Why Bowness is My Bowness - Christina's Story

Christina Pilarski grew up in Sundance with her family, and thought she was moving much further North when she bought her first home in Woodbine. Her boyfriend, now husband, lived in Bowness, so she spent a lot of time in the neighbourhood, and quickly fell in love with the area. She has lived in the community for almost 10 years now with her husband, dogs, and two young boys.

She loves the location of the community, as it is close to the mountains, has easy downtown access, has everything you may need and promotes shopping local. Bowness is a community that is friendly, walkable, safe and has plenty to do. Pilarski loves the outdoor space and parks for her boys and dogs, and says Bowness just feels like home. Bowmont Park also holds a special place for her.

“I always say my husband and I fell in love in Bowmont park and he asked me to marry him in Bowmont Park,” says Pilarski.

She stumbled upon the opportunity to join the Bowness Community Association board, after volunteering for a spring clean-up. Her and her husband would volunteer for a few events put on by the BCA, and that particular spring clean-up they began talking to Executive Director Michelle Dice.

As her background is in communications, she was encouraged to join the Communications Committee, and helped manage the social media posts and communications for the BCA. She became busy with life and having kids, but once the boys were born, she returned to the board.

“I want to be a part of creating a great future in Bowness for my boys, and that kind of was what drew me to the board and then being able to use my communications skill set outside of work has been nice,” says Pilarski.

“There’s not a lot of volunteer opportunities you can get where people are looking for a skill set you have professionally, so that’s been really nice.”

She says her awareness has really improved by working with the BCA. There is always so much going on in Bowness, and she appreciates knowing everything that’s happening, from large projects, like the arena twinning, to small projects like the Indoor Playground. She also thinks that the best way to get involved locally is by supporting the local community associations, so she is always sharing with friends what is happening at the BCA.

Her favourite program the BCA has is the Indoor Playground. Her young boys spend a lot of time there, whether with her, their grandpa or nanny, and she sparks up conversations with other parents who don’t know about the program or are from a different community.

Another great asset to Bowness is the skate park and a great conversation starter for what the BCA is doing. Pilarski says it is proof of a great story of the community coming together to work with the city and create a great place for kids and families.

“Find the programs and events that you love to go to and participate in and use that to share what the community association is doing,” she says, when asked how she would respond to someone asking how to get involved in the community.

The future of the BCA and Bowness is a bright one for Pilarski as well. She is very excited about the Farmer’s Market coming soon in Greenwich and thinks that will help attract more people to the community. She is also looking at Bowness in a new way with her young boys, and the other young kids on her street. She gets to watch them grow and change the micro community in Calgary.

Even though she’s only been a part of the BCA board for a few years, she sees the hard work done by Scott Hutchison and Michelle Dice and how the BCA continues to move the community forward.

“Seeing the board become more professional and more driven towards its strategic goals has been really great. When I think about projects like arena twinning and some of the other larger projects, I feel like there’s, not hope, but reality to them. When I look at the board, yeah there’s some big ideas, but I think there’s also some manpower and some brains behind those ideas. So, I think that if the board stays focused, I think there’ll be some cool things for the future of the BCA,” she says.

When asked why Bowness is her Bowness, she responded that there is something for everyone. Whether it is recreational programming, support groups, or shopping, the community is self-sustaining from the main city hub of Calgary.

“My Bowness knows how to support me as a mom, that’s super busy and dealing with work and life and all those things. So the fact that they think of programming with all different age groups in mind, so mine is the Indoor Playground, for someone else it’s pickleball, for someone else it’s cards,” says Pilarski.

“It’s a community association that’s really in touch with the needs of all their members, not just one particular group.”

Written by Arianna Korbett