Amanda Sapieha, centre, and Adam Waldie, right, react as magician Eric Bedard of Victoria reveals their card during the Spectacular Magic Show and silent auction at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. — J.R. Rardon photo

Qualicum Beach magic show conjures $6,000 for refugees

Refugee sponsorship group draws 350 to magic revue, silent auction

A quartet of magicians brought smiles to the faces of kids and adults Sunday in Qualicum Beach. More importantly, they helped bring more than $6,000 into the coffers of the 2017 Qualicum Refugee Sponsorship Group (QRSG-17).

The first Spectacular Magic Show and silent auction was held Oct. 1 to help raise funds to sponsor a refugee family in Qualicum Beach. It was organized by members of the sponsorship group and supported by volunteers and donors, with a notable assist from hometown magician Paul Romhany, a world-renowned magician recently transplanted from his native New Zealand.

Romhany shared the stage in a revue-styled show with veteran Victoria magician Eric Bedard and the award-winning sister act of Errington’s Heather and Sandra McNeill, who perform as The Magic of Zanthera.

“We owe a lot to Paul,” said Wilfrid Worland, QRSG-17 committee member. “He arranged to bring in the other acts and did a lot of work setting this up.”

The show drew more than 350 spectators, including a number of children who sat on the floor directly in front of the stage and who shot their arms skyward when the magicians asked for volunteers to take the stage and help with routines.

The event was bolstered by dozens of auction items donated by local businesses and individuals.

“Thanks to the generosity and spirit of the community, we were able to raise over $6,000 towards our goal of settling another refugee family in our area, while providing a wonderful afternoon of magical entertainment to over 350 guests — including both the young and the young at heart,” said Judy Mayhew, QRSG-17 event coordinator.

The next entertainment event that will assist QRSG-17 will be a concert by Comox Valley guitarist and songwriting comedian Todd Butler, Saturday, Oct. 28, beginning at 8 p.m. at Errington War Memorial Hall. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Cranky Dog Music in Parksville, the Errington General Store and Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach. Tickets will also be offered at the door if available.

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