One of the favorite activities of high schools in Ottawa are graduation parties. Many high schools put these parties together as both a reward for the students, and a safe activity for them to participate in. For years, parents were concerned that high school graduation celebrations would include alcohol and other late night misdemeanors and activities, as was the customary tradition among graduating seniors. In answer to this concern, some school districts began to provide an alternative for the students. They called it "project graduation". This event lasts all night, and is usually held at a location such as a large recreational facility, providing activities such as swimming, racquetball, movies, laser tag, and some sort of main entertainment. |
A typical set up at these events included many activities occurring simultaneously. While some were swimming or playing dodge-ball, others would be watching a movie, eating snacks, or simply talking and hanging out in hallways. The main events are scheduled at different times throughout the night, and each is highly anticipated and attended. These include anything from feature movies, performances from local theatrical groups, or performing artists. One of the favorites are magicians. Every year that magicians are selected as the main entertainment, the anticipation among the graduating class is very high. Local Ottawa magicians are some of the best around, and are noted for their skill and prowess in the arts of mystery and sleight of hand. The school districts would select three or four of the finest Ottawa magicians, and they would perform for hours. Each magician has a slightly different skill set, so each will have a slightly different show.
One of the most common magician acts is the art of illusion. There are many Ottawa magicians who are familiar with this art. Tricks include disappearing coins, rabbits in hats, disappearing items that would show up in random parts of the audience, card tricks, acts of transformation or restoration, and still other acts such as predicting audience member's names, favorite colors, and even birthdays. These magicians are always a favorite, and students will never cease to be amazed by their tricks, and year after year puzzle over how they are performed.
Other Ottawa magicians that will perform in the show is one skilled in the art of escapism. This unique twist on the traditional magic show always thrills the audience and keeps them on the edge of their seats. One of the most famous acts is the escape or die act. Most magicians will tie themselves up with cords, knots, and padlocks, and then immerse themselves in a tank of water, or they will be buried alive and attempt to escape. These hair raising stunts are watched with great enthusiasm by the students, who absolutely love the bravery displayed and the thrills that it brings.
Another performer is the mentalist magician. This type of magic is truly unique, and always piques the interest of the students. These magicians will use audience members in their acts, and will demonstrate their highly attuned mental abilities in feats of telepathy, gaining unique information, foretelling of events, and even hypnosis, which is one of the most riveting performances of the evening. Many students will be brought before the magician, who will then set them under hypnosis. The magician will ask the students to perform certain acts, such as dancing, divulging certain information, finding objects, and other tasks, and the students obey! This is a truly unique performance that awes every member of the audience.
Project graduation in Ottawa has been a long standing tradition of safe graduation entertainment. As a result of the popularity of the performances and activities, most graduating seniors prefer to attend this event, rather than spending the evening with some of the more troublesome graduation celebration activities. magicians and other popular performers always put on a great show, and as a result this is one of the most highly anticipated events of the school year, and is highly successful at providing wholesome recreation for the students in attendance.
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