Archive | March, 2009

Parnterships make magic!

24 Mar

Magicana is proud to announce a new partner, The Learning Enrichment Foundation.

The Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) is an outreach organization dedicated to community and economic development. One of their primary outreach groups is newcomers to Canada.

In January, Magicana joined forces with LEF and conducted an eight-week My Magic Hands program with eleven participants ages eight to thirteen. The new magicians got to show off their magical talents at The Big Show on Wednesday March 11 for an audience of family, friends and members.

The young magicians were assisted by a team of “magic coaches”; a group of high-school students and young adults who are also newcomers to Canada. They generously volunteered their time to assist and mentor participants as they worked preparing their show.

A Twist on Volunteering

LEF recognized a wonderful opportunity to empower our newcomers to become volunteers as opposed to being volunteered to. Coaches helped magicians overcome several challenges not only in learning the magic, but also in learning how to face an audience proudly and perform with confidence.

Volunteers commented that:

“I enjoyed working with the kids to improve their self-esteem and watch them successfully learn magic.”

“It was a great experience for me to help the kids to learn the magic tricks. I think it is a great opportunity for the kids because magic also teaches you how to stand up in front of an audience.”

“It was really a nice experience. I’ve learned how to make people encourage to do something and how to support them.”

Congratulations to our newest magicians on your successful completion of the program and thanks to the magic coaches for all of your energy and support. Magicana would like to acknowledge the generous support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Learning Enrichment Foundation – in particular Silvana Valentone – for making the magic happen.

An Artful Collaboration

5 Mar

One thing that children learn at My Magic Hands is that putting on a magic show is a lot of work.

There are tricks to learn, scripts to write, moves to practice, words to say, … and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But it will all be for naught if you don’t have an audience. So, you also have to get people to come to the show… but how?

In our latest My Magic Hands session, Magicana partnered with Harbourfront Community Centre (HFC) to introduce magicians and arts students to the idea of collaborative efforts and production design.

Participants in HFC’s Healthy Choices after-four art program were enlisted to be the designers for the posters and invitations for The Big Show. Other participants where recruited as magicians for Magicana’s My Magic Hands. The Big Show is the culmination of the magic program where magicians invite family, friends and members of the community to share their magic and celebrate their accomplishments.

The artists – mostly students from a nearby elementary school – meet after school at HFC. Their task was to find images that would make people think of magic and transfer their thoughts to paper. Posters were displayed on the walls of the community center and a neighbouring school in the weeks leading up to the show.

A second team of artists, this time audio-video specialists (again, part of HFC’s Healthy Choices programming) were also brought in to add a new dimension to The Big Show: large screen projection. Thanks to the arts media students, our magicians will be able to present close-up magic quite comfortably to a larger audience.

This artistic collaboration is the next evolution with My Magic Hands and the Healthy Choices programs at HFC. It adds new layers of education and interactivity to staging The Big Show. Special thanks to HFC program coordinators and instructors Michael Brown, Adeyemi Adegbesan and Neda Skific-Lee and, of course, the multi-talented artists HFC.

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