Huge Boost to Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Centre Project!

It’s an exciting time in Bezanson!

In January, the Bezanson Ag. Society applied for large stream funding from the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) with the Government of Alberta’s Culture and Tourism Department. The original ask was for $1 million and we are pleased to report we were granted $750,000!!!

This news couldn’t come at a better time! This boosts the total funds raised to over $3 million and over 80% funded! Initial cost projections of the project are $3.5 million. Now that we have a large portion of these funds secured, we were able to send the project out to tender to get firm numbers and determine just how much more our community needs to raise!

We hope to have solid numbers by the end of May.  Construction could start as early as Fall 2017! These funds help to seal the deal that this infrastructure will be a reality in Bezanson! But we still have work to do… and we need you to help us build Bezanson!

Please help us top up this funding and make this happen as soon as possible! Every dollar counts! We have many options to donate! The largest donation that we are still seeking is the naming rights of the entire building! This is targeted at a $250,000 donation for 10 years naming rights! Our Capital Campaign Team is working diligently to make connections, but if you know someone who may be interested, please let us know!

We know most of us don’t have that capacity to help, so we want to encourage you to give whatever you can! It all helps! We have monthly direct debit options, yearly contributions, and one time donations of any amount are sincerely appreciated!  We aim to be flexible in order to help you be a part of this!

Our Bezanson School students have even been hosting bake sales and contests to raise funds and we are so appreciative! We appreciate the effort, the desire to be a part of something big in our community, and the generosity, NO MATTER WHAT SIZE OF DONATION!! Let’s do this Bezanson! New beginnings are right around the corner!

If you would like to find out how you can get involved, contact Capital Campaign Manager, Laura LaValley at 780 814 3113.

2016 Golden Leaf Dine & Dance Thank you

The Bezanson Ag Society and the West Smoky Legion #244 would like to extend their thanks to everyone that came out to support the 2016 Golden Leaf Dine and Dance this past Saturday.  The event was sold out again this year, we are so honoured to host an event that everyone can enjoy year after year.

We would like to say thank you to all of those people that volunteered their time organizing the event, running games during the night and making sure that we all got fed. The effort that these members put into this event is nothing short of amazing!

Special thanks to;

Our caterer, Chef Ray from Lefty’s Cafe, and his team for providing a wonderful meal.

Night Ryders for their great music during the evening.

Eugene Auclair for sharing his auctioneering talents to sell our live auction items.

Our bartenders, janitor and security guards for making sure that everything ran smoothly.

And last but not least – our sponsors. Every business and community member that donated or purchased auction items, or sponsored our event — thank you for your generosity!

GoldenLeaf - Gold&Silver Sponsors 2016 GoldenLeaf - Gold&Silver Sponsors 2016

 

Thank you Bezanson

It seems like there are a lot of posts coming across social media courtesy of the Bezanson Agricultural Society, Discover Bezanson, and Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Centre and there are!! There are many irons in the fire right now which is terrific for the Bezanson region!

Bezanson may be a small community but it is a thriving and happening community with a bright and positive future!! The influx of posts on social media are reflections of the overwhelming support we are receiving as we move towards newbeginnings ….

The Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Centre was a project that was birthed by the Bezanson Agricultural Society in 2013 and has involved extensive studies, discussion, research and a great many teams and volunteer hours to bring it to the stage it is at today – with ground breaking and completion slated for 2017. If you haven’t seen the plans, they are hanging in the hall which is usually open daily. What an exciting project for the community!!

Laura LaValley is the Campaign Manager for this project and there are three solid teams of local volunteers working in the background to help make this project a reality. Thank you to all those who are supporting the project and giving of their time to make this successful! And if you need information of how you can be involved, send Laura a message through the Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Centre facebook page!

Katherine Cissell was the head designer of the website for the Bezanson Community – discoverbezanson.ca. This is an excellent website and is a continual daily process to keep bringing information to the community. Don’t hesitate to view it and add your stories, your projects and your advertisements for your business. We will continue adding links to other organizations that are vital to the Bezanson region.

Aviva Community Fund – thank you for getting on board with us for this. This project involved Katherine and Laura putting together a great video depicting this amazing community.

The Golden Leaf Dine & Dance is a sold-out function and brings together the West Smoky Legion #244 and the Bezanson Agricultural Society. Monies raised from this event are put back into the community. The Legion’s focus is Remembrance & support for our troops and veterans, as well as community development. Therefore, half of the funds from the Golden Leaf are primarily used for youth activities including the swimming and ski buses, sponsor-a-titan and the Bezanson Community Student Bursary

The other portion of the funds from the Golden Leaf are used for the operation and maintenance of Bezanson Ag Society’s facilities and programsThe Bezanson Ag Society is under the umbrella of the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies. All facilities including the upkeep of the hall, curling rink, ball diamonds and horse arena, and historical markers at the Old Bezanson Townsite are the responsibility of the Ag Society, as well as the funding of many programs and events. There are many grants applied for and numerous donors so we can continue to offer these opportunities! And many other organizations, a few examples being, South Peace Rural Community Learning, South Peace Family Literacy and County of Grande Prairie FCSS help bring out a variety of other programs to the community through the usage of the hall.

The Ag Society teams up with the Bezanson Volunteer Fire Department yearly with the Cash & Camping with these funds going back into the community. Both organizations work together to offer the Farm Safety program offered for the Bezanson School and the community. Along with the Legion, these three groups team up yearly to offer the Bezanson Community Student Bursary.

And there is now a quarterly meeting of all organizations in Bezanson – an opportunity for representatives from each group to share their upcoming events and any pertinent information. This has been steadily growing and there are now 12 groups being represented- that is amazing!! And that is teamwork!

Watch for the future “Celebrating Bezanson” Fair and Homecoming scheduled for August 25 & 26, 2017. This celebration will involve the community organizations and anyone else wanting to volunteer!

THANK YOU BEZANSON AND TO ALL THOSE WHO SERVE IN SUCH AN INCREDIBLE COMMUNITY!

Here’s to New Beginnings for Bezanson.

#newbeginnings for Bezanson

Welcome to #newbeginnings!

The Bezanson Ag Society’s Capital Campaign has made an application to the AVIVA Community fund for $100,000 to put towards the new Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Centre slated for construction in the spring of 2017.

“For seven years, we’ve been putting our money where our business is — investing in charitable community initiatives across Canada, protecting the people and things you love, supporting the causes you care about most, and strengthening your local community. To us, at Aviva, this is just good thinking. We’re so proud to have provided more than $6.5 million in project funding to date, and we can’t wait to donate another $1 million this year.” – www.avivacommunityfund.org

How do we win?

Step One: To present the impact our project will have on our community. And we have done just that in a thoughtful video created with photos submitted by you – the community!
View our video

Step Two:  Vote for Bezanson! Each person may vote up to 18 times for any entry they wish. Voting takes place from 10 AM on October 11 until 2 pm Oct 28th. All you need to do is visit our project during the voting period and click “Submit your votes”. The 5 ideas with the most votes in our funding category will become finalists in the next round of judging. Please tell your friends and family to vote too!

When will we know?

Finalists will be announced November 7 2016. Submissions will be evaluated according to a number of different criteria including project longevity, sustainability, impact, likelihood of success, number of votes, originality and submission quality.

The winners of the 2016 Aviva Community Fund will be announced on December 6, 2016.

Good luck Bezanson!    Vote Here Oct 11-28, 2016!

Serving Communities Internship Program (SCIP) – a bursary for post-secondary students

Serving Communities Internship Program (SCIP) is a program for post-secondary students who are interested in adding to their skills while receiving a bursary.

Bezanson Ag Society has posted internships online – go to joinscip.ca to register & submit a resume for qualifying internships. 

What is a SCiP internship?

A mutually beneficial opportunity for both nonprofit/voluntary sector organizations and students.

  • nonprofit organizations gain valuable human capacity
  • post-secondary students add to their résumés, skills, and networks while also receiving a $1000 bursary.Please note: SCiP internships are not intended to replace paid staff positions, and they are not to be used for organizational sustainability. Organizations should not rely on SCiP interns for normal day to day operations – they are to be used exclusively for taking on special projects, initiatives or events that they might not otherwise have the capacity to take on.
  • So how does SCiP work?
  • SCiP interns have done everything from event planning, to curriculum development, to wildlife rehabilitation, to social media campaigns – the possibilities are endless!
  1. Alberta nonprofit organizations register, create, and then post meaningful, part-time internships to help achieve their missions.
  2. Students register, then search, and apply for internships available on the database.
  3. Students work together with the organization to meet the goals and expectations of the internship.
  4. Upon completion of the internship the students apply for and receive a $1000 award from the Government of Alberta (at no cost to the organization).

http://www.joinscip.ca/internships

 

173 Runners Race the 7th Annual Bezanson Bog

Bog 2016

Bezanson School Runner Laurel Van der Geissen holding strong

Saturday marked the 7th annual Bezanson Bog Cross-Country Running race at the Old Bezanson Townsite. 173 runners from all over our region, including teams from Dawson Creek, Spirit River and Peace River contested the trails at the Old Bezanson Townsite. Race distances of 1.3 km for elementary runners, 3 km for Junior High and Senior High girls, and 5 km for Senior High Boys and adults wind through the forest trails. This year the infamous ‘buffalo hill’ was brought back to challenge the 3 and 5 km runners, and although the climb is tough, most runners appreciated the challenge.

Bezanson runners Taylor Wasylchew and Laurel Vandergiessen dominated the Junior Elementary girls and Senior Elementary girls races on Saturday, and the Junior High girls race was dominated by the team from Dawson Creek Secondary School, who placed 1-4 in that age category. High School runner Eric Nooy from Spirit River Regional Academy took first place in the main event, the 5 km race.

2016 Bezanson Bog

Harry Balfour runner Serene Pelster rounds the turn at the top of the hill in the 3km Race.

The Bezanson Bog cross country race began in 2010 as a combined effort between the Bezanson Agricultural Society, Grande Prairie Regional College cross country running coach Bill Corcoran and Bezanson Running Club Coach Lana Blais. The race course is set up and organized by volunteers with the support of local businesses and community groups. Without the generous support of our volunteers and sponsors, an event like this would not take place. The community of Bezanson is well known for coming together to host events that draw visitors from around the region, and the Bezanson Bog is no different.

Bill Corcoran, head coach of the Grande Prairie Regional College cross country running team for 26 years and organizer of the Wolves series for 22 years says, “Over the years we’ve had a number of Wolves Series races come and go. The Bog is one of the more recent additions to the series, but it has established itself as one of the key dates every year, especially for the younger age categories.”

Janet Sarmaga, chair of the Old Bezanson Townsite Historic Committee, points out the significance of bringing people from all over the region to our community. Sarmaga says, “Visitors to the Old Bezanson Townsite are treated to the incredible scenery of the area and the history of settlement of the area. This race allows visitors to come an experience the beauty and serenity of the original Bezanson Townsite.” Corcoran also points out the beauty of the area. Corcoran says, “The course out at the Old Bezanson Townsite is spectacular. The late September date for the Bog usually provides a fantastic Fall day for racing.”

The Bezanson Bog has seen participant numbers increase over the years, especially in the Senior Elementary category (Grades 4-6). As the sport continues to grow interest from young runners, we have also seen local runners become very successful on much larger stages. Corcoran adds, “Community races, like the Bog, as part of the Wolves Series have been an important part of developing the sport of XC running in the area. Local runners have gone on to run at the college, university, and even world championships level. It’s quite remarkable what the local running community has been able to achieve over the past few years.”

This race was Race #3 in the Wolves Cross-Country Series. The Wolves Series features races across the region, including two school age races this week; the Glenmary Saints March on Wednesday, September 28 in Peace River and the Dreamer’s Lake Slog on Thursday, September 29 at Dreamer’s Lake near Wanham. The Steve Burgess Memorial race, which is also an ACAC Grand Prix race, is scheduled to take place next weekend, October 1 at the Wapiti Nordic Ski Trails. Information on these races, including results and information on the series can be found at www.wolvesxcseries.com.

Carolyn Pilgrim
Race Director, Bezanson Bog