Friday, 20 January 2012

SPECIAL: Magic Show!

Since the "David Copperfield" era, magic show has been gaining ground and popularity from all over the world. Many self-proclaimed magicians or illusionists are springing out at every corner of the world. Those more successful ones are gaining lots of followers and apprentices and some even have their own TV shows. It's one of the fast-lane to stardom or becoming a celebrity magician.

Of course, magic show has it's merits and entertainment value (be it online or offline), that's the reason why there are more and more different genre of magics being uncovered along the way. I must say that some of them are really "eye opener" and seems unexplainable to me! It is also a great business opportunity for the show business as well as individual magicians. For the latter, they are mainly magicians for hire to perform at birthday party, company event etc.

At this information age, most of the magicians (both corporate and individual) have some kind of online presence (e.g. through their own website and/or social networking profiles) to promote and market their talent. For example, I have chanced upon some interesting ones, like Magician Clinton W. Gray, Vancouver Magic Productions, Norden The Magician, Comedy Magic Of Chris Yuill etc...

During my "research" exercise, I chanced upon a piece of information regarding the magic show industry and the potential risk of offending the Canada's anti-competition Laws for certain such sites (for full details, please refer to the text in blue at the end of the post). I am not sure how true is it but I guess it is always prudent to do more research and comparison before you click on "Add To Cart" or "Buy" button (if you are a potential magician hirer residing in Canada).

Lastly, just like to clarify that I am not into magic show or magic show business, this post is for pure sharing purpose only.

Cheers! 

Full details of what I've chanced upon:
Is this group of Vancouver Magicians offending Canada’s anticompetition laws? We asked members of the legal community for their opinion, and got this reply..
[QUESTION TO A MEMBER OF THE LEGAL COMMUNITY]
Whether HOW this syndicate/cartel (see link provided) of Vancouver BC high-priced individual magicians via their self-described "non-profit organization", with a unified pricelist, potentially, or actually breaches Canada's Competition Act (formerly known as Canada's Anti-Combines Act).
http://www.vancouvermagician.ca/fees.htm

[OPINION – ANSWER – FROM A MEMBER OF THE LEGAL COMMUNITY]
I’m very familiar with this and we were laughing in the office about this order because we just wrapped up a 9 month case in Toronto over the Competition Act so we’ve become very familiar with it.

I’ve done some research on your question and the company in. The price page is a little confusing because it states that those prices are for performers not on the site and is the general average price, not the price of the performers. However it’s a dirty marketing technique basically and switch and bait. They show you how expensive it is and when you contact a performer from the website you as the customer are relieved to see a discount of around 15 percent. For example, for the best it states it’s 1500 plus. We called 4 performers and the highest price was 1400 the lowest 1200, not much of a difference from the price sheet but enough to make a customer feel they’re getting a deal.

The website states that it’s non-profit. Under the law a non-profit company must be for the good of the people as a whole. This company is not “good for the people” so saying they are non-profit is a direct violation of law.

They state they collect NO fees or commissions from the customer which is true. However they do collect a fee from the performer which is booked from the site. By doing this they are now a profit company because nowhere on the site does it state where any money collected helps the people as a whole. Whenever you are a nonprofit you MUST state clearly what you’re doing with the money and how you’re helping those you are targeting. You must also disclose to the public how much money you collect goes towards the cause, to payroll and how much goes into the general ledger.

Looking at Section 76 of the act, this company has broken many of the laws outlined under fair competition. Not only the company but the performers as well. As you may or may not know, this act can be civil or criminal based on what sections of laws are broken. 

I would write a detailed letter along with a copy of this “answer” and send it to the following address so a full investigation can be conducted! Make sure to include the company name, address, what they’re doing, stating their non-profit when they’re not and so forth!

Legislative Services Branch
284 Wellington Street, SAT-3
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8
I hope this helps and answers your question(s). If you need anything further please don’t hesitate to ask. You really need to do something about this on your part because it’s not fair to the other performers trying to make a living and doing it right.

Thank You,
Staci

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