Philip’s Magical Paradise in Giroux officially closed last summer, but a handful of magicians think they may be able to bring it back to life.
That is the word from Marc Hache who was the volunteer coordinator for the magic museum. Hache has been in continual contact with owner Marilyn Hornan as well as the Magic Club of Winnipeg. Both parties sensed that it would be a shame to see the museum’s wealth of artifacts disappear entirely.
“Back when Marilyn first let us know that it would be closing, a bunch of us got together,” explains Hache, “we felt that if we couldn’t preserve the building we’d at least like to preserve some of its exhibits and the legacy it provides.”
Originally, the magic community was hoping to revive the museum and reopen it every Sunday of this summer. Hache says that goal quickly became obsolete. The span between May and September is the most lucrative time for magicians and it seemed unfair to Hache to ask other professional magicians to volunteer away potential gigs. Additionally, Hache notes that the one-day-a-week schedule would not have been financially feasible because the business taxes would have outweighed any income.
Nevertheless, these obstacles have not deterred Hache and his fellow magicians.
“Our goal and dream is to keep the museum alive in some form,” he stresses.
What that form looks like, may still be subject to change. Hache is hoping to compile the various magical artifacts into a traveling exhibit that can tour around larger museums.“We’d love to see it professionally curated so the exhibits are continually refreshed,” he adds.
Ultimately, Hache admits that the museum will be removed from its former location in Giroux. Though the venue is unique in appearance, it is too remote to draw in an attainable crowd.
As the magic slowly leaves the building itself, Hache says his first priority is securing a space where all of the artifacts can be stored while their future is determined. He expects much of it will be entrusted to other magicians to be momentarily stored alongside their tricks and equipment.
Though the future of Philip’s Magical Paradise remains uncertain, what is certain is that the magicians of Manitoba will continue pulling strings and waving wands until a solution presents itself.
“I used to volunteer there all of the time,” reflects Hache, “and I can’t tell you how many young magicians got their inspiration from that space… it would be a shame to lose that.”