Edmonton architect Tom Sutherland killed in a snowboarding accident in Fernie
A prominent architect from Edmonton, who died in a skiing accident in British Columbia, is considered a loving father who left a lasting mark on the city.
“[He was] simply one of the best people you could ever meet, “said Doug McConnell, director of DIALOG, where Tom Sutherland was the company’s executive director.
“Tom’s ability to touch people and make a huge difference was really unique.”
Sutherland, 53, was injured this week after an accident skiing with his family in Fernie, BC. He was flown to a nearby hospital where he later died.
He leaves behind a wife and three teenage triplets and a university-age daughter.
“He loved her very, very much,” said McConnell.
He called Sutherland a “passionate and brilliant architect” who was behind the move to move the company downtown. As the project manager of the Edmonton Downtown Plan, McConnell said the architect left “an enormous legacy” in both his company and downtown Edmonton.
Sutherland has shaped projects across the province, including the Edmonton Clinic, the HP Center at NAIT, and the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital.
McConnell said Sutherland is eager to use his work to bring people together and try to improve his community.
“He cared so much for him and he touched the people he worked with very, very profoundly and personally.”
McConnell said Sutherland’s staff are still getting a grip on his death and are considering how best to pay tribute to him.
Members of the Edmonton architecture community mourn Sutherland’s death. Gene Dub, who has worked with Sutherland on several projects, says the architect’s dedication to his children has often shown in his work.
“He was very interested in having the family taken to the downtown warehouse district because he felt the family was the most important unit we had,” said Dub.
He said Sutherland’s death was a major loss for both the community and Edmonton as a whole.
“This is a big loss for Edmonton because there aren’t that many people of Tom’s caliber that we have in town,” he said.
“It is a talent that cannot be replaced.”
Sutherland leaves behind his wife and four children.
His funeral will take place on Friday, April 10th at 1:30 p.m. in St. Joseph’s Basilica at street 10044-113