Tag Archives: Banachek

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.

Mind Over Matter

21 Jun

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The calm is now upon us after the thrilling chaos that was Luminato and what are we left with? The satisfying aftertaste of success from  the Mind Over Matter magical series!

Mind Over Matter

For this year’s Luminato, Magicana went with the saying, “Mind Over Matter”, a term originally used to refer to paranormal phenomena, to best describe the magic behind these three performers. While each show was different from the other, they all had a common theme: how magic is essentially delivered and perceived through the power of the mind.

The world’s leading mentalist, Banachek, astounded, intrigued and inspired crowds with his life story through The Alpha Project, while Richard Turner cheated his way into the hearts of Torontonians with his incredible feats in card manipulation. Similarly, Juan Esteban Varela, despite NOT being the blonde with rippling muscles as he claimed to be, resonated strongly with From the Dark, as he made his mark with one of magic’s most experiential, groundbreaking shows to date.

The Alpha Project: Insight into the Life of a Mentalist

The Alpha Project revealed Banachek’s life story. Having gone through a trying childhood – abandoned at age 9 – Banachek embraced these tribulations and used them to support him on his way to becoming a mentalist. At 18, Banachek made headlines when, for a period of four years under close scrutiny, he convinced research scientists at Washington University that he was psychic. Entitled Project Alpha,the purpose of this experiment was to disprove others who claimed to be real psychics and to declare to the world that even scientists, when lacking expertise in the arts of deception, can be easily misled.

With rave reviews from The Toronto Star, Mooney on Theatre and Torontoist, it looks like The Alpha Project fulfilled its purpose in spreading this word!

The Cheat: Why One Should Never Play Cards with Strangers

In between wowing spectators for Luminato, Richard Turner, “The Cheat” also performed for Holland Bloorview and the Parliament Branch Library. Rounds of Texas Hold ‘Em, poker, blackjack and three card monte then ensued between Richard Turner and the audience. The end results, of course, always went according to his liking, despite the inordinate amount of shuffles by audience members and, at some rounds, with limited cards.

Richard Turner, along with boggling the minds of Toronto,  also charmed the hosts of the Morning Show and the CBC’s Eli Glasner. See Richard’s part in this CBC News clip in which Eli Glasner calls today’s age a “Magic Renaissance“.

From the Dark: Magic at Its Purest Form

For the closing weekend of Luminato, we followed Juan Esteban Varela, blindfolded, as he guided us through his new show, From the Dark – the only magic show that happens in absolute darkness. With everyone participating, the show quickly became an experience with a sea of voices in an unknown space. These factors contributed to the show’s overall mystery, which is essentially magic in its base form.  Indeed, Toronto Star and Cadence Canada both agreed that From the Dark was truly unique in its premise and most of all, its effect.

And so, we end Luminato 6 with invigorating vibes and positive feedback from Toronto.

“Crazy with Curiosity”: Toronto Reacts to Banachek’s “The Alpha Project”

11 Jun

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“If you’re hoping to be driven crazy with curiosity this weekend, this British mentalist has got the show for you.”

-Laura Godfrey, Torontoist, June 9, 2012

The people have spoken: rave reviews of Banachek’s show this weekend, “The Alpha Project” have started pouring in, all singing praise to the man who lived up to his name as the world’s leading mentalist.

From the Torontoist, written by Laura Godfrey:

“You can strain your neck and edge as far off your seat as you want, but there’s no question that Banachek is a master of his craft—there’s a reason he counts Penn & Teller, David Blaine, and Criss Angel among the acts he’s consulted for. Even after he tells you it’s not real, every trick is followed by a single question, rippling through the crowd: “How did he do that?”

It may not be magic, but that’s okay—it’s still mystery, suspense, and high entertainment.”

From Mooney on Theatre, by Dorianne Emmerton:

“A lot of people believe in telepathy, psychokinesis, past life regression and ghosts. These people go to a magic show ready and willing to believe. Others, like me, are skeptics who go simply for entertainment.

Banachek’s The Alpha Project, playing as part of Luminato, is a great show for the latter. For both kinds of people (and those in between) it’s (…) a fun night.”

And how did Banachek do on his predictions of last Saturday’s (June 9) front page headlines?

From The Toronto Star, by Wendy Gillis:

“The surprise retirement of I’ll Have Another was there. The out-of-the-blue bid for the 2024 Olympics was there. The story on gang violence? There. He even had the feature article on Australian Aboriginals.

In a feat of unbelievable (no, really) news forecasting, U.K. mentalist Banachek seems to have accurately predicted the front page of Saturday’s Star 10 days in advance.”

Banachek reveals Toronto Star headline prediction at Kiehl’s

9 Jun

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Today at Kiehl’s on Queen Street, Banachek returned to reveal his Toronto Star predictions, made one week ago on June 1. (Even the Toronto Star started to wonder if they were really so transparent that a mentalist could make such claims!)

After a demonstration of his powers of the mind – reading people’s thoughts, making impossible predictions, manipulating metal, bending forks and so forth – he set the stage to make his big revelation of the headlines stories from the front page of today’s Toronto Star.

With the original Kiehl’s ambassador who witness the original sealing there to verify each of her signatures, Banachek’s final predictions were revealed side by side with the front page of The Toronto Star held in front of the group. Audible gasps rang out as images Banachek revealed each of his predictions. He had even sketched rough images that matched photos on the front page. It was a stunner and there was no doubt that he nailed it.

But, is it real or is it fake?

Well, that’s up to you to decide.

During his week in Toronto, Banachek has demonstrated some amazing power of the mind. Come and see for yourself: is it real, or is it fake.

Banachek’s new show, The Alpha Project (directed by Jim Millan) runs June 8, 9, 10 at the Fleck Theatre at Harbourfront as part of the Mind Over Matter magic series for Luminato. Details and ticket information can be found here:www.magicana.com/banachek

Don’t miss the world premiere of BANACHEK’S “The Alpha Project”!

8 Jun

You’ve read about him in The Toronto Star. You saw him read minds in The Morning Show. Now, see him LIVE at Luminato’s Mind Over Matter Magic Series: “The Alpha Project”. Here’s a sneak peek of his exciting performance:

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The Alpha Project

June 8, 9 @8PM, June 10 @2PM
Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West
Tickets $35, $45

BUY TICKETS NOW 

Discover the life of the world’s leading mentalist, Banachek, and hear the story of his exploration of telepathy, spirit channeling, ESP, prediction, metal bending, psychokinisis and past life regression.

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

Follow @sharingwonder @luminato @kiehlsca #luminato2012 for updates!

 

Toronto Star talks to He Who Knows…

7 Jun

“How predictable is the front page news?
We’re about to find out.”

-Bruce DeMara, Toronto Star
June 12, 2012

When the Toronto Star asked the world’s leading mentalist, Banachek, about what he does and how he does it, Banachek was quoted to have answered cryptically, “I use verbal communication, non-verbal communications. There’s magic thrown in and there’s a conglomeration of different things and that’s what a mentalist does” (Banachek, The Toronto Star). Read more…

Join us as we await with bated breath for Banachek’s prediction of the front page headlines on June 9, 3PM @ Kiehl’s on 407 Queen Street West.

Follow @sharingwonder @luminato @kiehlsca #luminato2012 for updates!

In the meantime, see Banachek’s new show, The Alpha Project (directed by Jim Millan) June 8, 9, 10 at the Fleck Theatre at Harbourfront as part of the Mind Over Matter magic series for Luminato. Details and ticket information can be found here:www.magicana.com/banachek

World’s leading mentalist, Banachek, on the Morning Show

6 Jun

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Minds were blown when the world’s leading mentalist performed a feat on the hosts of Global Toronto’s The Morning Show. Watch him talk about his live show, The Alpha Project, featured in this year’s Luminato’s Mind Over Matter Magic Series.

Watch Banachek on The Morning Show

Follow @sharingwonder @luminato @kiehlsca #luminato2012 for updates!

See Banachek’s new show, The Alpha Project (directed by Jim Millan) June 8, 9, 10 at the Fleck Theatre at Harbourfront as part of the Mind Over Matter magic series for Luminato. Details and ticket information can be found here:www.magicana.com/banachek

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