A Sad Time
Scott, Darcy, and Leslie hosted a Celebration of Anne Oake’s Life on Saturday September 11th at The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre (255 Hamilton Avenue via public entrance on the side of the building) with a Reception following at the Canad Inns Polo Park main Ballroom. Thank you to all those who were able to attend.
September 6, 2021
Sadly today the Founder, Matriarch, and Mom to all, Anne Oake passed away peacefully with her family by her side. Anne’s laugh, kindness and love will be remembered and cherished always by those who knew her. Scott, Darcy, and Leslie take solace that her vision for the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre became a reality and her passion for saving others was realized.
During this difficult time the family asks for their privacy.
The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre is dedicated to the memory of Bruce Oake, who passed away from an accidental drug overdose in 2011 at the age of 25. Scott and Anne Oake, Bruce’s parents, along with brother Darcy, are determined to have his life and death return something positive to this world. In 2013 the Oakes founded the Bruce Oake Memorial Foundation and set forth on the path of building a long-term residential treatment facility - to be called the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre. The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre will provide unique and proven addiction treatment that will empower individuals with the resources and skills necessary to successfully re-enter society and thrive.
The Centre is a purpose-built, long-term residential treatment centre serving those seeking support for problematic substance use. The residential treatment program model, which has been adopted from Fresh Start in Calgary, has been proven to achieve sector leading outcomes with participants being four times as likely to reach their recovery goals versus the industry average. The centre will add 50 much needed beds in the province of Manitoba for residential addiction treatment. The additional beds at the centre add an important capacity to alleviate pressures on existing residential treatment services in Manitoba and allows partnership organizations the opportunity to focus on other levels of service.
Bruce was the first born son of Anne and Scott Oake. Scott, a Gemini award winning sportscaster, and Anne, a registered nurse, had two sons Bruce and Darcy. Bruce was a precocious and engaging child with a big, booming voice. A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) made elementary school difficult but by high school Bruce had learned to adapt. He was popular amongst his peers and worked hard to make his high school basketball team. Bruce was talented, a Canada Games boxer, and he had a gift for contemporary music and won "rap battles".
One of the symptoms of ADHD is impulsiveness, creating a willingness to try almost anything and no amount of guidance could keep him away from drugs. The drug use started in high school with weed, moving on to ecstasy and crystal meth and from there it was not much of a leap to opiates and heroin.
In Bruce's early 20s, Scott and Anne sent him to a long-term treatment program where Bruce found success. The program is in three stages, addicts can stay up to three years and are provided tools necessary to live with their addiction and re-integrate back into society. Bruce stayed at Simon House for a year, and at the end of the year was clear-headed and facing up to what he was: an addict. Sadly the cycle had not been broken and Bruce relapsed, re-entering Simon House the following year. The second stay at Simon House was only for a few months before he failed a drug test and was asked to leave. A week later Bruce died of a heroin overdose at the age of 25.
Bruce's family, his mother Anne and father Scott as well as his younger brother Darcy, are left with a hole in their hearts that will never heal. Nonetheless, they are committed to making Bruce's life mean something and ensuring some good comes from this tragic death.
If you are interested in helping, please donate.
- Read Scott Oake's Story at the Globe and Mail
- Oake's Addiction Story Brings Tales of "Hell" and Hope