Archive | June, 2011

Magical Medicine

22 Jun

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Photos by: Brittany Boudreau

WATCH magicians at work in this video clip.

Magicana has been delivering My Magic Hands to clients at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital since 2004. And, as the program’s lead instructor, it has been one of the most rewarding personal experiences I have encountered in my career as a magician.

For most recent round of My Magic Hands at Holland Bloorview (held during May and June), clients participated inside of our partnership with the Luminato Festival’s Outreach and Education program. Clients from a wide range of ages from five to sixteen, were challenged to learn how to perform magic over the course of four weeks in preparation for A Big Show, which was held during the Luminato Festival. As always, the show was spectacular but what is even more rewarding was watching clients flourish over the course of the program. Clients pushed past barriers, often surprising themselves at how much they could do. It was also very gratifying to hear how our magic program gave clients a new perspective:

“It has been great watching our daughter over the last couple of weeks practicing all of the tricks which has bolstered her fine motor skills. She  realizes that if she makes the effort on a daily basis to use both hands she will continue to see improvement on her left side.  To us as parents this is invaluable.”

— M & A Cairns

This program, however, relies on other kinds of magicians – the occupational therapists, speech therapists and  dedicated volunteers at Holland Bloorview. Without this level of support, where clients are encouraged to bring their magic to speech and therapy sessions – and where they are given such incredible encouragement and coaching by volunteers – the program could not flourish. But as a team, it’s clear there is real magic at work and we congratulate all our new gradutes of My Magic Hands.

Julie Eng


See My Magic Hands in action!

During the program, we were visited by CBC who broadcasted this clip on The National.

For more information about our program visit:


18 Jun

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In the historic Winter Garden Theatre, Vodavil
played to a great house as part of the Luminato festival of the arts.

© 2011 Magicana. All rights reserved. Photos by David Linsell.

What a great show!

Where else in the world will you have a chance to see The Great Tomsoni, Gaetan Bloom, Mike Caveney, Tina Lenert and Ardan James all on the same stage, all on one night? That’s vaudeville.

“Vodavil” was an informal term many vaudeville performers used in their correspondence to describe their profession: that distinctive and highly polished brand of popular entertainment that flourished in specialty theatres across North America from the 1890s until the 1930s. During that time, each show consisted of a variety of acts — performers who specialized in a particular branch of popular entertainment: singing, dancing, pantomime, juggling, comedy and, of course, magic. The performers worked a circuit, coming together to present their ‘turn’ on a show in a host city for a few days before parting their separate ways to repeat the process with other performers in a different town or city. By and large, the acts had to be easy to stage and transport.

Vodavil brings together artists, who, in an earlier era, would have proudlyborne the name of “vaudevillians” for an evening of all-out family entertainment, in a grand theatre of that same era.

Vodavil June 17, 18 – 8PM
Winter Garden Theatre | 189 Yonge Street (@Queen)

Natural Magick

16 Jun

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David Ben performs in Natural Magick.

© 2011 Magicana. All rights reserved. Photos by David Linsell.

In the news…

From The National Post

Tricks Of The Trade

David Ben takes a rolling paper and twists it into the shape of a butterfly. He gently places it in his jacket’s front pocket, then pulls another of the delicate tissue papers from its package. Again, he fashions a pair of wings. He then takes a fan and unfurls it dramatically. After tossing the second butterfly into the air, Ben quickly begins to fan, as if cooling himself on a hot summer’s night. The paper flutters across the stage, as if searching a flower to land on. Ben stops, and reaches into his pocket for the other butterfly. He then tosses both in the air, fanning rapidly to keep them aloft. He catches the butterflies, then begins to fan the hand holding both creatures; suddenly, a flurry of white paper flies out of his hand and … READ THE FULL STORY

From Mooney on Theatre

Luminato 2011 Review of Natural Magick

Magic shows are… well they’re magical. We suspend belief, gasping with delight as the coins pour from someone’s nose and applauding wildly when the torn crumpled pieces of paper turn out to be whole. Even the most jaded skeptic responds to magic. Not that tonight’s audience at the Luminato presentation of David Ben’sshow Natural Magick were jaded, but there were definitely some skeptics who were there under duress. After the show I overheard one man saying how glad he was that he had gone, how much he had enjoyed the show and how much he really didn’t want to go.

David Ben has terrific stage presence. He’s completely at home on the stage. I think that’s why people in the audience are so willing to go on stage and be part of the act. That was part of the magic of the evening – how easily Ben got people up on stage and how relaxed they seemed while they were there. … READ THE FULL REVIEW

From Toronto Life

Tuesday’s Luminato picks: Andromache, Raj Kapoor and David Ben’s Natural Magick

In a world where everyone is too cool for school and everything is laced with a healthy dose of irony, the earnestness of a good old-fashioned magic show is welcome. David Ben rescues the art from the dregs of children’s birthday parties and elevates it to a refined act of theatre, inspired by the golden age of magic of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Expect astonishing feats, from telepathy to conjuring. Hugh Jackman, you’ve got nothing on this. June 14 to 16. $36.50–$41.50. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-368-4849, FULL STORY


Natural Magick performs in his hometown

For the first time in years, world-renowned magician David Ben will dazzle hometown crowds with a special performance at the upcoming Luminato festival. Ben, a veteran of more than 35 years on the magic scene, has travelled extensively, performing magic and hosting speaking gigs around the world. 

His new show, Natural Magick, will feature … READ THE FULL STORY


A Magical Night Out at Luminato

As we embarked on Luminato’s opening night with two magic shows on our agenda, we admit to being filled with child-like glee, but also prepared with a full deck of skepticism, should it be necessary. Which, fortunately, it wasn’t.

The game-changer for the multimedia performance by Natural Magick‘s David Ben, for instance, came towards the end, in a jaw-dropping illusion (or talent, maybe?) where he swallowed 20 sewing needles and a string of thread, only to regurgitate them a minute later—evenly threaded, straight out of his mouth. We are dying to see that one up close. We won’t give away the rest of his tricks … READ THE FULL STORY

Luminato & My Magic Hands

8 Jun

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Can you imagine a magic show starring One Hundred Magicians?

Children who participate in My Magic Hands always end their program by putting on a Big Show. But students in our latest program at Queen Victoria Junior Public School are getting ready to put on our biggest show ever! While a normal class of My Magic Hands has between ten and fifteen young magicians graduating at the end, Queen Victoria invited us to provide a magic program for one hundred of their Grade 5 Students.

Queen Victoria is a model school in Parkdale with a strong commitment to the arts. The classroom walls and hallways are filled with art projects from all grade levels. Learning magic as a introduction to performance art (which includes strategic practicing, planning, scripting and rehearsing and performance) became an interesting fit. Magicana is currently delivering this program as part of the Luminato celebration of the arts festival inside of the Outreach and Education program.

Our Grade 5 magic students are nearing the end of their program and are putting together their scripts for their Big Show on June 14 and 15.

Of course, teaching magic to over a hundred students has its own set of challenges. On top of the sheer volume of energetic children, we had to find a way to allow each and every student to showcase their new skills in front of a live audience. We are excited with our plan of action which will engage the lower grades.

Thanks to the dedicated teachers at Queen Victoria, students have been organized with their magic materials, Books and Boxes of Secrets. If there is one underlying lesson that we have all seen in action is the golden rule to gain proficiency: practice, practice, practice!

We are also excited to see the support Queen Victoria has provided to ESL students as we aim to have them present their final Big Show magic routines in their native languages. Having struggled to learn the magic in English, we now celebrate their achievements by inviting them to perform in their first language.

To all our magicians, good luck on your Big Show and may the magic continue in your Magic Hands!

Magicana is also conducting a concurrent session of My Magic Hands at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital which has also proven to be very rewarding. More on those kids in our next blog!

Magic for Kiehl’s

6 Jun

As part of our  ongoing commitment with Luminato’s Outreach and Education program, Magicana is delighted to bring magic back to Kiehl’s with two FREE performances.

Eric Mead @LuminatoThe first will be this Friday, June 10 where there will be a special, live performance by Eric Mead at the Kiehl’s store @ Queen Street @7PM. Eric is a world-class magician who has graciously agreed to share his talents at this event. Eric’s one-of-a-kind magic is a featured free events at Luminato’s new Festival Hub. For more about his show, visit

Julie Eng brings Piff Paff Poof to Kiehl'sAnd, on June 11, Julie Eng will be presenting a segment our latest production, Piff Paff Poof, a magic show for kids and families, at Kiehl’s at Yonge & Eglinton @11AM. Plan to come early so your kids can get their owns set of Poof Nose and Whiskers drawn on their faces! Also, there will be a chance to get one’s very own Poof tattoo! Julie is also participating in Natural Magick during Luminato which is also part of the festival celebration of magic.

Space is limited so you must RSVP to attend the special events @Kiehl’s! You can do so by either calling the stores or visiting the event pages:

June 10 @7PM
ERIC MEAD @Kiehl’s at 407 Queen Street (Queen & Spadina)
T 416-977-3588
RSVP Online

June 11 @11AM
JULIE ENG @Kiehl’s 2518 Yonge Street (Yonge & Eglinton)
T: 416 483-1335
RSVP Online 

More magic

For more magic, be sure to get tickets for our other two Luminato magic shows: Natural Magick (June 10-16) and Vodavil (June 17, 18). Both shows are great for kids and families.

David Ben performs on Daily Planet

3 Jun
Jay's Last Show Sunday June 5 @7PM est on Discovery

See magic performed by DAVID BEN on Daily Planet Jay's Last Show June 5 @ 7PM est on Discovery

Watch Jay perform magic with David Ben

Jay helps David Ben with some conjuring on Jay’s Last Show in Video Part 3.


Jay’s Last Show…

Magicana’s artistic director, David Ben, was invited to perform on Discovery Channel’sDaily Planet to commemorate co-host, Jay Ingram’s Last Show. The one-hour special also features memorable moments from Ingram’s sixteen years as the show’s co-host.

A renowned science broadcaster and writer, Ingram is also producer of Daily Planet, television’s first daily science magazine. Ingram joined Discovery Channel in November 1994 and was instrumental in helping shape the program format.

Catch the magic on Sunday June 5 at 7PM EST on the Discovery Channel.

Win Free Tickets for Luminato at Morrissey Magic

2 Jun

Congratulations to Morrissey Magic on their 52nd year in magic. The shop is celebrating by throwing a party on June 4 starting at 10AM. Visit here for party details.

Morrissey Magic Celebrates 52 years in Magic

Win Free Tickets at Morrissey's 52nd Party

The Morrissey Magic crew promises Door Crasher Specials, Door Prizes, Tax Free purchases, and  two free shows!

To add to the prizes, Magicana has donated FREE TICKETS to see Natural Magick June 11 at the Tarragon Theatre and  Vodavil June 17 at the Winter Garden Theatre.

It’s a free draw (no purchase necessary) for all those who attend the 52nd Annual Party so make sure you visit Morrissey’s on Saturday so you can enter to win. Good luck!

We are only 8 days away!

If you love magic, make sure you see this year’s offering at Luminato.

There is something for everyone. Tickets still available, so click here to buy now.

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