David Kenneth John Heffel
An expert on the Canadian art market, David Heffel and the Heffel team have sold more Canadian art than any other auctioneer worldwide, with over $590+ million in art auction sales since 1995, and has conducted the most valuable live auctions of Canadian art. A trusted advisor to major collectors and sellers, David is a professional in the sensitivity of estate guidance and family fine art division. Driven by his passion for the discovery of inspirational visual art, David has been a major force behind Heffel’s success in becoming the leader in the Canadian art industry and the achievement of the many worldwide records achieved by Heffel’s.
David began his art appreciation early in life and grew up with major Canadian art in his family home, including one of Emily Carr’s canvas masterpieces, War Canoes, Alert Bay. He began working with his father Kenneth Grant Heffel in the fine art industry in 1978, while still attending high school. After studying Art History at the University of British Columbia, in 1987 – upon the untimely passing of their father – David, along with his brother Robert, continued to expand on the Heffel reputation in the Canadian art industry, founding Heffel Gallery Limited. During 1987 - 1995 Heffel Gallery produced a number of important solo exhibitions by Canadian and international artists in their Vancouver gallery and represented a number of important Canadian artists’ estates.
In November 1995, Heffel’s conducted its inaugural live ballroom auction in Vancouver, setting the record for the largest fine art auction in western Canada.
In 1997 heffel.com, Canada’s definitive website for Canadian art, was created and in 1999 Heffel’s began Canada’s first and premier digital fine art auction facility. Heffel’s online fine art auction platform is a recognized world leader in online fine art auctions. In 2014, David played a leading role with the development and launching of HO2 (Heffel Online 2) to provide a fine art online auction platform to best serve the de-acquisition of large corporate collections.
Today Heffel’s has become Canada’s national auction house with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. David and the Heffel team take great pride and honour in their dedication towards the continued development of the Canadian art market both domestically and beyond.
David Heffel, president of Heffel Gallery Limited, has been a recipient of BC Business Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 award and was a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. David is a Lifetime Benefactor of the Vancouver Art Gallery and a supporter of the National Gallery of Canada and the UBC Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. Additionally David has provided professional auctioneer service to honourable entities including the United Way and North Hawaii Community Hospital.
In 2012, David and Patsy Heffel initiated an endowment to fund The Patsy and David Heffel Award in Art History at UBC. This $3,500 annual award helps promising undergraduate students, who might not otherwise have the means, to focus on their studies and academic training.
David and Patsy Heffel have two sons, Ryan and Joshua Heffel, who too are very passionate about Canadian art.