Tag Archives: Camp Oochigeas

Hanging out with Camp Ooch

12 Nov

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“I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming in to Ooch on Saturday.  I’ve heard rave reviews from campers, volunteers and camper families.  They had such a great day, and learned so many neat tricks!”

-Olivia Tischler, Program Manager In-City

After several years of partnership, we had yet another successful day-out with Camp Oochigeas, (lovingly nicknamed Camp Ooch) this past Saturday, November 3.

Together with over 27 kids, 11 volunteers and 5 of our own Magicana staff, we filled Ooch’s space with wonder and magic for a whole Saturday afternoon.

Camp Oochigeas is a privately funded, volunteer-based organization that provides kids with cancer and kids affected by childhood cancer a unique opportunity for growth through challenging, fun, enriching and magical experiences.

The camp has become an important resource for kids and their families and has grown beyond the summer days of camp. For their fall program, Ooch  introduced: Wacky World of Wizardry to encourage youth to participate in honing their motor skills, communication skills and creative problem-solving skills by learning a variety of magic tricks using classic magical props: ropes, cards and ball vases!

We know these kids face immense challenges, and so we are so inspired to see how hard they work despite these issues. We know that our campers would not have had as much fun nor success as they did if it wasn’t for their dedicated camp volunteers, “Magic Coaches”, who provided personal and supportive encouragement each step of the way.

We ended the day with a Big Show, where the campers had a chance STAR in their own show, in front of their families and friends, and show off the tricks they learned that day.

Special thanks to the volunteers who helped us with the workshop, as well as Julie Eng, James Alan, Joe Culpepper, Suleyman Fattah and Ellise Ramos for donating their Saturday afternoons to make My Magic Hands happen.

We look forward to the next year and may magic and wonder continue to be shared all around…

Ooch

10 Nov

Camp Ooch, that is!

Magicana was back at camp over the Halloween weekend, in partnership with Camp Oochigeas and the Urban Ooch program.

Camp Oochigeas is a privately funded, volunteer-based organization that provides kids with cancer and kids affected by childhood cancer a unique opportunity for growth through challenging, fun, enriching and magical experiences.

Ooch, as the organization is affectionately known, has become an important resource for kids and their families and has grown beyond the summer days of camp. Now offering Urban Camps and Ooch in the City, Ooch called upon the magicians at Magicana for another version of “Boot Camp Magic Day”.

With such amazing participants and volunteers, how could we refuse?!

Urban Ooch 2010

Who wants to learn magic?!

On the perfect day for magic (Halloween) we learned, practiced and, believe it or not, we even performed!  23 campers ages eight to thirteen and 15 magic coaches, rolled up their sleeves, polished their magic wands and sprinkled quite a bit of whoofle-dust on Sunday in preparation for a Showcase of Magic.

These kids face immense challenges – ones that a child is not meant to see. It was very touching to see how hard campers worked despite these issues. It was even more moving to see camp volunteers (duly dubbed “Magic Coaches”) stand side-by-side with campers, cheering them on.

“The day was absolutely amazing from start to finish.  I can’t express to you the gratitude I feel for your generosity and passion in the work you did with our campers.  It was a really special thing to see them all get up in front of a crowd and perform at the end of the day, what an amazing experience for them.”

Chrissie Arnold
Ooch City Program Manager

Magicana thanks Julie Eng for leading this program and a special thanks to James Alan, Joe Culpepper and Suley Fattah for donating their weekend to make Ooch happen. We are proud to partner with such an amazing organization as Camp Ooch and look forward to our next outing together.

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!

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