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Burke & Burke Celebrates 30 Years

June 16, 2015

Nice article in today’s issue of

Burke & Burke Celebrates 30 Years

Courtney Zwicker

Larry Burke says maintaining a hands-on role in Burke & Burke, the boutique marketing firm he owns with his wife, Kelly Burke, has been key to their thirty years of success.~

“I think we’ve always put the work first. Kelly and myself, we’re creative people and we enjoy doing the creative work,” said Burke.

He says keeping the business on a smaller scale is a system that works for the pair.

“Growing larger and being the biggest design firm, that was never really one of our goals,” he said of the Quinpool Road-based firm.

“I’ve seen it in other businesses that sometimes when you grow, you become less of a creative person and more of a manager when you get to a certain size. That never appealed to either one of us.”

He says clients are attracted to the personable approach.

“We’re a lot more responsive than a larger firm. Through the years we’ve had clients that worked with larger agencies come to us only to find out a small firm can be more nimble about getting things done and not having to involve so many people.”

The Burkes, both Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) grads, have a hand in all of the work their firm produces.

“We’re proud of literally everything that comes out of the shop,” said Burke.

Burke says the industry has come a long way since they started the company at their kitchen table by designing by hand on a drawing board.

“In 1986 along came that thing called the Macintosh computer, which changed the way we do things,” he said.

The majority of the firm’s clients are Atlantic Canadian, with some from as far away as British Columbia, Ontario, and Arizona.

Burke and Burke’s work for such clients as Acme Coworking in Toronto and Millen Farms in Great Village have cleaned up at Canada’s design awards, the Redgees.

Larry Burke participated as a judge of the Redgees this year (see 2015-02-13).

He grew up a military family that moved around when he was growing up, but he calls Amherst his hometown. Kelly Burke is from New Ross.

Burke says while retirement isn’t the plan for a number of years, eventually they plan to permanently retreat to their home on Prince Edward Island.

The Burkes Relocate On Quinpool After 15 years in the same office, Burke & Burke recently relocated a few doors down on Quinpool Road to the Mulrooney Building.

Inspired by the 1960s vibe of the building, the Burkes decided to redecorate to give their office a mid-century twist.

Kelly Burke is doing the decorating and is working on a 1960s style cityscape painting for the office.

“It’ll look like you walked out of a time warp,” said Burke.

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