Mel always loved magic and around 1920, he invented his second identity “Len Vintus”. At that time he was attending Kelvin High school and was also a member of the local Magic Club, the Wizards.

He was a ventriloquist as well as a magician.

Len Vintus with his puppet Courtesy of the flanscona Historical Museum

In 1922, he founded the International Broth— erhood of Magicians. To this day, it remains the world’s largest international society. In

1980, Mel was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Over the years Mel worked with young magicians, mentoring them with his magic


Mel holding Transcona Anniversary Books

know how. He was a great inspiration to escape artist Dean Gunnarson, with whom he shared a friendship.

In Mel’s early years he was employed by North American Lumber. In 1921, he started as a clerk and worked his way through the ranks to reach the position of General Manager.

Mel was in the employ of North American Lumber for more than twenty years. After leaving the lumber business, he started his own drafting and home building business.

He served as President of the Transcona Board of Trade in 1936—1937; he served as a school trustee during the 1940’s and was on the Transcona Flood Relief Committee in 1950. He was also a Transcona town councillor from 1947-1953. From 1948 to the middle 1960’s, Mel was General Manager of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce, also serving as General Manager of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Under the Liberal government of former premier Douglas Campbell, he was appointed provincial deputy minister of industry and commerce.

In his later years, Mel became a self publisher and wrote many books on magic. He passed away on June 17, 1999 at the age of ninety five, two days shy of his ninety sixth birthday. Mel has contributed so much to the “magical” world as well as the community of Transcona, and is truly missed.

Transcona 100th Anniversary page 203