Hamner & Barber to receive International Magicians Society Merlin Awards

Branson entertainers Dave & Denise Hamner and Jim Barber will each be honored as recipients of the “Merlin Award” by the International Magicians Society (IMS). The prestigious awards will be presented to the stars of The Hamner Barber Variety Show in person during their August
12th, 8pm show by the World President of the IMS, Mr. Tony Hassini.

The Hamners are being honored with their second Merlin Award as “Entertainers of the Year.” In 1999 they received the coveted award for “Best Manipulation.”

Making this year’s presentation even more special, Jim Barber is receiving his Merlin Award for “Ventriloquist of the Year,” being the first entertainer ever to receive this award for ventriloquism in the society’s 38 year history.

The International Magicians Society (IMS) is the world’s largest magic society as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. The IMS began in 1968 and now has over 37,000 members worldwide. It was created to help promote and preserve the art of magic and provide a format where magicians (and magic hobbyists) could share their secrets and ideas.

In the profession of magic, the Merlin statuette is the equivalent of the Oscar for film, the Emmy for television, and the Tony for theater. It is presented only to those entertainers who have achieved the highest level in their craft. The voting members begin with approximately one hundred names and narrow the list down to a select few. The criteria considered for a winner include talent, showmanship, originality, skills, and above all, the rare ability to entertain under
any conditions.

The Merlin Award statuette was commissioned to over 100 art students from various colleges across the country. The winning design was carved and created in 1968 by New York University art student Carol Michaud.

Some of the more famous winners of the Merlin Award for excellence in magic include: Harry Blackstone, Doug Henning, Siegfried & Roy and David Copperfield.

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