John Giordmaine (1898-1974), Canadian children's magician

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby MagiCanuck » 01/01/13 10:49 PM

Long time Genii reader and forum lurker here!

Some of you might remember John ("Johnny") Giordmaine, Canada's legendary children's magician (1898-1974).

Malta-born, Toronto-based Johnny inspired hundreds, maybe thousands of kids to become amateur and/or professional magicians over his lifetime and made each of us feel special in the process.

He was the first magician in Canada to appear on television in 1933 and was much later seen south of the border on such shows as Captain Kangaroo as well as Ed Sullivan.

I've created a basic tribute website to preserve the memory of this outstanding magician and generously-spirited human being.

Most recent updates include rare photos of Doug Henning accepting the first ever SCM John Giordmaine Award in 1980; and a reprint of the cover and lead article featuring Johnny from the May 1964 issue of Genii. Richard K. was kind enough to give his permission for its use and I want to publicly thank him here for it.

If you have any memories of Johnny you are welcome to send them along. Contact information is on the site, which is...
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Postby MagiCanuck » 03/06/13 03:48 PM

Hello again!

UPDATE (March 2013)

It's now the fifth anniversary of our online tribute to Canada's most beloved children's magician, Johnny Giordmaine (1898-1974). Many thanks to those of you who have have already visited us in the past. Here's news about our latest updates that might bring you back for another visit this month.

"Reprints" and items of special interest include:

* Johnny featured in MUM;

* Johnny featured in The Linking Ring;

* Rarely seen home movie footage of Johnny at the 1930 IBM Convention;

* Feature stories about Johnny in The Magic Magazine and The Gen from the UK;

* Heartfelt obituaries from The Linking Ring penned by Sid Lorraine and Elizabeth Warlock;

* And more!

All copyrighted material used with permission.

If you remember Johnny you will certainly want to rekindle your happy
memories with a visit to the site. If you never met him, or if you have no idea who he was, please come and discover all about one of Canada's most memorable figures in 20th century magic.

Personal memories about Johnny are always still very welcome. Contact
information is on the site...

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Postby MagiCanuck » 12/15/13 08:49 PM

Very Healthy & Happy Holidays to all!



* A rare 1930s promotional mail-out postcard from Johnny, not seen in public for perhaps 80 years - courtesy Matthew Crabtree (added September 2013);

* Vintage archival IBM Ring 17 photos featuring Johnny (reposted by kind permission of Ring 17);

* A personal remembrance by Robert H. Rastorp (along with a previously unpublished photo of Johnny in outdoor performance in Huntsville, Ontario);


* Recalling Johnny winning the prestigious IBM Star of Magic Award fifty years ago - with photo and text.

These latest additions bring to 15 the total number of new pages added throughout 2013.

Please visit to remember and to be be inspired by Canada's most beloved children's magical entertainer:
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Postby MagiCanuck » 05/23/15 02:18 PM


I am very excited to bring you news about the latest update on the site!

Brian Lumley, who used to work for Doug Henning, provides the first ever-in-print anecdotal evidence of Johnny's influential mentorship and friendship with Doug.
Since I reposted Doug's 1989 "retirement from magic" letter last December (first published in Genii) in which he thanked "the late John Giordmaine" ahead of Dai Vernon, Slydini, Jay Marshall and others, I have tried to find a reason why Doug thanked Johnny first and foremost.

Theirs must have been a very special kind of mentorship and friendship but nowhere in any of the magical history literature has there ever appeared any documented evidence for it. 

Until now. 

Brian Lumley recalls a very special "Spellbound" backstage tour in late December 1973 which Doug gave Johnny mere hours before Johnny's heart attack which would ultimately prove fatal. With this breakthrough recollection we at long last have the very first eyewitness account in print of what it meant to Doug to have Johnny as a friend and mentor.
Only now can we really begin to appreciate the reasons why Doug Henning thanked "the late John Giordmaine" first in his "letter of retirement". 

This story appears nowhere else to date to the best of my knowledge. It will hopefully open the door to future further research into Johnny's pivotal influence on arguably Canada's most internationally famous magical export of the 20th century. 

You can read all about it, exclusively, here:

Comments for posting are always welcome. Email address is on the site.
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