Updated: May 6
Every three years, magicians from around the world gather together to compete for the title of World Champion.
FISM is the world's highest governing body of magic and celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023. 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 and how to join and more.
Let's take a look in-depth at the most prestigious contest in magic.
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 draw 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
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 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
Creativity and Artistic Vision
The FISM World Championship of Magic 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?
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.
Five Categories for FISM Stage Magic Contest
Three Categories for FISM Close-Up Magic Contest
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 magic clubs that host 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:
Be a member of one of the FISM Member Societies.
Obtain high marks at their continental FISM championship
There are one hundred and five-member societies of FISM in six continental regions worldwide.
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:
North America https://fismna2021.com
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:
Academy of Magical Arts http://www.magiccastle.com/
Canadian Association of Magicians https://cammagic.org
Club De Magie Du Québec https://www.festivaldemagie.ca/
International Brotherhood of Magicians https://www.magician.org/
Society of American Magicians https://www.magicsam.com/
Texas Association of Magicians https://taom.org
The Chicago Magic Round Table https://www.chicagomagiclounge.com/rt-about
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 Quebec 2022.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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:
A magic stage act wholly or primarily based on sleight of hand.
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.
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.
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.
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:
the act is exclusively based on effects using playing cards.
Playing cards are not to be excluded, but the act is more general in nature.
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
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
Genii Magazine: https://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.php?title=FISM
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.