Bezanson History- Did You Know?

In 1915 a school district was formed under the name of Bezanson. School started in 1916 in the Bezanson Presbyterian Church at the Townsite with Miss Colby as the first teacher.  In 1919, as the population of the district in the east was declining, a decision was made to build new frame school at a new location.  Todd was the first teacher in the new one-room school.  The school was moved in 1925 west to be accommodate the number of students in the area.

2017 Year in Review – Bezanson’s Commemorative Bench

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.

2017 Year in Review – Bezanson Celebrates

Bezanson’s 150 Canada celebration Homecoming Fair & Horseshow held two days of non-stop entertainment and fun filled events. Bezanson School also joined in on the celebration of 60 years in the community.

It all started on Satuday, Aug. 26, with a $5 breakfast of hot cakes with all the trimmings. Meanwhile, kids were blinging their bikes for the bike parade. Audrey Hewings, co-ordinator of the Fair introduced opening ceremonies, which took place on the Hall steps, at 9:30 am with dignitaries and delegates from Bezanson and surrounding communities showing their support. Chris Warkentin said, “Thanks to the community for your support and all you do in the community.”

Todd Loewen shared, “It’s a pleasure to be here where the enthusiasm for your community is so contagious!”

Peace Wapiti School representaive Dana McIntosh was on hand to congratulate the community and celebrate 60 years of school in the community. A memorial bench to commemorate Canada’s 150 was unveiled just out- side the Hall upon completion of the speeches. The six pieced bench which fits together perfectly, incorporates the heritage of the Bezanson community. The scenes display a farmer working his fields with a tractor, a plow and horses, The Glen Leslie Church, the Smoky River ski hill, Kleskun Hills, and Hall & Leneord’s Store from the original Bezanson townsite. The bench was carved by Ryan Cook, formerly from the Wood Carvers TV show. The future home of this impressive commemorative piece will be at the future site of the Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Center upon its completion in 2018. The bench will symbolize the past and a tree planted in the centre will represent the new beginnings of the community.

The Fair showcased many handcrafted items, best baking, veggies and so much more. The school display was informative and displayed many historical and recent moments. 4H also set up an impressive display and there was no shortage of informative, creative and colorful displays to spark one’s interest.

Historical bus tours began at around 10 am to Glen Leslie Church, the Old Bezanson Townsite and Kleskun Hills. For just $5 the kids could play all day on the bouncy Boys Inflatables, get their faces painted, dig in the sand pile or cheer on the softball players.

The farmer’s olympics, organized by Chris van der Giessen, began at 2 pm in the field and the competative spirit was alive and well as families, friends, husbands and wives vied for first place in this event. Wheelbarrows, veggie toss and fence mending were some of the skills needed to compete in this unique challenge. The onlookers cheered for everyone and had as much fun watching as the contestants did competing. Gold ended up going to Husband, Wife and Friend team, Jason and Tracy Hunt and Randy Nagel (in a time of 2:30). Silver went to Bill, Steven and Haley Ford in a time of 2:47 (and they had NO penalties for zucchinis falling short, etc.) Bronze went to a team comprised of Bill Ford’s daughter Katie, and husband and wife duo, Rick and Wendy Saban. These two teams competed against each other so it was fun to see the family members vie against each other. The bronze team had a time of 3:14.

The family BBQ began at 5:30pm and supplied folks with a scrumptious meal for a small fee of $5. The social and family dance began at 8:30 pm and provided the perfect end to an event filled day. Kelly McDermott & Night Ryders had everyone tapping toes and dancing the night away in no time.

Folks could choose which Sunday morning services to attend at the Glen Leslie Church, Bezanson Community Church and Bezanson Catholic Church. Brunch was served from 10 am to noon at the Bezanson Hall and the Ag Society Horse show began at 9 am. Exhibitors of all ages were encouraged to join in this event and showcase theirs and their horse’s talent as they performed for the audience. Light Horse Classes began early morning and moved into Utility Horse and Western Horsemanship, with English Pleasure and Equitation on tap. There were many more events and riders displayed skill and showmanship.

This two day celebration provided fun packed events for all ages, show- cased information and history of the community and its groups and school and demonstrated the creativity and community spirit of all involved.

Valleyview Town and Country 
Susie Peters

2018 Bezanson Curling Season

The ice is in and the final touches will take place over the next week!  Thank you to the team who has been diligently putting in the ice for the past few weeks!!

Square draws begin immediately in the New Year.  Register a team of friends or curl with your family!!  Contact Margaret Moon to register your team at tmmoon@xplornet.com or 780-831-6716 or download the registration form and email to Margaret.  For convenience this year, etransfer your curling fees to Bezanson Agricultural Society.  Details are on the registration form.

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Bonspiels!

Men’s Bonspiel is January 20 & 21 and the infamous Ladies Bonspiel takes place February 10 & 11.  Register by contacting Terry or Margaret at tmmoon@xplornet.com or 780-831-6716 or 780-539-1936.

Legion Mixed Bonspiel is February 24 & 25.

March 2 will wrap the Curling season with a 2 on 2 Bonspiel and the Kids Bonspiel on the 3rd.  Watch for further details as the end of the season approaches.

 

2018 Curling Bonspiel Registration Form

2018 Curling Waiver (under 18)

2018 Curling Waiver Over 18