Fishboats, Rivers Inlet, by E.J. Hughes – Can$800,000 (£377,350) at Heffel Fine Art on November 25.

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The 211 lots on offer totalled Can$8.4m (£3.95m) against an estimate of Can$4m-5m, beating the previous high of Can$6.8m set at Sotheby's in Toronto in February 2002, with 94 per cent of the lots finding buyers. 

No fewer than 17 artists' records were set, led by the double top-estimate Can$800,000 (£377,350) given by a British Columbia collector for this signed and dated 1946 canvas,  Fishboats, Rivers Inlet, by fellow B.C. resident  E.J. Hughes (b. 1913).

Long regarded as one of British Columbia's most significant painters working in the expressionist landscape style pioneered by Emily Carr and the other members of the Group of Seven, Ed Hughes served as an official war artist in Europe during WWII. This substantial 3ft 6in by 4ft 2in (1.06 x 1.27m) canvas was the first painting Hughes executed after returning to Canada after the war and as such represents a pivotal painting in his career, establishing him (according to Heffel's catalogue entry) as a "landscape painter of the first rank in Canadian art". It had been in a private collection in Toronto for the last 15 years.

In terms of all Canadian art, the price is well short of the record Can$4.6m (£2m) achieved for  Scene in the Northwest - portrait byPaul Kane (1810-1871) at Sotheby's Toronto in February 2002, but it is certainly up there with the record US$660,000 (£388,235) paid at Phillips de Pury, New York, last May for the 'joke' painting,  My Name, by  Richard Prince (b.1949), who is currently the world's most expensive living Canadian artist. 

Exchange rate:  £1 = Can$2.12