2015 WowFest Magic Cabaret Entertainers

Proving that “tricks are not just for kids”, the WowFest Magic Cabaret presents an evening of mystery suited for older audiences. While the show is suitable for older kids, the magic is sure to baffle even the most analytical of minds. Presented at 7 PM in Calgary on February 21st, and again in Okotoks on February 28th.

Bring a group of four or more and pay just $15 for tickets to this jaw-dropping show. Great entertainment value!

Featured Entertainers

wowfest-performer-ryanYour magical master of ceremonies for the evening is Ryan Pilling bringing his comedically-inclined bag of tricks to the stage. As an veteran improviser, and all-round nice guy, Ryan gets the audience involved in the show to guarantee an experience that is never the same way twice! He will be presenting signature pieces from his Suitcase of Wonders show, making previous appearances at the Winnipeg and Victoria Fringe Festivals, and the Vancouver MAGIC Festival.

wowfest-performer-tdAn accomplished Calgary entertainer TD Sparks has engaged audiences of kids, families, and adults for over 20 years. As well as being a keeper of many magical secrets, he has mastered the art of air-agami, bending balloons into eye-popping sculptures. He was invited to China as a performer at the Nanjing Clown Festival

wowfest-performer-yeatsCalgary’s own macabre magician, Yeats Wong is recognized for his performances in the Brush With Death magic show, which for the past 5 years has been making audiences cringe in their seats with a mix of stunts and tricks bent towards the strange side of magic. For his family-friendly performances he taps into the surprising power of our minds to do things that are a little bit spooky, and a whole lot of astounding.

wowfest-performer-atsushiFrom Japan, Atsushi Ono brings a unique style of fast-paced visual magic and manipulation to the stage that must be seen to be believed. His skilled sleight-of-hand has made regular appearances at Fort Calgary’s Dinner Theatre, and was a knockout hit at last year’s WowFest.

2015 Family Fun Magic Show Cast

Family Fun Magic ShowThe Family Fun Magic Show is the heart of WowFest, presenting a variety-filled show that is suitable for kids ages 5 and up, but just as entertaining for parent and grandparent that want to come along to join the fun.

This year the show will be presented twice in Calgary on February 21st, and twice in Okotoks on February 28th. Showtimes are 1 PM and 4 PM on both days. Tickets can be reserved online, and get you set for for the best seats!

While past WowFest guests may recognize some faces in the show, this will be a new show with plenty of magical surprises in store for you. Alos, before every show be sure to get to the venue early to take part int he WowFest experience with hands-on magic and juggling workshops.

Featured Entertainers

wowfest-performer-ryanYour host for this amazing magic show is Ryan Pilling. Known for his “Suitcase of Wonders” his goofball antics and sleight-of-hand magic makes for a performance that is both amazing and amusing. With a liberal splash of improvisation, no show is the same way twice, as Ryan creates a unique experience for every unique audience. As seen at Vancouver’s MAGIC Festival, the Orlando Improv Festival, and coming soon to this year’s Calgary International Children’s Festival.

wowfest-performer-shawnOriginally from Montreal, magician Shawn Maloney is one of the few that can pull a rabbit out of a hat, or out of a chapeau! His family-friendly style, with an easy-going attitude and a big smile, makes for big magical surprises with plenty of audience interaction. Regularly seen at Calgary birthday parties, Shawn is an expert at giving kids “the best day ever!” and his appearance at WowFest will be no exception.

wowfest-performer-smartyWith the energy of a clown twice her height, Little Smarty will bounce onto the stage like an explosion at a rubber chicken factory. Her know-it-all hijinks will have everybody smiling right from the start. She is a celebrity in her hometown of Sundre, and has travelled as far as Ohio to study with the experts of laughology at the American Clown Academy. Little Smarty takes sillyness seriously!

wowfest-performer-jamesDue to a mix-up at the hospital magician James Jordan was born about 100 years too late. Fortunately for us, he has embraced the spirit of classic Vaudeville theatre to bring you a wise-cracking, whip-cracking, balloon-twisting, card-flicking extravaganza of variety entertainment. After being a huge hit at the previous WowFest shows, and a successful journey across the Canadian Fringe Festival tour, James and his moustache are back for another year of fun.

Your Guide To WowFest Shows

The magicians performing in the 2014 WowFest Magic Arts Festival want to leave you confused and baffled. However, we don’t want you to feel that way when it comes to picking your best bets from over a dozen different magic shows going on this year. Consider this your helpful handy guide to finding just the right show for you!

Featured Festival Guests

Perfect for you: If you want to see some high calibre magic

i-do-card-tricksFrom Hollywood, California the show “I Do Card Tricks & I’m Funny” is quite self-explanatory, and also very true. If you only see one show in the entire festival, try to make it this one! (unless you’re wanting to bring your family… then continue reading) FRIDAY Feb 28 & SATURDAY Mar 1


Sheldon CasavantFrom Canada, but usually found performing across the world,  the Sheldon Casavant Magic Show presents top-notch conjuring talent with a charming personality. It promises to be a highlight of the festival, and you only get one chance to see it! WEDNESDAY Feb 19


Quality Family Entertainment

Perfect for you: If you want to bring the whole gang to the festival.

Family Fun Magic ShowWith multiple showtimes throughout the festival, the Family Fun Magic Show will be a little bit different each time, mixing up unique local magicians to present family-friendly amazement. It’s good for all ages, which means you’ll also have a great time without kids too! Family Day and Weekend Matinees


oopsie-smartyFor younger children (recommend for ages 5 to 10) the family can enjoy the goofy antics of the Oopsie & Smarty Show. It’s a little bit magical and a whole lot wonderful, with these two kid-friendly clowns. With a noon start and lasting 45 minutes, this show is tailored to young audiences.  SATURDAY Feb 22


Magic + Comedy = Good Times!

Perfect for you: If you want to laugh out loud more than scratch your head.

suitcase-vertical-bannerThis one man show from festival producer Ryan Pilling blends magic and comedy with improvisation and audience interaction to create a truly unique performance every time. The Suitcase of Wonders is a fun-filled show that will have you laughing. FRIDAY Feb 21


Speciality Shows

Perfect for you: If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.

Garden Variety ShowHaving been born 90 years late, James Jordan is on a mission to bring the magic of Vaudeville variety theatre back to life. The Garden Variety Show is part talk show, part music concert, and part never-saw-that-coming! For the past five years it’s been the best place to discover new unique talent, and this special WowFest edition of the show will surprise and delight in many ways. THURSDAY Feb 27


A Brush with DeathCalgary’s own macabre magic show is just what the mad doctor ordered for fans of horror movies. This dark comedy show mixes dangerous stunts, an occasional haunting, and a couple pints of fake blood to make A Brush With Death a unique experience of equal parts laughter and cringing. SATURDAY Feb 22


 The Magic Sampler Platter

Perfect for you: If you want to see a wide variety of magic styles in one show

wowfest-floating-ladyWith a variety of magicians this show is similar to the “Family Fun” show, though intended for older audiences, ages 12 and up. The Magic Cabaret promises to be a good mix of baffling magic and comedy, and a great way to experience different styles of magic. MONDAY Feb 17 and SATURDAY Feb 22 (note that each of the two shows has its own unique ticket order page)



As a group of “magic enthusiasts” the Calgary Magic Circle has monthly meetings to talk about tricks, share ideas, and grow their magical skills. They are working together to create the Calgary Magic Circle Showcase for WowFest, which will present a mix of professional and amateur magicians sharing their joy of magic. THURSDAY Feb 20


Bargains For Your Group

If you’re looking to bring a group (or family) down to WowFest, some shows offer special discounts for you to bring the whole gang and save.

Family Fun Magic Show – Buy four or more tickets together and save $3 per person.

Oopsie & Smarty Show – This show is great for young families, and you can buy for or more tickets for just $10 each.

We hope to see you at WowFest!

WowFest Magic Arts Festival Brings Amazing Magic Shows to Calgary


Calgary, Alberta – Entering its second year WowFest Magic Arts Festival presents a wide variety of amazing magic shows and events in the Epcor Centre for Performing Arts. The festival expects over 800 magic fans to partake in over a dozen unique performances.

The intimate Motel venue, with seating for 50, ensures the audience a full experience with an excellent view of the magic. Many shows in the festival are highly interactive, mixing magic with comedy and audience participation.

The festival kicks off on the Family Day holiday offering a day filled with shows and activities that all ages can enjoy together. The “Family Fun Magic Show”, with a rotating cast of local magicians, will be presented multiple times throughout the weeks.

To prove that tricks are not just for kids, the festival includes many feature shows intended for older audiences. “A Brush With Death” is a popular Calgary-based macabre magic show perfect for fans of horror movies. As a regular performer at Hollywood’s world-famous Magic Castle festival headliner Jon Armstrong presents award-winning magic with his one-man show “I Do Card Tricks and I’m Funny”.

With a wide variety of shows, and affordable ticket prices ranging from $12 to $20, WowFest is proud to showcase the art of magic in Calgary with both evening shows and weekend matinees. The full schedule of events and tickets are available on the festival website at www.WowFestMagic.com

Event Dates: February 17th to March 1st, 2014, various showtimes
Event Location: “Motel”, Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts

Festival Contacts:

Please use our Contact page to get in touch with the festival team.
Facebook.com/WowFestMagic  –  @WowFestMagic on Twitter

Calling Young Magicians

At the upcoming WowFest Magic Festival, happening in February 2014, we want to hand a whole show over to the next generation of magicians! The Young Magician Showcase will feature amazing performers under the age of 20. This is an open invitation to all those young whipper-snappers who want to be a part of WowFest.

Please drop your name in the top hat by filling out this quick form. There is no set deadline, so get your name in the sooner, the better. This is just a way to express interest. It does not guarantee anybody a spot in the show, nor does it obligate you to perform.


Young Magician Showcase

Fill out the information here to express interest in performing in the Young Magician Showcase at WowFest.

Who's doing the tricks?
In human years
ie: Who will be driving you to the show?

Where do we find you?

Where do you live? The show will be in Calgary, and you'll have to find your way there.

It's Magic Time!

Describe what your act would be. 3 to 8 minutes in length, for an expected audience of 50 people.
Something so we can get to know your magic a little better? Not required.

WowFest Magic Arts Festival Announces 2014 Dates

Calgary’s showcase for sleight-of-hand has officially marked the calendar for the second annual WowFest Magic Arts Festival. Set to appear in the last two weeks of February 2014, to amaze Calgary audiences with a variety of comedy, magic, and mystery entertainments.

After a highly successful and sold-out debut, WowFest is set to return with a full line-up of magicians spread over two weeks, hosted in the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts. The event begins on Family Day, February 17th, with an opportunity for families to not only see some magic shows, but participate in workshops where they can learn magic tricks for beginners. The rest of the festival, ending on March 1st, will feature a wide variety of performances for all ages, including mysteries exclusively for grown-up minds to ponder.

Building on the success of last year’s Close-Up Magic Experience, the festival will present the majority of its shows in a cozy 50-seat theatre. “Magic is best when its within arms reach,” says festival director Ryan Pilling. “The personal connection makes it that much more mysterious and impossible.” The goal of WowFest is to let audiences experience their own moment of astonishment.

This unique festival was born last winter with the support of a Grassroots Initiative Grant from Calgary Arts Development. Pilling called the inaugural event “an experiment to see if Calgary is interested in a magic festival.” Turns out the answer is a resounding yes, and the festival team is excited to produce a larger event this year to baffle and amaze all those who attend.


Join our email newsletter for more festival announcements.

Photo credit: Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts from above, taken by Calgary magician Dan Stephenson

Win Tickets To See Colin Mochrie [Contest Closed]

colin-contestComing up next week the Boardwalk Calgary Improv Festival begins, weaving improvised magic in the form of stories and laugh-out-loud shows.

WowFest managed to score a pair of tickets to see Colin Mochrie in a cozy, intimate show limited to only 60 seats. (Not to be confused with the big show at the Jack Singer Concert Hall featuring Colin)

The show is otherwise sold-out, so entering the contest may well be your last chance to get in to this show, and a mix & mingle party afterwards as the Improv Guild celebrates their tenth year anniversary. (No promises, but you might get to rub elbows with Colin)

So, enter your email address to win… then if you share your unique contest link and get friends to enter YOU get a bonus entry into the draw as well. Share and win!

Go to the contest page to get your name in the draw.

The contest is closed, and the show was wonderful!

WowFest 2013 Photo Gallery

When WowFest launched on February 23rd, 2013… the first time ever… Rolando Ferriera stopped by to take some photos of the Family Fun Magic Show.

Learn a Magic Trick #1

Here’s the first video from WowFest, featuring festival director Ryan Pilling, with magician and host of the Garden Variety Show, James Jordan. Take a moment to watch and learn a fun magic trick you can show your friends and family.

Watch Video on YouTube

Of course, if you want to leave the magic up to use, that’s okay too. We hope to see you at our line-up of fun and amazing magic shows at the festival next month.