These are, in fact, the true "Olympics" of magic. The event is held every three years and next summer will mark its twenty-sixth edition. For the first time since 1952, thanks to the dedication and determination of Italian magician-entrepreneur, Walter Rolfo, the World Championships of Magic FISM (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques), will take place here in Italy.
Rimini and its new Palacongressi will set the scene for an event that will host over 120 national federations and magic clubs from the five continents, with 5 thousand magicians. 150 of them will battle it out in front of an international jury made up of stars from the world of magic, to reach that coveted title that will guarantee them a place in the annals of magic history: World Champion.
In his speech during the press conference held today at the Grand Hotel in Rimini, the city's mayor, Andrea Gnassi stated that this international event "is the fruit of a strategy that confirms Rimini as a benchmark and stage for great events producing revenue, enhancing tourist figures and generating work. We are proud to have won the international bid out of all the other cities that were candidates for the World Championships of Magic. Rimini City Council, Palas and Fiera worked hard to ensure they could offer the conditions and facilities necessary for this extraordinary event. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come to Rimini, but there will also be millions of web viewers, and the images of the city portrayed through the events held on the streets, balconies and rooftops of Rimini will be a virtual showcase for our area."
"Rimini is a magical place that offers a unique network of services and hospitality. It has leader qualities shown in its Trade Fair choice to target three strategic assets, tourism, wine and gastronomy and the local area. We know that many people, especially the Chinese, love the world of magic and they follow it enthusiastically on TV formats. It is precisely for this reason that in conjunction with tour operators who work with the Chinese market, we are developing package tours for Expo and Rimini - a magical place."
"On behalf of the Emilia Romagna region, I would like to express our satisfaction - commented Regional Councillor for Tourism, Andrea Corsini - with this international event that will take place in Rimini next July. As a region, we have a strategic goal for the next five years: to increase our tourism GDP from the current 8.6% to over 10%. The core of this strategy is hosting international events and, in this respect, for 2015 we have obtained important results which we will be announcing shortly."
"This year we are committed to making Emilia-Romagna the hospitality logistics platform for EXPO visitors and Rimini, without a doubt, is a jewel in the crown. This International Magic Festival is an example of how, in recent years, this city has re-invented itself and we sincerely hope that it will be an example and an attraction for tourism in Emilia Romagna."
The Championships programme is rich in performances and shows open to magic enthusiasts, citizens and tourists alike: there will be 12 shows at the Palacongressi, 64 seminars and lectures, 7 magic after-nights in Rimini and the local area will be alive with street magic and flash mob magic. Children, of course, will have a special place every day during the event, with magic schools and workshops dedicated entirely to them in total over 144 hours of non-stop magic, to experience firsthand at the Palacongressi di Rimini, virtually 24/7 of magicians, illusionists and their audience.
Being a large-scale world class event, it will involve the whole region. In Parma, after three days of magic (21-22 March) 18 Italian magicians, representing top Italian magic associations and coordinated by "Masters of Magic", will contend for a place in the world championships.
Several "magical" events will also be held in another Italian region, Valle d’Aosta, a long-standing supporter of Masters of Magic.
Included in the exciting line up at the Palacongressi di Rimini are the gala performance, "Stars at Night", a fusion of magic and showbiz (Tuesday 17 July) and "The most magical night of your life" (Thursday 19 July). A part of the proceeds will be donated to the "Mago Sales Foundation", an initiative of the Salesian missions that promotes solidarity for children across the world. And on the topic of solidarity and children, throughout the 6 days of the event, magicians will visit sick children in hospitals around the region as part of the worthy initiative, "Magic for life".
Among the hundreds of big names expected in Rimini are American Franz Harary, famous for having collaborated with rock star Michael Jackson; winner of America’s Got talent, Matt Franco; the "revolutionary of magic" Luis De Matos, star of National Geographic's amazing programme, "Test your Brain"; Britain's Paul Daniels, star of the BBC, Israeli paranormal phenomenon Uri Geller; Marco Tempest, the magician who invented interaction between magic and technology; Michael Moschen, the hands of David Bowie in Labyrinth, as well as all the champions of previous editions.
"Bringing the Championships to Italy was a real challenge. We outdid countries like Mexico, Ireland and Korea, cities like Dublin and Seoul. But, in the end ours was the winning project - explains Walter Rolfo, founder of "Masters of Magic", and president of the organising committee of "FISMITALY2015 World Championship" - The event will not be limited merely to what will be happening at the Palacongressi. We will be taking our performances to other towns inland and along the coast. As in all championships, our aim is to involve as many people and areas as possible. It is a unique opportunity to spread the wonder, fun and joy that magic can bring to people".
"Magic is enjoying an increasingly wider audience. Magicians have become TV stars and performers the world over. Thanks to the work of magician and entrepreneur Walter Rolfo and his project, we are able to bring a world class event to the Palacongressi– emphasises Stefania Agostini, Director of the Congress Business Unit of Rimini Fiera spa – All the rooms in our venue, from the largest to the smallest will be engaged in performances, shows and seminars. It will certainly be an added attraction at the height of summer for tourists in Rimini, especially those from abroad. It is an exciting international opportunity for our local area that will involve the entire Emilia Romagna region in the coming months".
Press Office FISM Italy 2015 - FISM (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques) World Championships of Magic
Carlo Bozzo - +39 3355778445
More information on Palacongressi Rimini