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William Shelly

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William Shelly
BornWilliam Curtis Shelly
September 17, 1878
St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada,
DiedAugust 14, 1951 (age 72)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

William Shelly (1878-1951) was a magician, businessman and political figure in British Columbia. He represented Vancouver City from 1924 to 1928 in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia as a Conservative.


Shelly worked his way through the University of Kentucky, eventually returning to Canada,

He took up magic with Charles Howard and also tackled boxing, juggling, and high-wire. Leaving school at an early age, he, with his sister, made and sold donuts.

Shelly started a small bakery in Canada called the "Four-X bread", which became one of the largest in Western Canada. Magic was a hobby and he presented two-hour shows for deserving causes through-out Canada. He had a theater in the basement of his home.

His favorite tricks were the Chinese Linking Rings and the Cups and Balls.

Shelly served as president (1944-45) of the Vancouver Magic Circle and was a member of the Vancouver, British Columbia, I.B.M. Ring 92.[1] He also served for eight years as Parks Commissioner in Vancouver and as Finance Minister for British Columbia. [2]

He even ran a ski resort and tourist attraction called Grouse Mountain.[3]

Shelly created for Ring 92 the "William Shelly Trophy" for the best stage act, which they still present in his honor.


  1. Broken Wand, Linking Ring, Sep 1951
  2. The Bat, No. 81, page 715
  3. Linking Ring, June 2015, page 30
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