A magical triple-header of illusion and misdirection is coming to North Bay with three veteran magicians taking the stage to support the Nipissing Serenity Hospice at the Davedi Club Sept. 7.
Magic for Hospice will feature comedy magic during dinner with an incredibly unique lineup planned after dessert. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 16.
The Cool Magic Dude Eric Bedard, born and raised in North Bay, is presenting a head-line act that’s sold out venues as far away as Vancouver, B.C. Called ‘Keeping the Magic Alive,’ it’s a tribute to his father, Ray, who taught scores of magicians across Canada and was a long-time ACT Club executive before his death in 2006.
“It’s extra special to perform my tribute show to my father in my hometown where so many people who experienced and appreciated his talent,” Bedard said after recording a YouTube podcast segment for Gateway Live, produced by one of the event sponsors, RFPmedia.
Bedard’s involvement in the fundraiser also celebrates his move back to Ontario after 25 years based out of Victoria, B.C., the last decade or so performing around the world.
“The real magic is having the opportunity to come back to North Bay and perform for family and friends while supporting the Nipissing Serenity Hospice, which will provide important care during the most challenging times.”
As part of the stage show, two of his father’s students, accomplished North Bay-raised magicians Dan Poeta and Chris Farquhar will perform a world-first straitjacket escape duel. Poeta, Ray’s grandson and a police officer in southern Ontario, will be on the opposite side of the stage as Farquhar, an actor with a regular role as Officer Rafalski in the Carter television series filmed in North Bay.
Their race to escape is another tribute to Ray, who was famous for hanging upside down from a crane and performing his first straitjacket escape over Main Street in 1957. Poeta will actually be using a straitjacket from Ray’s collection.
“Having worked under my grandfather for years and then under Eric while out in B.C. for a couple years, I’m very proud and honoured to be part of this event,” Poeta said. “And it’s a privilege to be part of a fundraiser like this.”
Ray Bedard, whose stage name was ‘The Great Gilbini,’ introduced Farquhar to magic 25 years ago.
“The first time I met Ray, he showed me an old black and white newspaper clipping of someone in a straitjacket, hanging upside down from a crane over top of a large crowd,” the actor and entertainer said. “He asked me who the guy was in the picture. Of course I guessed Houdini. Ray looked at me with a huge grin, ‘No, it’s me!” and I was amazed from that moment.
“As I met with Ray more often, I got to see that he was not only an incredible and passionate performer, but more importantly a truly genuine and magical human being,” Farquhar said, adding he uses a black magic table/box Ray built for in every time he puts on a performance.
“The fact that this event is to raise funds and awareness for a such a wonderful and important cause is the icing on the cake,” Farquhar said.
Host for the evening is aspiring comedian Dave Dale, a local journalist who has been writing news stories and features involving the Bedards for 30 years. He’s one of the partners in the Bit of the Bay Magazine being launched this fall with the fundraiser for Nipissing Serenity Hospice its first sponsorship opportunity. A title sponsor is still being sought.
The Davedi Club, a strong supporter of the Hospice, is the primary ticket sale venue. Stage show-only tickets are $45 with doors open at 7:30 p.m. and curtain rises at 8:15 p.m. Dinner and show reserved seating tickets are $75 each with doors open at 5 p.m., spaghetti meal served at 6 p.m. Comedy Magic takes place during dinner. Reserved VIP seating is available (save $40 off the total by booking a table of eight). Tickets for the stage show only are also available online at Eventbrite.
All proceeds of the event go to the Serenity Hospice. Cheques can be made out to the hospice directly. Tax receipts for 60% of total ticket purchase are available upon request. Donations will be accepted at the Davedi Club during the event with Serenity Hospice ribbon-cutting planned when construction off John Street is complete later in the fall.
Tickets can also be picked up at Coworking176.space, the former Tweedsmuir elementary school that now has dozens of businesses operating out of it. Dale will deliver in person when four or more tickets are being purchased by North Bay residents. Email [email protected] or text 705-498-2050.
The Magic of Hospice
Featuring Eric Bedard
Special appearances by Dan Poeta and Chris Farquhar
Hosted by Dave Dale
Sept. 7, 2019 at the Davedi Club, North Bay
Doors open 7:30 p.m.
Stage Performances start at 8:15 p.m.
$45 per person
Dinner and Show
Doors open at 5 p.m.
Meal served at 6 p.m.
Comedy Magic during dinner.
$75 per person with VIP seating for the evening show.
All Proceeds to the Nipissing Serenity Hospice
*Discounts for Dinner and Show table of 8 reservations (Package Price $70 each instead of $75 or $560 for the table instead of $600)
See www.abitofthebay.ca for more information.
Tickets (cash or cheque to Nipissing Serenity Hospice) available at Davedi Club, 313 Airport Road (705) 474-4190 (cash or cheque) or Coworking176.space at 176 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 3. Email or call/text Dave Dale at (705) 498-2050 or [email protected] for delivery of four or more tickets.