Admittedly, the exact sense of QANAH in Prov. 8:22 is highly contested. But there appear to be good reasons for understanding the Hebrew word as "created" in this verse:
"Some scholars question whether the first verb mentioned in v. 22a (QANAH) means anything more than 'to acquire, possess,' but the evidence from Ugaritic, Phoenician, and Hebrew is clear that 'to create' is one of its meanings. In Ugaritic, the fivefold repeated epithet of Asherah, QNYT 'LM, can only mean 'creator of the gods.' In Phoenician, 'L QN 'RS (KAI 26.iii.18) can only mean 'El, creator of the earth.' A similar epithet appears in Gen 14:19, 22, where El Elyon is called 'creator of heaven and earth.' In Deut 32:6 QANAH is parallel to 'to make' and 'to establish.' Thus, the Hebrew verb QANAH, in addition to the meaning 'to acquire, possess,' can also mean 'to create'" (Richard J. Clifford, Proverbs: A Commentary, p. 96).
On the other hand, BARA does not necessarily convey a sense of creating something EX NIHILO. A brief search in the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament confirms this point. See TDOT 2:242-249.
TDOT notes that the LXX translates BARA by KTIZEIN ("to create") 17 times and POIEIN ("to make") 15 times. Other Greek terms that are used to render BARA are ARXEIN ("to begin"), GENNAN ("to beget"), KATADEIKNUNAI ("to show clearly, make known, establish"), DEIKNUEIN ("to show"), GINESQAI ("to become") and KATASKEUAZEIN ("to build, create"). But KTIZEIN is evidently not used in the LXX book of Genesis, though "the Hexaplaric translations choose KTIZEIN as a technical term" (2:246).
At any rate, BARA is certainly employed in Gen. 1:27 to describe a divine creation that is not produced EX NIHILO. Ps. 104:30 also does not allude to CREATIO EX NIHILO when it speaks of God creating animals through His emanative spirit of holiness. See also 1 QH 1:7; 1 QH 4:38; 1 QS 3:17-18. These Qumranic texts use BARA in a way that does not imply divine creation from nothing (EX NIHILO).
Additionally, Clifford (whom we quoted earlier) adds:
"In Biblical Hebrew, QANAH had two distinct senses--'to possess (by far the most common meaning) and 'to create, beget'" (Clifford, 96). Clifford himself seems to prefer the latter sense for QANAH in Prov 8:22 (94-96). But see the commentary on Proverbs by Michael V. Fox.