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The Year in Review

11 Dec

In 2009, Magicana shared a lot of wonder:

My Magic Hands

We completed 14 rounds of My Magic Hands engaging 200 participants, over 100 volunteers! Participants provided their versions of The Big Show to over 800 community members. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, we were able to provide the program to over 180 participants free of charge.

We provided our magic classes to a wide range of community and family agencies across the Greater Toronto Area, including:

Without a doubt, the program would not be possible without our volunteers, affectionately referred to as our “Magic Coaches”. Thanks to our partners, we were able to create and build upon important relationships between our volunteers and participants. A quote from one of our volunteers:

“My favourite moment during My Magic Hands was when my buddy turned to me randomly to say, “I love learning magic with you.”

Volunteer at the Welcome Inn in Hamilton

In The Community

Magicana also provided 42 shows for over 2,000 community members through our Sharing Wonder and Senior Sorcery programs.

These programs focus on bringing magic to those who may not necessarily have access to live magic shows, with a particular concentration on servicing isolated senior centres. The sad reality is that many centres do not have adequate budgets to provide fees for live entertainment. Magicana’s Senior Sorcery program contributes by asking centres to “pay-what-you-can” and in exchange, we arrange magic shows – and funding assistance, when necessary. A quote from a senior’s residence:

“I just wanted to take a minute to tell you what a wonderful performance you gave at our retirement home. It was very well-paced, with just the right combination of storytelling, sleight-of-hand and humour … I have received many compliments since.”

Susan Blye, Activities Director at The Briton House

We were thrilled to add new magicians to our roster of performers including Mark Lewis and Wij the Magician. These gentlemen – along with Magicana performers Julie Eng and James Alan – provided magic, laughs and of course, wonder.

Sharing Magic with Magicians

Throughout the year, we produced several magic lectures and workshops by visiting magicians including John Carney, Norman Beck, David Soloman and Richard Turner. We also hosted our annual conference, 31 Faces North, which was co-hosted by Allan Slaight. This year at 31 Faces North we had two guest of honours: Michael Weber and Bob Sheets. Mr. Weber was also the recipient of the Jay Marshall Award, voted as the most contributory participant by his peers.

Our Tony Eng Youth Fund sponsored several young magicians as we reported in previous blogs, and we were delighted to see a formal partnership bond with magician, Kent Wong and the Canadian Association of Magicians for our latest contest, a chance to win a FREE trip to the 2010 CAM convention in Kitchener-Waterloo including return airfare and hotel accommodations. We are indebted to Mr. Wong and to the CAM for their sponsorship and commitment to youths interested in magic.

This fall, Magicana became the stewards of the Magic Collectors’ Association (MCA) taking over the responsibility of publishing a quarterly journal, Magicol, and producing its annual convention, traditionally hosted in Chicago. Magicana is delighted with the new role and is currently conjuoring many other surprises for MCA members. Membership is open to anyone and is available here. Join now!

Entering the Blogosphere

David Ben Blog Tricks & TweetsThe Magical ChatterboxSharing Wonder Blog

Finally, we got it together to bring you more blogs! In addition to our own Sharing Wonder Blog, Magicana is delighted to now provide at the encouragement of the Johnson Family, The Magical Chatterbox, A Blog by Sid Lorraine.

We were also delighted to support our Artistic Director, David Ben, in his effort to write a weekly blog, Tricks & Tweets.

Thank you!

Well, that’s just a small sample of our activities summary and we invite you to visit our blog archive to learn more about the exciting things we were able to accomplish this year.

We are so thankful to all of you, our faithful blog readers, to keeping us motivated to maintain this steady stream of updates.

We are very excited to announce that in 2010, Magicana plans to share even more wonder! We have many secrets up our sleeves from publications to public performances. Our blog readers and eListers will always be the first in the know.

So for now, we will sign off for the year and wish all of you a very happy holiday season and we look forward to sharing wonder with you in January!

Five Star Review!

9 Oct

It’s official…The Essential Stewart James is a five star winner!

REVIEW

Imagine that for just $35 you could have some of magic’s finest performers and inventors cull through the collected works of a genius and provide you with the very best of the material. Well, that’s no pipe dream, that’s exactly what this book provides. Even if you have the mammoth James publications, consider this took a “reader’s guide” at a bargain price. If you don’t have the publications from which it draws, then consider this a must have addition to your library. The price, production, and quality of material cannot be beat.
Gordon Meyer, MyLovelyAssistant 10/7/2009 Full review

About the Book
Canadian Stewart James was the most prolific inventor of magic in the twentieth century. Where most magicians invent a handful of magic routines during the course of their life, Stewart James created over one thousand. His prodigious output has been recorded in two mammoth publications totally over 2,700 pages. James’ vast body of work has now been distilled to 50 of his “greatest tricks”, The Essential Stewart James.
Allan Slaight, co-editor of “Stewart James In Print” and author of “The James File”, asked dozens of Stewart James’ aficionados including Max Maven, Michael Weber, Bob Farmer, Stephen Minch, Bill Goodwin, Gordon Bean, David Ben, Roy Walton, Charles Reynolds, Gabe Fajuri, Steve Beam, and Peter Duffie among others, to whittle over 1,000 of James’ creations down to their fifty favourite, in other words, the essential Stewart James.

For those who own the earlier Stewart James tomes (“Stewart James In Print: The First Fifty Years” and “The James File”) but are intimated by the size and scope of the material, this book is for you! The Essential Stewart James serves as a tourist guide through the land of James. For those who are encountering this wily Canadian wizard for the first time, this book serves as a primer to the brilliance of the man, his methods and his magic.

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