Tag Archives: Magic Workshops

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…

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.

Magic + Film = Challenge Week

20 May

After an exciting outing with the Toronto International Festival (TIFF) and the March Break Magic ‘n Movies partnership, Magicana redeveloped our annual Challenge Week Magic Camp (May 4 – 6) for the students of The York School. The mission of Challenge Week is to challenge the mind, body and spirit through authentic experiences which extend and enrich student learning. And that we did!

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In partnership with TIFF, we started the week learning cool magic tricks. Then, we injected the magic of the movie making process. Students learned to write a script; to pitch it to the group; followed by  casting, directing and filming the script. Everyone had a role to play in front and behind the camera.

Then, we learned the importance of creating texture and learned how to edit the films. From there, we learned more magic – armed with the new knowledge of moving making – to start the planning for a live performance scheduled for the end of the week.

Students learned the power and differences (and pressure) of creating a live performance versus a filmed one. They also realized that both can be highly successful once we integrated planning and added interesting (magic) moments.

As their lead instructor, I was very proud of the work that students created and the magic that resulted. Many thanks to the outstanding Mrs. Dionisio and Ms. Zhao and to all my fabulous students at TYS. I hope you will continue with your magical efforts as you all showed great talents!

Lights… Camera… Abracadabra

8 Oct

To our Canadian subscribers: Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for your continued support and look forward to sharing some exciting new projects with you in the near future.

This weekend, we’re off to the movies… well, not quite.

We are pleased to present a series of magic My Magic Hands workshops in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) at the brand new Bell Lightbox in Toronto.

On Oct 9, 10 and 11, Magicana will be conducting two-hour workshops designed to share with young magicians how making magic relates to making movies.

 

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