Family-friendly fundraiser promises thrills and chills

Two performances of Stage Fright: The Thrill-usion Show Sat., Oct. 27 at Aggie Hall will raise money for the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club.

John Kaplan has been making magic since he was a nine-year-old boy.

The RIchmond-based magician has turned his childhood passion into his career. He travels across Canada performing magic and thrilling illusions, and most of the time, he combines his magic shows with fundraisers for non-profit organizations in the communities he visits.

That’s exactly what Kaplan is doing this Saturday (Oct. 27) when he brings Stage Fright: The Thrill-usion Show to Ladysmith.

Stage Fright is being presented as a fundraiser for the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club, and the money raised will be used to finalize Brown Drive Kin Park and will go toward renewing the blue playground at Transfer Beach, which will need to be replaced within a couple of years, explained Kinsmen member Jason Kelland.

Kelland is excited to bring Kaplan’s thrill-usion show to Ladysmith.

“We thought it would be a unique show to come to town,” he said. “[Kaplan] does this across the country for non-profit organizations to help raise funds, and he’s got a lot of credentials. It looks like an interesting show. We’re really excited to bring it to town and to kick off an exciting Halloween season.”

Stage Fright: The Thrill-usion Show is meant to be a fun-filled Halloween-themed magic and illusion show.

Kaplan blends magic with music, theatre and dance. He incorporates classical magic with grande illusion and original routines as he resurrects the long-dead Horror Ghost Show, a form of theatre that was at the peak of its popularity during the mid-thirties through the late 1950s when vaudeville was king, according to Kaplan’s promotional material.

To create the proper Halloween atmosphere, the show uses lighting, costumes, masks, music and illusions. Stage Fright is described as “upbeat, fun and often hilariously funny.”

Stage Fright is full of icky, creepy, crawly, spooky magic,” said Kaplan. “Although it’s a family-friendly show, there are lots of thrills. It’s kind of like a hot and cold shower — there are lots of laughs and lots of thrills. Audience members will float in the air and will be putting their neck on the line in the guillotine, and there will tributes to Harry Houdini, which is appropriate because he died on Halloween.”

Kaplan has been touring the country doing magic shows since 1980.

“I got into magic as a kid,” he said. “I was nine years old when I got a magic kit.”

Growing up in Calgary, Kaplan says he was lucky to meet Micky Hades, a magician who has created, developed and manufactured custom props and illusions and has published hundreds of magic books.

“I was lucky I was able to apprentice under him for five years after I graduated from high school,” said Kaplan. “In 1980, I started developing my own show, and I’ve been touring the country ever since, primarily with my family fundraising magic show.”

In the last 33 years, Kaplan has performed thousands of shows in 500 Canadian communities.

“I’ve always loved magic,” he said. “It was a childhood passion, and I’m lucky to continue it as an adult. I love the feeling you get when you see something impossible or amazing right before your eyes. I enjoy the fact that our shows bring families together … I also love the fact that our shows are leaving tangible results — we’re leaving smiles on people’s faces and also raising a lot of money. My whole philosophy is creating a win-win, so it works well.”

Kaplan is looking forward to coming to Ladysmith and helping the Kinsmen.

“I’ve worked with a lot of Kin Clubs, and they are a great organization and do a lot of work in the community,” he said.

There will be two all-ages presentations of Stage Fright Sat., Oct. 27 at Aggie Hall — one at 4 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. Tickets for either show are $10 each and are available at A&W Ladysmith or at 49th Parallel Grocery.

While both shows are family-friendly, Kelland says the 4 p.m. show may be a little bit more suitable for younger children.

“There is the ‘boo factor’ so please be aware of that when bringing younger kids, but it is a family-oriented show,” he said.

Kelland says there are a few exciting side events planned during the shows, including children’s costume contests and a contest to guess what’s hidden in the coffin.

The Kinsmen thank all their sponsors for this event, including platinum sponsors Lealand Contracting, 49th Parallel Grocery and A&W and the many local businesses who are supporting the fundraiser.

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read