We’re back!

As Luminato, Toronto’s festival of creativity and the arts, has just announced, we will be part of the Festival’s Masters of Magic series June 10-18th.

As the Artistic Director of Magicana, I program the magic for the Festival. Magicana will be presenting three distinct programs in June: Natural Magick, Vodavil and Eric Mead: Toast of the Town.  Magicana will also be presenting its community outreach program, My Magic Hands, at Holland-Bloorview Kid’s Rehabilitation Hospital, and at Queen Victoria Public School.

I’ll be discussing the ins and outs of the various shows over the coming weeks. At this stage, if you love magic, Toronto is the place to be between June 10-18th.

Tickets will go on sale in Mid-April. We will be giving an advance purchase option to subscribers, so make sure that you join the Magicana eList to receive word.

Piff Paff Poof

Who says tricks are for kids?  Well, just about everybody.

There are few places, however, where kids can see, let alone participate in, a great magic show.  That is, until now.

If you are anywhere near Toronto during the March Break (March 14-19) or each remaining weekend of this month, bring your family, or children, or friends of your family to see Piff, Paff, Poof! – an extravaganza of magic for the young at heart.

Magicana, where I serve as Artistic Director, in association with the Lower Ossington Theatre, is presenting this wonderful outing of magic for children ages 5 – 12.

The name “Piff Paff Poof!”, by the way, was inspired by both the magic words said by magicians of long ago as well as the name of a magic convention that was held in Fort Erie, Ontario in the 1930s.

The show features the magic of Julie Eng, a special guest performer, and her magic bunny – Poof!  Actually, Poof claims in his biography that he comes from a long line of bunnies, each of which adopted a magician at an early age. Poof’s magician is, of course, Julie.

Whichever came first – the Poof or the Eng – is irrelevant as together they make some wonderful magic. David Rayfield has designed a delightful set and, although the show is staged for children, there is something in it for everyone.  Julie has even been known to levitate a mom or two!

Don’t take my word for it.  Listen to the critics. Much to my surprise – and to their credit – Eye Weekly appeared on the scene unannounced to conduct exit surveys from those who matter most – the children who emerge from the theatre after witnessing a performance. Children have no filters.  They tell it like it is; they loved it.

And, you will too!




Well, it’s official.

Luminato (www.luminato.com), Toronto’s annual ten-day celebration of the arts where the city’s stages, streets, and public spaces are infused with theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, film, literature, visual arts, and design, will now feature Magic.

As the Artistic Director of Magicana, I have been working closely with Luminato to bring four of the world’s master magicians – Juan Tamariz, Mac King, Max Maven and Bob Sheets – to Toronto as part of the Festival. What a wonderful opportunity, particularly for the public who now has the chance to see these four stellar performers present their work in such a superb setting.

Juan Tamariz will perform his full show three times – first in Spanish (June 17), then in English (June 19) and then in French (June 20), a testament to his extraordinary talent and to the diversity of Toronto, and the Festival. Max Maven presents his one-man theatrical journey – “Thinking In Person”  – Friday evening, June 18th. Mac King will be presenting his full Las Vegas show on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, June 19th and 20th.

All performances by Tamariz, Maven, and King will take place at the Panasonic Theatre.

Tickets will be priced at $35.00 and $45.00, and will go on sale at 10:00 am on April 15th through TicketMaster (call 416-872-1111 or visit www.ticketmaster.ca).

Bob Sheets will be roaming the city, staging impromptu street performances here and there, between the 17th and the 20th.

Additional magic-related events are scheduled, and I’ll comment about the performers, the Festival, and other upcoming events in the coming weeks. I’ll also let you know when the Festival’s full schedule is released so you can plan your time accordingly. It’s worth noting, however, that a lot “just happens”. That is one of the hallmarks of the Festival, to surprise the city and the public with events throughout the dates.

None of this, of course, would be possible without the vision of the Festival’s organizers, and its extensive network of sponsors, L’Oréal being the lead sponsor. The magic component was made possible by the generous support of the Slaight Family through Luminato’s SuperNova Program Development Fund. Juan Tamariz’ performance is supported by The Consulate General of Spain.

So, block off two sets of dates.

The first is April 15th. You will want to book your tickets on the day they go sale to avoid disappointment. Second, June 11 to the 20th to spend time in Toronto sampling some of the very the best the world as to offer.