Keegan Starlight and the Bishop Grandin High Water Project

Water is Life I

Water is Life I by Keegan Starlight

Keegan Starlight, a member of the Tsuu T’ina Nation, is an artist and former student of Bishop Grandin High School. Starlight, now studying at the Alberta College of Art and Design, created the two paintings shown here for Bishop Grandin’s Water Project. Another of his recent paintings is featured in the restaurant in the newly expanded Grey Eagle Resort on the Tsuu T’ina First Nation.

Water is Life II

Water is Life II by Keegan Starlight

The Bishop Grandin Water Project is spearheaded by a group of dedicated students under the leadership of Patricia Calon, a guidance counsellor at the school. The project was born 10 years ago when Calon took three students to a youth conference sponsored by the Calgary-based Centre for Affordable W

ater and Sanitation Technology (CAWST). They were shocked to learn about the millions of people worldwide who lack access to clean water, and decided to do something about it. Since then, the school’s Water Project has grown each year, with students planning awareness events and fundraising activities. The group has now raised over $110,000 to aid CAWST’s efforts in developing nations.

Isabella Sanchez is a Grade 12 student at Bishop Grandin who has been very active in the Water Project for the past three years. From being emcee for a Water Project Variety Show Fundraiser to attending a CAWST Conference as a youth delegate, the experience has been life-changing for her.

“I’ve met so many inspiring people,” says Sanchez, “and I gained a lot of awareness about the world. It’s been a really great opportunity.”

This past year, the Water Project put on a Coffee House Fundraiser, which showcased the talent of many students from Bishop Grandin. They also planned a “Survivor Day” at the school, with a focus on water use and misuse in our own culture. As part of the day, students and faculty had to navigate through an obstacle course carrying 40 lbs. of water, a typical amount of water carried by women in Third World countries every day.

Sanchez plans to attend the University of Calgary next year in their Engineering program, and is looking forward to staying involved with projects in developing countries. This spring she was awarded U of C’s Schulich School of Engineering Scholarship for Community Service and Entrepreneurship.

“The Bishop Grandin Water Project helped me realize that we have so much to be thankful for here in Canada,” says Sanchez, “and that we need to share what we have with others.”

Keegan Starlight can be contacted at

Check out “The Ripple Effect”, an inspiring video about the Bishop Grandin Water Project, produced by Hidden Story Productions:

Laura Locke

About Laura Locke

Laura Locke is an educator, award-winning journalist, and editor of Kolbe Times. She is happily married to Bill, and they have three grown children. Laura loves biking, cooking, reading and playing her accordion in the Acclectica Accordion Ensemble.
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