Rosalin Te Omra (1949–2023)

Rosalin Te Omra. Photo credit: Heffel.

The Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory acknowledges the passing of alumna Rosalin Te Omra (formerly Rosalyn L. Porter) and extends our condolences to her families, friends, and the local arts communities.  

To honour Rosalin’s life and longstanding career in the Canadian art world, the Heffel family and team have established the Rosalin Te Omra Fund to support students following in her footsteps studying art history at UBC. 

“I am inspired by the Heffel family for honouring an alumna from our program and gratified to see how Rosalin’s studies in our department supported her pursuit of what became a lifelong career sharing her knowledge and passion for Canadian art with collectors and the public. Scholarships for students are so important for the study of art history, visual art and theory.”
—Dana Claxton, Professor and Head, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory

Rosalin Te Omra was inspired to pursue a BA in art history after a trip to Europe exploring art museums. Rosalin graduated in 1975, having specialized in Canadian art.

Rosalin joined Kenneth G. Heffel Fine Art in 1978 as their first employee and went on to develop a depth of expertise with Canadian artists such as Sybil Andrews, Emily Carr, Alex Colville, Gathie Falk, E.J. Hughes, Helen McNichol, Walter J. Phillips, Gordon Smith, Jack Shadbolt, and the artists from the Group of Seven, to name only a few of many. Rosalin was also involved with the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver and was its president from 1992 to 1994. From 1993 to 1999, she was the curator for Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre Gallery. Rosalin was the director of Fine Canadian Art Research at Heffel, researching, editing, and writing essays for the Heffel printed and online catalogues. Her career at Heffel spanned forty-five years. 

Heffel Gallery will be holding a celebration of life for Rosalin on Saturday, December 9, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., 2247 Granville Street, Vancouver. All are welcome to attend.  

To contribute to the fund and read more about Rosalin Te Omra’s story: