McNeill sisters conjure a silver

Parksville pair come second in Seattle’s Pacific Coast Magicians convention

Left

It’s no illusion that magicians Heather and Sandra McNeill have a shiny new silver medal at their home in Parksville.

The girls, 17 and 19, won the award at the annual Pacific Coast Association of Magicians Convention in Seattle, WA in early August, after competing in two adult categories.

The whole experience was an exciting one for the sisters as it was their first medal in an adult category and it also marked another first.

“We had never been to the States before,” said Heather. “It was our first time out of the country so it was exciting, and to bring home a medal was exciting too.”

Heather and Sandra are known as The Magic of Zanthera,  and have been doing magic for about 11 years, since they saw their first Harry Potter movie.

Their dad showed them a neat trick following the movie and after practicing some tricks themselves they thought they might try a routine for their next Brownie badge. Their leader loved it.

“It was the best badge she’d seen in her 18 years of guiding,” said Heather. So the Brownie leader asked them to perform it for a number of groups. People started asking if they performed at birthday parties and “it just snowballed from there,” said Sandra.

Today the girls’ acts involve a routine where they banter back and forth, providing comedy while doing some baffling tricks.

Their funny and entertaining shows have snagged them a couple silvers and a gold medal in previous conventions. The competition in Seattle had over seven hours worth of competitive acts, which was the second longest in the convention’s 79-year history.

Besides winning a medal, the girls also got to attend a number of workshops and lectures by world class magicians and even spoke with one of the magic icons, Shawn Farquhar, who gave them feedback on their act.

“We sat down with him and talked for about an hour about what he thought,” Sandra beamed.

The sisters agreed that the best part of doing their magic shows is to see people’s reactions.

The girls will continue to perform at private parties and libraries and in the near future they hope to perform at elementary schools and encourage kids to stick with their dreams, as they did. And they will continue to follow their own dreams.

“I love doing magic and I love performing for people,” said Sandra.

“And if we can make a living doing what we love then it’s a worthwhile goal.”

To book the Magic of Zanthera, call 250-248-2507, 250-240-6507 or send an email to zanthera1@yahoo.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sand sculptor creates special eagle head in Qualicum Beach

Kaube fashions work behind Civic Centre

Qualicum Beach seniors hiking group tackles alpine trails

Annual trip involves taking helicopter to remote locations

Parksville asks for help identifying veterans for special banner project

Program to honour veterans whose names are listed on Parksville cenotaph

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Process begins to try to get lookout trail over Nanoose Bay authorized

Regional District of Nanaimo staff will report back to parks and trails committee

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Poetry contest started for Vancouver Island poets

“We’re such a unique group,” says founder on why she wanted to start the collective

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Island MP says fish harvester benefit needs a wider application window

Courtenay-Alberni’s Gord Johns requests expanded application period for fish harvester benefits

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Most Read