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Magic at SickKids

18 Jan

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Before we dispersed for the holidays, we had our first My Magic Hands workshop at SickKids with the adolescent medicine program.

The mission of SickKids is, “to inspire our communities to invest in health and scientific advances to improve the lives of children and their families in Canada and around the world”. Using our My Magic Hands program, we hope we successfully used magic as a teaching vehicle to improve the quality of life of young adults by building up their self-confidence and public speaking skills.

We received positive feedback from both the participants and their coaches/supervisors and look forward to future outings together in 2013.

David Ben at The Walrus Talks Performance

7 Jan

We are delighted to announce that David Ben is presenting a unique speech for the The Walrus Talks Performance on Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 7:30 PM, at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, Alberta.

The Walrus Talks Performance at High Performance Rodeo promises eighty minutes of lively, thought-provoking presentations from eight diverse individuals including our Artistic Director, David Ben.

Speakers will share their perspectives on how one performs, how one competes and how one grows. David, who is a sought-after keynote speaker on creativity and problem-sovling, has chosen to inspire the audience with his interesting take on card cheating.

Don’t miss this evening of engaging dialogue, as some of the country’s greatest minds explore the topic of performance! For tickets, visit hprodeo.ca or call (403) 294-9494.

Announcing the winner of the Magi-Fest Youth Scholarship 2013!

4 Jan

MagiFest

After long and arduous deliberations over the holidays, our blind panel has decided on a winner! Find out who won!

The Scholarship

In 2012, Magicana’s Tony Eng Youth Fund and Magi-Fest  partnered together to create the Magi-Fest Youth Scholarship 2013.

The Columbus Magi-Fest is one of the oldest and most significant magic gatherings in the world. It is an 83-year old tradition that has fostered and helped develop the careers of young magicians. The festival includes youth-only events in which international headline performers work directly with young magicians on their acts. Additionally, lectures, shows and workshops are held where attendees can learn about the experiences and knowledge of  professional magicians.

Magicana received several entries from across Canada applying for the bursary and we are now delighted to announce the winner. Visit the Tony Eng Youth Fund site to find out which young Canadian won.

A Year in Review

20 Dec

This year definitely passed us quickly, but not with inactivity! We still have a couple of secret projects up our sleeves, but for now, let’s take a look at the magical happenings of 2012.

My Magic Hands

Our little magicians were busy this year, as we reached a total number of 14 sessions for our My Magic Hands program. We reached a total of 252 kids through the combined efforts of our Magicana staff and 59 volunteers.

This year we partnered up with Valleyfield, Howlett Academy, Holland Bloorview Kid’s Rehabilitation Hospital, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Toronto and Camp Oochigeas. Together, we delivered fun and educational sessions and workshops that used magic as a teaching vehicle to build confidence and self-esteem while developing creative problem-solving and public speaking skills. Each session challenges our students to perform at their Big Show, and this year, we performed in front of over 500 audience members!

Over the summer, we conducted two workshops in partnership with the Leacock Foundation for Children’s reading program, LEAP. We had a great time working with students from Rose Avenue, First Nations Public School and Derrydown Elementary School. We also had a successful run with our two special summer programs for Holland Bloorview’s Child Development Programs: Helping Hands and Hand 2 Hand for children affected with cerebral palsy and other challenges in the brain injury rehabilitation therapy program.

Our program’s focus on performance art helps strengthen each client’s less dominant hand throughout the camp. It was incredibly rewarding to see their hard work and progression in this accelerated summer session. We congratulate all our magicians and their ‘magic coaches’ for such an outstanding job!

Senior Sorcery

This year, we a hit a record of 52 Senior Sorcery shows for senior centres and residences. Magicana subsidizes these shows for centres under budgetary constraints to ensure that magic can be shared throughout the Greater Toronto Area and beyond! Performers went to St. Catherines, Barrie and even in the beautiful banks of Big Rideau Lake to perform a show!

We hope we created memorable feats of magic and excitement for seniors and residents and look forward to bringing magic to new centres in the new year.

Tony Eng Youth Fund

We are delighted to report that the Tony Eng Youth Fund was able to provide bursary awards this year. First, we granted Sawyer Bullock an award to attend the CAM convention (Canadian Association of Magicians) in Hamilton Ontario back in April.

We also funded the very first Tong Eng Memorial Lecture for the 2012 Tri-City 3 of Clubs Convention organized by members of Ring 183 – Tony’s hometown Ring in Victoria, BC – who arranged to have Joe Monti deliver a special 2 hour lecture for the convention. By all accounts – and in particular by talent coordinators, Murray Hatfield and Eric Bedard – Joe’s lecture was refreshing, funny and very-well received. We are thrilled to have had an opportunity to participate and congratulate Ring 183 on a great job.

We are also reviewing submissions we received for Magi-Fest Youth Scholarship 2013. Final decisions will be announced after the holidays.

Luminato 6

For our third year of bringing magic to Luminato, we presented the Mind Over Matter magic series bringing three master magicians – Banachek, Richard Turner and Juan Esteban Varela – to Toronto.

All three, in their own unique presentations, addressed how magic is essentially delivered and perceived through the power of the mind. Needless to say, each magician “blew minds” away and we were delighted with the series.

Magic Collectors Weekend

In May, we hosted the 43rd Annual Collectors Weekend in Chicago where we honoured guests, James Hagy and Richard Kaufman. It was a jam-packed weekend of lectures, talks, and reflection.

With the advent of more and more magic history conferences being organized, we have opted to move to a biennial format with our next Magic Collectors Weekend slated for 2014.

Magicol

We had rave reviews come in from our two Magicol, A Journal of Magic History and Collectibles, issues this year: No. 182 “Alma” (the special Australian magic edition) and No. 183 “Joy of Posters” (our Poster Issue).

While we are a little behind, rest assured we have our forthcoming two issues queued up, so keep your eyes peeled for the latest news!

New Websites

And last but not the least, we have been very busy re-launching new websites to accomodate our growing membership and evolving programs. Please feel free to explore our new homes in the cyberspace. We always appreciate any feedback you can give us.

  • Mystery & History: the new site for the latest Magicol news and updates.
  • Tony Eng Youth Fund: the one stop hot spot for young magicians to see what opportunities and bursaries are available in their area.
  • Senior Sorcery: Now with its own blog! See what’s new in senior health and read up on reviews we’ve been getting from pleased centres and residences.

… And thanks to you!

We would like to take this moment to thank our donors and sponsors whose generous funding allows us to provide service to our local neighbourhood and the magic community at large. Without your support, none of this would be possible.

So, as it has been such a magical year, we are now taking a little break for the holiday season. Our office will be closed December 24 and reopen on January 2.

New Site for the Tony Eng Youth Fund

11 Dec

tonyeng

In 2008, Magicana created the Tony Eng Youth Fund program in memory of Tony Eng (1946 – 2008). Its main goal is to promote and support youths as they pursue the art of magic.

Over the years, the fund has evolved to accomodate the needs of young magicians, from funding convention registrations, to covering lecture costs and mentorship programs. Like Tony, the fund strives to promote and encourage magic-mad youths by providing bursaries and scholarships in the pursuit of magic.

And so, without further ado, we are thrilled to present our new TEYF website: teyf.magicana.com

The new site includes:

  • A blog that focuses on TEYF news and events;
  • A page that honours past TEYF winners through the years; and
  • A programs page to keep you up to date to our current programming and challenges!

Feel free to explore and visit our new site and tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Winter Wonders, The Graduates of My Magic Hands Winter Sessions

10 Dec

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Congratulations to the graduates from our latest My Magic Hands fall session at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab.

My Magic Hands program develops each participant’s interpersonal skills: they learn how to interact with others, express ideas, team-build and speak in public. From day one, each child performs for the group. As they struggle with the challenges of performing – nervousness, shyness or difficulty in mastering a trick – they also learn to support and encourage each other. The struggle teaches the importance of listening, practice and preparation.

And so, with the help of our amazing volunteers, lead instructors and the wonderful staff from Holland Bloorview, we get to see each participant face the challenge of producing their own Big Show for their parents and friends and the satisfaction and confidence they derive when they see the results of their hard work executed! 

We are very proud of our students who raised their game and pressed themselves to become great performers for their “Big Show”.

As Julie Eng enthusiastically notes:

Thank you to all our magicians, our volutneers, our staff / team of Magicana and Holland Bloorview players who all came together to see these kids shine at the December6, 2012 show.

There is absolutely nothing more satisfying that seeing our students blossom on their own at their production of A Big Show. I am incredibly proud of these amazing kids and the entire team that helped them along their magical journey!

HUGE thanks to Greg Vanden Kroonenberg from AV to bring our show together; and to Brittany Boudreau for taking all these photos for us!

– Julie Eng, Executive Director / Lead Instructor

We hope the magic and wonder continues to grow within our graduates, so that they can share it to the community as well!

Last call for the Magi-Fest Youth Scholarship 2013!

5 Dec

You only have a few weeks left!

Submit your essays now for a chance to win a bursary to attend the Magi-Fest 2013 convention at the Crowne Plaza, Dublin, Ohio from January 24 to 26, 2013. Deadline for submission is on December 10, 2012, 11:59 PM, EST. 

Magicana’s Tony Eng Youth Fund and Magi-Fest are partnering up to deliver Magi-Fest Youth Scholarship 2013.

The Columbus Magi-Fest is one of the oldest and most significant magic gatherings in the world. It is an 83-year old tradition that has fostered and helped develop the careers of young magicians. The festival includes youth-only events in which international headline performers work directly with young magicians on their acts. Additionally, lectures, shows and workshops are held where attendees can learn about the experiences and knowledge of  professional magicians.

To apply:

We invite passionate young magicians to submit a short essay (500 words or less) on why they would like to attend and what they hope to gain from attending this event. In addition to the essay, you will also need the following to qualify:

  • to be a Canadian aged 12 to 17 years old;
  • to have parent/guardian consent; and
  • to be in possession of valid passport(s) –  a must have for both travellers upon application.

All qualifying submissions will be reviewed by a blind panel of judges (judges will not know names nor ages) and a winner will be selected. Winners will be notified by phone and email.

Do it now!

If you meet the above requirements, then send us an email (info@magicana.com) including your name, age, city of residence, telephone number and a short essay on why you’d like to attend and what you hope to gain from going to the 2013 MagiFest. To be a qualifying submission, we must be able to contact your parent or guardian so be sure to include their telephone number!

For more information, please visit this link.

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