Nick Bevanda was honoured in small, private ceremony this week at one of the last buildings he helped design.
Remembered as a gentle man, the father of four passed away in the spring of this year, just days before his 55th birthday, after a 10-month battle with cancer.
A plaque was installed in the recently completed West Wing addition to the Penticton Lakeside Resort in memory of Penticton’s award-winning architect.
In addition to the new expansion, he also designed the Hooded Merganser, also part of the Lakeside complex.
Other works include secondary schools in Penticton (Pen High) and Oliver, a number of wineries and Moog and Friends Hospice House, where he lived out his finals days.
His work transcended local boundaries and was recognized both nationally and internationally.
His wife Sandy and two of their children, seven-year-old son Domenic and son Branko, unveiled the plaque that read, in part, This building is dedicated to Nick Bevanda: a great friend and visionary. He will not only be remembered for his iconic work, but also for his good-hearted nature, and the profound sense of honesty and integrity that defined his character.
“We had a friendship and we worked together,” said the Lakeshore’s general manager, David Prystay, who commissioned the memorial.
“He was a great family guy, a great community person, good spirit, great soul.
“He was one of those people who inspired me to do what we have done here as a tribute to the man.”
His son Branko expressed the family’s appreciation to Prystay for the memorial.
“This is a very meaningful way to commemorate my dad’s life. They had a very long history together,” said Branko. “My dad always thought of himself as an artist first. I think it was very important to him to do projects with people who thought of buildings as pieces of art and not just lifeless structures. They really cut into each other’s creativity, encouraged creativity, pushing the envelope and celebrating it.”
Bevanda’s co-worker at HDR/CEI Architecture Associates Inc. Bob Cesnik spoke of the man who he got to know over the last seven years.
“He always brought an energy and a passion to the office,” said Cesnik. “He made it really enjoyable for us, so I have to say this hasn’t been easy because he was such a huge part of all of us.
“This building is a testament to, I think, his passion for architecture and design and also his relationship with David and his group. We’re really proud and I think Nick would really be proud of the outcome of this building as well.”