A carved bench created by Ryan Cook of Saw Valley Carvers is a commemoration of Canada’s 150th and incorporates the heritage of the Bezanson community. Each of the six pieces of the bench has a picture of historical significance to Bezanson.
The pictures include a farmer plowing his field with his horses and a farmer working his field with a tractor. These pictures link the agricultural aspect of present day Bezanson to the history of Bezanson in the early years.
The Glen Leslie Church was built in 1915 and services were held there from 1915 to 1964. The church was restored in 2015 and it remains one of the few structures from prior to 1920, making it an integral part of Bezanson’s history.
The Smoky River bank was home to The Grande Prairie Ski Club prior to 1960. In the 70s the Bezanson Community reopened the hill and it operated for a decade or more.
Kleskun Hills is depicted on another piece of the bench. This Alberta Park has been the discovery point of many dinosaur fossils and is home to an abundance of history from the Bezanson area.
In 1914, the original Townsite of Bezanson was thriving and growing. At this time there was a jewellery store, a harness repair shop, a post office and two general stores. Carved on the bench is Hall & Leonard’s Store. This shows that Bezanson began with entrepreneurs and this innovation is still keeping the community alive today.
The bench is going to be placed in front of the Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Center after construction is completed in summer of 2018. The bench will symbolize the past and a tree planted in the middle will represent the new beginnings of the community. The history depicted on this bench will not only remind the viewers where the community of Bezanson came from, but also where the community is going in the future.