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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.

The Reviews and Recommendations of “A Cut Above”

12 Oct

Some of you may have missed the video review of “A Cut Above” by Luke Dancy back in May 2011 on an episode of the Magic Marketplace. Well, “A Cut Above” has been recommended once again, this time by Paul Lelekis of The Linking Ring (September 2012). He writes:

“Magic has been a passion of his (Msgr. Vincent Foy) since he first saw Harry Blackstone perform in 1925. Friends and magicians David Ben and Nick Sacco have waded through a massive amount of his personal notes to compile an impressive array of one-handed cuts and flourishes. Ron van Someren painstakingly photographed Msgr. Foy’s hands as he performed every single move of each and every cut and flourish. This, along with the descriptive text, made learning these sleights very easy to do.”

READ THE ENTIRE REVIEW

“A Cut Above” was first released by Magicana in April 2011. It is the exploration of one-handed cuts created and documented by Msgr. Vincent Foy, a pioneer of the modern movement of card flourishes. His contributions initially appeared in The Linking Ring, so we are pleased to see his name mentioned once again in the publication where he first prospered.

This black and white, 240 page hardbound (colour dustjacket) volume is approximately 8.75″ x 11.75″ (22cm x 30cm) and contains 500 photo images. It is available for sale from Magicana, or your favourite magic dealer for $45 USD (plus shipping. International rates vary).

Congratulations to Sebastian Dagenais!

17 May

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Images courtesy of Ryan Joyce and James Alan.

Congratulations to Sebastian Dagenais, winner of the Canadian Association of Magicians (CAM) 2012 One Handed CUT- A-THON contest.

The young and talented Sebastian hails from Montreal and performed 119 one-handed cuts for three rounds.

Magicana donated A Cut Above to Sebastian, a book dedicated to the joyful exploration of one-handed cuts created and documented by Msgr. Vincent Foy, a pioneer of the modern movement of card flourishes.

Congratulations, Sebastian!

Happy Holidays

15 Dec

Happy Holidays

Hard to believe, but here we are at the end of another magical year. When we look back, it’s even harder to believe we had time to fit it all in:

My Magic Hands

We just finished last week our last of fourteen sessions of My Magic Hands, watching the outstanding performers from Lawrence Heights Middle School (coached by their “buddies” from Havergal College) and from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital . Both shows were really extraordinary – reminding the audience how powerful the magic of mentorship and self-esteem really is. Congratulations to all our new graduates and to their coaches.

We broke new records with My Magic Hands, presenting the program to the entire Grade Five year of Queen Victoria Junior Public School (over 100 students in four classrooms) over eight weeks. The traditional end-of-session Big Show became A Very Big Show, where each Grade Five class presented FOUR simultaneous shows to the lower grade students. It was extraordinary effort by both student magicians and their teachers.

In partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), we also presented a new program, Magic ‘n Movies – a week-long camp mixing magic and movie making into one fun-filled program.

We were also thrilled to have our third outing with Camp Ooch’s Urban Camp – a one-day camp (workshop) hosted in the city. For five intense hours, Ooch campers were taught some magic secrets. The goal was to teach  thirty campers magic routines so they could put on their version of A Big Show for friends and family at the end of the day. WOW, it never ceases to amaze the energy that this group can generate! The show was terrific.

Over the summer, we conducted three magic workshops in partnership with the Leacock Foundation for Children’s reading program, LEAP.

We also brought two special summer programs to Holland Bloorview’s Child Development Programs: Helping Hands and Hand 2 Hand. These  workshops encouraged young people to strengthen their “helping” hands. In particular, Hand 2 Hand  – a new program working with clients diagnosed with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy – allowed us to use our experience to explore new arts-driven activities to bring therapeutic benefits to clients. It was a very rewarding summer!

Senior Sorcery

We also completed  35 Senior Sorcery shows for senior centres and residences. Magicana subsidized a number of shows for centres under budgetary constraints to ensure magic could be shared throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Festivals, Performances & Conferences

We consulted (Ross Petty’s The Wizard of Oz, the Wickedly Wacky Family Musical), we collaborated (Luminato Fesitval) and we produced.

In fact, Magicana presented four new shows this year: Natural Magick, Vodavil, and Toast of the Town in conjunction with Luminato Festival of the Arts; and Piff Paff Poof during March Break.

In May, we hosted the 42nd Annual Collectors Weekend in Chicago and honoured guests: Dr. Gene Matsuura and Ray & Ann Goulet.

Exhibitions & Publications

In November, we launched a new online exhibition: Everything Erdnase exploring the many variants of  The Expert at the Card Table.

Finally, we released two new publications:  A Cut Above by Msgr Vincent Foy in April, and Erdnase Unmasked this past month. We are just one issue away of producing four issues of Magicol, A Journal of Magic History and Collectibles. If the elves in the workshop can help, we will have our final 2011 issue, No. 181, at the printers this week.

Thank you for being a part of our journey. Without the generous support of our donors and sponsors, none of this would have been 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 16 and reopen January 3.

Erdnase Unmasked

1 Dec

Erdnase Unmasked

This is it, really.

For over 100 years people have been speculating over who wrote The Expert at the Card Table, the most influential book on sleight-of-hand; and the cornerstone for both the conjurer and the card cheat.

Who was S.W. Erdnase?

Magicana is pleased to present Erdnase Unmasked – a series of papers that explore the mystery and identity of this enigmatic figure. Culled from the pages of Magicol, Erdnase Unmasked contains articles by Richard Hatch, the preeminent authority on the identity of the author; David Ben; Hurt McDermott, Jason England and Martin Gardner.

This is a limited edition production of only 500 copies.

Buy your copy here at Magicana; or at your favourite dealer.

New Publication Release

13 Apr

A Cut Above

Magicana is delighted to announce the release of our latest publication, A Cut Above.

A Cut Above is a joyful exploration of one-handed cuts created or documented by Msgr. Vincent Foy, a pioneer of the modern movement of card flourishes. His contributions on this subject that appeared initially in The Linking Ring and in Bertram on Sleight of Hand, inspired a new generation of finger-flingers.

Msgr. Foy, who is 95-years young, revisits his notes to give us 100 one-handed glorious cuts, most of his own invention. A Cut Above comes complete with an insightful introduction that examines the history and place for card cuts and flourishes in the modern repertoire and an annotated bibliographyof other books and DVDs that the reader may want to explore.

This black and white, 240 page hardbound (colour dustjacket) volume is approximately 8.75″ x 11.75″ (22cm x 30cm) and contains 500 photo images. It is available for sale from Magicana and your favourite magic dealer for $45 USD (plus shipping and handling and GST/HST for Canadian residents).

Read the introduction, or see sample pages of a “Wobble Cut”  (as designed by Michael Albright) or, just learn more about this wonderful book by visiting : www.magicana.com/acutabove.

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