Oak Bay arts supporter Heather Wheeler died in her gallery Monday, Jan. 17. (Courtesy The Avenue Gallery)

Arts community mourns sudden death of Oak Bay gallery owner

Heather Wheeler died of a brain aneurysm Jan. 10

A popular Oak Bay business owner died doing what she loved.

The Avenue Gallery announced the unexpected Jan. 10 death of owner Heather Wheeler through email and social media.

“It is with a profound sadness and an overwhelming sense of loss that we share Heather’s unexpected and sudden passing, from a brain aneurysm, in her beloved gallery on Monday,” a note to subscribers reads.

Wheeler took the leap into gallery ownership in 2000. After years managing art galleries downtown, going into business for herself was the obvious next step, she told Black Press Media in 2017.

READ ALSO: Women in Business: Saluting Oak Bay’s entrepreneurial spirit

First launching the Caswell Lawrence Fine Art Gallery downtown, Wheeler later moved to the Avenue. Like many small business owners, Wheeler’s biggest concern in making the leap was “growing a successful business for both myself and the artists I represented.”

In her memory, Heather’s husband Larry and the entire gallery staff plan to carry on with Heather’s tradition of representing some of Canada’s finest artists.

They’re asking for no cards or flowers, only “light-filled thoughts to accompany Heather on her journey.”

Do you have a story tip? Email: c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca.

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