Are you wizard material? New Zealand city looking for a replacement ‘city wizard’

Ian Brackenbury Channell, left, with possible successor Ari Freeman. (CNN)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – A man who gets paid to provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services to promote a city in New Zealand has begun his search for a replacement, CNN reported.

Ian Brackenbury Channell, 87, who is a former University of South Wales in Sydney professor has been a regular fixture at New Zealand’s south-central city of Christchurch since the 1970s, donning “wizard gear”. According to CNN, he became a public speaker and performer on the streets, entertaining tourists and residents in the area.

Channell is paid 16,000 New Zealand dollars (approx. $10,000 U.S. dollars). He even has his own TripAdvisor page with four out of five stars.

“I’ve invented a wizard out of nowhere,” Channell told CNN. “There were no wizards when I arrived in the world, except in books.”

Channell is now looking for a replacement and more likely his apprentice, Ari Freeman, may take on his role once he retires. Freeman has been learning the ropes of being a city wizard for six years.

“I want the wizard phenomenon to continue, and I will totally fulfill that role,” Freeman, a music teacher who also performs in a psychedelic funk band, told CNN.

Channell has his own website which lists local media coverage to back up his prominent mystical deeds. He also listed numerous awards, including one in 2009 when he was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal by New Zealand Government.


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