‘This is the start line’: The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre celebrates grand opening

WINNIPEG — The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre has opened its doors, celebrating the grand opening and giving Manitobans a look inside for the first time.

The non-profit program held its grand opening on Sunday – the day Bruce would have been celebrating his 36th birthday. Bruce died of a drug overdose in 2011.

Scott Oake said since Bruce’s death, his birthday has been a difficult day for the family.

“But we are happy today that Bruce’s spirit is alive and well in the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre – this beautiful place of healing,” Scott said. “This is not the finish line – this is the start line. The point at which we can begin saving lives.”

The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre accepted the first participants into the program in May. Greg Kyllo, the executive director of the centre, said the centre is full and there are more than 200 men on the waitlist.

“We’re already seeing the difference are making. Recovery is happening right here in this building for men, their families, and Manitobans,” he said.

The Oake family was joined on Sunday by Grand Chief Arlen Duma of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, along with Manitoba’s Deputy Premier Kelvin Goertzen, Winnipeg’s Deputy Mayor John Orlikow, and Minister Jim Carr, the federal special representative to the Prairies.

The centre, which includes 50 beds, a dining area, family lounge and gym, provides long-term residential treatment with recovery-based supports.

“Bruce, you are our guiding light in this beautiful project,” Scott said during the grand opening. “You got us this far and I know you’re going to take us the rest of the way.” 

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