When it comes to magic, these girls are golden.
Sisters Sandra and Heather McNeill, otherwise known as The Magic of Zanthera, came home winners from a pair of competitions that pitted them against Canadian and Pacific Coast wizards this April.
It’s just their latest exploit on a more than 15-year journey into the world of magic that began for the pair in Brownies at the age of seven and nine.
To earn a badge that involved performing, they took a pass on the typical musical performance and chose to try their hands at magic instead.
So they put on a three-minute show for their Brownie troupe, and were soon asked to perform for other groups. Eventually, a parent approached them and asked if they did birthday parties.
They’ve kept at it from then on, performing at a competition called the Battle of the Wizards in Qualicum Beach and continuing on from there.
Being a double-act of female magicians, the pair have always broken the mould in what they say is a male-dominated industry, and they’ve tried to do the same with their magic.
“None of our magic has ever been like the standard images of magic,” said Heather. “We’ve never done the rabbit out of the hat. We’ve never done cutting someone in half, as much as sometimes we’d love to. Everything we do is different.”
One benefit to having two magicians onstage at once, rather than a magician and an assistant as is traditional, is the pair can play with the audience’s expectations of who is doing what.
But of course, they only use their magic for good.
“It’s fun to watch people’s expressions when the whatever vanishes or when something appears and they get that look on their face like, ‘Wow, where did that come from?’” said Sandra.
The pair also enjoy performing at fundraisers, having recently done so in Victoria for an elementary school.
Though they have nothing local fully planned as of yet, the pair hope to put on a local performance in late summer or early fall.