To help you decide, I have an inside look at a real party with Calgary magician Christopher Cool!
You can request prices on Christopher's website at CalgaryBirthdayMagician.com. It will not cost more than booking a party at many of the birthday venues in Calgary.
However, Chris is very up-front about the fact that he is the most expensive magician in Calgary. Why is this? You get some extras when you book with him (such as a package with some party-planning tools). You also get to invite an unlimited number of kids to the party!
However, I think the most important part is that he takes a great deal of pride in his customer service. Chris has a 100% money-back guarantee. If his show is NOT one of the best you've ever seen, it's free. How's that for peace of mind? In addition, Chris only books two birthdays shows per day on weekends so that nothing feels rushed. On top of that, Chris goes the extra mile in other areas. He carries liability insurance, and he has police background checks done every six months.
Long story short - you get what you pay for. And in this case, you get an amazing show!
What You Get
1) A party kit, which Chris mails to you after you've booked a date (includes checklists, birthday candles, matches, cake knife, etc).
2) Party invitations.
3) Loot bags (high-quality magic tricks). You can also purchase top hats and magic wands from Chris, and obviously you should because that would be insanely cute.
3) A magic show (35 mins - 1 hour, depending on age of kids).
4) The birthday child is levitated during the show!!
5) Chris teaches the kids a magic trick and gives them the equipment they need to perform it.
The Magic Show
Chris will turn up at your house with a few bags of equipment. His show is self-contained, so you don't need to do anything. He has all of his own gear and a folding table. He has a cool backdrop that looks like red theatre curtains, which literally takes him about 30 seconds to set up. This makes for very cool photos, and hides a lot of the clutter in your house (bonus!).
The show features A LOT of audience interaction. The kids loved this. They all got to help with certain tricks, and a few of them got up on the stage to help. One boy had a handkerchief magically pulled from his sleeve and said in wonder, "I didn't do anything!"
Chris had tons of jokes and silly props, and the kids were instantly engaged. In fact, we had a pretty diverse audience - the kids at this show ranged from 2 to 9 years old. Two of those kids were mine, so I know that it is virtually impossible to hold their attention for any length of time. Chris, however, had zero problems with this. The kids were FASCINATED. All of them. For the entire show. They watched with intense concentration, astonishment, and total delight.
Just look at their faces!
What the Kids Said
That night, I was singing a lullabye to my two-year-old at bedtime. He interrupted me to carefully say, "Fun... mag-eet... show!" He then waved his arms around and yelled, "Sock!!" He was referring to one of the tricks in Chris's show, which he found hilarious.
My daughter, who is four, said, "That was AWESOME. I wish we could do it again!" She brought her magic trick to daycare the next day and showed it to all of her friends.
Chris is extremely popular in Calgary (he consistently wins awards from Calgary's Child for party entertainment). Try to book 3 - 4 months in advance.
Have you ever seen a show with Christopher Cool? What did you think?
Full Disclosure: I was compensated for this post.