A small, odd looking building in Giroux called Philip’s Magical Paradise shared its secrets with the public for the last time Sunday, September 9th.
For the past 27 years, the museum has been collecting trinkets of trickery, items of illusion, and anything pertaining to the history of magic making it the only exhibition of its kind across all of North America. Longtime volunteer Bob Barker notes the building was initially erected by Marilyn and Gordon Hornan in memory of their son Philip who passed away at the age 15.
Barker tells the story: “Philip wanted to be remembered as a magician rather than a victim of cancer. His last wish was that a special room would be built so that people could come and enjoy the thing he liked most. So the Hornan family bought the old, abandoned Giroux United Church at the end of their street, and transformed it into this magic castle.”
After her husband’s death a few years ago and a more recent hip injury, Marilyn Hornan was no longer fit to take care of the beloved museum forcing its closure. Barker comments: “It is sad cause over the past years we’ve all become emotionally attached to this building: it's been a real blessing to both the magic community and the community around Giroux.”
Tait Palsson, a magician who frequently performs at Philip’s Magical Paradise, says the space has played a large part in inspiring him and other magicians throughout Manitoba and beyond. He adds that the museum has acted as a hub for people to meet, laugh, and enjoy simple trickery in the name of magic.
Any profit made by the attraction over the years has always been donated to either the United Church, Ronald McDonald House, Dream Factory, or the Cancer Society indicates Barker. He suggests artifacts within the museum will likely be reunited with their original donors and that those unclaimed will be auctioned off with proceeds going towards one of these charities.