Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp was a volunteer-run Canadian performance arts camp dedicated to teaching the art of magic to young people, running for one week every summer from 1996 to 2015. The camp was started by Toronto magician “Magic” Mike Segal. The first year included only a small number of daytime-only campers, and the next summer it became a sleep-over camp with 10 attendees plus staff. For several years after that, attendance roughly doubled in size every year, eventually reaching attendance of about 225 boys & girls aged 8-18. We had campers from Canada, USA, Japan, South Africa, Belgium, France & England.
1996 (daytime only) was held at Browsers Den of Magic in Toronto.
1997-2001 were held at Camp Tamarack near Bracebridge, Ontario.
2002-2015 were held at Camp White Pine near Haliburton, Ontario. This is where the 1979 Bill Murray/Ivan Reitman blockbuster “Meatballs” was filmed.
2016 was held at Camp Northland, also near Haliburton, Ontario.
All camps are 2-3 hours north of Toronto.
Special Guests & Instructors
Bill Abbott, David Acer, Michael Ammar, Lee Asher, Wes Barker,Sean Bogunia, Jason Brumbalow, Eric Buss, Dan & Dave Buck (The Buck Twins), Ray Chance, Michael & Lisa Close, Daryl, Jason Dean, Scott Dietrich, Matt Disero, Shawn Farquhar, Greg Frewin, Aaron Fisher, Justin Flom, Daniel Garcia, Joe Givan & Carol Massie (Dream Masterz), Danny Hamill Dan Harlan, Greg & Kristi Heath, Wayne Houchin, Joshua Jay, Eric Jones, Ryan Joyce, Nathan Kranzo, Nicole Lee, Peter Loughran, Al Monroe, Oscar Munoz, Glenn Ottaway, Ted & Marion Outerbridge, Johnny Ace Palmer, Chris Pilsworth, Jeff Pinsky (Browsers Den of Magic), Gordon Precious, Pattrick Przysiecki, Jay Sankey, Jonathan Santiago, Bob Sheets, Soma, Suzanne TheMagician, Steve Valentine, Trevor & Lorean Watters, Michael Weber, Bill & Becki Wells, Gregory Wilson, Tyler Wilson, Wij, and Asi Wind.
“Magic” Mike Segal, Jen Segal, Christina Galinska, Stephanie Kline/Botamer, Lori Farquhar.
Ray Anderson, Anders Björkman, Sheldon Casavant, Marc Chalmers, Phil DC, Bill Cook, Aaron DeLong, Craig Douglas, Mike D’Urzo, Rob “Fish The Magish” Fishbaum, Al Gross, Marc Hache, Scott Hammell, Jeff Hinchliffe, Dick Joiner, Steven Kline, James Carey Lauder, Eric Leclerc, Loran, MAJINX (Lawrence Larouche & Cynthia Martin), Chris Mayhew, David Mitchell, Bobby Motta, Jason Palter, Morgan Pierce, Brian Roberts, Jason Tang, Johnny Toronto, Benzai Train, Dan Wiebe, Chris Westfall.
COUNSELLORS & STAFF
Many Sorcerers Safari campers have since gone on to careers in Magic.
Jonah Babbins, Mind Bender, Keith Brown, Steve Case, Mark Clearview (Mark Correia), Neil Croswell, Mahdi Gilbert, Greydon Gilmore, Jack Grady, Billy Hsueh, Chad Juros, Rosemary Reid, Sam Pearce, Nick Popa, Nathaniel Rankin, Riley Siegler, Daniel Steep, Jason Verners, Alex Zander (current President of the IBM),
A Typical Day at Sorcerers Safari
Classes were taught by magicians from Canada and the US.
Every day included card classes which were divided into three groups as determined by each camper’s skill level, with the first level focusing on handling cards and self-working tricks, the middle level introducing all manner of card sleight-of-hand, and the highest level focusing on theory and the finer points of presentation.
Magic ‘elective classes’, selected daily by each camper, included coin magic, rope magic, restaurant magic, busking, balloon twisting, linking rings, zombie ball, juggling, in-depth Erdnase topics, and specific tricks or sleights from the camp’s special guests.
Every day also included swim time (including a water trampoline), and physical activities like canoeing, kayaking, running, scavenger hunts, and even a garbage collection competition.
A couple of times a week, there also were brainstorming workshops on stage performance and presentation.
Every evening featured a full-scale, multiple entertainer show of pro magicians, most of whom were week-long special guests and instructors, but often including touring magicians who were able to make a special trip to camp. The final night of camp always was the ‘camper show’ featuring ONLY campers, many of whom did shows using skills they’d learned that week, and all technical tasks (sound, lights, etc) were performed by campers who had participated in the Stage Technology workshops throughout the week. Oh! And we always had a dance and a campfire!
Meals were served in the ‘mess hall’, and almost always featured games, songs, and prize give-aways. There was a snack time every day, and one meal always was an outdoor BBQ.
At night, campers slept in cabins, divided by gender & age, where each cabin had a counsellor and CIT (counsellor in training).
Of course, wherever you looked, people were doing magic. Cards, coins, ropes, levitations, escapes, and whatever else you can imagine.