Saturday night, as part of a special gala show concluding the 44th Magic Collectors Weekend in Montreal, Magicana presented the Allan Slaight Awards. The awards, now in their third year, were created by the Slaight Family Foundation to honour Allan Slaight. A deeply passionate magician who is better known to the world at large through his work in broadcasting, he is now in his eighties, his idea of a quiet Canadian retirement involves quietly donating millions of dollars each year to various healthcare and arts organizations.
The awards recognize the best in magic with $50,000 a year in prizes. There are awards for performances for the public and also those who advance the craft, publishing reference material within the field. In the two years the awards have been given previously, some of my favourite magicians have received the awards, including Penn & Teller.
For the first two years, the awards were presented a private dinner. This is the first time they have been open to see. The winners were:
Lifetime Achievement - $15,000
Sharing Wonder - $15,000
Sharing Secrets - $10,000
International Rising Star - $5,000
Canadian Rising Star - $5,000
This year, I was backstage for the show, so I had a slightly different perspective. For example, here is John Lovick who won the award for Sharing Secrets for a book he wrote in collaboration with Handsome Jack, the world's foremost male model magician. He's having a slight wardrobe malfunction.