Who We Are

Our Vision and Mission

By 2024, the BRFM will have gained commitment to deliver responsible and effective flood mitigation for the Bow River basin.

On behalf of our members we work collaboratively with the City of Calgary and the Province of Alberta to advocate for responsible and effective flood prevention. With this in mind we seek:

  • Upstream flood mitigation solutions to protect vulnerable communities, located along the Bow River from devastating flooding;
  • Prudent use of Government funds with effective and long term upstream mitigation solutions;
  • A solution that retains the Bowness community’s natural river environment and animal habitat, through minimal manmade impact; and
  • Fair, equitable and transparent treatment from decision makers and their administration.

Our Structure

BRFM is a volunteer based non-profit organization and is registered as a Society by the Government of Alberta. Today we are totally self-funded by our members.

Our Board has nine directors and is supported by 5 sub-committees: Government Relations, Legal, Communications & IT, Research and Technical. If you have any interest in joining one of our subcommittees or the Board please let us know by sending an email to info@bownessrfm.ca.

BRFM Board Members

President (Chair) Jean Woeller
Vice President, Lead Information & Research Jason New
Secretary Vacant
Treasurer Brenda Parai
Director – Government Relations David Chalack
Director – Environment Fred Hemmerling
Director at Large Margo Pagonis
Director – Technical Hank Vrielink
Director – Communications Patti Peck
Director – Memberships Tobin Walker
Director – Legal Vacant


Our History

BRFM was founded in 2018 by members of the Bowness Community in response to the City of Calgary’s (CoC) plan to build community barriers in Bowness and the Government of Alberta (GoA) committing to conducting an assessment of reservoir options on the Bow River to mitigate the impacts of both flood and drought.

Below is a timeline of some of the milestones related to our advocacy for responsible and effective flood mitigation strategies for Calgary communities along the Bow River:

June 2013 Alberta Flood: $5 billion in damages to Alberta, lost lives and livelihoods
June 2014 Expert Management Panel on Calgary’s Flood Resilient Future releases a report
Fall 2016 CoC seeks public input on Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment (participation is low: 4 workshops totalling 1200 participants across the city)
April 2017 Calgary City Council approves Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment including recommendation to construct “low-height barriers for Sunnyside, Bowness” to complement “upstream reservoirs on the Bow River (upstream of Calgary) and Elbow River (SR1)
May 2017 Bow River Working Group Report – recommended to the GoA to study of 3 reservoir options on the Bow River (Morley, Expanded Ghost and Glenbow)
June 2017 CoC Permanent Flood Barrier Protection Assessment published
December 2017 Calgary Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment Report published, recommending 27 flood mitigation projects for the CoC including a new community flood barrier in Bowness
Mid December 2017 CoC delivers invitation to Bowness residents to attend an information meeting on the Bowness Barrier project. This, the first introduction to the project for many riverside residents, who’s property would be required for project construction.
Jan 16, 2018 First CoC hosted project meeting with residents of Bowness and kick off of preliminary design stage
Summer 2018 to Winter 2020 Bowness feasibility study and community engagement; CoC initiates a community working group with members from BRFM, local businesses, seniors and Community Association, in Fall of 2019
Fall 2018 to Spring 2020 GoA conducts Bow River Reservoir Options (BRRO) Conceptual Assessment. BRFM participates in stakeholder engagement meetings with GoA. Visit the GoA website for details.
Fall 2020 GoA initiates BRRO Phase 2 Feasibility study
April 2021 CoC Administration defers decision on Bowness barrier with plans to reassess after the GoA completes their BRRO feasibility study and Provincial Flood Hazard Mapping.

Like Us, Follow Us