Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques
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The International Federation of Magic Societies (FISM) (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques) was founded in 1948, and is one of the most respected organizations in the magician community. It is an international body coordinating dozens of national and international clubs and federations around the world, representing approximately 50,000 Magicians from 32 countries. The organization hosts a self-named "FISM" conference every three years, where magicians compete for "Best of" categories. The last FISM was held in 2012 in Blackpool, United Kingdom.
The roots of the FISM began in Paris, France, in 1937, at a meeting of the 34-year-old ASAP, Association Syndicale des Artistes Prestigitaeurs (Association of prestidigitation artists), which had a monthly magazine Le Journal de la Prestidigitation. The group's vice-president, Dr. Jules Dhotel, wanted the ASAP to produce an international convention in Paris in October 1939, and then proceed to have the convention in a different country each year. Plans proceeded, but when the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939, the convention was cancelled. After World War II, progress resumed. In 1946, a hotel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, hosted an International Congress of Magicians, with over 300 registrants from around Europe. There were lectures, exhibits of antique books and apparatus, tours of Amsterdam, a public show, and a contest in which 20 magicians took part. There were no categories, so only one set of awards. First prize went to amateur French magician Jean Valton, for an exceptional routine of card juggling and manipulation; second went to Scotland's amateur magician John Ramsay, and third to a professional husband-wife duo, De Flezkis, who combined magic and dance.
The 1947 "Congrès Magique International" brought in 500 attendees from 18 countries, and 70 participants in the competition. Meetings at that convention were held to discuss the creation of a formal international organization, and that was where the FISM title was proposed. While details were worked out, the "Congrès" conventions continued annually.
FISM's stated aim is to create a centralized "voice" for the magic world, and to help develop, elevate, and promote the art of magic. It coordinates activities of member societies, and encourages communication between them, as well as exchange of services. It has a corporate identity and a team of professional marketers. It also serves a capacity in the realm of intellectual property, fighting against the copying or inappropriate release of magical inventions or routines.
The FISM is probably best known for conducting one of the premier magic conventions in the world, the triennial "World Championship of Magic". The 2006 convention was held in Stockholm, Sweden, where the Grand-Prix award in close-up magic was won by Rick Merrill from the USA, and the Grand Prix award in the stage magic division was won by Pilou from France. The 2009 convention was held in Beijing, China, where the Grand-Prix award in close-up magic was won by Shawn Farquhar from Canada, and the Grand Prix award in the stage magic division was won by Soma from Hungary. FISM 2012 was held in Blackpool, England
- Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques (FISM)
- FISM's World Championship of Magic
- "A history of FISM", by Max Maven
- Vienna 2009 Candidate City for the 24th FISM World Championships of Magic
- Granada 2009 Candidate City for the 24th FISM World Championships of Magic
- List of FISM World Championship winners
- FISM 2009 World Championships of Magic
- FISM 2009 World Championships of Magic Results