A group of Winnipeg magicians has put their wands together and come up with a plan to keep Western Canada’s only museum of magic and illusion open for another summer.
Marc Hache of the Magic Club of Winnipeg said Tuesday the 25-member group is rallying the volunteers needed to reopen Philip’s Magical Paradise on Sunday afternoons during July and August.
The future of the Giroux institution became uncertain last August, when maintenance of the 115-year-old former church that houses the museum became too difficult for longtime proprietor Marilyn Hornan.
Hornan and her late husband, Gordon, opened the museum in 1991 in honour of their youngest son, Philip, a budding magician who died of cancer in 1986 at the age of 15.
More than 500 people visited the museum each summer. Net proceeds from admissions were donated to charities that helped Philip after his diagnosis.
Hache said the magic club, which named the Hornans honorary lifetime members, wants to do what it can to help preserve the museum, whose collection of more than 1,500 artifacts tells the story of Manitoba’s world-class magic community.
"For a lot of us, it’s a tie to the historical past," he said. "That was really a…repository for stories."
Hours of operation have yet to be been finalized, but Hache said he hopes to involve the Society of Young Magicians, and hinted the two groups might revive the Sunday afternoon magic performances that were a tradition on the museum grounds.