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Faces of Bowness – Peter, Christina, Jacub, and Bartek

Screenshot 2024 03 13 at 10.28.39 AM

Originally Published in the Mar/Apr 2024 Bowest’ner

By Gideon Mentie

“I came to Bowness in 2009 when I moved from Edmonton,” says Peter. “And I’ve lived here forever!” says Bartek with a giggle, sending the whole Pilarski family into laughter.

“I met Peter in 2010,” adds Christina. “ I was a south-side girl my whole life and didn’t know much about the neighbourhood except for the stereotypes. Obviously, I hung out here with Peter quite a bit and fell in love – with the community and with the man.”

When I ask the boys what their favourite thing about Bowness is, Bartek is quick to respond, “It’s big!” And his brother adds, “I like that I have lots of friends here.””

“What about all the dogs?” asks Christina. Jacub shakes his head in agreement and says, “DOGGIES!” and then he continues, “we also go to school in Bowness.”

“I think that’s one of the best things about Bowness,” adds Christina. “Everything is around us. One time I signed the kids up for some activity and I didn’t really look at the address. But it was only three minutes away from Bowness! Everything is right here.”

“My goal in life is not to have to drive more than 10 minutes,” Peter adds in total agreement. “And I’m actually super excited about a lot of the new restaurants and developments. I see a lot of young families moving in. When we first got here we only had five families on Halloween. But this year we must have had 100 families on this street! So you can really see the community building and that’s really cool. And I think there are certain things that’ll never change, like the river valley and Bowness Park.”

“Coming from south Calgary, I think what’s changed the most is that stigma about Bowness,” says Christina. “I think that 10 years ago you would say Bowness to someone and they would automatically think about one thing. Now it’s completely different. And all of our neighbours look out for us. If I ever need something, I know I can text my next-door neighbour right away. We rebuilt the backyard fence we share, but we kept a gap so that we can have eyes on each other’s backdoor.”

Speaking of the backyard, the Pilarski boys are excited to chat about their backyard hockey rink. Jacub tells me, “ We had it once before when I was five years old, and now we have it again this year.” I ask them if they have a Zamboni and Jacub responds, “No. We put water on it and we let it freeze.”

As the boys put on their skates, Christina tells me, “The rink has even become a gathering spot for friends. We did our Christmas Eve back there and a bunch of our neighbours came. I think it’s become a new Bowness tradition.”

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