McNeill sisters conjure a silver

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

Left

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.

Just Posted

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New residential school healing centre to be built near Duncan

$5-million Indigenous treatmen centre will help survivors of residential schools heal

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Vancouver Island lottery players win $1 million and $500,000 in Lotto Max draw

$1 million ticket sold in Campbell River, $500,000 ticket sold in Nanaimo

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

A still image from security camera video recorded June 8 shows an individual lighting trash on fire in the doorway of 19+ Cannabis Store on Victoria Crescent. RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are investigating numerous fires set in downtown Nanaimo in the past three months. (Photo submitted)
‘It’s out of control’: More than 20 fires set in downtown Nanaimo in past 3 months

Authorities asking business owners to keep dumpsters locked

Most Read