Remembering CityNews 660 Calgary anchor Chris Bowen

By CityNews Staff

Calgary CityNews 660 managing editor and midday anchor Chris Bowen died Monday at 38 after 17 years on the air.

“We are heartbroken over the sudden loss of our dear beautiful friend, Chris Bowen, who passed away on Monday, July 31, 2023,” his family said.

“He was so many things to so many people.”

Born on Dec. 25, 1984, he was a son to Suzanne and David Bowen, a brother to Adam Bowen, a favourite uncle to Arthur, a cousin, a nephew, a godson, and a best friend to many.

“It’s difficult to put into words just how special of a person Chris Bowen was. He was incredibly open and easy to get along with, absurdly funny, quick-witted, smart and as non-judgemental as they come. He made instant friends, who often became lifelong,” his family said.

Raised in Ontario, Chris attended Humber College’s Radio Broadcasting Department beginning in the fall of 2003 and immediately made an impact on his classmates with his wit and dry sense of humour. He excelled in radio and, in his second year, got a brief internship at 680 News in Toronto.

In June 2005, he moved to Medicine Hat to work at CHAT radio and TV, where he quickly became a beloved colleague of all those in the station through his reporting on My96 and on the TV station.

After months of exploring southern Alberta, he was able to move to Calgary and secure a job at 660 News, where his personality and charm once again made him a popular member of the staff, and he thrived in the newsroom.

Chris did pretty much everything over his 17 years at 660 News and CityNews 660.

He anchored evenings and weekends and then mid-days, reported on major elections and natural disasters like the 2013 Southern Alberta floods and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires and mentored younger broadcasters, all with his trademark humour and funny sayings not far behind.

In August of 2022, Chris took another key step in his broadcasting career to become a managing editor and helped to hire many of those on the air today.

Some of CityNews 660’s longest-tenured employees offered their thoughts on Chris and their time with him.

Afternoon sports anchor Sandra Prusina remembers Chris as “A truly gifted broadcaster with impeccable news sense who could actually go on air without needing to fill out his scripts.”

Traffic reporter Trace St. John, who started at 660 News the same day as Chris in 2006, says Bowen was that rare combination of a very creative but very business-like guy, a tremendous worker who did everything extremely well.

“He was smart, funny, and he’s gone way too soon,” St. John remarked.

CityNews 660 morning anchor Kelly Turner says, “Chris was a lovely combination of quirky and funny. He was always the consummate professional on air, even though he made us howl with laughter off-air.”

“Chris was also a very important part of a foursome of friends that we called ‘our squad.’ His laughter and support will always be missed.”

CityNews 660 morning traffic anchor Tanya Blakney says, “He was extremely smart, very quick-witted, and quirky in the best ways…very caring, extremely hard working and reliable. He is already so dearly missed.”

Chris’s midday co-anchor, Lisa Grant, calls her long-time team-mate “a very unique and uniquely talented individual.”

“And Chris was as kind and empathetic as he was talented. He had the ability to put himself in someone else’s shoes, whether he was guiding one of the younger news team members or interviewing someone for a story,” she said.

“Chris was also just as brilliantly talented off-air as he was behind the microphone. His ability to do five things at once, and do them so well, was extremely rare. Chris himself was rare. He was so admired and loved and we will miss him very much.”

CityNews producer and evening anchor Mark Strashok put together tributes to honour Chris on CityNews 660, with one of them highlighting his nickname “Iggy,” not related to another well-known Calgary legend, and speaking about his work ethic in providing listeners with the most accurate and up-to-date information on breaking news all over the city.

There will be a memorial service in Kitchener-Waterloo at a later date. For those in Calgary and area, please join Chris’s family and friends on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, upstairs from 2 to 5 p.m. at St. James Corner, 1219 1 St SW.

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