Tara Bowie was an award-winning Black Press journalist. Photo Facebook

Former Black Press journalist, killed in crash, was living her dream

Tara Bowie was on sabbatical from the news industry, and enjoying life

Just hours before she died on Friday, Nov. 6, Tara Bowie was literally living her dream.

She was kayaking, on a solo trip at a lake near Cawston, posting pictures of the view to her Facebook page and lamenting – as she usually did – that the fish weren’t biting.

This year, she’d repeatedly told her crowd, was the best of her life.

That ended at 8 p.m when she was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Highway 3.

The news shocked and deeply saddened family, friends and former newspaper colleagues across the country.

“Tara’s next big adventure was finding herself and living life to the fullest,” said her sister, Rhonda Carter.

Bowie was a Black Press journalist, editor of the Keremeos Review, and writer for the Similkameen Spotlight and Penticton Western News from 2014 to 2019.

She left the industry on sabbatical and spent that time taking huge, juicy bites out of life.

She travelled extensively, said friend Kim English, across the western provinces and abroad. Sometimes packing up her bags at the last minute and making up the itinerary as she went.

“She was an adventurer,” said English. “She wasn’t daunted by anything. If someone said, ‘Let’s go to the Yukon,’ at the drop of a hat Tara would say, ‘Yes, let’s go to the Yukon.’

“On a dime, she was ready for a road trip.”

English said Bowie fell “passionately and deeply in love” in B.C. after moving here six years ago from Ontario, where she last worked as a reporter for the daily Sentinel-Review in Woodstock.

The village of Keremeos felt her impact enormously.

In an interview on Nov. 9, fire chief Jordy Bosscha struggled for words to express how department volunteers, who were called out to the scene of her death, are trying to cope with the loss.

“She was always there to help us. She was always a supporter.”

Following the Keremeos area wildfires in 2018, Bowie organized an appreciation dinner for the firefighters, raising considerable funds for new equipment for the hall.

“I wanted to write something about Tara, but I’m not a wordsmith,” said Bosscha.

“When it is someone who was that close to us there are just so many emotions.”

Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer also had praise for the former editor.

“She was a warmhearted person, as a human being. And as a journalist, she always had an open mind and was fair.”

Her contributions to the community will be felt for years to come, he added, recalling it was Bowie who spearheaded a project to create and place banners along the main street, and who brought innovative, successful ideas to the Chamber of Commerce in her role as a director.

Bauer also spoke warmly of Bowie’s mother Nancy Birtch, whom he met several times when she visited from Ontario. During Birtch’s extended stays, her daughter usually took her along to the office on workdays.

When The Review office closed, Bowie worked from the Penticton Western News office. Her former editor Kristi Patton said she learned much from that opportunity.

“What I learned from Tara is that your value in life is not just defined by what you do as a career. We had many discussions about this after we both left the news business. Discussions about the difficulties that we, and many of our fellow journalists have, covering tragic situations. Discussions about how every accident, fire, court case etc. can leave a scar on you,” Patton wrote in a guest column for Black Press.

“I will forever be in remorse that I didn’t make more time to be around her shining light, the enormous energy and loud voice that was impossible to ignore in our newsroom. I will not forget the smile and the ear she offered even in the most stressful times.”

Hundreds of people have posted on social media, expressing their grief and admiration for Bowie.

They speak about her gift of empathy, and a heart the size of K-Mountain.

“Tara had the ability to genuinely enter people’s lives and circles of the community and form really deep friendships with people from all walks of life,” said English.

“She was super generous and curious, hilarious and thoughtful and incredibly tender-hearted.”

Bowie was a proud member of the LGBT community and made special efforts to connect with young people in that group.

“One of her most precious tokens was her rainbow ring and it was really important for her to wear that. The rainbow is a symbol of pride and she felt it was important, to let young people know that she was an ally,” expressed English.

Despite all the people in Bowie’s life her obituary, written by her sister, identifies her best friend as her dog Heddie.

Memorial services for Bowie are being planned in Ontario, and a private service will be held in the Similkameen Valley in the near future.

READ MORE: Former Black Press journalist killed in crash

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta Mayor George Harvie. (Submitted photo)
Mayor asks Fraser Health to reconcider North Delta vaccination site

Harvie wants a North Delta clinic to complement the South Delta location

Surrey RCMP are investigating a reported assault at Panorama Ridge Secondary. (Shane MacKichan photos)
UPDATE: Two youths arrested after assault with a weapon at Panorama Ridge Secondary in Surrey

School placed on a ‘hold and secure’ until safety of all students confirmed

Image Surrey.ca
Surrey to pony up one-third of cost to cover Cloverdale lacrosse box in 2022

This will be at the Cloverdale Athletic Park at 64th Avenue and 168th Street

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

On some blocks in North Delta it was nearly end-to-end refuse during the city’s 2018 Spring Clean-Up. (James Smith photo)
Delta’s Large Item Pick-Up Program starts today

Beginning March 1, residents will be able to dispose of up to four large household items per year

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on October 27, 2020. The City of Vancouver says it has purchased a former hotel at a major thoroughfare that can house about 65 units to accommodate homeless people. A joint news release by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and city says 2075 Kingsway, Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver, will be ready for accommodation this November. The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen also announced a $51.5 million Rapid Housing Initiative for Vancouver that is expected to create 135 new affordable homes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Former Vancouver hotel to be converted to 65 units for homeless people by the fall

The former Days Inn on Kingsway will be ready to house people in November

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Most Read