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Québec City weaves its magic to attract FISM World Championships of Magic 2021

From July 26 to 31, 2021, Québec City will play host to over 2000 magicians and magic aficionados from around the world as they attend FISM World Championships of Magic 2021 at the Québec City Convention Centre.

Organized by the International Federation of Magic Societies (FISM), the international body that brings together the world’s leading magic societies, the championships have never been held in North America since the FISM’s creation in 1948—until now.

And nobody could be more thrilled than Renée-Claude Auclair and Pierre Hamon, Co-organizers of FISM 2021 and of the Festival de Magie de Québec.

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“It’s like a dream come true,” said Ms. Auclair, member of Québec City’s Ambassadors’ Club and President of the Club de magie du Québec. The reason? “The championships are akin to the Olympics of magic,” she explained. As a past member of the Canadian national team and international-level diver, Ms. Auclair was also a former Olympic hopeful and ranked 2nd in Canadian diving championships during her peak years.

Ms. Auclair and Mr. Hamon, who is a renowned magician in Québec, have definitely been training for this event since they began working on brining the championships to Québec City in 2014. During that year, the duo attended the 10th combined convention of the Society of American Magicians and International Brotherhood of Magicians, at which the FISM’s North American qualifiers took place. “It was our first magic convention at the time.

Ms. Caesar and Mr. Dante visited Québec City for official site inspections. “They were impressed with the city’s venues and event infrastructure,” said Ms. Auclair. “Right away, they saw the potential Québec City had for such a major international event—and a first in the federation’s history.”

Why not Québec City?

During a presentation, the FISM’s president, Mr. Domenico Dante, put forth the idea of holding championships in North America someday. Ms. Auclair and Mr. Hamon were eager to propose Québec City.

In order to make their dream a reality, Ms. Auclair and Mr. Hamon quickly met with Ms. Joan Caesar, the Chair of the Canadian Association of Magicians and the FISM’s Canadian representative, at the event. “We had two minutes to discuss our willingness to bring the championships to Québec City. And despite it being an idea that completely came out from left field, Ms. Caesar, who is a Canadian, agreed to pursue discussions to see if Québec City could be a right fit.”

Ms. Auclair and Mr. Hamon worked with Mr. Jocelyn Guertin, Sales Manager for International Markets at the Québec City Convention Centre, and other members of the Convention Centre to prepare the bid.

Ms. Caesar and Mr. Dante visited Québec City for official site inspections. “They were impressed with the city’s venues and event infrastructure,” said Ms. Auclair. “Right away, they saw the potential Québec City had for such a major international event—and a first in the federation’s history.”

Pulling out all the stops

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The Festival de magie de Québec, Québec City’s magic festival, helped put the city on the international stage as a hot destination for the magic scene. In addition, the event team, in collaboration with Québec City Business Destination, the Québec City Convention Centre and the Festival magie de Québec, invited influencers from the world of magic to Québec City to see for themselves the potential event venue and the partners Ms. Auclair and Mr. Hamon were envisioning working with.

In 2017, the event team managed to win the FISM’s North American Qualifiers, which will be held in Québec City in May 2020. Over 400 magicians will be in attendance and up to 50 competing magicians will vie to qualify for the World Magic Championships in 2021. This will be the very first time that the competition will be held on Canadian soil.

The Québec City team continued to cast its spell on the over 100 presidents of international magic societies by regularly communicating with them about Québec City and why it is such a magical place.

The event team also received support from all levels of government to create a stellar bid. “Everyone was galvanized about this major challenge we took up. Partners and government entities alike immediately got on board.”

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It all came down to a presentation on July 10, 2018 in Busan, South Korea, during the FISM’s 2018 World Championships of Magic. The team had 20 minutes to pitch in front of delegate voters., Mr. Dante announced that Québec City won the bid.

“We were ecstatic,” Ms. Auclair said with lots of enthusiasm. “For the newcomers on the magic block, that’s no small feat!”

Although the 2021 championships are still three years away, already 2000 attendees have registered for the event. “Even on social media, there is quite a buzz; followers are encouraging each other to register fast because it is the must-attend event of the year!”

During FISM Québec 2021, over 150 magicians will compete to win one of the coveted prizes. The event is also expected to generate over $5 million in revenues for the city. “FISM Québec 2021 is the perfect example that with people who are passionate about a specific topic, great local partners, and a common dream, anything can be achieved.

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