Poof! Local magicians part of the World Championship of Magic

ELORA – For the first time, the International Federation of Magical Societies (FISM) is holding the World Championship of Magic in North America – Quebec to be exact – and the milestone has a local magician to thank for it.

Joan Caesar is a magician who lives in Elora and even if she will not compete in Quebec, she has a key role in the context of the competition which is called the Magic Olympics.

Caesar is the founder of the Canadian Association of Magicians (CAM).

Until the creation of the association in 2000, Canadian magicians who wanted to participate in international competitions had to join an American association.

“As much as I was grateful to the Americans for accepting Canadian members, I was very upset that we couldn’t compete as Canadians. So I started CAM,” Caesar said in an interview.

“So I didn’t do anything to bring FISM to Canada, but I brought Canada to FISM.”

The World Championship of Magic takes place July 25-30 in Quebec City and over 2,000 magicians from around the world will be in attendance with over 100 qualifiers competing for the title of World Champion.

“They’re the best of the best in competition,” Caesar said.

The Worlds are held every three years and Caesar said she has competed in every competition since 1997. This has taken her to China, South Korea, Sweden and Italy.

“It’s a shame it’s so hidden,” she said. “It should be like the Olympics. They really should show this on TV.

Caesar said she came to magic when her now grown son was three.

“I took him to Sears Santa’s Breakfast and there was a magician there. Ben (his son) went crazy with magic,” she said.

So she bought some books and took him to magicians meetings and Ben got really good at it.

But as he got older, he developed other interests and the magic faded in the house.

“Then I caught the virus,” laughed César. “I just met the right people in the right place at the right time.

“They had just opened the door to female magicians. I was so lucky.

César mainly does magic for children’s parties and she judges magic acts at local and national competitions. In Quebec, she will be part of the production team.

Ryan Joyce is a magician who lives in Fergus and is Vice President of CAM.

He said he received a magic Harry Houdini kit when he was a kid and that’s where it all started for him.

He started an illusion show as a student at Wellington Center District High School and made a career out of it, touring his show across the country and on cruise lines.

Seeing David Copperfield perform opened his eyes to the possibility of making magic a career. Meeting Caesar opened the door, he said.

Joyce, too, will be backstage in Quebec, although he was a judge for some of the North American qualifying rounds.

He said there were eight categories in the competition – five are on stage for a larger audience and three are close-up routines.

All categories are judged on originality, magical atmosphere, technical skill, entertainment value and showmanship.

Prizes are awarded for most original stage act, most original close-up act, magical invention, creativity and artistic vision.

Among these winners, the judges may also award the Grand Prize, although the first prize is not always awarded in every competition.

Caesar and Ryan are also behind the Ontario Week of Wonder magic festival held in Elora during Monster Month in October.

For more information on the World Championship of Magic, visit magicianmasterclass.com/post/fism-world-championship-of-magic.

Brian L. Hartfield