Archive | December, 2009

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

18 Dec

Season’s Greetings!

Magicana would like to acknowledge and thank, once again, all our supporters, donors and sponsors for helping us share wonder. Without your contributions, there would be no magic.

If you wish to give the gift of magic, please consider making a donation to Magicana this holiday season.

We’ll be taking a break from our Guess Who game and our bloggers are also taking a holiday from their weekly offerings.

However, be sure to check back with us in the new year…we have lots of new and exciting news on the horizon to share!

Join our eList or follow us and we’ll let you know when the next posting is released.

Until then, here’s to sharing wonder.

Happy Holidays!

The Year in Review

11 Dec

In 2009, Magicana shared a lot of wonder:

My Magic Hands

We completed 14 rounds of My Magic Hands engaging 200 participants, over 100 volunteers! Participants provided their versions of The Big Show to over 800 community members. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, we were able to provide the program to over 180 participants free of charge.

We provided our magic classes to a wide range of community and family agencies across the Greater Toronto Area, including:

Without a doubt, the program would not be possible without our volunteers, affectionately referred to as our “Magic Coaches”. Thanks to our partners, we were able to create and build upon important relationships between our volunteers and participants. A quote from one of our volunteers:

“My favourite moment during My Magic Hands was when my buddy turned to me randomly to say, “I love learning magic with you.”

Volunteer at the Welcome Inn in Hamilton

In The Community

Magicana also provided 42 shows for over 2,000 community members through our Sharing Wonder and Senior Sorcery programs.

These programs focus on bringing magic to those who may not necessarily have access to live magic shows, with a particular concentration on servicing isolated senior centres. The sad reality is that many centres do not have adequate budgets to provide fees for live entertainment. Magicana’s Senior Sorcery program contributes by asking centres to “pay-what-you-can” and in exchange, we arrange magic shows – and funding assistance, when necessary. A quote from a senior’s residence:

“I just wanted to take a minute to tell you what a wonderful performance you gave at our retirement home. It was very well-paced, with just the right combination of storytelling, sleight-of-hand and humour … I have received many compliments since.”

Susan Blye, Activities Director at The Briton House

We were thrilled to add new magicians to our roster of performers including Mark Lewis and Wij the Magician. These gentlemen – along with Magicana performers Julie Eng and James Alan – provided magic, laughs and of course, wonder.

Sharing Magic with Magicians

Throughout the year, we produced several magic lectures and workshops by visiting magicians including John Carney, Norman Beck, David Soloman and Richard Turner. We also hosted our annual conference, 31 Faces North, which was co-hosted by Allan Slaight. This year at 31 Faces North we had two guest of honours: Michael Weber and Bob Sheets. Mr. Weber was also the recipient of the Jay Marshall Award, voted as the most contributory participant by his peers.

Our Tony Eng Youth Fund sponsored several young magicians as we reported in previous blogs, and we were delighted to see a formal partnership bond with magician, Kent Wong and the Canadian Association of Magicians for our latest contest, a chance to win a FREE trip to the 2010 CAM convention in Kitchener-Waterloo including return airfare and hotel accommodations. We are indebted to Mr. Wong and to the CAM for their sponsorship and commitment to youths interested in magic.

This fall, Magicana became the stewards of the Magic Collectors’ Association (MCA) taking over the responsibility of publishing a quarterly journal, Magicol, and producing its annual convention, traditionally hosted in Chicago. Magicana is delighted with the new role and is currently conjuoring many other surprises for MCA members. Membership is open to anyone and is available here. Join now!

Entering the Blogosphere

David Ben Blog Tricks & TweetsThe Magical ChatterboxSharing Wonder Blog

Finally, we got it together to bring you more blogs! In addition to our own Sharing Wonder Blog, Magicana is delighted to now provide at the encouragement of the Johnson Family, The Magical Chatterbox, A Blog by Sid Lorraine.

We were also delighted to support our Artistic Director, David Ben, in his effort to write a weekly blog, Tricks & Tweets.

Thank you!

Well, that’s just a small sample of our activities summary and we invite you to visit our blog archive to learn more about the exciting things we were able to accomplish this year.

We are so thankful to all of you, our faithful blog readers, to keeping us motivated to maintain this steady stream of updates.

We are very excited to announce that in 2010, Magicana plans to share even more wonder! We have many secrets up our sleeves from publications to public performances. Our blog readers and eListers will always be the first in the know.

So for now, we will sign off for the year and wish all of you a very happy holiday season and we look forward to sharing wonder with you in January!

The Spirit of Giving

4 Dec

In May 2008, Magicana established the Tony Eng Youth Fund in loving memory of Tony Eng, who passed away suddenly after a short battle with cancer. Tony and his wife, Ann, ran Tony’s Trick & Joke Shop (now called Murray’s Trick & Joke Shop and owned by magicians, Murray Hatfield and Teresa Midbo) in Victoria, BC for nearly 20 years. Tony was responsible for many magicians getting their first start in magic.

The driving force and goal of the Tony Eng Youth Fund is to offer a program that shares and promotes magic with youths, something that Tony always championed. The program has now fully developed into a granting fund administered by Magicana, where young Canadian magicians can request financial assistance to further their study and exploration in magic.

At first, the program started by sponsoring youths to attend lectures and workshops and over the course of the year, the program evolved. It really took a big leap forward when we partnered with Edmonton magician, Kent Wong and the Canadian Association of Magicians to create a contest opportunity, a free trip to attend the 2010 and 2011 national CAM Conventions.

This particular contest invites young magicians from Western Canada to write in and to tell us why they should go to the CAM convention in April/May 2010 in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. The lucky winner will receive return airfare from a major western Canadian city, full convention registration and hotel accommodation — and, because we are working with youths 13 to 18 years old, the prize package covers not only to the young magician, but also his/her guardian! To be fair to eastern Canadian youths, all three sponsors agreed to reciprocate and offer the same prize package for a young magician from Eastern Canada to attend the CAM in 2011 which will be held in Vancouver, BC.

Another “first” for the Tony Eng Youth Fund was helping a young magician locate and purchase a much-needed prop. We recently received an application from a young man in British Columbia who wanted to purchase a special table to streamline his magic show. After reviewing his application, we agreed to offer financial assistance towards the purchase of a Joe Lefler ProSuitcase Table, which acts both as a table and a carrying case for show materials. Thanks to Murray Hatfield of Murray’s Trick & Joke Shop in Victoria, and to the builder, Mr. Lefler, the table has been delivered to our recipient, Alex Seaman.

Here are a few words from Alex:

A couple months ago, I heard about the Tony Eng Youth Fund from an adult member of the Vancouver Magic Circle, Ring #92 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. I heard that, if selected, I could get a grant in order to further my magic. So I decided to apply!

I’d been looking at getting a suitcase table for years but have never had the money due to such a cost. I looked around the web for one that I thought would work well for me and from what I found; the Joe Lefler Pro Suitcase table was by far the best in quality! With it, I’d be able to cut my set up and take down time in half! When I do birthday parties, I always have 2 boxes of magic stuff, so I need to put them somewhere, so I have one table that I perform on and one table that a box would go on (the second box sits behind the performing table). This makes it difficult to move around the performance area and I must be very careful about when I bring assistants on stage because just by looking sideways they can see into either of the boxes. This suitcase table would solve everything!

I received my suitcase table about a week ago and it has made everything so much easier! My whole birthday party act fits in the table with so much room! I can even fit a 12’ inflatable wand inside (when it’s deflated of course) and the pump! Bringing up children to help me out is no problem at all because the kids can’t see into the table unless they’re directly behind it! Even my Stand Up act fits in with even more room inside! And the best part is that as soon as my Birthday Party show is over and all the kids rush up to come and talk with me, all I need to do to “end clean” if flip down the performance top part of the box and lock it into place, now the table is a closed box with nothing exposed and there’s nothing for the kids to touch and feel that they’re not supposed to and now the extra time can be dedicated to talking with the kids, even showing them a special little magic trick (sponge balls) and creating even more of a connection which is great for any kids that weren’t able to get called up to help with the show!

The Tony Eng Youth Fund helped me so much by helping me finance this investment which has brought a whole new dimension to my magic. I highly recommend supporting this incredible program because they do so much great work helping out the younger magicians!

Congratulations, Alex, on the acquisition of your new suitable and we wish you all the best in your endeavours in magic.

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