nothing short of amazing. "

"I second all these nominations of Ryan. I have worked with as his assistant. And he is always improving and raising the bar, trying and accomplishing new tricks and striving to be the best magician he can be. "

"I nominate Ryan Brown because having known him since he was 15, I have seen him hold fast to his dream of being a professional magician in the face of having his mother suffer a devastating illness when Ryan was age 11.

As a result Ryan had to grow up in a blue collar single parent household in a low income area, having to overcome many obstacles in order to be where he is today."

"Many years ago, I gave Ryan Brown his first opportunity to perform professionally. Seeing his accomplishments to date astounds me, just like his magic does.

Ryan continues to diversify his act. In 2017 he added new stage illusions and executed them flawlessly in his own style. As Ryan moves to the next phase of his career, I can't help but be inspired by his daily dedication to the craft of magic. New wardrobe, new card manipulation, new stage illusions, he's been hard at work this year.

On a personal level, 2017 was an extra challenging year for Ryan, with the passing of his father. Ryan's first performance on a Las Vegas stage this past September would have made him very proud.

It is for these reasons that I nominate Ryan Brown for "Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year"."

Website: RyanBrownMagic.com

2017 Nominee: Neil Croswell

Neil Croswell
Nominated by Anonymous.
"I would like to nominate Neil Croswell. I have watched Neil devote his life to magic from a young age and he has stuck to his vision from day one. His determination and work ethic over the years make him an inspiration as well as his countless awards and international TV appearances (Fool Us, etc.). In 2017, he appeared on "Masters of Illusion" , completed 250+ shows on a cruise in the Bahamas, and performed internationally across Asia which helped raise money for charitable causes in Sri Lanka. To accomplish what he has at his age, I believe, is an inspiration to Canadian magicians with goals of a professional career. "

Neil's Asia appearances include the "Knights of Illusion" magic show held in Colombo, Sri Lanka alongside Michael Finney and Xavier Mortimer.  He also performed 32 stage shows in Beijing, China at the annual "Happy Valley International Magic Festival."  This year, Neil performed over 300 shows across five countries.

Website: NeilCroswellMagic.com


2017 Nominee: Julie Eng
Julie Eng
Nominated by James Alan.

Along with running programs such as "Senior Sorcery" and "My Magic Hands," this year Julie has had a few other things on the go!

"The Magic of Johnny Thompson": Julie has been project managing the production and publication of "The Magic of Johnny Thompson." Her roles include: photographer, photo editor, and editor.

Magic Live - performer, presenter, and host: Julie was invited back (for the third time since 2015!) to co-host all the general sessions with Jonathan Levit. Sometimes hosting meant interviewing interesting magic characters, like the one-and-only David Williamson, or being part of something like a “show and tell” with Levent (where he talked about 3D printing).

Magicana - Magic Collectors Weekend - producer, host, project manager:  As part of Magicana, Julie staged and produced a Magic History Conference called the Magic Collectors Weekend in Montreal (first time out of the USA).  It coincided with the opening of Illusions: The Art of Magic poster exhibition featuring some of the top-drawer posters from the newly acquired Allan Slaight Collection of posters.

Magicana - A Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities -  publisher, project manager: This year, Julie also worked closely with Dr. Eddie Dawes and his family to start the process of publishing the historical series A Rich Cabinet of Curiosities (published in the Magic Circle’s organ the Magic Circular). Magicana will produce and release Dr Dawes's collected monthly series in an epic, multi-volume compendium spanning forty years, of over 450 articles. The first volume is now in the works and with hopes of getting an edition out by the late fall of 2018 or perhaps early 2019.

Magic and Science - performer, host, presenter: Julie was included as part of the Magic and Science special, one-hour documentary for CBC’s "The Nature of Things: which will air sometime in the early part of 2018. Julie acts as “host” and helps to link the segments together, performing a bit of magic along the way. This is Julie's first major television piece.

Somehow, while doing all of that, Julie still found time to be the Executive Director at Magicana.

Website: magicienne.com

2017 Nominee: Murray and Teresa Hatfield

Murray and Teresa Hatfield
Nominated by The Magic Demon.
"The Magic Demon nominates Murray and Teresa Hatfield for starring in and producing their second ever extraordinary magic and illusions-filled phantasmagoria "Unbelievable" at this summer's PNE in Vancouver. For the second year in a row, it was again one of the the most inspiring and entertaining stadium-scale magical events Vancouver has ever seen."

In addition, Murray and Teresa amazed on season 4 of Penn and Teller Fool Us this year where Penn said of their performance "I haven't seen a better version of Metamorphosis ever." Murray is also the President of the Canadian Association of Magicians.

Website: MurrayHatfieldMagic.com


2017 Nominee: Benzi Train
Benzi Train
Nominated by Ari.
"I nominate Benzi Train because of his tireless work over the years to promote the performance of live magic in Toronto and his efforts at the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club and bringing in of top quality lecturers to our community. His (and partner Jonah Babbins) show Newest Trick in the Book gives any magician a venue/opportunity to perform in front of a live audience. He has inspired many magicians to challenge themselves creatively or to even perform live."

Supporting information from Steven Lafond:
"I second the nomination for Ben Train for his incredible work with the Toronto Magic Company. He is an amazing performer and producer and has worked very hard to keep magic alive in the Toronto performing arts scene."

Supporting information from Natasha:
"I’m nominating Ben Train for all the work he’s done for the Toronto magic community. Besides becoming one of the most popular performers in the city, Ben also founded the Toronto Magic Company and produces different magic shows every week across the city. Whether working with aspiring young magicians to give them the confidence to go on stage, provide professionals with new opportunities to share their magic, or bringing the best magic in the world to Toronto for public shows and lectures, there isn’t anyone in the city doing more for magic than Ben."

Website: BenTrain.ca

Cast your vote now at Poll Junkie!

08 December 2017

Outerbridge Clockwork Mysteries in The Medicine Hat News

In the article "Time after time: Outerbridge Clockwork Mysteries at the Esplanade Friday" by Chris Brown in The Medicine Hat News:
He [Ted Outerbridge] and his partner on and off stage, Marion, will perform Clockwork Mysteries show at the Esplanade on Friday at 8 p.m. The performance will take place in 2017 but will harken back through the years — a lot of years.

“The time machine is about everyone’s desire to travel back in time and change to past. Mariondoesn’t just get into a box and vanish, she’s travelling back in time,” Outerbridge said. “I wish I could travel back and change my hairstyle from high school. We all have that desire so we recognize that and celebrate it.”

Among the time periods visited in Clockwork Mysteries are the 1960s, the 1600s and 1918 to celebrate one of the most famous illusions of all time — sawing a woman in half.

Read more.

07 December 2017

Need a little PR help?

Reader's Choice logo 
Happy belated birthday Clive!  Wishing you a wonderful retirement and excited to see this new chapter of your life unfold!

From Clive Court's Facebook page:

I have decided to pack away my gags and trickery---and hang up my wand. I will focus my future efforts on lobbying to improve Canadian television and offering a limited, no-cost publicity service to Canadian magicians, visual entertainers, and maybe a couple of international athletes. Just a small group.

06 December 2017

Ryan Joyce helped raise over $11,000 for the Groves Memorial Hospital Foundation

Congratulations Ryan, on receiving the Melvin Jones Fellow award, and of course for all of your fabulous fundraising work!

From Ryan Joyce's blog post "A week of surprises":
This week I’m home and had a wonderful visit with my friends, The Fergus Lions Club.  I was looking forward to sharing my own news* but my excitement was to learn how much we raised for the hospital.  I’m pleased to announce we contributed over $11,000+ to Groves Memorial Hospital Foundation!!

A million thanks to Lion Margaret Murray for her own wizardry!  We sold out one show and 80% the second.  I’m so proud to be apart.  Thank you all.

I couldn’t be happier to live in a community filled with such much to give. 

Ms Murray had another surprise!  While normal Lions Club business agenda was taking place an award was announced and I was looking around the room to see who it could be.  Never in a million years did I ever consider it was directed to me.  I’m still speechless.

This is the Melvin Jones Fellow.

As a Melvin Jones Fellow, your name has been added to our listing of all individuals in the program.  During your next visit to International Headquaters, I invite you to visit the LCIF Room to see your name on this extensive list.

Read more.

From Ryan Joyce's Twitter feed:

05 December 2017

Michael Close "wraps it up"

I was lucky enough to attend one of Michael's lectures!  Far out magic dude!

(After you've finished reading the blog post, have a look at Michael's latest newsletter which includes a chat with R. Paul Wilson.)

From Michael Close's blog post "Wrapping It Up":
Heading your way first are my new ebooks, tentatively titled The Paradigm Shift Parts 1 and 2. I have been working on this project for almost ten years. I have demonstrated some of the material to a select group of magicians in the past couple of years, and the response has been enthusiastic. (Quentin Reynolds said The IKEA Card Trick is the best routine he’s seen in years.) The focus is on card magic, but you will also find effects that use other objects. There are contributions from Harry Riser, Bob Farmer, Mick Ayres, Roy Walton, and Simon Aronson. In addition to the effects, there are some groundbreaking essays that will help to take your magic to a new level. Each ebook will contain more than thirty chapters. Lisa and I are working furiously in order to have the two ebooks out before the end of year.

Read more.

04 December 2017

Gerard Dietrich in the Kitchener-Waterloo CBC News

We previously mentioned Gerard's injury.  It sounds like he's healing well.  We continue to wish Gerard a speedy recovery!

From the article "How a broken femur sidelined Santa for 1st time in 46 years" by Carmen Ponciano in the Kitchener-Waterloo CBC News:
Like his counterpart in Miracle on 34th Street, Dietrich has has taken the time to learn sign language and bits of other spoken languages so he can communicate with children from all backgrounds.

"My favourite part is the interaction between the children, the adults and myself," Dietrich said.

Though he's hung up his red suit this holiday season, Dietrich made sure to pack his Santa Claus beard and wig for his time in the hospital, just in case kids from the children's ward stop by.

This year, Dietrich's finances will take a hit as a result of his injury. His son, Scott Dietrich, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to relieve some of that financial burden.

Read more.

03 December 2017

Thank you to our December 2017 friends!

Thank you to John Smithman, John Harrison, Richard Lyn, Joan Caesar, The Outerbridges, and Ian Crawford 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.

02 December 2017

Thank you to our December 2017 sponsors!

Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.

This site would not be possible without their backing.

We're grateful to have the support of:

The next time you see them, let them know you saw their sponsorship here!

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.

01 December 2017

Toronto: Free magic club

From the Browser's Den of Magic Facebook group:
Hi Denizens,

Friendly reminder that this Saturday December 2nd at Browser's Den is our next free Magic Club. All are welcome.

Club meets from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.
Take it easy-Old Jeff, Young Jeff & The Browser's Den Team