OUR ASSOCIATION

Bengali Association of Calgary (BAC) is a non-profit religious organization, registered under the act of Societies of Alberta on the 24th of April, 1978. The Corporate Access Number of the Association is 500 110 150.

Bengali is one of the most spoken languages of the world. With about 250 million native speakers worldwide, it is the seventh most spoken language in the world by total number of native speakers. In 1999, the United Nations declared February 21 – the Bengali Language Movement day of 1952 – to be celebrated all over the world as International Mother Language Day.

BAC’s membership has steadily grown over the years with families from Calgary and other parts of southern Alberta at large representing a well-educated and established cross-section of immigrants – from West Bengal, India and various other parts of India and Bangladesh – who have made Canada their home. Members of this community have always blended well with general population while contributing the unique Bengali culture to the multicultural fabric of the Canadian society. 

Hindus worship many deities as per “Vedas” – the sacred book of Hindu Religion – and other Hindu scriptures. The deities represent various cosmic powers and epitomize the virtues the mankind would like to imbibe and practise to make the world a great place to live in. The Bengali Hindus celebrate religious events in a festive manner marked by their own unique flavor that comes from hundreds of years old Bengali culture and heritage.

In keeping with the Bengali Hindu traditions, BAC celebrates “Pujas” of at least three Deities, namely, Goddess Durga, Goddess Kali and Goddess Saraswati every year. The word “Puja” means worship of Gods/Goddesses and involves offering Prasad (food), flowers and sweets; Puja is performed by a Priest. The dates for performing these religious celebrations are determined based on the Bengali Hindu almanacs.  

As well, BAC participates in various volunteering activities, including, volunteering in collaboration with Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and The Mustard Seed. BAC donates funds to well-known organizations, like, Canadian Red Cross and also carries out donation of clothes & goods. Members of BAC participate in blood donation and other community service programs on a regular basis. 

Our History
In 1970, fifty Bengali families originally from West Bengal, India and the then East Pakistan, living in Calgary, formed Bengali Cultural Association of Calgary (BCAC). The main objective of the association was to celebrate and foster Bengali culture, language and heritage among the Bengali community. In 1973, the Muslim members opted out of BCAC and formed a separate association.

On 24th April, 1978, Bengali Cultural Association of Calgary (BCAC) was registered as a non-profit organization under the Societies Act of Alberta.

In 1981, BCAC started organizing Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Saraswati Puja and since then these events have been celebrated every year in a festive spirit. 

In 2007, the name of the association was changed to Bengali Association of Calgary (BAC) to align with its objectives of promotion of Hindu faith – its tenets and doctrines – and supporting volunteering activities; with that BAC progressively morphed in to its present form of a religious organization.

In 2003, the then BCAC had bought land in the district of MD Rocky View for establishing a place of worship. However, in 2012 BAC had to sell the land as it did not get the zoning permission for the property – for religious use – despite years of painstaking efforts. Establishing a place of worship for conducting services in accordance with religious tenets of Hindu faith and as practised by Bengali Hindus continues to be one of the key objectives of BAC. 

In addition to the regular religious events, BAC has been involved in volunteering activities and supporting programs that benefit wider sections of the society. BAC has also donated funds to Red Cross, food to The Mustard Seed and has supported community programs in partnership of Value Village and Canadian Blood Services. BAC volunteers take part in volunteering and community programs with great enthusiasm and dedication.