Monthly Archives: May 2014

Lab Magique in Montreal.

There is a magicians’ association in Montreal called REGROUPEMENT DES MAGICIENS QUÉBÉCOIS. Its purpose is to promote the art of magic in Quebec and is open to professionals and amateurs to exchange ideas, techniques, etc. Phil and I were invited to a show they were presenting in an intimate cabaret like theatre  in a room upstairs of Le Fripon, a restaurant in Old Montreal, on Jacques Cartier Square. Go know! It’s a “LABATOIRE EXPÉRIMENTAL POUR MAGICIENS ET ARTISTES  DE VARIETÉ”. I say its a great idea because its a place that seats about 65 people and it was full, and it’s presented like a real show, which it is, with an M.C. who was Eric Electrik that night, with several magicians performing. This is a place for them to try out their stuff.

We phoned Guy Camirand and he joined us and we sat together. You can order food if you want.  Beer was 2 for $6.00, which we thought was a good deal.

The performers were Pablo Solis, Sebastien Gagné, Bernard Lebel, Michel Asselin and the headliner was Gino Levesque, magician fakir. There was variety, humor, magic of course, and although supposedly experimental, some of it was really great. They all had the audience engaged, and all in all it was an enjoyable evening and all the magicians made us feel very welcome. It was all in French so we missed some of the jokes, but magic is international.

The next show is Saturday May 31,2014 at 8:00pm (20H00)” PRESTIGICOMIK avec PATRIK KUFFS”. (436 Place Jacque-Cartier, Old Montreal).

This is an ongoing occurrence. Marc Trudel will be headlining June 18, 2014, Patrick Reymond September 24, 2014, Loran – October 22, 2014 and Patrick Kuffs – November 19. So if you want a place to try out, join the group. If you want to see a live magic show give it a try!

Now when people come into the shop and ask if anything is going on in magic that is open to the public I’ll know what to tell them.


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Magic and Men of The Cloth

Our magic shop is situated in a multi-ethnic community. Cote des Neiges. The last I heard there were over 53  different nationalities and of course different religions as well in this area.  The Metro is right at our corner so I suppose the people that come to our shop could be from anywhere, but we do have many customers of different ethnic backgrounds. There are a lot of religious Jews that shop here. I happen to know a Rabbi who is very into magic, serious manipulation, and that kind of stuff.

In the Jewish Tribune , Nov. 3rd, 2011, Arthur Kurzweil  who designs , manufactures  and sells magic tricks  writes an article about a conversation he had with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, a most highly regarded Jewish teacher and scholar,  about magic and Jews, it  seems in a section of the Talmud, a major sin of the magican is explored. ” The Jewish magician has an obligation to avoid making the claim of having special powers…the magician performs illusions…”

People come here to buy gifts for Chanukah as well as gifts for Christmas. (Did I mention that we now have lovely Gift Cards, any denomination that you choose. It makes shopping so much easier.) But that is not what I’m writing about.

Now, if you are a middle or old-timer then you know Father Cyprian, a Capuchin Monk, a good friend, and a wonderful magician, who used to perform and lecture at Magie Montréal back in the day. He told us many funny stories  about his adventures  as a Magician Monk. He did a lot of travelling to conventions and would wear his collar which would make it easier at customs…most of the time. Then there was the time he had a lot of explaining to do when they actually asked him to open his suitcase and found all these decks of cards.

We have had priests  from different churches who did magic for the congregation to illustrate a point. There are magic Bible Colouring books, etc. But I do not remember a priest in full Catholic Garb coming to the shop. Not until today. He seemed like a good man, and was thrilled to find out we were Jewish and said he would love to come to a Passover Seder. We had a great time with him and he seemed to enjoy our meeting as well.

I could not help but wonder about the scene of a religious Jew with the black coat and hat and beard coming in while he was there. These words kept creeping up in my mind….Did you hear the one about a Rabbi and a Priest who met in the in the magic shop?



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Magic in Montreal Gets a Big Boost

There was a time, a few moons ago, that there were Magic Conventions in Montreal, once or twice a year. At Magie Montreal there was a lot of magic of course, but more than that was the comraderie and we haven’t  had that in a long time. Our last Convention was in 1998. CAM (The Canadian  Association of  Magicians) had one one the South Shore a few years ago. There is also a Festival in Quebec  City.  But in Montreal it’s been quiet. We miss it. It’s just too much work and too expensive. But at the Comedy Nest at the Old Forum, a few months ago, David Acer took a  chance and decided to make one Sunday night a magic night. It turned out there was standing room only. It was such fun. And the after show was great too. The magicans hung in there and chatted away. It was like old times.

If you missed it you get a second chance. SUNDAY JUNE 1st, at 8:00pm The Comedy Nest is having another magic night.  It should be a blast. Jonathan Burns, Richard Sanders, Romaine, and Angelo the Amazing Food Magician will be performing. We’ll be there! Will you? The Comedy Nest is not a big place so put your reservation in now if you intend to go. Otherwise you may be disappointed.

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Essentials in Starting Out In Magic

My 8 year old grandson had a school project. He had to choose a career he might be interested in when he grew up and had to draw and list 6 things that were essential to becoming a success in that field. And he had to do it in French. He chose a career as a magician. But then again, he’s only 8. He had to discuss it in front of the class as he was bringing a wand, a top hat and a magic trick to perform.

Anyhow, I thought it  would  be a great challenge for magicians and asked them on Facebook what they thought the six most important things to have if you were to be successful in magic.

The following were the answers I got from a few brave magicians…commitment, confidence, self-awareness, friendliness, creativity, talent, imagination, ambition,  patience, good communicator, coffee, cards, coins, sponge balls, wand, cups and balls, ropes.

I did not tell him I did this nor did I help him, as it was his assignment, not mine. He thought a top hat and wand was essential. Also cards, (regular) and a trick deck and practice. He had recently seen an Invisible Deck and it blew him away. I admit I tried to talk him out of one of the decks, as there was so much else to choose from, like coins, I said. No he wanted the 2 decks. He might have put coins if he had space but he could only put in 6 things and he thought a volunteer and an audience were more important. And so he drew a picture of a magician standing in front of a  huge audience and the next picture was the same except he had a volunteer beside him and a picture of each of the 2 decks, a picture of him practicing,  and a top hat and a wand. 8 years old!





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