Another Busy Race Day at the Old Bezanson Townsite

The 8th Annual Bezanson Bog Cross Country Running Race was held at the Old Bezanson’s Townsite on Saturday, September 16, 2017. This race is a part of the Peace Country Wolves Cross Country Running Series, a series of local cross country races that occurs every fall in our region.

GPRC Wolves cross country runner and Bezanson’s own Anna Vandergiessen volunteers as a ‘rabbit’ leading the junior and senior elementary groups around the race course. Photo courtesy of Rick Scott.

“The Wolves X-Country running series is a group of informal, low key cross–country running races. The races and one relay are being held over a ten-week period beginning August. The Series has been set up to develop the sport of cross-country running in the Peace Country. The aim of the series is to encourage participation from athletes of all ages and ability levels.”

Excerpt from

This year’s race at the Old Bezanson Townsite saw 151 runners from all ages groups tackle the trails while enjoying the spectacular fall colours of the beautiful Smoky River Valley. Runners came from across the County of Grande Prairie and also from places like Peace River, Donnelly and Dawson Creek. The Bezanson School team had 27 runners in this year’s event and Coach (and Assistant Race Director) Chris Vandergiessen could not be more proud. 2017 age group winners at this year’s Bog include local runner Margaret Friesen who captured first place in the Master’s Women 5km race in a time of 28:23. Full race results are available at Peace Country Wolves Athletics Club .

The increase in interest over the past few years in this race is in part due to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers who help out on race day. “We cannot always count on the weather to cooperate with our race day plans, but we can bring together a great group of volunteers that are dedicated to keeping the runner’s safe and making the day a lot of fun”, says Carolyn Goetjen-Pilgrim, Race Director for the 2012-2017 Bezanson Bog. “This race brings runners and spectators from across the region in to our community and in to our historic park. Not only are we showcasing our community and history, but we are making sure they are safe and that they leave happy.”

The Glenmary Saints Cross Country team from Peace River, Alberta poses for a team picture in front of the Historic Timeline of the Bezanson Townsite. Photo Courtesy of Jordan Loughlin

Both racers and their families show up on race day and it makes for a lot of visitors to the park. The views of the Smoky River Valley never disappoint and most runners thoroughly enjoy running along the top of the river valley. This event is also part of the Wolves Series and so it is not unusual to see the GPRC cross country athlete’s participate, as well as young up and coming college runners. The support of the GPRC college team and their volunteers also helps make the day run smoothly.

GPRC Wolves Alumnus Hayden Hollowell keeps pace with some younger members of the Peace Country Wolves cross country team. Hollowell, originally from Hythe, Alberta is a past volunteer of the Bog. Photo Courtesy of Rick Scott.

“Event’s like these do not happen without the support of our volunteers and as organizers we would just like to say Thank You to all those who help out on race day,” says Goetjen-Pilgrim, “we often enlist the help of spectators, coaches and fans and we are very grateful for everyone who steps up to lend a hand, even if it is just cheering our racers on.” Organizers also would like to thank Lighthouse Mechanical, Vector Communications, Lefty’s Café, Bezanson 4H Multi-Club, Bezanson Agricultural Society, the Old Bezanson Townsite Committee, County of Grande Prairie and the Peace Country Wolves Athletic Club for their continued support of our race.

As the 8th Annual event is in the books, local runners including the Bezanson School cross country team, will be looking forward to next weekend’s race, the Steve Burgess Memorial Race, at the Wapiti Nordic Ski Trails.

By Ally Pilgrim


Taking Registrations for Celebrate Bezanson Slow Pitch Tournament

Terri Hatch is organizing a few recreational slow pitch games for August 26 between 10am-4:30pm. If you are interested in playing, you can either submit a team or register as an individual to be put on a team. Please see the attached rules and also note that all players must be at least 15 years of age and 50% of the team must have attended Bezanson School. Also, please sign the attached waiver and send it to or to

Terri Hatch
PO Box 274
Bezanson, AB
T0H 0G0

as soon as possible, as we need to have waivers signed for insurance purposes.

Celebrate Bezanson Ball Rules

Celebrate Bezanson Ball Tournament Waiver (Under 18)

Celebrate Bezanson Ball Tournament Waiver (over 18)

Celebrate Bezanson Tours


First tours are at 9:45 AM on August 26, 2017. Second tours are at 1:45 PM on August 26, 2017. Each tour is about 2 ½ hours and the buses leave/return to the Bezanson Memorial Hall. Buses ARE NOT wheelchair-equipped.

Options for tours:

Bezanson Townsite:

Take a trip down memory lane and see where and how the Bezanson Townsite came to exist. See how A.M Bezanson’s book, The Peace River Trail, was credited by many for the development of the South Peace area prior to the arrival of the railroad. View where some of the businesses such as Doran’s Restaurant, Hall & Leonard’s Store, Fred Parker’s Jewelry Store, Brotherson’s Shoe and Harness Shop existed along with a portion of the residential area where A.M Bezanson had built his house that commanded a spectacular view of the Smoky River. See where Bezanson’s proposed mill-site would have been located along with where the railroad was expected to cross. See where the Simonette River flows into the Smoky and just beyond that point where the Bezanson Ferry operated. -Wanda Zenner

Kleskun Hills Tour:

Come see one of the Grande Prairie area’s largest pieces of native grassland and the history that lays beneath it. This tour consists of seeing this magnificent area and the museum that holds all its treasures. This area was where the first people, in the 1800’s, hunted and even picked berries. These hills are 100 meters higher than the plains in this area. Dinosaur fossils were found in what is now called “Dinosaur Hill.” Another hill, “Garrett Hill,” is named after the former reeve of the area (1926-1948). Fun fact: Kleskun Hills was named after Kles-Kun which in English is “white-mud.” ”


Bling Your Bike Parade

Bling out bike parade 16 years ago!

Bling Your Bike Parade will be held on August 26, 2017.

The assembly time is 8 AM and the judging will happen at 8:30 AM. Categories are: 6 & under, 7-11 Years, 12-16 Years and Over The Hill. All bikes should be grouped and lined up in the correct category by 8:30. Contestants should know & tell the parade marshal which category they are in. No motorized bikes are allowed in the parade. Parents may assist their children but must not do the decorating for them. Judging will be based on the amount of effort, originality, presentation, and overall appearance. First, second, and third prizes will be awarded in each category.

Summer Student Employment Opportunity



Bezanson Agricultural Society is currently hiring for Administrator and Events Coordinator position for Summer Employment.  There may be two positions available depending on qualifications.

Duties include event planning and coordination of Celebrate Bezanson (Canada 150 event) and Farm Safety Day.

Administration duties will include creating, organizing and updating event information, documents and reports, the design of event, historical and safety documents.  Other administrative duties as pertaining to office, programs, events, promotion and marketing.

The term of this position is July 3 – August 28, 2017 for 30 hours per week.  Due to the main event being held August 26, it is imperative that applicants understand that they will be working August 26 when applying for this position and there will be no exceptions.

Qualifications include computer skills (Microsoft) and organizational skills.

Applicants must be between the ages of 15 – 30 and be registered as a full-time student for September.

Deadline for applications is May 15, 2017.  Please send a resume to the



Huge Boost to Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Centre Project!

It’s an exciting time in Bezanson!

In January, the Bezanson Ag. Society applied for large stream funding from the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) with the Government of Alberta’s Culture and Tourism Department. The original ask was for $1 million and we are pleased to report we were granted $750,000!!!

This news couldn’t come at a better time! This boosts the total funds raised to over $3 million and over 80% funded! Initial cost projections of the project are $3.5 million. Now that we have a large portion of these funds secured, we were able to send the project out to tender to get firm numbers and determine just how much more our community needs to raise!

We hope to have solid numbers by the end of May.  Construction could start as early as Fall 2017! These funds help to seal the deal that this infrastructure will be a reality in Bezanson! But we still have work to do… and we need you to help us build Bezanson!

Please help us top up this funding and make this happen as soon as possible! Every dollar counts! We have many options to donate! The largest donation that we are still seeking is the naming rights of the entire building! This is targeted at a $250,000 donation for 10 years naming rights! Our Capital Campaign Team is working diligently to make connections, but if you know someone who may be interested, please let us know!

We know most of us don’t have that capacity to help, so we want to encourage you to give whatever you can! It all helps! We have monthly direct debit options, yearly contributions, and one time donations of any amount are sincerely appreciated!  We aim to be flexible in order to help you be a part of this!

Our Bezanson School students have even been hosting bake sales and contests to raise funds and we are so appreciative! We appreciate the effort, the desire to be a part of something big in our community, and the generosity, NO MATTER WHAT SIZE OF DONATION!! Let’s do this Bezanson! New beginnings are right around the corner!

If you would like to find out how you can get involved, contact Capital Campaign Manager, Laura LaValley at 780 814 3113.