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The Parent Advisory Council of Nicola Canford Elementary School is holding a Halloween magic show to raise funds to send its students to camp this spring.
Monday’s show will support sending about 80 grade 4-7 kids from the school to Eagle Bay Camp at Blind Bay on May 22-24, and the school’s kindergarten to Grade 3 kids for a day trip on May 23.
Camp activities include kayaking, paintball, archery, hiking, and blobbing, where kids launch each other off a large trampoline on the water. Stage Fright is the fundraiser, put on by Vancouver-based magician John Kaplan, who has made a career out of travelling and putting on shows as fundraisers.
“Nobody’s hosted something like this in Merritt before, something that’s just for kids” Selena Voigt, PAC President, said. “What’s nice about this fundraiser is it involves more than just our school. We’re asking for help from our whole community, not just the Lower Nicola kids.”
The fundraiser, called Stage Fright, is a family-friendly, hour-and-a-half long show.
“The group of us feels Halloween is a good holiday to have fun with because there are no worries about money and stuff like that,” Voigt said. “Halloween is just good fun.”
Kaplan has made a career out of touring his show by sponsoring communities as a fundraiser for their causes, and this visit to Merritt will be his first in a number of years.
He said the success of his show can be measured by the funds it games, the audience’s reactions, and the awareness it raises for the cause.
“Expect to see a fairly unusual magic show, full of icky, spooky, creepy-crawly magic. It’s all family-friendly, of course,” Kaplan said. “There’s a witch cabinet sequence and a shadow coming to life. Someone from the audience will find out what it’s like to float in the air.”
Kaplan said performing throughout Canada is reward enough to keep him going on his tours, the latest of which extends from Moosomin, Sask. to Vancouver in about three weeks.
“It makes the most sense to me to create situations that are win-win,” Kaplan said of the model for his Fundraising Magic business.
“It’s nice that I’ve figured out a way to make a living doing this — because not everybody can be David Copperfield — and this has been a way that I’ve been able to perform on a level that gives something back to the communities that I visit.”
Tickets for either of the 4 and 7 shows are $8 for kids and $12 for adults until Oct. 20 at Post’s Fresh Meats and Deli and Fetch Dog Grooming & Boutique, or $10 and $15 at the door.