Former Kincardine resident re-imagines virtual parties

·2 min read

Watching Kincardine native Sam Pearce entertain an audience is, well, magical.

As early as four years-of-age, Pearce already knew that he wanted to be a magician.

He credits his grandfather with providing him with the inspiration to pursue his career. Grandpa Frank Pearce, formerly of Kincardine and now living in Lucknow, loved to make people laugh, telling jokes and using sleight of hand to amaze and amuse friends and family. Pearce says “he is the reason I am doing this today.”

Flashback to 2003, when a then 12-year-old Pearce was the subject of a feature article in The Kincardine Independent. Even then, he knew that he had to keep his illusions fresh and professional to keep his audience entertained.

As a young man, he advertised his skills in the area, performing at birthday parties for just $20, while honing his skills and perfecting his delivery.

A move to Kitchener in 2008 brought him closer to bigger opportunities, and he began to perform at awards galas, team building events and corporate conferences, acting as not only an entertainer, but as a master of ceremonies as well. His clients have included such companies as Sobeys head office, Epson and Canada Life.

And in pandemic times, in order to accommodate gathering and physical distancing restrictions, Pearce has used technology to bring his services into the board rooms and living rooms of his customers. His expert team operates remotely from cities across southern Ontario and he has turned his living room into a professional television studio, where he shoots videos of his performances. Each event is customized to meet the needs of his clients, is interactive and very entertaining.

“One thing I’m really proud of is the ability to broadcast with live closed captions,” said Pearce. “It’s so important to me that the events are accessible and welcoming to everyone. It was a bit tricky to develop, but we now have a solid system where we send live audio to a stenographer (working remotely in Toronto), they transcribe the event in real-time, and we sync the words with the video before broadcasting to our viewers.”

His goal is to use his skills in comedy and magic to bring people together.

“My goal is to connect people,” said Pearce. “…to give people a sense of community and connection from the comfort of their homes.”

Examples of Pearce’s performances can be seen on his company’s website, www.canadianillusionist.com.

Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent