Vital Signs have shown us when people have a sense of belonging, they are connected to a community. Those connections bring meaning to their lives, resulting in a community that is healthier and more inclusive.
The heart of a small community is often the place where individuals and families can gather together for recreational, social and educational events. In Bezanson, that place is the recently opened Knelsen Centre, which came to fruition through the hard work of the community and a boost from the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta.
“It was absolutely amazing to see how the community came together as a team to work towards a common goal with the addition of this new centre on to the existing Memorial Hall,” notes one community member.
Opened in the fall of 2018, the Knelsen Centre is a 16,000 square foot addition to the old community hall in the Bezanson that doubles as a gymnasium.
“The new centre was built to engage residents in opportunities here at home and to allow families to participate in local programs without driving to another centre,” says Audrey Hewings of the Bezanson Agricultural Society, which spearheaded the project.
Offering recreational, educational and agricultural programs, sports, wellness social and family opportunities, the Knelsen Centre sees a continuous flow of programs and opportunities that continue to arise.
“Not only has the number of meetings, programming and event size increased, but the gym is utilized weekly for sports programs including basketball, volleyball, pickleball, fitness and drop-in programs,” says Hewings, noting the centre serves all age groups from Moms & Tots to the seniors fitness programs.
Families in the area are also able to use the centre for family gatherings and birthday parties, she adds.
“Not only has the centre seen increased usage, but the Bezanson Ag Society is able to engage in more partnerships with other community groups to meet the increased demands within the community,” says Hewings. “This in turn helps local businesses to thrive and further their opportunities. The impact of the Knelsen Centre on the Bezanson community and the region has been positive and successful.”
The expanded space at the Knelsen Centre has allowed for multiple groups to take part in daily, weekly and monthly initiatives, serving not only the hamlet of Bezanson but also those from the surrounding region.
For the Bezanson Ag Society and the community, support from the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta is “priceless” says Hewings.
“Its organizations such as the Community Foundation with their incredible support that help ensure the success of organizations like ours!”
The Community Foundation is proud to support organizations that wish to leave a legacy to their community – a place where they can gather, grow, learn, have fun and be proud to call it their home.
You can make a difference in our community – not only for today but forever. When you make a donation to the Community Impact Fund, we invest that gift into a permanent endowment fund and the original gift is never spent. Earnings from your gift are distributed in our community to support all needs in the community. Donations can be made online here –https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/38163 or by calling the Community Foundation at (780) 538-2820.