This rare newspaper article is notable for a number of reasons. Mainly, it profiles Doug and his then partner, Mars Barrick, embarking on their fabled 1971 journey to perform for Canadian Armed Forces 200 miles from the North Pole. The “Snowball Safari,” as it was called, featured 25 entertainers and it was here that Doug’s life truly changed forever.
In addition to the troops, groups of Inuit families arrived to watch the show. As detailed in John Harrison’s biography “Spellbound,” Doug spoke with some afterwards and asked how they enjoyed the show. He was surprised by their initial ambivalence to it all, until they told him how real magic is around us every day in the sun we see, the air we breathe, and the Earth itself.
It was at this moment that Doug Henning truly became aware of the “wonder” of life. He would quote this story repeatedly throughout his career, and its eye-opening impact among the frigid and dangerous temperatures truly never left him.
“I cried right then… I said, “Thank you for teaching me about the magic. I didn’t know.” That was really the first time I knew what wonder was. It was the most memorable thing that has ever happened to me. I never forgot that, inside. That’s why I became a magician.”