Fitzsimmons is an unincorporated locality in northwest Alberta within the County of Grande Prairie No. 1. It is located approximately 30 km north-east of Grande Prairie or 10 km north of Bezanson.
By Kiera Donner
In 1962, family, friends, and neighbours gathered in the hamlet of Bezanson to volunteer and build the curling rink that is still standing today. The hard workers harvested lumber from the surrounding woods and sent it into a local sawmill to begin building the project they envisioned. The entire community worked together to raise enough money to build the rink. Through cash donations alone, they were able to raise $649.50! Someone even donated a record player which was raffled off allowing for $371.00 to go towards the construction of the rink.
Twenty-one years later the kitchen and benches for supporters and other teams were installed which was an excellent addition to the rink. Over the years, the rink has undergone many renovations.
It has been a hotspot for this community where members of Bezanson and the surrounding rural communities have been able to come together and play a sport which all ages love. The Curling Committee even put together an after-school program for the junior high students of Bezanson around 1967 which made the rink social and educational. The kids were sent home with notes which read that curling would start at 3:45pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The committee kept all twenty-five notes of the students’ names and parents’ signature providing us with historical records of the educational use of the facility. Journals dating back to about 1981 of every bonspiel and meeting ever held were preserved making great memories of this written history. The note books include details of what was said in the meetings, people that have won trophies for bonspiels and other achievements, and includes all the costs they have spent that has brought the rink to where it is today.
The curling rink was another foundation to this great community that has been built on teamwork. The rink brought the community together and we are grateful for the hard work of the volunteers for the opportunities that the curling rink brought to our community.
Learn more about what facilities the Ag Society operates and the programs that it offers to the Bezanson Community! The Bezanson Community Centre is perfect for rentals, whether it be a wedding, family reunion, funeral, or cooperate event. Visit our website www.discoverbezanson.ca to contact us about booking your event.
Learn all about the history of the Bezanson Ag Society! Our current facilities include the operation and rental of two commercial kitchens, the Memorial Hall, and a regulation size gymnasium.
Due to low registration and beautiful summer weather, the Bingo & Trivia Family Night will be postponed.
The Bezanson Ag Society recently received Emergency Community Support Funding delivered by the Community Foundations of Canada along with the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta to hire a Connection Coordinator. This position is to help identify local needs and launch opportunities meeting the needs surfacing in this rural area.
The Ag Society welcomes Haley Friesen, this Bezanson born and raised university student, to this position. Haley is entering her third year of studies at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC this fall, working towards her Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. In the long term, Haley plans to go to medical school.
The Connection Coordinator position focuses on the community of Bezanson. The Bezanson Community Centre wants to meet the mental, physical, and social needs of community members, and Haley is the liaison for that connection. The sowing of positive connections will reap health and vitality and sustain individuals, families, and the community.
Haley’s favorite quote: You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. (C.S. Lewis).
How many times have we all driven to Grande Prairie on Highway 43 and commented on the Wild Rose Elevation Rock? Many times I’m sure; however, how many know the background of the rock and who the talented individual is who had painted it?
If your ancestors lived in the Bezanson District once the area became settled, they more than likely picked blueberries at Brookbank’s Flat that was located close to the Smoky River near the homestead of A.M. Bezanson and in close proximity to the Bezanson Townsite.