Everett Andrews got his start in magic, while growing up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan with his parents, one older brother and one younger brother. When Everett was just 14 years old, he attended a local fair and saw a magician performing in a sideshow. He was quite impressed with the feats of magic he saw. He went out into the fair and purchased some magic tricks of his own. Soon after, Everett was purchasing larger effects to add to his growing collection.
But he did not get the “magic bug” … until he saw a magic show by Ormond McGill in Moose Jaw. He remembers seeing Ormond perform the linking rings, and at the first opportunity he bought a set.
Travel forward a few years to Calgary, where Everett was studying commercial art at the Alberta College of Art (now S.A.I.T.). He saw the great Lee Grabel perform in Calgary, and was “mesmerized”. He went backstage after the show to get Lee’s autograph. This is where he met a member of the local I.B.M. Calgary Ring 66 Magic Club, and Everett was invited to their next meeting.
Everett began to perform more frequently … also doing “chalk talk”, ventriloquism … and a lot of magic. He was organizing variety shows for the student body at the college, using different talent he met and formed professional relationships with. This included shows to the children’s and veteran’s hospitals, and other charitable organizations.
Right around this time (1958), he would get married to Shirlee, his high school sweetheart who came out from Moose Jaw to join him, and they started performing together. They would form a life partnership, with Shirlee taking an active role in not only being his assistant, but booking shows, making phone calls, and taking care of that side of the magic business. She would play a huge role in his success.
Everett graduated from the four-year art program, and really had a “gift” when it came to designing his own promotional material. This would prove very valuable throughout his performing career.
While a member of Ring 66, Everett met Bill Spragg, who would take Everett under his wing and give him valuable time and effort as a young magician. This would prove not only beneficial … but this mentorship from Bill would be instrumental in Everett’s attitude toward ‘reaching out to young magicians’ for the rest of his life.
In 1962, Everett and Shirlee welcomed their first son. They were both heavily involved with their church (First Alliance and later Foothills Alliance Church), with Everett working as an artist for the Hudson Bay department store, in the art department and photo studio inside the flagship location downtown, and of course the burgeoning business of performing magic. Everett somehow managed to find the time to be involved in playing in a men’s hockey league … and from his days in Moose Jaw along with his two brothers … he played in a Scottish Highland Pipe Band that played around Calgary for festivals and in competitions.
As soon as son David was old enough (age 5), Everett and Shirlee worked him into the magic act as an assistant, and eventually trained him to “perform” a magic trick himself.
Everett was also competing at various I.B.M. conventions, and winning various awards, perfecting his craft whenever possible. Now professionally known as “Everett Andrews The Magic Prince”, with wife Shirlee always at his side.
In 1967, Everett and Shirlee welcomed their second son. Doug would get started even earlier into the family magic show, at the age of three. It wasn’t long before Doug would also perform some magic on his own, during a segment in the family show.
Everett had served as president of the I.B.M. Ring 66 magic club … and the basement at Chilcotin Road was filling up with magic from wall to wall. The art of magic was a big part of the family life.
In 1969, Everett and David traveled to Saskatoon for the annual I.B.M. convention, where both would compete – Everett in numerous categories, including “comedy”, “close up”, “mentalism”, “presentation”, and “stage magic”. David would win his first award for “junior excellence”, and Everett won every category he entered – also being awarded the Bruce Curnutt Memorial Trophy for top magician at the convention. Their photo together taken by a press photographer, would appear with headlines in newspapers across the country.
And then Everett was awarded “Magician of the Year” from the local magic club. They would both go on to win more awards in years following – most notably with Everett winning the prestigious “Gold Magi” in an international competition in Vancouver, in 1971.
As the sons both got older, into their teen years, and the family continued performing together – many years doing over 30 shows just during the month of December … eventually different interests and aspirations would begin to take the family different directions. Everett’s two sons were heavily involved in sports.
Everett’s nephew Glen Andrews, has been a member of the I.B.M.’s “Order of Merlin” for many years, and a member of Ring 92 in Vancouver. Glen continues to have an interest in magic and performs almost on a daily basis at the school where he works.
And one of Everett’s cousins, Warren Smith, who moved from Moose Jaw to Calgary, and eventually to Airdrie … would also get involved in magic and be very busy performing his own show for many years.
Around the time of the late 70’s – early 80’s …. Everett would start the “Jr. Magic Club”, in the lower level of the Calgary Co-op in Brentwood. It gave the opportunity for young magicians to get together, share ideas, and get better at what they do. The club would continue for numerous years under his leadership.
As was a constant theme … Everett realized how older magicians reaching out to him were so important to his development when he arrived in Calgary and didn’t know anyone. This passion continued, as he passed his knowledge along to the younger generation.
Youngest son Doug eventually left the family show, to concentrate on soccer and football. David would start performing shows on his own – yet would still be playing hockey. Everett and Shirlee continued to perform together, doing both children’s and corporate adult shows. Additional members of the family included seven white doves, and a rabbit named “Harey”.
Throughout the years, Everett liked to use live accompaniment on the piano in his shows. It started with Florence Beaupre, then he used Hank Modeland, then the longest stretch at the keyboard belonged to Paul Ungless … who ended up playing at Everett’s funeral in 2012.
The two sons would eventually leave Canada to go to college in the late 80’s – both accepting scholarships – Doug off to Georgia, and David to California … and subsequently, Everett would start performing full time, always being on the road, sometimes with Shirlee, but many times going alone. Both of the sons being on stage from a young age … getting valuable experience in front of large crowds, would prove very beneficial to them in their future endeavors in the United States.
Everett would later become “I.B.M. Regional Vice President”; a post he held for numerous years. And again … Everett’s passion was helping young magicians. The new position allowed him another great opportunity to be an encouragement and a source of reference to other magicians.
Even after he lost his wife very suddenly – a few days before they were to leave for Hawaii for their 50th wedding anniversary, Everett was still focused on helping others. He had previously booked two birthday party shows that were to be held a couple days after Shirlee passed away. Everett never missed a beat, always the consummate professional, performing and giving those kids an experience they will never forget … never once mentioning his loss or appearing stricken with grief, as he was.
Even as he was laid up in his hospital bed from his first heart attack … visitors would walk in to find Everett teaching magic tricks to his hospital roommate he had just met … who had an interest in magic, and had his wife bring his linking rings up, that he purchased on a vacation to Las Vegas … because Everett offered to teach him a simple routine.
His complete devotion to Jesus Christ and living his life as a humble example to others … his passion for helping others … and his deep love for his family … this was the essence of Everett Andrews, shared within a brief biography. The 1200+ at his funeral during a snow blizzard in 2012 … streamed live on the internet to many others watching internationally … shows the love that so many people had for him.
He would be thrilled … and extremely humbled … to hear that Yeats and Ryan have put so much time and thought into this website project. And they are doing it with the sole purpose of helping other young magicians … just the way my dad would want it.
San Jose, CA
You may also enjoy reading these Historical Biographies published in the Linking Ring