Jun 8, 2020

Qualico's 2019 Gift-in-Kind Donation Helps Addiction Recovery Centre Construction Get Underway

Winnipeg, MB – When someone is struggling with the challenges of addiction, having someone there to guide them down the long road of recovery can make all the difference in the world.

Canadian sportscaster Scott Oake, CBC Sports and Sportsnet’s Hockey Night in Canada, wanted to contribute to addiction recovery in Manitoba after losing his own son, Bruce Oake, to addiction in 2011. Since then, Scott, his wife and Bruce’s mother Anne, and Bruce’s brother Darcy have been working tirelessly to make the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, a long-term treatment facility located in Winnipeg, a reality.

Bruce Oake

Bruce Oake lost his life due to addiction in 2011


The family set up a memorial fund and foundation to help raise money to build the recovery centre, which broke ground last summer. The centre will provide 50 beds for adult men in Manitoba who are looking for help with recovery.

Scott with Anne and Darcy Oake

The Oake Family - Scott, Anne and Darcy (pictured from left to right)


So far, the centre’s capital campaign has raised over $12 million from the private sector, including a donation committed by Qualico in late 2019. The donation was a gift-in-kind, where unlike a cash donation, Qualico committed a donation of building materials to be provided. For the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, $150,000 in concrete was donated by Qualico through its partner company Building Products & Concrete Supply. This was enough concrete to pour the foundation for the centre.

“Qualico takes pride in supporting our communities in need,” said Kevin Van, President & CEO. “One of our community impact areas we support is healthy lives, and by contributing to this special project and important cause, we are helping make a difference in the lives of those recovering from addiction – who, along with their families, truly need the centre’s support and services.”

Scott noted the important role donations from the private sector – like the one made by Qualico – have played in helping to secure support from multiple levels of government.

“The construction of the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre is well underway and we’ve been able to get this far largely because of being able to successfully sell the idea to the private sector,” said Scott. “I would consider the private sector to be both individual donors and businesses. We get multiple donations on a daily basis, and when you get the kind of overwhelming response that we’ve had from the private sector, it’s hard for the government to not support the project.”

Bruce Oake Recovery Centre | Exterior Aerial Rendering | Quote

An Exterior Aerial Rendering of the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre
(Subject to Change)


On June 1, the Government of Manitoba announced it will be investing $3.5 million in the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre to enhance access to mental health and addiction treatment in Manitoba. The contribution will be used to support capital construction costs for the centre.

The province’s investment means the Bruce Oake Memorial Fund’s capital campaign is close to its goal of raising $16 million or more to have a bit of a safety net of about two years’ worth of operations expenses, so no last-minute emergency fundraising will be needed. Even once the basic costs have been covered, Scott explained that fundraising will be required on an ongoing basis to help people access the program, which will be around $190 a day per person at full cost.

“No one will be turned away from the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre because they can’t afford to pay,” said Scott. “They’ll be covered by a combination of social assistance and ongoing fundraising. If someone can afford to pay the entire amount, either through insurance or personal funds, they will, but not many will be able to do that.”

Bruce Oake Recovery Centre | Renderings | Collage

Initial Renderings of Communal Areas of the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre (Subject to Change)


The project and its cause struck a chord with Qualico employees as well. Kris Campbell, Web Developer, Corporate Services, nominated the organization back in 2019 for a Qualico donation of $1,000 through the company’s employee-driven and community-focused charitable campaign, Acts of Kindness.

“A family member took his own life two summers ago while under the effects of methamphetamines,” said Kris. “He attempted to get help throughout his struggle, but was turned away until he lost the will to fight anymore. Many people think that people who do these drugs have what's coming to them, but families shouldn't have to go through this, and help should be readily available for those who continually need it.”

The program at the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre will be modeled on the Fresh Start Recovery program in Calgary, one of the best in Canada that has been nationally recognized for its success. There are few long-term recovery options available in Manitoba, so the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre program will offer a continuum of care to Manitobans.

“A continuum of care really means being allowed to stay in the program for as long as it takes to get it right,” said Scott. “That could be a year, it could be two, or it could be even longer.”

Bruce and Scott Oake | On a Boat

The late Bruce Oake with his dad Scott


The program is built around three phases. In Phase 1, clients will come into the facility and go through an intense 90-day program that focuses on their sobriety and well-being. In Phase 2, they will move into transitional housing outside of the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre and obtain employment, while still meeting all of the requirements for the program. Finally, in Phase 3, they will remain in transitional housing, but with fewer restrictions, as they head back into fully independent living.

The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre is expected to open its doors in the fall of 2021, and Scott said he expects the impact of the centre to be felt in the community immediately.

“There is such a crying need for recovery beds currently that we expect the facility to be full soon after it opens – weeks, if not days – especially with the aftermath of COVID-19, when the struggle with addiction will very likely become even more acute,” said Scott.

With the ongoing private sector support helping to shine a light on the need for long-term addiction recovery programs, and the resulting additional support from government, the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre will soon ensure that more Manitobans can take the crucial steps necessary to fully recover from addiction.

For updates on the centre and its construction, visit its website at  www.bruceoakerecoverycentre.ca

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