David Mawhinney was raised in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia where his father, Laurence, served as mayor for 33 years during the Town's transformation from a seaside farming and fishing community into a world-recognized National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. David attributes his interest in Canada's history, culture, and heritage to his upbringing in this community. He completed his BA at McGill and his post-graduate work at the University of Toronto. He has worked as an archivist for the TD Bank Group, the Ontario Medical Association, and the Nova Scotia Archives. Presently, he is the University Archivist at Mount Allison in Sackville, New Brunswick.
His continuing interest in the South Shore Nova Scotia where his parents still reside and his current activities of maintaining and expanding the works of the Mount Allison University Archives of Dr. Winthrop Pickard Bell, one of Nova Scotia's foremost scholars and historians, underscore his interest in the legacy of the Foreign Protestants as Canada's 1st successful multicultural, multilingual, and multi-religion successful non-English speaking rural community.