Magic For Elephants

“Elephants are contagious”

– Paul Eluard, Dada and Surrealist poet

Just today I admired a baby elephant clip my friend Marilyn had posted on facebook.  This sweet elephant was meeting the sea for the first time.  I smiled in glee as the wee (Huge) elephant laughed endlessly with his little trunk undulating in the waves.  Little did I realize that tonight I would be getting a chance to support the African Pachyderms.

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Kimberly Meldrum (L) and Dr. Jennifer Dyck heading on a 100 mile journey across Kenya this fall to raise awareness for our elephantine brothers and sisters

We had tickets to a sold-out Magic Show which turned out to be a benefit for the African Elephants.  Multiple – award winning magician Eric Bedard said, “If we don’t do something like this, in 15 years there will be no elephants left in Africa.”  Eric and his wife are going to Africa in September on a 100 mile trek to raise funds and awareness for the elephants.  The trip is put together by Dag Goering and Maria Coffey of Hidden Places Travel, who also set up Elephant Earth http://www.elephantearth.org/  Dag and Maria’s initiative is endorsed by the Dalai Llama.

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Eric Bedard, Magician.  He said that when he was emailing his friends in the magic community to ask for their support of this event, he wasn’t sure how many would be able to participate.  Every single one of them wanted to come out tonight and Eric was overwhelmed by their positive response.

Dag explained to me that NGOs have been working to counter the loss of elephants due to poaching.  However, Dag and Maria want to honour the local people (not the NGOs) who are risking their lives every day to save the elephants.  Elephant Earth will give awards to those individuals to who struggle for these noble, beautiful, strong, and sensitive creatures.  They are doing this to highlight the positive, Dag said.

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Elephant lover selling raffle tickets for elephant gift basket including Elephant Poo Poo paper (made from elephant dung of course)

Highlight the positive?  That’s what I want to do to inspire change!  There was such positive delight in the Jame’s Bay Hall tonight.

We got treated to the Who’s Who in Victoria’s Magic Community.  First of all, a slew of deft-fingered magicians came to wow and dazzle us at each table with various illusions, from cards to nuts to balls.  Our table had no less than 5 different magicians for the first hour and a half.  They were alternately cute, professional and even shocking.  For example, I almost got my hand burned with magic tin foil (Thanks Shanye King!).  Eric Bedard explained that everyone there contributed not just time; each magician also bought their own ticket to support the elephants.

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Renegade wizard Kendall

The magicians included Dave Attwood, Eric Bedard, Ron Bell, Mike Bice, John Graham, Murray Hatfield, Steve Hignett, David Kendall, Shayne King, Justin Louie Dave Morris, Aaron Peek-Vout, Doug Poruchney, Ryan Stanley, and Chris Yuill.  Here is fourteen year old Jason Yeners wowing a table:

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After the Table Magic was a show featuring multiple international award-winners including Eric Bedard, Shayne King, Dave Attwood, Chris Yuill and Murray Hatfield.  We only stayed for the first three acts, leaving early to put sleepy kids (who didn’t want to leave) to bed.  Eric Bedard, went first.  A consummate performer, Eric had us all laughing or oohing or spontaneously cheering every thirty seconds or so.

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Eric Bedard, on stage in his blue zoot suit. He is the “Cool Magic Dude” and has performed for countless celebrities and won numerous awards.

Shayne King magicked his head to blow up and then shrink and did some kinky stuff with a cord of rope.  David Attwood ended his set escaping from a straight-jacket.  It was a Houdini-esque parody set to Nat King Cole’s Pappa Loves Mambo.  After he contorted out of the straight-jacket, red-faced from the exertion David said, “The worst thing about doing that trick is that I always lose my hair.”  We all laughed (cuz he’s bald).

But then he pulled a live hare out of thin air.

It was classic, magic.

Just what the elephants need.

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