A beloved late member and Senior Associate of our firm, Bruce Spankie, left behind a legacy… a legacy augmented by an impassioned story and a certain novelty-sized “fish” that can be found hanging in our office. The story of “The Fish” is best told by Roger Morin, a current Senior Associate and BKDI family member – this is his account of it!
Well… this whole story goes back some 25 years ago with the design and construction of the Glenmore Landing Shopping Center in the mid 1980’s. BKDI Architects (although we didn’t go by our current name then) was hired to design and draw up this shopping centre; it included a Safeway and Bruce Spankie was the design architect for the project. Over the Deli counter, the interior finishes design incorporated “the fish” as a décor item. Bruce, who was an avid fly fisherman, spent a lot of time fishing the Bow River and talking about his supposed catches (“it was thiiiiiissssssssssss long!!!”).
The fish hung in the store until 15 years later when the store had an interior make-over. Again, we were engaged to do this work with Bruce as the designer. The new renovation required that this trout be removed and it was. However, Bruce became curious as to what happened to his trout. It came to light that it was seized by a sub-contractor and ended up in his garage. Well, upon hearing this Bruce pointed out that the fish was property of Safeway and should be returned; he then requested that Safeway donate it to our office.
Bruce made arrangements to have it delivered and mounted in the present location, which was adjacent to his work space – that way he could keep an eye on it! It became known as simply “The Fish,” but we all knew it was Bruce’s. To this day, “The Fish” proudly overlooks the area that he used to occupy. We will always think of Bruce when we gaze upon “The Fish!”
In memorial, each year BKDI Architects provides the N. Bruce Spankie Architectural Scholarship to the Master of Architecture program at the University of Calgary.
Images: (left) "The Fish" hanging in our office today; (right) "The Fish" in the late 80's, hanging in the Safeway.