Finnish Magic Circle – Suomen Taikapiiri
First Twenty Five Years… and even some decades more Since 1945
After the War and with peace descending upon the land, on January 16th 1945 was founded magicians association called the Magic Circle of Finland (Taikapiiiri). Those great gentlemen, the founders were Julius Sundman, Börje Stenman, Heikki Marttila, Matti Nurminen and H.J. Viherjuuri.
The membership rules were strict. To become a member of this association the candidate had to produce proof of his worthiness. In that time the total number of members was limited to 21. New members could not be initiated unless there was a vacancy in the Associations roster.
From the very beginning the Magic Circle`s,Taikapiiri`s activities were directed towards supporting it`s members professional interests while the limited number of it`s membership prevented leakage of professional secrets.
Taikapiiri members had a small badge, a miniature enamel magician`s wand, in their lapels.The association even had it`s own march composed by the master musician George de Godzinsky to lyrics by Heikki Marttila. The Honorable Badge with the golden ring presented to just a few distinguished members of the Taikapiiri.
Right from the very beginning, the first of Aug 1945, Taikapiiri published it`s own membership magazine called Simsalabim. Börje Stenman was it`s first and respectful as well as the most remarkable editor more than ten first years. Mr. Stenman published his great Encyclopedia of Magic & Magicians in Swedish language in 1953. The amazing book by the name ”Litet Trollerilexion” (Little Encyclopedia of Magic) has 184 pages included with plenty of illustrations. Immediately it became a magnificent collectors piece allover the Nordic countries and in several European countries as well. After 1957 was a temporary discontinuance of the magazine Simsalabim`s publication till 1963 Solmu Mäkelä took care of the magazine for the next decades being very valuable editor in chief of the Simsalabim.
While Taikapiiri`s domicile is the capitol of Finland Helsinki, it`s members were scattered all over the country. Several first years Taikapiiri held ten meetings during one year, meeting often at some member`s home expect the annual year meeting, it was held at the famous Helsinki restaurant Motti. After some years were more common to have four member meetings per year. In connection with the official year meeting became the tradition that Taikapiiri with it`s members gave a charity magic show for the audience of disabled war veterans with great success. Taikapiiri was also actively engaged in radio and television work.
The Finnish Magic Circle, Taikapiiri has all the years held close contacts with the related Scandinavian magic organizations and representatives were constantly attended international conventions. Board members were busy to spread information and knowledge of professional magic and magicians syndicating regular Magic Columns in several newspapers. Members have also published many magic books for the amateurs and for magic enthusiasts.
The Chairman and the President of the Taikapiiri from it`s foundation till 1959 was Mr. Julius Sundman, the professional Magician who moved to USA after he performed at Ed Sullivan Show in April 1958. Sundman made wonderful work for the magic and Taikapiiri. After Sundman left, Taikapiiri got the best possible President when Mr. Solmu Mäkelä begun his career as the Chairman in 1960.
Soon Taikapiiri became a virtual institution even in Finland. The activities of Taikapiiri members made magic and magicians well known among the Finnish people and reached a great popularity. The professional standard of magicians was high and member`s performances were highly appreciated in every social circles.
After first Twenty Five Years the course were given and the road staked out upon which Finnish Magic Circle, Taikapiiri could proceed with a proud confidence.
In 1994 Solmu Mäkelä retired of his fantastic 34 President years and for the new, the third President of Taikapiiri was elected Timo Kulmakko in 1994 till the end of the year 1997. Markku Purho`s President years were 1998 till 2003 until Timo Kulmakko came again the primus motor of the years 2004 and 2005. From 2006 till 2011 Robert Jägerhorn had his President years until 2012 has been the President of the Taikapiiri Timo Kulmakko. He is the Chairman at the moment 2014.
During the last decades have Taikapiiri members have received several FISM awards; Jorma Airaksinen by the artist names The Asps and Finn Aspen in Stage General Magic. Simo Aalto has awarded with all colors of the FISM World Championship medals in Micro Magic category. FISM World Medalists are also past President Robert Jägerhorn (Parlour Magic) as well as Kristian Nivala (Parlour Magic) and Kalle Hakkarainen-Nio (Invention). Miika Pelkonen won 2011 European Championship in Close-up Card category.
The latest achievement for Finland and Taikapiiri is from FISM Blackpool 2012 where Taikapiiri member Marko Karvo won the World Championship of the Stage General Magic. Karvo´s career is well known among the Magic World, from his several splendid years at the Lido de Paris and after that year after year at the best varietés and the Entertainment Show venues allover the Europe, like amazing Frankfurt´s Tigerpalast Varieté and in Hamburg`s Hansa Varieté Theater where he perform with his wife Vanessa till the end of February 2015.
Finnish Magic Circle Suomen Taikapiiri is going to have it`s 70th anniversary in January 2015 and the magazine Simsalabim is still alive and will soon reach it`s issue number 220.