More on the cancellation

This passage is from the Thayer Magic site, commenting on some of the responses to our previous blog post, NO MCW 2014:

I understand that Ken plans on holding the Cincinnati Magic Collectors Convention.  We are disappointed, however, that he took this path without the courtesy of at least notifying us of his change in plans.

We had planned to hold the Magic Collectors Weekend in Chicago in 2014 but agreed, after much lobbying from various people, to allow Ken to stage the conference, something he had wanted to do for many years.

Ken and I had numerous exchanges.  I told him originally that if he wanted to do so on his own, that I would defer to him.  He indicated, however, that he really wanted to stage the “Magic Collectors Weekend”.   Given his advanced age, and love for magic and collecting, we agreed to allow him to stage the “Magic Collectors Weekend”. We did everything we could to make it easy for him.  Every other time the Magic Collectors Weekend was held outside of Chicago, and even when Gabe staged it in Chicago, a licensing fee was paid for the use the name.  (Ken had even done this when he staged it in Cincinnati years ago, but in an informal way, tossing some funds towards Jay Marshall once all the dust had settled.)  At his request, we agreed to waive the licensing fee for him to host it in Cincinnati, and only asked that if it was wildly successful, he consider making a donation to “Magicana”.  Magicana, the publisher of Magicol and producer of the Magic Collectors Weekend is a not-for-profit arts organization and registered charity.

We also asked for three other things.  That he use the brand “MCW”, for the Magic Collectors Weekend as that is how we have been staging the conference under our auspices.  Further, that the conference be open to anyone with an interest in magic history and collecting, and that subscribers to Magicol receive a discount on the cost of the conference, as had been the practice in all – at least to my knowledge – previous Magic Collector Weekends.

As far as I was aware, based on my conversations and correspondence with Ken, he agreed to all of this, hence the announcement on this forum, other forums and in the pages of Magicol that the 2014 Magic Collectors Weekend would be staged, but under Ken’s direction in Cincinnati.

Much to our surprise, however, we received the “invitation” in the mail to the 2nd Cincinnati Magic Collectors Convention.  This was surprising in several regards.  First, we know of no “1st Cincinnati Magic Collectors Convention”, only a previous Magic Collectors Weekend, held in Cincinnati.  As we are interested in magic history, we like to keep the record straight.

Second, this event was by invitation-only, or at least it appears as such at this stage, making it someone ironic that someone associated with the Cincinnati gathering says to “spread the word”.  The invitation-only component might help to explain why the numerous emails to Ken and his team by those interested in attending,  particularly those who heard about it in the pages of Magicol, and who had attended previously MCWs, went unanswered.

Of course, the third thing missing was the discount for subscribers to Magicol.

Here we were, cutting Ken and his team a break, fielding many inquiries from people believing that we were associated with the event when, again without any warning or knowledge, we were taken out of the equation.

So, where do we stand?

First, we had to make it clear to our subscribers and previous attendees that we are not involved in any way, shape or form with what many assumed was the Magic Collectors Weekend scheduled for June in Cincinnati.  We can’t even redirect people to Ken’s conference in good faith because he appears to want an invitation-only conference.

It is also incumbent on Magicana to protect the “brand” that is the Magic Collectors Weekend, “MCW” and Magicol.  We have worked extremely hard over the past four years to reshape both the magazine and the conferences.  So, we had to clarify that Ken’s event has nothing to do with us.

We cannot now stage the Magic Collectors Weekend in 2014.  That would be silly given Ken has decided to stage his own conference.  We will not stage one in 2015 either.  We were hoping to stick to the schedule – like NEMCA and the LA Conference – of every two years.  (We know, for example, that a group in Texas was hoping to stage an alternate-year conference – much like Ken Trombly did in Washington – in 2015. It would not be fair to them to ask them to defer their plans another year just because Ken decided to go solo.)  So, the earliest we would consider staging another MCW would be in 2016.  I must admit, however, given recent events, my interest in or taste for staging another Magic Collectors Weekend has waned.  Time will tell.

In the interim, as we suggested in our initial bulletin, we will renew our efforts to make Magicol the journal for those interested in magic history and collecting.

— David Ben


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