“The Biggest Little Rodeo in Canada,” Bezanson’s rodeo, was first held in 1947. They continued to have the rodeo throughout the years until 1962.
There was annual Victoria Day picnics held in Bezanson beginning in 1914. It was held at Brooksbanks’ Flats and later moved to the Townsite. They were then moved to the hall once it had opened.
The Bezanson Bog started out in 2010, making 2017 the 8th consecutive year. Lana Blais and Bill Corcoran were the co-founders with help from the Bezanson Agricultural Society. Currently, the race director is Carolyn Goetjen-Pilgrim. This has grown and flourished into the great Wolves Cross Country Race that it is today. It is known for the steep hill (Buffalo Hill) that runners must hike up to complete the race.
The first hall was built with logs in 1923. In 1949 it burnt down and the Community decided to build a new frame hall at the current hamlet of Bezanson. The new hall has gone through many modifications since.
Peace Country Thunder Basketball started out in Bezanson and was started by a group of young women at Peace Wapiti Academy (former Bezanson students) who wanted to have another option for club basketball. Darrell Willier is the coach for this club team and he also coaches at Bezanson school. This club was started in April 2009 as a U17 Women’s team and has grown into the successful club it is today, with many boys and girls teams of various age categories!
Northern Energy Basketball was started in 2015 by the Pilgrim Family in Bezanson. This U17 Women’s Basketball Club team still has Bezanson participants on it from players, to coaches, to managers and continues to strive to develop players for the college or university basketball level.
A.M. Bezanson was born in 1878 in Halifax, NS and grew to be an adventurer, in his own words. In his booklet, The Peace River Trail, he referred to the large, sparsely settled area in Alberta as “The Last West.” It was to this area another transcontinental railway was to be built from Winnipeg to Edmonton and then to the Last West before heading to the Pacific.
It was into this area Mr. Bezanson arrived in 1906 and when he wrote The Peace River Trail, it was used as advertising and promotion of the area as far away as China. It was a book that was meant to provide information about this beautiful and bountiful land for home seekers. A. M. Bezanson spent 1906 travelling the area, gathering information, promoting the settlement of the Peace River area.
The Bezanson Community re-opened the ski-hill that had been originally the Grande Prairie Ski Club with the Chalet being known as the Smoky Ski Lodge.
By Wanda Zenner
The first curling rink was scheduled to be built in 1940. The logs were cut, hauled and sawed however WWII broke out and the project was not completed.
Jack Connell had a blacksmith, welding and machine shop in Bezanson. It was sold to Tom McEwen. It was later purchased by Gerald McLaughlin and became known as “Bezanson Service Station”.