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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.


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.

It’s Magicol!

5 Mar

Whew! It’s finally out the door.

Our first issue of Magicol (Feb Issue No. 174) is now in the hands of our printers. It will soon be posted and in your mailboxes, soon.

 If you don’t know what I’m talking about, well, Magicana is the new administrative body for the Magic Collectors Association (MCA). The unbelievably-low membership fee includes delivery of the quarterly-issued journal, Magicol.

The MCA, founded in 1949, has been keeping a journal for the past fifty years for its membership. Keeping with its historical tradition, this issue will cover interesting and intriguing articles on magic history, offer book reviews and reports of recent magic history conferences. Learn about Chicago’s magic history, street by street, in a walking tour; read a private profile of Dai Vernon from the  personal papers of his wife, Jeanne Verner; learn about the burning of Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft….and, much, much more!

We are also simply thrilled to see this periodical evolve its look, thanks to the wizardry by the amazing Michael Albright. It’s quite simply gorgeous. You won’t be disappointed! 

If you wish to get this journal, it’s a real deal! Check it out because Magicol is just one of the benefits of MCA membership.
See you … in the past!

It’s true!

27 Oct

David Ben, Artistic Director of Magicana, is pleased to announce that Magicana is taking over the stewardship of the Magic Collectors’ Association.

Founded over sixty years ago, the MCA has staged an annual conference devoted to discussing the history of magic as a performing art, profiling its builders and championing its performers. It has published Magicol, a quarterly magazine, for close to fifty years, the last fifteen under the direction of David Meyer of Glenwood, Illinois. David is now retiring from the role, this November issue being his last, and is turning the reins of the publication and the organization over to Magicana.

Magicana looks forward to building on the success of David Meyer and his cast of contributors, and plans to continue the publication of Magicol, stage the annual conference, and harness new technology, particularly as offered on the Internet, to extend the reach and membership of the MCA.

The Board of Directors of Magicana offered their unanimous support for the undertaking seeing it as perfect fit with Magicana’s mandate.

Stay informed! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll keep you up to date with MCA developments and conference news.

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