Resources

Strange and Unusual

My friend Nicholas Wallace will be appearing in Toronto in January as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival with his show Strange and Unusual.

Back when we were hosting Magic Tonight, Nick was one of our most requested guests (certainly the creepiest guest), and earlier this year he received the Allan Slaight Award for Canadian Rising Star in Magic.

Unfortunately, Nick lives rather far away, out in that mysterious void on the other side of Hamilton, so getting a chance to see him perform in Toronto is rare. But he’s here for five nights at the Factory Theatre and there is an early bird discount up until this Friday, December 7. Just use the promo code EARLY BIRD (with the space) at checkout. The show is definitely worth seeing!

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Factory Theatre

Getting Ready for the Holidays

 Design by Kurt Firla

The end of the year is and we'd like to help you celebrate the magic of the holidays with some magic for grownups! If you're planning a party for your workplace, your friends or family, let's make your event truly unforgettable this year.

There are a few options to choose from. Find something perfect for you:


Go big with Magic For Grownups

Bring the wonder and astonishment with a full magic show after dinner. Fun, exciting, funny and extremely interactive. 

(Audiences of up to 500 guests, 30-75 minutes, additional staging requirements for audiences over 100 guests.)


Keep it casual with Magic Up Close

Break the ice with mingling close-up magic to kick the night off with energy and excitement. Perfect when you want to keep your night simple with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and not have a big production.

(Any size audience, flexible length)


Let the night overflow with wonder with Magic & Martini 

A complete evening of magic: Enjoy apps and shreables and finely crafted cocktails. Get a mixology lesson from the cocktails wizards at Suite 114 (Toronto) or Grand Spirits (Orangeville). Plus a full evening of magic!

(Limited to 40 guests)


The Sky is the Limit

Use your imagination, pick your own format and we will craft something special specifically for your event. 

Dates at the end of the year are always in high demand and go quickly so availability may be limited. Don't miss out and contact us today for rates and availability.

Sleight of Hand Without Hands

Toronto-born Mahdi Gilbert is, as far as I know, unique in the world of magic. He was born without hands and feet but created his own system to perform the kind of magic which would, under ordinary circumstances, be called "sleight-of-hand". 

He recently appeared at the EG Conference and you can watch is performance followed by an interview with another celebrated magician, Eric Mead. As far as I know, Eric is the first interviewer who's dared to ask about the specifics of his physical condition. (Heck, I've known Mahdi for about eight years and I've never asked.)

The trick you can see performed is a modern classic known as "Oil and Water" 

Mahdi's work is, in part, inspired by another differently abled magician from Argentina, René Lavand. Lavand lost his right arm in an accident at an early age.

He also worked primarily with cards. Most of his performances revolved around storytelling and even the occasional poetry reading. He described his own work as "Lentidigitation" which was the opposite of "Prestidigitation", roughly translated as "Fast Finger Action". 

If you watch it below, you'll repeatedly hear him say "No Se Pueder Hacer Más Lento" which translates to "It can't be done any slower."

A bit of Movie Magic

For the past year, I've been working quietly on a project I'm now thrilled to share. A new addition to The Screening Room, an online archive of vintage magic videos hosted by Magicana brings the private magic video collection of Larry Thornton to the world for free.

Larry Thornton, of Calgary, Alberta, recorded magicians in his hometown and at magic conventions across North America. Many magicians, still well-known today, were captured looking younger than I could imagine. The process of digitizing the 8mm reels has been slow and careful and now the archive is finally available. 

Take a look at a short sneak preview and visit the entire collection through the button below.

Helping Hands

I've just had the pleasure of completing a special two-week workshop at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital called Helping Hands. It comes as an offshoot of Magicana's My Magic Hands program, which I have been involved with now for close to ten years. 

In an innovative treatment program, kids who have — for one medical reason or another — lost the use of one of their hands and had to re-learn how to use it. To speed up the process, the stronger hand is isolated through clever combination of foam, plastic and velcro, so all the work gets done with the in-training or "helping" hand.

Adding magic into the therapy puts a different spin on things. Rather than having to re-learn things that everyone knows how to do and take for granted, they get to learn things that no one knows how to do. 

For reasons of confidentiality, I don't have any photos of the kids doing magic, but it got subway poster sized thank you gift from the class:

Holland Bloorview - Helping Hands

This program is made possible through the generous support of the Slaight Family Foundation