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Jason Verners carves out own lane in competitive world of magic

Victoria magician Jason Verners is performing with Vancouver’s Chris Yuill for Sin City Illusions, Saturday at the McPherson Playhouse.
Victoria magician Jason Verners, above, is teaming up with Vancouver’s Chris Yuill for Sin City Illusions, at the McPherson Playhouse on Saturday. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST


Where: McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Sq.

When: Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m.

Tickets: $30-$59 from the Royal McPherson box office (250-386-6121) or

Note: Verners and Yuill also perform Friday, April 12 in Nanaimo at The Port Theatre

Victoria magician Jason Verners has achieved plenty during his 14-year career, from regular TV appearances to celebrity endorsements. But what occupies the majority of his time is the work: Learning new tricks, improving old ones, and finding better ways in which to entertain his growing audience.

Verners, 25, has teamed with Vancouver magician Chris Yuill for Sin City Illusions, which takes place Saturday at the McPherson Playhouse. Verners doesn’t play the venue often, so he’s looking forward to returning to a stage he graced many years ago — in part to improve on what he delivered the first time around.

His performance with Yuill — whom Verners has known for over a decade — is a move back to his roots. Once deeply connected to the magic community in Canada, Verners has been something of a lone wolf in recent years, as he tries to navigate an extremely hard-fought industry.

Though he remains friends with magicians from his youth, he doesn’t interact with many performers on a personal basis. He’s less interested in chatting about the dollars-and-cents of the business, and more about the entertainment side of the profession.

“I wanted to separate myself a little bit, and carve out my own lane,” Verners said of his recent career moves, which led to celebrity endorsements from Michael Bublé and David Foster, among others. “There’s always so much politics and drama in the industry, and it felt like I was taking advice from the wrong people, or too much advice. So I just naturally pulled myself away.”

You wouldn’t know it, by looking at his career achievements; Verner’s visibility has never been higher. He joins CHEK TV hosts Jeff King and Ed Bain on The Upside on the first Monday of each month. He joined the duo in an unofficial capacity three years ago, and became a regular guest on the popular show 18 months ago.

Verners created four new tricks for each episode, which is a heady pace for a magician. “The challenge is a ton of work,” he said, but it has made him a much better magician. “I love challenging myself with coming up with new material.”

Verners also had a nice run on Spain’s entry in the Got Talent franchise, Got Talent España. He travelled to Madrid for several days of shooting in 2023, and wowed judges with his sleight-of-hand.

He failed in his semi-final bid, but the experience was a life-changing one, he said. He now incorporates some of his TV work into his touring sets, which includes his performances Friday in Nanaimo at The Port Theatre and Saturday at the McPherson Playhouse. The aim is to get better every time he goes out, he said, be it Vancouver Island or elsewhere.

“As I start figuring out new material and the changes, it’s about shaping the package into something stronger.”

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