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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.

CBC News Interview featuring Richard Turner

18 Jun

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Magic world standoff over tricks of the trade

CBC News  Posted: Jun 16, 2012 12:16 AM ET  Last Updated: Jun 16, 2012 12:15 AM ET

WATCH CBC News interview

Professional magicians dazzle audiences, but in the age of Google and instant answers, might tell-all books and video explainers forever expose what’s up performers’ sleeves?
According to Alex Stone, author of Fooling Houdini and a practising magician who has competed in The Magic Olympics, it’s high time to reveal the magic world’s secrets to the public.
“There’s often as much beauty to the methods, to the ideas behind it, as there is to the tricks themselves,” Stone told CBC’s Eli Glasner.
However, professional practitioners say there are more than just simple tricks to the venerable trade.
“You can go on YouTube and find out the secret, but that doesn’t make you a magician,” said Julie Eng, one of the organizers of the Mind over Matter – Magicana series in Toronto as part of 2012’s Luminato.

Card-mechanic, Richard Turner is The Cheat!

13 Jun

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Richard Turner continues to WOW them at the TIFF in his show, The Cheat! Here are a few photos by David Linsell from Richard’s June 12 show. You still have time to catch this extraordinary card-mechanic (who also happens to be blind!) tonight and tomorrow at 7:15 PM.

There only a few days left to see The Cheat!

Richard Turner will be presenting his show, The Cheat, June 12–14 @ 7:15 PM The RBC Lobby at TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West as part of the Mind Over Matter magic series for the Luminato festival. This is a FREE 45-minute show for all to enjoy!

Follow @sharingwonder for updates

There is only one!

12 Jun

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Richard Turner  is a card mechanic and is here in Toronto as part of the Luminato festival presenting FREE shows at the lobby of the TIFF (King and John). Yesterday, Eli Glasner, arts reporter from CBC News, stopped by to talk to Richard before his first show for Luminato. Follow us @sharingwonder to find out when that will be aired!

After a successful first show at the TIFF lobby yesterday, Richard was up bright and early to visit  Global Toronto’s The Morning Show and demonstrated  his amazing card manipulating abilities to Liza Fromer and Dave Gerry.

What makes Richard unique is not only his extraordinary skill but also that he has overcome the challenges of being completely blind!

 

Can’t be true? Well see for yourself!

Richard Turner will be presenting his show, The Cheat, June 12–14 @ 7:15 PM The RBC Lobby at TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West as part of the Mind Over Matter magic series for the Luminato festival. This is a FREE 45-minute show for all to enjoy!

Magicana brings magic to Victoria’s Torquay School

22 May

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During her trip to British Columbia, Magicana’s executive director, Julie Eng, was invited by Miss Amanda to perform for her class, at Torquay Elementary School in Victoria, BC.

Amanda had only heard about Julie’s work as a magician and was intrigued by our community program, My Magic Hands. Amanda made an email inquiry and coordinated with Division Five’s excellent teacher, Mrs. Boulton. The show was held on May 22.

The children at Division Five were very hospitable and created their own magic with the giant “Thank You” card received by Julie.

Thank you, Amanda, for inviting Julie and thank you Mrs. Boulton for arranging the show. Finally, thank you Division Five for your wonderful ABRA CADABRA!

It is always inspiring to see how children light up with a bit of magic in their day – hopefully their cheery drawings also bring a smile to yours.

Get your Luminato Tickets now!

19 Apr

Click here to download the full Luminato 2012 brochure

Luminato tickets can now be purchased by the general public, bringing you one step closer to Toronto’s  electrifying festival.

Magicana is proud to present three enthralling, cutting-edge shows that will surely challenge the way you perceive the world.

1. THE ALPHA PROJECT

June 8, 9 @8PM, June 10 @2PM
Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West

Tickets: $35, $45

Is it real or make believe?

Many believe they have experienced the paranormal, but are there invisible connections that exist between us? Can we transcend the distinctions between past, present and future? Banachek is a real mentalist the only one declared by a team of scientists at Washington University as a genuine psychic.

But is he?

Banachek’s Alpha Project is his story, and the story of his exploration of telepathy, spirit channeling, ESP, prediction, metal bending, psychokinesis and past life regression.

In The Alpha Project, Banachek reveals the beauty and danger of make believe.

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes, including intermission.

BUY TICKETS

2. RICHARD TURNER: THE CHEAT

June 11 @ 5:30 PM, June 12–14 @ 7:15 PM
The RBC Lobby at TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West

Tickets: Free

Can you beat The Cheat?

Richard Turner is known as “The Cheat”, a card cheat.

What makes Richard extraordinary, however, is that he is a blind card cheat.  He uses his mind to enable his hands to perform pure magic. Richard has developed his sense of touch to the point where he can perform miracles with cards.

For Luminato, Richard will present his tour-de-force demonstration in card table artifice.

Running Time: 45 minutes , no intermission.

FREE EVENT

3. FROM THE DARK

June 15–16 @ 8:00 PM, June 17 @ 2:00 PM
Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle

Tickets: $35

Just close your eyes.

Interested in magic since the age of 6 and a professional magician since the age of 20, Juan Esteban Varela, hailing  from Santiago, Chile asked the question: is it possible for non-sighted people to experience the same sense of astonishment that sighted audiences have felt for centuries while in the presence of a magician?

The result: From the Dark — the only magic show in the world that takes place in absolute darkness. Conceived for people unable to see, as well as for  adults who can see (but who are blindfolded for the performance), From the Dark invites the public to witness the possibility of being astonished and experience live magic without using their sight.

Running time: 105 minutes with an intermission.

BUY TICKETS

Congratulations to our new graduates at Holland Bloorview!

18 Apr

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Congratulations to the latest group of graduates of  My Magic Hands hosted at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Our first class started on March 27 led by magicians, Julie Eng and James Alan, and their Big Show on April 12, after only 6 sessions, was a HUGE SUCCESS!

We had a wide range of participants in this session, a GREAT group, who all seemed to enjoy the learning process. It is always touching to see young faces light up when they learn the secrets of how to perfect a magic trick, and to help them realize that they are capable of doing more than what they thought they could do.

We hope our participants continue to explore the magical world and to enjoy every step of their journey !

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