The Town Of Bow Island

Welcomes You ...

Bow Island is a quiet town in the middle of a very diverse agricultural area. The town is surrounded by irrigated farming which encompasses a variety of different crops such as beans, potatoes, sugar beets, dill, spearmint, and a very progressive dry land farming economy.

About Our Town

Bow Island is located in the southeastern corner of Alberta, approximately 200 miles south of Calgary, and 60 miles north of the US border. We're easily found on Highway 3 between Taber and Medicine Hat.

The Town of Bow Island has created a 30 second TV commercial about itself. To view this commercial please click here.

To view the Bow Island Brochure please click here.

What's Happening?

The Town of Bow Island wishes you a very Happy Easter!
Our office will be closed April 18-21. Opening regular hours April 22.

Public Works Summer Employment Opportunity Click Here

Check for beautiful pictures taken by local high school students!

Check out the re-vamped website for the Bow Island/Burdett & District Chamber of Commerce.

Please call for information on Bow Island Land Inventory.

Moving To Bow Island?

To view information about our community click here.

Our History

The community of Bow Island received its first families in 1900. In February, 1910, the Village of Bow Island was formed, and February 1st of 1912 the village was declared the Town of Bow Island.

The naming of Bow Island brings many stories to the forefront - but the most prominent one is that the communities of Grassy Lake (located 15 miles west) and Bow Island had their respective names mixed up. North of Grassy Lake the confluence of the Bow River and the Oldman River form an Island called "Bow Island", and just south of Bow Island a low depressional area was called "Grassy Lake".

View Larger Map

The Town of Bow Island was one of the first towns in the province of Alberta to have natural gas wells and operated them until the franchise was sold to a private company. The community of Bow Island suffered through the depression years as did all the communities in Western Canada.

In the early 1950's irrigation was extended to the Bow Island area. The Town of Bow Island doubled in population when irrigation water finally flowed through the ditches. 110,000 acres of highly productive lands surround the Town of Bow Island. Some of the most modern irrigation systems in the world are located in the area. The first pivot sprinkler system in Canada was erected on a farm in close proximity of Bow Island in 1961. The first linear sprinkler systems in Canada were put into operation in the Bow Island area. A completely automated distribution system was installed in 1982 by the St. Mary's River Irrigation District (SMRID). The system is known as the Lateral 12 System and has been toured by groups from around the world.

Bow Island has become a vibrant agricultural community with many agri-processing industries located here such as: Bow Island Dry Edible Bean Plant, and Alberta Sunflower Seeds Ltd. (Spitz).


The population of Bow Island is 2,025 as of the 2011 federal census. The trading area of Bow Island is considered to add an additional 2,500 persons.

The major economic base for Bow Island:

  • Agriculture (Farming: Dryland / Irrigation)
  • Food Processing
  • Service Centre Businesses

The longest summers in Alberta are in Bow Island with an average of 2500 hours of sunlight.


  • Brown soil zone of the Chernozemic order
  • Chernozemic soils have developed under grassland
  • Depth of soil - 4 to 7 inches with lime accumulating in the subsoil
  • The sandy loam soil found in the Bow Island area is ideally suited for irrigation and vegetable production.

Heat Units:
The Bow Island area averages 2400 (+) per year. Heat units are calculated on the basis of temperatures above 50F in the daytime and 40F at night.

Last Killing Frost:

  • April 28 - (31 Year Average)

First Killing Frost:

  • September 29 - (31 Year Average)


BI Ladies League Kick-Off Fun Night April 29 Arrive 5:30 Tee-off 6pn Call Pro Shop to register
Bow Island Golf Club Cactus Greens Restaurant is now open for Lunch!
Cherry Coulee Christian Academy accepting ECS Registrations for 2014-15 School Year. Registrations @ School or on the website. 545-2107 for more info.
Want to win a Google Nexus Tablet? Click here to find out how!
For anyone interested there are still a few "Down Memory Lane" books available. If you would like a copy please contact the Town Office at 403-545-2522.

The Town Mascot

The Town of Bow Island is well known for the dry edible bean industry. An 18 foot high statue of the mascot, "Pinto MacBean" is located adjacent to Highway No. 3 and greets everyone coming into town.

Designed by Jane Osborne and unveiled to the public in 1992, Pinto MacBean was created to promote tourism and signifies the importance of the dry edible bean industry to the area.

Information on Jon Pinto: Jon Pinto is an artist who lives in Orlando, Florida and has worked for Walt Disney as well as similar companies. You will notice Pinto MacBean is a cartoon character who has M & M Eyes and Veggie Tale Arms and Feet. Mr. Pinto has allowed us to use the new version of Pinto MacBean for our 100th Centennial Celebration.

The “Centennial Pinto MacBean” is very popular and we have received numerous comments of how cute he is.


40 Mile Coulee Reservoir: Services the water needs of the eastern portion of the St. Mary Irrigation District.

This large mass of water supplies the area with water for farms, and the community.