12 Months of Magic: Magicana in 2013

Hard to believe, as we look back on 2013 that the year has passed so quickly. Here are some highlights:

My Magic Hands

We are proud to announce that this year marks our tenth year in partnership with  Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation HospitalOur magic program is designed to build self-esteem and self-confidence within our participants as they also learn the great secrets of magic. Our participants also glean important life skills such as critical thinking, practise and preparation, creative problem solving and working both individually and in collaboratively. We have modified the program for the clients at Holland Bloorview and it is now recognized and acknowledged by occupational therapists, staff and families as a unique, successful and motivating tool that assists clients to reach their therapeutic goals.

The real secret is that we approach the program from a performing arts point of view – we just can’t help it if the program also generates wonderful by-products such as helping clients reach their therapeutic goals! It is at The Big Show where the children really do become magicians because they literally stage, and star, in their very own production. These special shows never fail to inspire and motivate when we see how emboldened our youngsters become after completing their performance. Truly magical.

Another great collaboration was with our partners at Camp Oochigeas. This year we presented the Wacky World of Wizardrya special day-long workshop using the secrets from My Magic Hands and presented with the urban day camp at Camp Ooch. Together, we delivered a fun and educational session that used magic as a teaching vehicle to build confidence and self-esteem while developing having fun and discovering that anything is possible!

To wrap up our busy year, Toronto Star’s Valerie Hauch wrote a touching article about the hard work of Julie Eng in spearheading our My Magic Hands program. Valerie writes:

All eyes were on their hands, all ears attuned to the descriptions of what we were about to see. While magic took centre stage, the wheelchairs, the tubes, the bandages all faded away. Nine magicians —The Great Macsini, Blooronix, Magnificent Manushari, Sensational Salman, Just Jobelle, Abracadabra Sheldon, Mazin the Magician, The Amazing, Magical Aliyah and Magic Lucine — ages 6 to 16, remained. That’s transformation.

Congratulations to all of our magicians, magic coaches and staff who worked hard to deliver another successful year of My Magic Hands!

Senior Sorcery

This year, Senior Sorceryalong with a newly minted website, is proud to have delivered 45 shows for Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. We performed for Neighbourhood Link for National Seniors Day, and various Halloween shows for different centres.

We were able to reach over 2,135 seniors across the GTA and we hope to grow this number in 2014!

Tong Eng Youth Fund

We kicked off 2013 with a bursary awarded to two up and coming magicians: Braden Pole and Zachary Bryant, that allowed them to attend the 83rd Magi-Fest 2013. The contest was open to all young magicians who were chosen on the strength of their essays, describing what they hope to learn from the convention.

The two definitely enjoyed their stay at Magi-Fest. According to Braden Pole:

“I am truly thankful to everyone who contributed to my scholarship. This conference has changed the way I look at magic.  I learned many tricks, but more importantly I have gained lifelong friends, mentors and the experience of a lifetime. “

And from our other recipient, Zachary Bryant:

It was fantastic! (…) Thanks to this trip, I have made so many new friends.

In April 2013, Magicana’s Tony Eng Youth Fund also created and sponsored a one-week mentorship program for Trevor and Lorena Watters to study and learn from legendary magician and consultant, Johnny Thompson (The Great Tomsoni & Company) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over an intensive coaching week, the couple received invaluable advise from both Johnny and Pam Thompson , who graciously accepted them in their home and gave them the “experience of a lifetime”.

We released a daily blog entry, written by Trevor Watters, that documented their mentorship under Johnny Thompson. Read more here.

Luminato

This summer, for our fourth year at Luminato, Magicana presented Maestros of Magic – a series of performances from famous magicians across the world, each exploring the fused product of magic and music. Miguel Puga, Steve Cohen and Rafael Benatar gave us the opportunity to experience magic for both the eyes and the ears; magic that confounded our logic and music that stirred our emotions.

David Ben and Steve Cohen also joined molecular gastronomist, John Placko, to present Lunchtime Illuminations – a lunch series presented by Luminato that promised intellectual and artistic dialogues.

We garnered lovely reviews for our Maestros of Magic and so we are thankful for hard work and dedication each artist gave that contributed to its great success.

Magicol

We continue to be proud of the community Magicol creates, and this year we were happy to give back to this community by producing a special Magic Castle Edition of Magicol – Open Sesame.

This beautiful softcover souvenir booklet on The Magic Castle is in full colour, 68 pages in length and retails for $20 (plus shipping where applicable).

It is available at the Magic Castle gift shop and from Magicana.

… 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.

 

 

 

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