10 Questions with Les Sonnenberg

Photo Credit: Les Sonnenburg

1. What brought you to Bezanson?
At the time I was working as an elementary teacher in Spirit River at P.A.V.E.  During the spring, I went golfing with John Young who was the phys. ed teacher at Bezanson.  He mentioned that he was transferring to Harry Balfour the following year. I inquired about the position.   Hearing lots of good things about the school and community, I decided to make the move. Best decision I ever made!

 2. How long have you been with Bezanson School?
17 years.

3. What have the students in Bezanson shown you during your career here?
The students of Bezanson have shown me that there is a lot of hope for our World.  Every time I turn on the news, I am witness to some worrisome events. From what I have seen of the youth here in our school, there is a tremendous amount of potential.  I’ve seen unbelievable kindness, compassion and friendship. The students from this school have and will continue to make a positive impact in the world.

4. What do you like the most about the community?
I like how quiet this community is.  Grande Prairie is so busy, people tend to have less patience, my anxiety goes through the roof every time I have to drive or do business in the city.  It is so nice to come to work where vehicles don’t clog the streets and people have time to still have a conversation.

5. What is your favorite memories from being at Bezanson?
Unwrapping a gift at Christmas time and out from the box pops the head of a live 40 lb. turkey!  I don’t know who was more surprised, me or the bird! I kindly gave the bird back to its owners…I think the turkey was grateful.  I loved the underdog role our basketball team had all those years. Going up against the big schools whether it be from G.P or within our district, I always enjoyed watching our kids take on the challenge.  The players learned so much about themselves in those games. Realizing that we could compete with these large school teams, it was fun to watch their confidence grow.  I’m going to miss the noon hour floor hockey games, random high-fives in the hallway, and all those toothless grade 1 smiles.

6. As your future continues what are your plans?
My hope is to slow life down a little.  Spend more time with my son and wife. I will be working with my wife at her Kumon math and reading center in Grande Prairie.  I will also be very active in the curling scene in the Peace Country. My time will be mainly spent on coaching my son’s team and running clinics for youth in the area.  If the opportunity presents itself, maybe even help to bring back the GPRC curling program. And of course, I plan to sub a couple of days here at the school just to say hi.

Photo Credit: Les Sonnenburg

7. What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Fly fishing, fly fishing and a little more fly fishing!  I also enjoy puttering around my acreage and of course watching Bruins hockey…Go Bruins!

8. What do you enjoy the most with your family?
As a family we spend a lot of time at curling clubs.  We enjoy both the competitive and social aspects that the game offers us.  Who knew that throwing rocks at houses could be so much fun.

9. Where is your favorite spot to spend time with family?
Pierre Grey’s Lakes…a little piece of heaven just outside of Grande Cache.  We have camped there for over 16 years with friends, a lot of great memories.

10. What do you hope for in the future of Bezanson?
I hope Bezanson keeps their small town feel.  People still greet you with a smile and they call you by your name.  With the expansion of the hall, I know that this community is in good hands because what a great place to have community events.  The kids in this community are blessed to have such a great place to grow.



Assembled by Netisha Zacharias



Bezanson Community Bursary deadline is June 30 2018!

Attention Students attending GPRC! You are eligible for one of 3 $500 Bezanson Community Bursaries sponsored by the Bezanson Ag Society, Bezanson Volunteer Fire Department Society and West Smoky Legion #244.

This bursary  application is open to all students who attended Bezanson school for at least on year, demonstrate well defined career goals with added consideration for volunteer activities. Preference given to those students entering full-time studies at GPRC; in the event that no full-time applicants apply, part time applicants will be eligible. Application deadline is June 30. For more information or to apply, https://www.gprc.ab.ca/services/financialaid/awards/other.html

Download Application Here

Gold at Nationals

Recently, Bezanson local Jason Cote accomplished an incredible goal in his Outdoor Power and Recreational Equipment Skills Competitions. After placing first in regionals and provincials, Jason continued on to nationals and came out with another first place in his competition.

Cote first went to school at Bezanson School and continued onto Peace Wapiti Academy where he represented the Titans in this skills competition. He began at Peace Wapiti Academy in 2015, making this his graduation year. Cote’s future plans include going to Fairview in order to start his Heavy-Duty Mechanics career. Some of Jason’s hobbies include quadding, fixing his quad and fixing his truck.

Last year, Cote made it to provincials and got silver. Although he did not qualify for nationals, the individual that placed first was unable to attend Nationals so Cote went. Cote competed in Nationals and came out with another silver. Cote says, “After seeing what was at nationals last year, I could prepare and practice the skills, that I was not so good at, coming into this year.”

In order to get to Nationals this year, Cote first competed in the regional competition where he received a first-place win. He then moved on to the provincial competition in Edmonton where he received, yet another, first place. Cote returned to Edmonton and competed in the Nationals competition where he received first place and is currently titled the best in Canada for his category! This all began from the practice and hard work that Cote put in previously to these competitions. Hard work does pay off, and it feels incredible. Cote says, “It felt so amazing to win Nationals and everyone was so encouraging when going to Nationals!”


Written by Ally Pilgrim

Fenton Greenhouses – Bezanson’s Local Greenhouse

Fenton Greenhouses – Bezanson’s Local Greenhouse
Address: 725026B Rgrd35 County of GP No. 1
Phone: (780) 567-2107
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Fenton-Greenhouses-359148614225221/

Photo Credit: Fenton Greenhouses

Fenton Greenhouses is a local family owned and operated business in the Bezanson area, it is a seasonal operation through the beginning of March to mid June. The greenhouses are owned by the Fenton family and it is run by Bruce Fenton and other staff members from all around the community. The staff at this facility are extremely caring, always have a smile on their faces and will always put their customers first.  

“I love my job. In the middle of snow and cold I work in the dirt and plants. Fenton Greenhouses hires local people and are a great employer” says employee Janet Sarmaga.

Photo Credit: Fenton Greenhouses

This local business have been running for just over 30 years and it all began with small houses for Helen Fentons own use. Then she began selling plants to her neighbours and the community. There are presently five greenhouses, however during the season four are used for baskets to be hung and plants to be arranged on tables. The fifth house is a custom house where all of the custom orders are placed and held.

On Sunday May 27, 2018 there was a devastation at the greenhouses in the early morning. The main house, also known as the till house, had a blaze. The cause of the blaze is still unknown. This fire burned through the greenhouse causing many plants and flowers to die. Any hanging baskets that were still alive were moved into a different house to be watered and to get the care they needed. As well as any flowers that had made it through the fire were watered, rinsed and placed outside to get some fresh air and for customers to purchase. The staff is working hard to clean up the rest of the debris and to get back to normal. The greenhouses are still open for business during their hours.

Fenton Greenhouses still offers a wide variety of plants. They offer many different types of herbs and vegetables, for example they sell cucumbers, green peppers, hot peppers, celery, tomatoes and many different others. As well as an incredibly large range of flowers to choose from, they have roses, petunias, geraniums, sunflowers, begonias, succulents, spikes, carnations, lavender plants, marigolds, and many more.  You must hurry in at the begining to make sure you get them before they’re all gone! They also sell beautiful arrangements of baskets and pots which are extremely popular in the area.

Photo Credit: Sherry Gillard

“I’ve been there [Fentons] three times this week.  Best staff ever. I planted my celery that I bought there on Tuesday when it was 31 degrees and by my own fault it wilted and died.  So I went back to get more on Saturday. I was telling the 2 ladies what I stupidly did and they took the time give me some awesome advice.  Plant in the evening when it’s cool out for one. But she told me to cut up bits of pantyhose and place on the bitten of the celery. It keeps it protected from the heat and keeps it tightly bunched while it stabilizes after planting.  I also bought 4 more of their giant plants. Then some corn and I’ve never had success with it. But after she explained in great detail how to group it I think it will be good. You just don’t get this kind of amazing service and the time and advice they give. I’ve been planting a garden for 10 years and always go to the big box stores. Never again. This place is a total hidden gem. The young ladies even fertilized all my hanging baskets before I took them and carried everything to my truck. I’ve been telling everyone about his awesome place. I’ll never buy my plants anywhere else.”
~Sherry Gillard, Customer

To keep the kids occupied while mom and dad are picking out their flowers for the flower bed at home, FentonsGreenhouses has a few animals the kids can be amused by. The kids love petting the dogs, baby sheep, and looking at the baby chicks and rabbit, and occasionally petting the horses there. Kids will sit and enjoy these animals until mom and dad have finished their shopping.

Fentons is a great place to buy any of your gardening needs, whether it be veggies, flowers, pots, hanging baskets, and many more. You can check them out by visiting their Facebook page, or calling them at (780) 567-2107.

Written by Netisha Zacharias



Last Newsletter!!!

I can hardly believe we are in the last month of school for the 2017-18 year! You don’t even need all your fingers and toes to count the number of days until summer holidays!

We will have a busy last month, so I’m sure it will fly by! Our Kindergarten cookie sale ($0.50/cookie) and Library Readers Pizza Day are happening on June 7. Those students who have filled out all 5 pages of their library reading passport will be able to order a (free) pizza and will receive an ice cream treat of some sort from Mrs. Matlock. That evening we will be celebrating our Grade 9 students and their years at our school.

Our Awards Ceremony is June 14 at 1:00pm. We hope you will join us to celebrate the accomplishments of our lovely students over this last year!

Grade 6 students will write their PATs June 20-25, and Junior High students will write their finals (including Grade 9 PATs) June 22-27. Grade 5/6 students head to Edmonton for their year-end trip June 26-28, and final report cards will go home on June 28. (If your child(ren) are not able to be here June 28, their report card will be forwarded to you by mail.)