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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » So Happy together... » » FISM 2022 - by the day (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mitchmagi
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FISM Day Zero

After too long a period - magicians from across the globe are descending on the beautiful city of Quebec for the 28th FISM World Championships of Magic.

French culture is everywhere you turn - it’s an odd sensation to have this European ‘outpost’ in North America ( and a quick read up on Canadian history shows a strong secession movement that even resulted in a terrorist front campaigning for Quebec independence in the 60s and 70s !) Folks speak French - but have Queen Elizabeth on their currency … all delightfully quirky.

The ‘official’ FISM hotel - Delta Quebec is a throwback to “Soviet concrete chic” and at odds with some of its more beautiful surroundings. The Hilton next door is definitely the better choice … and somewhat perplexing why you would have the official hotel with no bar or lobby area ? The convention centre itself looks fairly modern and soon to be our home away from home for the next few days.

Early registration kicked off today with a somewhat disappointing registration bag - a $2 drawstring backpack that you generally would get free, water bottle and deck of branded cards. Considering the high price of registration - swag matters ( just ask Stan about the Live hoodies, quality backpacks et al or Richard for the unbelievable treasure trove from GeniiCon) To their credit - the convention brochure is well produced and gives a great taste of what lies in store …

The convention kicks off tomorrow with dealers at 12 noon and the opening ceremony only at 730 pm. There are a number of observations. Compared to previous FISMs we are effectively an entire day short compared to normal ( the Spanish bid tried to do similar and were loudly denounced at the General Assembly … Quebec seemed to have done this quietly irrespective leaving attendees with no scheduled events for most of the first day (!) Many of the lectures which overlap with the contests later this week would have been better scheduled for this entire block of dead time ) Dealers were advertised at over 100 merchants - we are down to 34. Competitors are normally 150 … down to 109. Registrants were initially 3000+ … early reports have this pegged at 2000. In many respects - I hope that this does not become #fismlite ( covid to blame ? )

In other news there is a full page ad for FISM Shenzhen … it remains to be seen whether they are in fact still bidding for FISM 2025 as they had previously withdrew leaving it open for FISM Italy (again) A bright spot though looking at the program is the enormous number of artists and special lectures that await. We do have a veritable who’s who in attendance and this could well be FISM Quebec’s secret weapon.

Time will tell. Magic awaits.

*** For photos and other live FISM updates - be sure to join the FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fismmagic/
mitchmagi
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That beautifully produced program - seems no one bothered to actually get any of the information correct :-(

The page of past FISM champions is littered with errors.

Image here - https://i.ibb.co/0ckgVRg/C5-DFEBAF-96-A2......4-C0.jpg

How very embarrassing ...
mitchmagi
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To add insult to injury - an eagle-eyed reader also points out that 1955 Amsterdam is missing from the winners page. Omitting Fred Kaps.

A historical listing is available online at http://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.php/......pionship

When FISM can't get its own listing of winners right in the official souvenir brochure - we have a problem ;-(
mitchmagi
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FISM 2022 Day One

It’s day one of FISM 2022 and there is bizarrely nothing scheduled until 730 pm besides the dealers! With sightseeing having already been completed ~ it’s a poor choice of scheduling leaving magicians very little to do on the first day of the world championships especially with 7 special events and lectures scheduled between the hours of 9pm and 1 am tonight. No one has yet been able to explain the mystery as to why these were not presented during the day? Very odd.

With dealers being the all-encompassing focus of the day - they had a lot to live up to and sadly they just don’t deliver. The dealers room is embarrassingly small - 34 dealers out of the promised 100+ with many empty stands. Luggage woes and COVID all play a role ... along with the Canadian government’s actual enforcement of import regulations ( unlike many other countries which are a little more lax ) Tax is a swear word for most convention dealers Smile

FISM China and FISM Italy were separated by an aisle - all extolling the virtues of their bids. It’s a not a fair fight though ... Italy were already handing out flyers with the booking links to purchase your registration for 2025. Draw your own conclusions Smile

The convention center venue itself is - despite initial appearances - poorly designed, has no open restaurant facilities ( bar a poor make shift mobile food stand ) and is a complete labyrinth. Magicians are no doubt still stuck on the second level trying to work out how to get back to the exits Smile It’s that confusing.

With it being a somewhat lack luster day, things weren’t looking good for the Opening Ceremony.

But how wrong was I.

Conceived by Cirque du Soleil’s director - Martin Genest - delegates were treated to quite possibly one of the most artistic and creative gala shows in recent FISM history.

With the compulsory opening speeches by the organizers and local politicians out the way, it was on with the show ... A look back at the history of magic and Canada’s place in it.

Giant screen projections, ominous spoken word narrations, beautiful shadowgraphy and enthralling fire juggling (which would have the fire marshall cringing in any other country). Live drumming, a journey to the First Nation tribes of Canada, trapezoid juggling with suspended fireballs, guttural screams, Aboriginal dance, footsteps fade away as we arrive into the Middle Ages with a medieval parade of music through the audience, sway poles, rock preacher, Jesus ascends to the heavens, cabinet seances, unbelievable video content of Magic’s history come to life, Cirque gymnasts jumping on trampolines against live projections of T Nelson Downs. This is a spectacle in so many respects that only a nonmagician could conceive.

We end our fantastical journey by honoring some of Canada’s greats - Jared Kopf plays Vernon with a Triumph routine atop a transparent table with a camera underneath to show the action ( I’ve never seen a camera positioned underneath a table before - so simple yet clever ) Dean Gunnarson plays Randi in an upside down straight jacket escape against the backdrop of Niagara falls, a tribute to Doug Henning saw ‘him’ ride through the audience atop his motorbike ( sadly they did not recreate the bike vanish as the audience were so hoping ) The segment ended with a montage tribute to Gary Ouellet.

In a beautiful touch, Shawn Farquhar, introduced the competitors of FISM 2022 ... accompanied by a full marching band as they paraded down the hall (!) They are the stars of FISM and deserve all the credit.

This magical tableau came to a stunning end with the FISM winning performance by Miguel Munoz producing glass orbs from a running stream of water from the ceiling. Beautiful.

Whilst some may have wanted more magic - this opening gala was magical. It was filled with an artistic vision and as a concept ... could quite easily go on to tour as a stand-alone show. That’s how powerful the accompanying projection and video content was. The mind boggles as to how much time, effort and research went into developing some of the visuals.

Bravo to those involved. You’ve set the bar very high and can’t wait to see what lies in store for the rest of the week. I’m energized.

With the contests starting at 815 am tomorrow - it’s going to be a busy day. The best type. The magic of FISM has begun!

*** For photos and other live FISM updates - be sure to join the FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fismmagic/
Magic Mark
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Chris Ramsay put together a 48-minute video of his visit to FISM 2022 in Quebec last week. He spends a fair amount of time in the dealer room and we also get to see some amazing jam session magic. Trust me, this video is worth your time!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykR6iy-xge0

Mark
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