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Author: BAS-webmaster

The Story of Bezanson’s Gazebo

“Bezanson is not a sub-division.  It is a townsite.  It is beautifully situated at about one hundred and twenty feet above the river of which it commands a magnificent view…..we intend to carry out the wide streets for streetcars every four blocks in the business section.” From “Looking Ahead in the Peace River County by A.M. Bezanson.

The Old Bezanson Townsite (Historical Preservation Society) Committee is a sub-committee of the Bezanson Agricultural Society. Their mandate is to preserve and promote the Heritage of the provincially registered Historic site (the Old Bezanson Townsite) on behalf of the Bezanson Agricultural Society, in partnership with the County of Grande Prairie No. 1 and preserve and promote the history and heritage of the Bezanson Community.

To showcase Bezanson’s rich history, a variety of fundraising endeavours have contributed to the creation of a gazebo that originally was intended to overlook the riverbank where the 3 rivers (Smoky, Simonette, Wapiti) converge at the OBT and where the beauty of the original townsite of Bezanson could be enjoyed by all.

This year the dream has come to fruition.  Jeremy with ForgeFire Metalworks designed and built this gazebo along with volunteers who helped maneuver this structure into place with their crane (Mammoet) and Doug Small for getting the groundwork ready for the installation and Blake Lange for the use of his gravel truck.

This beautiful masterpiece will be enjoyed by all who visit this gazebo and the history of Bezanson will begin to emerge in the spring so that all who visit the gazebo can also read the history of Bezanson and appreciate the dream and vision that A.M. Bezanson had for this community.  Mr. Bezanson’s dream for the original townsite died when the railway was rerouted to Grande Prairie but not through the Bezanson townsite.  People and businesses moved away to where the railway was being built. 

A.M. Bezanson was so disappointed with the loss of this vision that he enlisted in World War 1 and fought overseas.  Upon his return, he relocated his family to Pouce Coupe in 1931. 

The Old Bezanson Townsite Committee has experienced a disappointment with the original vision to install this historical gazebo at OBT.  Unfortunately, with circumstances beyond anyone’s control, the County of Grande Prairie had to make some difficult decisions to limit the hours that OBT is open to the public.  This historical gazebo has been installed in the hamlet of Bezanson on the Bezanson Ag grounds and while the river isn’t in view, there is still beauty around the gazebo and numerous opportunities to share the rich history of Bezanson and ensure that the history of Bezanson is not forgotten nor those who helped build this community to the vibrancy it is today.  While the dream has been changed somewhat, it didn’t die.  Please enjoy this gazebo next spring when it is open to the public and be reminded of the significance that a dream and vision brings to the creation of community.

The Bezanson Curling Rink – Bringing Together Our Community Since 1962

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.

NEW VIDEO on Bezanson Community Group!

The Bezanson Community Group is a collection of all the different groups that work hard to bring the community of Bezanson a wide variety of facilities, services, resources, and activities. Watch this video to see how to stay up to date on community news and learn more about all the groups involved.