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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