Kim Wilson – Focus on Local Artists – Issue #3

July 2012

Kim Wilson

Kim Wilson

The Winnipeg River Arts Council’s monthly featured artist is Kim Wilson from Powerview-Pine Falls area, who has combined his passion for his art (magic) with his job (drug and alcohol counsellor at Sakgeeng Mino Pimatiziwin Family Treatment Centre). As a child, Wilson lived in Brandon and Gillam, but moved to Great Falls because of his father’s work  with Manitoba Hydro. He attended high school in Lac du Bonnet and is now married to Laurie (Breton), manager of their co-owned business, Broadlands Mall. When Wilson was fifteen, his mother bought him a plastic magic hat and his uncle showed him a couple of card and coin tricks. After that, magic’s spell completely captivated him. As a young man, he discovered Toad Hall Toys and met the owner, Ray England, who directed him toward the International Brotherhood of Magicians. To this day, Wilson still visits Toad Hall to check out the latest magic props.

In his thirties, while employed at the Pine Falls paper mill, Wilson developed a unique combination comedy, music, and magic act with friend Joel Lamoureux. For seven years, their company, Pinnacle Entertainment, filled auditoriums and toured across Manitoba, promoting their “stay-in-school ” message. But, as often happens, changes in daily life ended their performances.

About four years ago, when Wilson and his wife moved into their new home on the Winnipeg River, he rummaged through his old boxes of  magic equipment. With inspiration from an Oprah Winnifrey show and the  book “The Secret,” he declared his intention to reclaim his magic act, posted pictures of his heroes, such as David Copperfield and Doug Henning, where he could see them, and then declared his goal to perform in Las Vegas. In six months, a chain of events led to his “discovery” by an association of chiefs from U.S. and Canada who hired him to perform for two nights at a corporate function at Caesar’s Palace. While there, he attended the McBride Magic and Mystery School, a college for master magicians, and did street performances with some of the most famous magicians in the world (Eugene Burger, Penn and Teller, Jeff McBride, Lance Burton).

In keeping with his philosophies of “never give up and never give in,” Wilson once again performs widely to rave reviews (“a spectacular show”) while inspiring others to transform their lives (“a positive role model”). His gigs include boat shows, cruises, charity events and he get hired by clients such as Pepsi and Lund Boats. He also plans to teach his magic skills through videos and wants to use special screens to highlight his close-up tricks (hand manipulations). For Wilson, it’s entirely fitting that name of his workplace “Mino Pimatiziwin” means “the good life.” For him, magic, fun, and focused intentions have captured it all.