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FISM World Championship of Magic: Complete Guide [2024]

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

Every three years, magicians worldwide gather together to compete for the title of World Champion.


FISM is the world's highest governing body of magic and is celebrating its 76th anniversary in 2024. Since 1948, FISM has organized events throughout Europe and Asia. The FISM World Championship of Magic has been held in a different location every three years since 1952, and the coveted "Grand Prix" is the most prestigious award for magicians.


In its history, FISM has never appeared in North America-- until 2022, when Canada hosted the 28th World Championships. Now, all eyes are focused on FISM Italy 2025!


In this article, you'll learn about the FISM World Championship of Magic, the most recent convention, how to qualify for the competition, competition categories, history locations for all past conventions, how to join and more.


Let's take an in-depth look at the most prestigious contest in magic.

Logo for FISM Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques
FISM is an acronym for Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques

FISM (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques) is an international organization that represents over 80,000 magicians in 6 continental regions and 106 countries around the world.


Like the sporting Olympics, FISM is presented in a different host country every three years and allows magicians to compete for the title “World Champion Magician.”


In 2018, at the FISM World Championship of Magic XXVII in Busan, South Korea, a historic decision was announced that Canada won its bid to host the world’s leading magic competition in 2022.


This was the first FISM held in North America in its 75-year history.


The convention was initially scheduled for 2021-- but was changed due to the pandemic.


Here's a look at the topic we'll cover. Click any link to jump to that topic.


 

Table of Contents

 

Canada Makes History in 2022


In 2018, at the 27th FISM World Championship of Magic in Busan, South Korea, it was announced that the world's leading magic competition’s next host city was awarded to Quebec City, Canada.


A historic decision that brings the World Championship of Magic to North America for the first time in its 74-year history.


This multi-day convention and contest draws thousands of magicians worldwide who compete for the title of World Champion Magician and the coveted Grand Prix.


It's a decision nearly two decades in the making and the result of hard work by Canadian Association of Magicians President Renée-Claude Auclair, her partner Pierre Hamon, founders of Club De Magie Du Quebec, and support from CAM founder Joan Caesar.


Here's a recap of the North American Qualifying Championship of Magic from the Magician's Talking Magic Podcast.



 

How to Win a Magician Competition


Awards are presented in Close-Up and Stage Magic contests, and magicians must meet a judging threshold to place.


The coveted "FISM Grand Prix World Champion" is not always awarded.


Magicians are given only one opportunity to present their routines in front of a live audience and panel of judges.


All winning magicians’ acts must be between 5 - 10 minutes or face instant disqualification.


All acts are judged on the following criteria:

  • Technical Skill / Handling

  • Showmanship / Presentation

  • Entertainment Value

  • Originality

  • Magic Atmosphere

Points are decided by a jury of FISM-recognized judges, and scores are based from 0 to 100.


A first-place winning magician must exceed an average score of 80 points from the panel of 7 - 9 FISM Judges.


Any contestant with a score below 50 is disqualified.


FISM Grand Prix is the Top Prize in Magic


The title of the FISM Grand Prix is regarded as the most coveted award for stage and close-up contests, and the title is decided by the same jury of FISM judges in a second judging process.


A few other notable FISM awards include:

  • Most Original Stage Act

  • Most Original Close-Up Act

  • Magic Invention

  • Creativity and Artistic Vision

The FISM World Championship of Magic, a conference and magic contest, draws thousands of magicians and is the largest assembly of magicians in the world.


Events for magicians take place over six days and feature world-class magic instruction, live performances and opportunities to explore the host city.

Let’s take at the competition process for magicians. What does it take to enter a completion?


FISM World Championship of Magic Logo
How to Become a World Champion Magician


 

How to Become a World Championship Magician


Magicians can compete for the title of World Champion Magician in the Stage Contest, Close-up Contests or both.


Entering both contests in the same competition is uncommon.


Any magician who qualifies can register for only one category within each contest.


A chart show the 8 Competition Categories of the FISM World Championship of Magic
Here are the 8 Categories of Competition at FISM

Five Categories for FISM Stage Magic Contest

  1. Manipulation

  2. General Magic

  3. Stage Illusions

  4. Comedy Magic

  5. Mental Magic

Three Categories for FISM Close-Up Magic Contest

  1. Card Magic

  2. Micro Magic

  3. Parlour Magic

For detailed descriptions of FISM categories, see below or click here.


To compete at the world champion level, magicians must win a place by competing at the continental championships.


There are 106 FISM Member Societies representing over 80,000 magicians in 50 countries.


These Member Societies are regional magic organizations and clubs hosting their conventions and magic contests.


Requirements for entry into FISM:


To gain entry into the World Championship of Magic, a magician must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a member of one of the FISM Member Societies.

  2. Obtain high marks at their continental FISM championship

There are one hundred and five member societies of FISM in six continental regions worldwide.


 

Worldwide Organization


Six Continental Regions represent the FISM World Championship of Magic, and each region has its own Continental President.


List of Six Continental Regions of FISM:

  1. Africa

  2. Asia https://www.fism.asia/

  3. Europe https://www.fism.eu/

  4. Latin America

  5. North America https://fismna2021.com

  6. Oceania

A graphic showing the six continental regions of the FISM World Championship of Magic
There are 6 FISM Continental Regions


 

The 7 North American Member Societies


Any North American magician who wants to qualify at their FISM continental contest from any of the following seven-member societies of FISM.


List of all North American Member Societies of FISM:

  1. Academy of Magical Arts http://www.magiccastle.com/

  2. Canadian Association of Magicians https://cammagic.org

  3. Club De Magie Du Québec https://www.festivaldemagie.ca/

  4. International Brotherhood of Magicians https://www.magician.org/

  5. Society of American Magicians https://www.magicsam.com/

  6. Texas Association of Magicians https://taom.org

  7. The Chicago Magic Round Table https://www.chicagomagiclounge.com/rt-about

5 magician societies logos


 

Brief History of FISM


The idea of an international convention hosted in a different country each year was first proposed in Paris, France, in 1938 by Dr. Jules Dhotel.

Dr. Dhotel was serving as Vice-President of Association Syndicale des Artistes Prestidigitateurs (Association of Prestidigitation Artists)


The idea was accepted, and plans proceeded for the first international magic convention, cancelled in September 1939 when the Nazis invaded Poland and began World War II.


After World War II, in 1946, the first International Congress of Magicians convention in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, debuted with over 300 registrants across Europe.


The event consisted of magic lectures, antique exhibits, public shows, tours of Amsterdam, and a magic contest.


The first competition featured 20 contestants and no categories.


The second annual convention in 1947 had 70 contestants and over 500 attendees, and it was during this convention that the idea of FISM was proposed.


In 1948, FISM was founded.


It is considered one of the most respected organizations within the magic community, growing to over 80,000 members in 105 international member societies in 50 countries.


What are the locations of the past FISM World Championship of Magic? Here are the last five destinations


Locations for the Past Five FISM World Championships


2025 - Torino, Italy, 29th World Championships XXIX

2022 - Quebec City, Canada 28th World Championships XXVIII

2018 - Busan, South Korea 27th World Championships XXVII

2015 - Rimini, Italy 26th World Championships XXVI

2012 - Blackpool, United Kingdom 25th World Championships XXV

2009 - Beijing, China 24th World Championships XXIV

2006 - Stockholm, Sweden 23rd World Championship XXIII


For a complete listing of the entire list of World Championships, click here.


Upcoming FISM Convention 2025


The 2022 FISM World Championship of Magic took place in Quebec City from July 25 - 30, 2022. Where will FISM be held in 2025? It was announced that FISM 2025 will be hosted in Torino, Italy!


To learn more, visit FISM Italy 2025.


 

How is FISM organized?


FISM is an organization that represents thousands of magicians around the world through the affiliated Member Societies of FISM.


These Member Societies have their procedures and governance, including Presidents. These groups are referred to as the “General Assembly.”


FISM Board of Directors


The FISM Executive Board of Directors consists of the International President, two Vice Presidents and a Secretary.

  • Andrea Baioni FISM President (Italy)

  • Domenico Dante FISM Honorary President (Italy)

  • Peter Din FISM Vice President (France)

  • Satoru Yamamoto FISM Vice President (Japan)

FISM Executive Board


The FISM General Assembly consists of all 5 Continental Presidents and the FISM Executive Board of Directors.


General Assembly


Members of the General Assembly are represented by the following five regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America.



 

President of FISM


At FISM Quebec 2022 it was announced the new president of FISM is Andrea Baioni from Italy.


A portrait of the current FISM World Championship of Magic President, Andrea Baioni
Current FISM President is Andrea Baioni

Honorary President

Domenico Dante (Italy) Past FISM President
Domenico Dante (Italy)

The honorary President of the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques (FISM) is Domenico Dante from Veneto, Italy. He is an author of magic books, producer, and honorary President of Club Magico Italiano.


Domenico's involvement in FISM began in 1991, and he has served as FISM President since 2000.


Domenico Dante's website: http://www.domenicodante.com/



 

What FISM strives to achieve:


Here are FISM’s objectives:

  • 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.


 

2021 COVID Delay


In 2021, due to COVID-19, the North American Championship of Magic and the FISM World Championship of Magic had to be postponed. It instead took place in 2022 in Quebec City, Canada.

 

Qualifying for 2025


To qualify for the FISM World Championship of Magic, a magician must be a member of an affiliated FISM magic society and have endorsement from the Member Society's President.


Each region of FISM hosts competitions to determine who will represent their country at the World Championship.


 

Competition Categories


There are eight categories in two contests for magicians interested in competing at FISM. A magician can choose one category from either contest.


Here are FISM's two contests, categories and descriptions (Source: FISM)


Five Categories in the FISM Stage Magic Contest:


Manipulation

A magic stage act wholly or primarily based on sleight of hand.


General Magic

A magic stage act is, in most cases, a mix of several other categories. The props are usually smaller than the ones used in a Stage Illusion act. Some modern high-tech or video technology performances can also be categorized under this denomination.


Stage Illusions

A magic stage act in which huge props are used (even when these are not visible to the audience). Often several people and animals are involved.


Comedy Magic

A magic stage act in which the primary purpose is to make people laugh. It can be based on any of the aforementioned categories, provided the emphasis is laid on the magic nature of the performance.


Mental Magic

Branch of magic comprising demonstrations of apparent extraordinary or supernatural mental powers, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis, super memory, lightning calculation and simulations of mediumistic phenomena.


Three Categories in the FISM Close-Up Contest:


Card Magic

the act is exclusively based on effects using playing cards.


Micro Magic

Playing cards are not to be excluded, but the act is more general in nature.


Parlour Magic

An act, midway between close-up and stage magic, meant to be performed for a group of people in a moderately sized room.



 

All 28 FISM World Magic Champions


Here is a listing of FISM events since its founding in 1948:

  • 2025 Torino, Italy XXIX World Championships

  • 2022 Quebec City, Canada XXVIII World Championships

  • 2018 Busan, South Korea XXVII World Championships

  • 2015 Rimini, Italy XXVI World Championships

  • 2012 Blackpool, United Kingdom XXV World Championships

  • 2009 Beijing, China XXIV World Championships

  • 2006 Stockholm, Sweden XXIII World Championship

  • 2003 Den Haag, Netherlands XXII World Championship

  • 2000 Lisbon, Portugal XXI World Championship

  • 1997 Dresden, Germany XX World Championship

  • 1994 Yokohama, Japan XIX World Championship

  • 1991 Lausanne, Switzerland XVIII World Championship

  • 1988 Den Haag, Netherlands XVII World Championship

  • 1985 Madrid, Spain XVI World Championship

  • 1982 Lausanne, Switzerland XV World Championship

  • 1979 Brussels, Belgium XIV World Championship

  • 1976 Vienna, Austria XIII World Championship

  • 1973 Paris, France XII World Championship

  • 1970 Amsterdam, Netherlands XI World Championship

  • 1967 Baden-Baden, Germany X World Championship

  • 1964 Barcelona, Spain IX World Championship

  • 1961 Liege, Belgium VIII World Championship

  • 1958 Vienna, Austria VII World Championship

  • 1955 Amsterdam, Netherlands VI World Championship

  • 1952 Geneva, Switzerland V World Championship

  • 1951 Paris, France IV World Championship

  • 1950 Barcelona, Spain III World Championship

  • 1949 Amsterdam, Netherlands II World Championship

  • 1948 Lausanne, Switzerland I World Championship


FISM World Championship of Magic Logo
Here's how to Join FISM
 

How to join FISM

There is no membership in FISM. Members join their continental member societies of FISM.


How to connect with FISM


FISM World Championship of Magic Official Website:


How to follow FISM on social media


FISM World Championship of Magic Social Media

Additional Sources:


 

Have you attended FISM? Share any comments or questions and let us know where you've attended.


If you are a North American magician, here are the seven magic societies.

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