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Gryphon Gallery: Paul Kilshaw

Paul Alexander Kilshaw suddenly passed away on April 19, 2023 during his work as a Commissionaire at the Institute of Ocean Sciences.

You or your children may well have met Paul without ever realizing that he was a former student at GNS. It could have been at our own Wonder Gala, a local festival, the Oak Bay Village Night Market, the Royal BC Museum, the Butchart Gardens, or several other possible community events—he performed at them all as a magician and balloon artist. 

Paul was born on August 4, 1962, in Grostenquin, France, where his father, who was in the air force, was stationed. The youngest of four, Kilshaw moved with his family to Ottawa then to Beach Drive, near Willows Park.


A member of Mackenzie House, he attended GNS (Glenlyon Prepatory) from 1972 to 1975 in Grade 5 through Grade 7, taught by former staff that included David Auld, David Bennett, John Crawford, and Madeleine Humer (Groos). It was at GNS’s Wonder Gala that Paul explained that he had fond memories of his time at the school, spoke highly of his experience and how thrilled he was to participate at the event!

His sister has fondly related the story of how Paul became interested in magic at a young age. “For the first few years, we sort of ignored him. You know, he was just a little boy doing stuff and then it kept on and the next thing we knew he was getting good.” 

Paul wowed audiences in Victoria for over 40 years, spending many years and countless hours learning the craft that he fell in love with as a child. He would travel far and wide to study with the masters in this art and worked at the ‘legendary’ Tony’s Trick & Joke Shop honing his skills. A highlight of this lifelong passion happened in  September 2016, when Paul was invited to entertain William and Kate and their children at a children’s party at Government House during the royals’ visit to Victoria. 

Sadly, Paul’s absence will leave many disappointed at upcoming community events but they will undoubtedly be glad to have met and known this wonderful, friendly, talented, iconic Victoria character.

For those who are interested, a Celebration of Life is being held on May 13, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Willows Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or to a charity of your choice.