tim wieclawski/metro ottawa


From left, Ian Brown, Bryana Beange and Michael Hunt, all age 15, express the effects of a super-quick spin on the Tilt-A-Whirl at the Ottawa SuperEx’s midway yesterday.


It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s SuperEx.

The gates flew open yesterday on the 119th edition of the Ottawa SuperEx at Lansdowne Park. And even with a slew of new attractions and performers on the ticket, the lure of the midway still hasn’t lost its lustre as a visitor favourite.

Yesterday, Michael Hunt, 15, staggered off the Tilt-A-Whirl ride admitting to feeling “sick as a dog,” but determined to sample as many of this year’s 55 midway rides as possible.

The attractions at SuperEx change each year, but the midway perseveres and for Martina Anderegg that constant is a big part of the reason she brings her kids to the exhibition each year.

“The midway is fun and it reminds me of youth and going on the rides and Ferris wheels,” she said. “That is always fun, to relive that with the kids.”

But, the midway isn’t the only magic to be had at SuperEx. Real-life magician Eric Leclerc also wanders the grounds, performing what he calls ‘strolling magic’ — personalized feats of prestidigitation that involve such tricks as making money appear in people’s pockets, or making people’s wristwatches appear in his — to show visitors “intimate miracles … under their noses.

“This kind of magic is a lot more personal because it happens right in their hands,” Leclerc, of Ottawa, said. “We can create way better memories for the guests when I am right up in their face instead of on a stage.”

The hands-on quality of SuperEx takes many forms, with more activities encouraging visitor interaction including the Capital Magic Festival, the Snooker and 9-Ball Championships and, this year, a Disc-Dog Competition (dog tricks with Frisbees).

The musical lineups have also been renovated this year to appeal to a wide range of people.

The Super Stage will feature performances by Jeff Healey, Honeymoon Suite, Trooper, David Wilcox and more — all free with the price of admission.

Tickets can be purchased to see Rich Little, Michael Bolton, Weird Al and Gregory Charles among others and will include admission to the Ex grounds.

SuperEx runs until Aug. 26.