Celebrating Mi’kmaq culture during Heritage Day
JOGGINS, N.S. – The Joggins Fossil Centre celebrated Mi’kmaq culture during Heritage Day on Monday.
Magician planning children’s magic school in Amherst
Brian Hebert preforms a magic trick for Ava Crocker during Amherst winter carnival activities at Maritime Mosaic. Hebert is hoping to begin a magic school in Amherst.
©Darrell Cole - TC Media
AMHERST, N.S. – Brian Hebert still remembers the feeling he had when he performed his first magic trick.
It’s the feeling he sees when children’s eyes light up when he performs a card trick.
I was an only child and I saw an advertising on television. My mother sent away for this little kit and I remembered practicing for a few days and showing my uncle a trick. The lock on his face really got to me. I was hooked. Brian Hebert
“It’s a pretty special feeling when you see the looks on their faces,” he said. “You even see it in the adults. A hundred years ago these were the staple of a magician’s tricks and today they sell them as part of magic tricks. They’re very good if they’re done correctly and if the kids learn to perform them they pick up a new skill they can take with them. It’s a hobby you can enjoy the rest of your life.”
Hebert was only 12 when he became fascinated with magic. His mother bought him a magic kit and he spent hours perfecting his new hobby. He has continued the skill since then as he has travelled and worked across Canada.
“I was an only child and I saw an advertising on television. My mother sent away for this little kit and I remembered practicing for a few days and showing my uncle a trick. The lock on his face really got to me. I was hooked,” he said. “I had a keen interest in it.”
As he was growing up he spent more time on his other passion, walking the beach at Joggins looking for fossils, and he played sports. But, magic was never far from his mind.
Living in the Maritimes, he never knew there were magic stores and catalogs he could send away for material.
“When I lived in California I had a weekend job at a magic shop where I worked and worked at perfecting my skill,” he said. “I put a lot of hours into and I still spend at least two hours a day working on it. I still love magic because it’s a continuous learning process. You’re never going to know everything and there are always problems to be solved.”
Although many think of the magician as having the top hat and jacket and tails, Hebert practices and teachers what he calls impromptu magic, something that can be performed at any time and almost anywhere.
“All the stuff can be held in my pocket,” he said.
It’s something the amateur magician hopes to share through a new Maritime School of Magic he’s setting up in Amherst. He hopes to begin classes in early March and continue for one hour a week for eight weeks.
The classes are tailored for children ages eight to 10, but if there’s enough interest he will open classes for older children. Along with learning to perform magic, Hebert said, the children will learn a lot of skills they can use in their every day life.
“It’s a beginner magic course with things like slight of hand, performance skills, problem solving, public speaking and self-confidence,” said Hebert, who was holding demonstrations at Maritime Mosaic as part of Amherst’s winter carnival. “We want them to get away from the video games and do something a little different.”
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