Buy Tickets Now!

Magic for Kids & Families!

"An extravaganza of magic for the young at heart..."











Magic Show for Kids!

Justin Skinner| March 20, 2011 | 5:30 PM


With the help of a mischievous bunny, midtown Toronto resident Julie Eng is gearing up to help children unlock their imaginations.

Eng, the executive director of entertainment and charitable organization Magicana worked with artistic director David Ben to create Piff Paff Poof, a show incorporating magic and narrative with an interactive bent.


Piff Paff Poof is the latest venture in a lifetime on stage for Eng. The veteran magician has been involved in illusions since she was a child. The daughter of noted magician Tony Eng, she made her stage debut in her father's show when she was three years old.

Without knowing it, that led her on the path to her current career. While most kids are in awe of magicians, Eng grew up simply viewing it as a grown-up thing to do.


"My dad, being a magician, this was normal, this was what we did," she said. "I just grew up thinking it was normal to have straightjackets in the front room of your house."


She paid her dues by performing at birthday parties and other private functions in her native Victoria, BC before moving to Toronto in 1997. She came to the city for work and wound up staying far longer than she ever would have expected.


"I didn't know what I was getting into," she said. "I thought I'd be here for a couple of months worth of work and now I've been here over 13 years."


She has indeed taken to the city and will soon move from her Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue home to a new residence downtown. She has also lived in Cabbagetown, the Annex area and the Harbourfront.


"I guess I've always been the downtown girl during my time here," she said. "I just love Toronto, the opportunities, the culture, the variety of choices here."


During her time in Toronto, Eng has not only performed countless times for audiences ranging from children to dignitaries, she has also been a key cog in Magicana, a leading organization in the promotion of magic that also provides performances for kids at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, seniors homes and other community centres.


"We really wanted to get magic out to people who wouldn't see it otherwise," she said.


Magicana's goal of getting kids involved in the world of illusion through magic classes - providing a nice boost to their imagination beyond the increasingly common television watching and video game playing - provides additional rewards, particularly as the young students prepare for a magic show of their own.


"It can be nerve-wracking for them being on stage, but the whole premise is that with a little preparation, anything is possible," Eng said.


Piff Paff Poof follows Eng and guest entertainers Mark Lewis and Richard Lyn (Tricky Ricky) as they put on a show that is supposed to include a rabbit, but the bunny, Poof, is making that job difficult.


Incorporating a live baby rabbit in a show adds one more element for kids in the audience to love.


"(Children) get so involved in the show which is good because when you're doing magic, it's a totally different game when it comes to kids," Eng said. "As (Artist Director of Magicana) David (Ben) says, kids are very honest because they don't have any filters."


The show is currently running at the Lower Ossington Theatre, 100 Ossington Ave., with shows running throughout March Break and on weekends  [now, through April 2011].







Follow Poof Follow Poof on Twitter