2017 Year in Review – Golden Leaf Dine & Dance

Winner of Chase the Ace 2017, Janet Sarmega with Ag Society President Bryan Fenton.

The annual fundraiser hosted by the Bezanson Agricultural Society and the West Smoky Legion #244 once again demonstrated the overwhelming support from our community. Our event hosted 200 people for a wonderful supper from Corinne’s Catering, a round of fundraising events and a night of dancing with Night Ryder. A series of 6 games and 2 random draws gained entry for 8 lucky winners a chance at the grand prize round. In addition a new game, Chase the Ace, provided a second cash jackpot! Ten lucky patrons throughout the night boasted a cash prize! A special thank you to all of our sponsors that help bring the Golden Leaf Dine and Dance to Bezanson again this year.

Of course we also would like to thank the many volunteers that organize and execute the Golden Leaf Dine and Dance; the games, auctions, and setup, right down to the midnight lunch. Many hours of behind the scenes work is put into this one fun filled night and our volunteers are a huge part to making this happen.

The funds raised this year have been divided equally between the Bezanson Agricultural Society and the West Smoky Legion #244. The Agricultural Society will be utilizing their portion of the funds for operational cost this year and the West Smoky Legion #244 will be utilizing their portion of the fundraising primary for youth programs and sponsorships by way of the annual swim and ski buses and titan sponsorships.

The West Smoky Legion #244 and the Bezanson Agricultural Society would like to thank everyone for their support this year — we hope that you enjoyed our event and join us again next year for some fun new events at the new Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Centre!

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

100 People Challenge

Introducing the Capital Campaign Team’s “100 People Challenge”

We need 100 people to help us fund the construction of our new center!!

There are 31 days left in 2017, and we want you to be able to take advantage of the tax benefits available while helping your community. Did you know that if you make a $500 donation, that you would get half of it back if you completed your tax return by the end of April 2018?? Donate before December 31st!

Calling 100 people to fill the following spots!!
• 4 x $10,000 = $40,000
• 4 x $7,500 = $30,000
• 10 x $5,000 = $50,000
• 12 x 2,500 = $30,000
• 30 x $1000 = $30,000
• 40 x $500 = $20,000

100 people can raise $200,000 in a very short time and help our community! All donors will be recognized on the Community Builders’ Wall inside the Centre.

Please contact any of the following people if you would like to be one our “100 People”. We are ready to answer questions and make this happen! Contact us today…

Laura LaValley

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 www.wolvesxcseries.com

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