The International Federation of Magic Societies (FISM) is an international organization dedicated to promoting the art of magic through competitions. It's also the largest magician association in the world.
Learn more about its history and what makes it so unique!
In this post:
Here's your look at the world's most prestigious competition for magicians.
Who is FISM?
FISM stands for Federation Internationale des Societes Magiques or International Federation of Magic Societies. It is the largest magician association in the world, with over 80,000 members in 106 member societies in over 50 countries.
Each member society is organized into six continental regions that host qualifying competitions. Magicians must qualify regionally before they can compete at the FISM World Championship of Magic.
Canada has two two member societies of FISM, The Canadian Association of Magicians and Club De Magie Du Québec.
Why Do They Host Competitions?
The primary purpose of FISM is to offer an international platform where magicians can compete for the title of world champion.
This magic tournament has been going on since 1948 and continues to be held every three years. The coveted Grand Prix top prize is not always awarded.
Magicians only get one chance to perform their routine for a live audience and a panel of FISM Recognized Judges. A magician's performance must be between five and ten minutes. Any magician who goes overtime is instantly disqualified.
Magician's acts are judged on the following criteria:
Technical Skill / Handling
Showmanship / Presentation
There are many different types of magic, let's look at competition categories.
What categories do magicians compete in?
There are eight categories divided into two contests, stage magic and close-up magic. Magicians can only enter one category within each contest.
5 Stage Magic Categories
Here are the categories for stage magic:
3 Close-Up Magic Categories
Here are the categories for close-up magic:
What Are Their Goals?
FISM is a non-profit organization that strives to unite magic societies worldwide to enhance and promote the art of magic. They organize international events such as the World Championships of Magic and supervise Continental Championships of Magic.
It is committed to helping the development of the art of magic and has a mission to unify, coordinate activities and fight against exposure.
Here are FISM's goals
to be a leading platform, unifying magic societies from around the world, committed to the enhancement, promotion and development of the art of magic;
to develop, elevate, promote the art of magic and preserve the knowledge of the history of magic;
to coordinate the activities of Member Societies, enhancing their authority and encouraging the exchange of reciprocal cooperation and services
to fight against exposure and copies of acts, effects or inventions, presentations or original routines
to organize international events such as the FISM World Championships of Magic and supervise Continental Championships of Magic.
How Does FISM Work?
Membership in FISM is free. To become a member you must belong to a FISM member society. There are over 100+ member societies worldwide divided into six continental regions.
6 Continental Regions
North America has 5 Member Societies:
Here are magician associations within North America that are members of FISM
Academy of Magical Arts
Canadian Association of Magicians
Club De Magie Du Québec
International Brotherhood of Magicians
Society of American Magicians
Canada makes history.
Several Canadian magicians, including Shawn Farquhar and Shin Lim, have earned magic's biggest prize, the coveted Grand Prix. Greg Frewin is also technically a Grand Prix winner-- but that's a story we'll share sometime because it was the catalyst for founding the Canadian Association of Magicians.
In 2018, Seoul, South Korea, announced Canada would host the FISM XXVIII World Championship of Magic in 2022! For the first time since its founding in 1948, FISM would appear in North America, and Quebec City would shatter magic’s glass ceiling!
A proud moment for Canadian magicians and the hard work of CAM President Renée-Claude Auclair and her partner Pierre Hamon supported by the founder of CAM Joan Caesar.
Check out this article to learn about how this historic moment happened.
To learn more about FISM, here is a fantastic in-depth article from Magician Masterclass we recommend you read.