Thank you Calgary! Reflections from Bowness after the Boil Water Advisory


Early in the morning on Thursday June 6, Bowness woke up to discover that the quality of our water supply had been compromised by the 16th Ave feeder main break, and that our community would be under a boil-water advisory with no end in sight.

Within the first 40 minutes of our office opening, the BCA was mobilized in our parking lot offering water, sharing information, accepting donations, and coordinating deliveries of water to individuals in the community who did not have the means or mobility to boil water or access an emergency water wagon.

Within hours, we were joined by eager and dedicated volunteers, and we began receiving a steady stream of water donations that did not slow down until the advisory was lifted nearly a week later.

In the early days of the situation, we called on Bownesians to become Water Buddies and look out for their neighbours. After our community’s experience in the 2013 floods, there was no doubt in any of our minds that Bownesians would rise to the occasion to face this challenge.

Abby and Laddie getting ready to deliver donated water to Bownesians

Bowness, you spent hours upon hours volunteering at the BCA helping your neighbors fill and carry their containers while offering calm reassurance and information.

You spent your days loading shopping carts and vehicles full of bottled water and making endless trips to apartment blocks and seniors complexes ensuring that no one in these buildings would go without clean water.

You helped translate information to refugee families in our community and directed them to resources.

When seniors and families came for water without vehicles, containers, or even knowledge of english, you walked and drove around the neighborhood delivering flats of donated water.

Guru Nanak Free Kitchen donated free groceries and thousands of bottles of water

And while we knew Bowness would rise to the occasion, we were utterly amazed at the way the entire city came beside us in our time of need.

During the advisory, dozens upon dozens of businesses, community organizations, and individuals donated time, bottled water, water containers, free groceries, hot food, and plenty of treats and baking for our staff, volunteers, and residents.


There were many times when our supply was nearly depleted, and we had to discuss rationing or restricting donated water. However, we resolved to trust in the generosity of our neighbors around the city, and continued to give water freely so that residents could always take enough for their families and neighbours.

Calgary, you did not let us down, and your outpouring of generosity made it possible to distribute tens of thousands of water bottles and water containers to members of our community during the boil water advisory.

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And finally, thank you to the City of Calgary, Mayor Gondek, Councillor Sharp, Councillor Dhaliwal, and Neighbourhood Partnership Coordinator Angela Williams for your support during the advisory. We are especially grateful for the impromptu Neighbour Day Event that the City helped us host in lieu of the postponed Tiny Forest planting day! 

If you’re reading this and were a part of this in any way, big or small, we thank you. Because of your efforts, the resilience and generosity of our neighborhood and city were put on full display. We love Bowness and we are so proud to be a part of this incredible community.

James Ziegler creating Dream Spinners with Neighbour Day attendees

Thank you to everyone who donated water, containers, and food for Bowness!

Agnew insurance
Angels Diner
Building bridges counseling
Centex Montgomery
City of Calgary
Councillor Dhaliwal
Councillor Mian
Councillor Sharp
Councillor Wong
Dashmesh Cultural Centre
Denny’s Bowness
Calgary Food bank
Guru Nanak Free Kitchen
Home Depot North Hill
Community Hubs Initiative
KFC Montgomery
Little Oaks Daycare
Mayor Jyoti Gondek
North Water
Rok Glacier Water
Varsity CA
Village Honda

Plus dozens and dozens of individuals from around the city!

We Heart Bowness
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