I LOVE Churchill, Manitoba. For a community nestled in the far northern reaches of Canada, it has one of the warmest hearts you could imagine.

I arrived in Churchill a few days before the Olympic Torch run so that we could set up and be ready for this momentous occasion. I knew there were to be challenges as the show was to be outdoors in a city where the daytime highs could be as cold as – 50C. Fortunately there was to be a heated tent (?).

I was met at the airport by one of the city councilors, Louise Lawrie, an incredibly vibrant mover and shaker of the community. Right from my arrival this force of nature endeared me to her city by giving me a running narrative of the events, history and on goings of Churchill. What an AMAZING and active place this is!

One of my jobs was to make several of the Olympic Torch bearers magically appear, from an empty box, to receive the richly deserved praise they deserved for this once in a life time event. I also had a surprise up my sleeve as I was going to take some one from the audience during my show and float them in mid-air!

We started out the night before by watching a spectacular outdoor fireworks exhibition produced by Archangel Fireworks of Winnipeg, the world champions of 2008! It was heavily snowing and the contrast of the explosions and snow were truly awesome.

The day of the show was extremely busy as the huge number of tourists, who were also there to view the Polar Bears and Whales, turned out to watch the day long events. The day started clear as a bell with absolutely beautiful weather, which continued from early morning, when the Olympic Torch relay started to the end of the day, which featured a feast for all the volunteers and guests.

After the Torch arrived and was passed on, the fantastic ceremony continued, hosted by the city and Olympic Committee. The celebration had many notables including Manitoba Premiere, Greg Selinger, Member of Parliament, Niki Ashton and Mayor of Churchill, Mike Spence. I was lucky enough to be asked to lunch with them and performed some close-up magic at their table before my concert that afternoon.

What an AMAZING turn out we had. The giant circus tent was filled to capacity for the show, which ended in a standing ovation.

The day ended with the feast which was highlighted by 30 Inuit from Nunavut performing and playing “Hand Games”, one of the most intricate gambling styled games I have ever seen. I was told that it takes many years to become proficient at the many intricate gestures and codes used and that each community has their own nuances to the game. After the entertainment, everyone was treated to the celestial fireworks of the Aurora Borealis, which was so bright that it seemed like daylight!

If that wasn’t enough, the next day, Louise surprised me by taking me out to the old rocket range, where they used to fire off the Black Brant research rockets, which were used to study the “Northern Lights”. It’s now been converted into a research lab for the study of climate and other scientific endeavors.

On the way back we stopped along the Hudson Bay, the doorway to the Arctic Ocean, to watch the Polar Bears. Louise, knowing exactly where to go, took me to within INCHES of 8 Polar Bear. If I had opened my window (I was cautioned to NOT do that) I could have touched the huge beasts. How incredible they are!!!

It is no wonder why so many people from around the world flock to “The Polar Bear Capital of the World”.

Polar Bears are breathtaking. They are so very large and yet can run as fast as a Cheetah. My videos of these incredible animals will be cherished forever.

I want to thank all the wonderful people I met in Churchill for all the wonderful memories I now have. I look foreword to my next visit there in the VERY near future!

Brian Glow