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CAM 2010 – Day Three

May 10th, 2010 by Shawn Farquhar

Today started off with the Dealers room opening up at 9:00 AM. It was a great room filled with lots of very diverse items. Unlike many convention where you can find more of the same, this one had mainly dealers offering their own creations.

J.C. Wagner was the first lecture of the day and it was packed with usable commercial magic. After sixty years of presenting magic this man really understands what it takes to entertain. Perhaps I have become jaded seeing so many lectures at so many conventions. Most of the lectures I see have great ideas but lack the performance time necessary to validate the material. J.C. Has nothing but killer material validated by years of performance!

The Awards luncheon was next on the agenda and it is always well attended. The meal was actually very good this year and the guests were all seated at tables that were hosted by the performers. This was a nice touch for those that did not get a chance to meet their favourite magic star. Awards were announced for the Stage and Close Up contests. First place Stage was awarded to Neil Croswell and Second Place to Michael Dardant. In Close Up the First prize winner was Nicholas Wallace and the Second Place was also to Michael Dardant. Normally only a First and Second Place award are presented but this year the scores were very close and a Third Place prize was given to Neil Croswell.

The Sid Lorraine Achievement Award was presented to Sandy Hobson for all his efforts in support of the Canadian Association of Magicians. His work on the website alone has helped to build our organizations communications and membership growth. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Roman Sydlowski who has been a member of the Board of Directors since the CAM’s inception and who’s dedication to art is unbelievable. The final award is the Canadian Magician of the Year. This is the highest honour a Canadian magician can dream to be given. Past recipients include Greg Frewin, David Acer, James Dimmare, Murray Hatfield and myself. This year I was surprised and thrilled to hear I (Shawn Farquhar)was to be the Honouree once again. This is an honour I do not take lightly and I hope to do my best to represent Canada, Canadian magicians and magic in general in the best light possible.

Ventriloquist, Mike Robinson was the entertainment for the luncheon and he was spectacular! He and Terrance do a show filled with laughs and jabs. I seemed to be the brunt of most of the jokes Terrance made. In the past Obie O’Brien has always been the target and I used to laugh hard. Not so funny when you’re the guy Terrance plans to kick in the a##. In truth I have not laughed so hard in a long time. Kudos to Mike and his jerk of a partner!

The next lecture of the day was FISM World Champion of Parlour, Marc Oberon. His lecture was pushed forward a bit due to the loss of Lennart Green who could not make it as a result of the volcano. Marc’s lecture was packed with useful magic. He offered a little of something for everyone. I personally love his effect “Bang On”. It is clean direct magic at it’s best.

Everyone was given a short break to make their own dinner plans and then head over o the Centre on the Square theatre for the gala show. The show had an amazing line up of acts and ran almost four hours with an intermission.

The show began with 2006 FISM Grand Prix World Champion of Stage, Pilou of France. He did the act that won him his prize and the audience loved him. Tim Ellis and Sue Anne Webster were next with the help of an inflatable doll, two blues brothers, some rope, cards and a rap song. Charlie Frye & Company were next to entertain. This comedic juggling duo was unbelievable. The pace at which Charlie worked and the speed Sherry needed to keep up was stunning. The crowd loved this act and the show was just flying along. Steve Walker, our host for the evening, took a turn in front of the grand curtain with his lie detector device. It. Like Steve was hilarious. Often a show can be killed by a bad host. I have had the fortune to work with Steve more times than I can remember, and he always make a show better than it would have been had he not been a part. Closing the first half of the show was yours truly (Shawn Farquhar) with my signature Tipsy Turvey bottles and the act I did to win the Grand Prix World Championship of Close Up, Shape of my Heart.

Following the intermission Bob Sheets did what Bob does best … he used just a piece of rope, an egg and a bag to make his time dissapear. Charlie Frye and Company returned but this time instead of juggling they did a wickedly fun magic act with some outstanding manipulations moves fit for a juggler.

Closing the show was Ryan Joyce, a young illusionist from Ontario who pulled out all the stops to impress his hometown audience. We were treated to a funny video clip of a Criss Angel parody to start his show and were soon to see such illusions as Instant Babe, Jam, Splashes Ultimate Levitation, Eclipse and the Origami. Ryan has a very theatrical style and his lightening and dancers added to the dramatic flair he is wanting to achieve.

The show was a tremendous success with approximately 1300 people viewing some amazing magic and brilliant performers. Everyone headed back to the social suite where we ended the evening consuming Canadian beer, doughnuts and sharing magic.

I really can’t wait until next year when the CAM will be held in Vancouver, BC in conjunction with the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians. The largest magic club in Canada, the Vancouver Magic Circle will be hosting the event from July 28th to the 31st. More details will soon be released.

Let me close by apologizing for the tardiness of the final report. I had been on the road for most of a month and was not well. The hours of performing, travelling and socializing had finally caught up to me and I basically collapsed upon my return to home.

Shawn Farquhar was reporting from Camaraderie 2010 you can read all the updates right here