Neil Croswell is about to show Hinton the magic word he uses to float his audience members in mid-air.
Croswell and his wife partnered up to be the ultimate magician couple, touring around Canada with VIP Productions and showing off their best illusions, including materializing live animals and people from thin air, and making graffiti images come to life.
The Hinton Youth Centre is hosting the Seeing is Believing magic show on Oct. 7.
Last year, the Hinton Youth Centre hosted a magic show through the same company, an event that raises money for some of the centre’s activities, like the project runway teen fashion show held each spring.
VIP Productions works together with communities to put on shows with the goal of bringing entertainment to kids who normally don’t get the chance to see magic shows, said Wendy Besner, executive director at VIP Productions.
Hinton’s youth helped out during last year’s show with ticket sales and selling drinks during the event. This year, the production company is sending staff to Hinton and have done most of the ticket sales themselves, to allow Hinton’s youth to enjoy the show.
“I think that’s really important because most of the time it’s our youth going out there and volunteering and not really getting to enjoy,” said Linda Watson, youth outreach supervisor.
The Youth Centre still receive a set amount of money donated back to them as the event’s sponsor.
“Half of [the money raised] is used to expense the show and hotels and the other half we give back to communities. We don’t have to do it, but we want to,” said Besner, who is organizing the event for the first time this year.
Besner explained that she meets with charities and local nonprofit groups to find the perfect fit to work with.
“The way I look at it is, why not? Especially working with people like Linda, you know where that money is going, so giving it back to her it flourishes the youth centre and we look for things like that and we make sure all the kids at the youth centre can come to the show,” she added.
During the show, they try to spread awareness of what the charity or nonprofit organizations do in the community, in an attempt to get the community involved.
“It’s great to be working with all these charities across Canada and find out what they do and find out how they’re helping,” said Bresner.
An important part of teaming up with local groups is making sure they genuinely care about their community and want to make it a better place, said Bresner.
The entertainers are chosen to work with the company based on the same intention of wanting to give back and helping out community groups.
“Our entertainers are great with the kids. At the end the kids will usually run up and jump all over them and take their photos with them,” said Bresner.
The show is about an hour and a half long with three different illusions. Smaller tricks allow the performers to include the audience and kids often get to participate.
Bresner added that within 2019 they’ve raised $22,000 for charities across Canada, and she looks forward to making that number grow in the future.
Watson said the event is a great family outing and a lot of fun for both kids and adults.
Businesses and families around town have bought groups of tickets and have many to give away for free to the public. A few free tickets are still available at the Youth Centre.