Carvers show a nearly completed bench they created during the 2021 Out of the Woods event, organized by Qualicum Beach’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76. (PQB News file photo)

Carvers show a nearly completed bench they created during the 2021 Out of the Woods event, organized by Qualicum Beach’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76. (PQB News file photo)

Carved bench to be installed on grassy area near Qualicum Beach visitor centre

Treated artwork expected to last for decades

A carved bench created during the Qualicum Beach Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 ‘Out of the Woods 2021’ event will find a home on the grassy area of the Qualicum Beach visitor centre on the waterfront.

Qualicum Beach council endorsed a staff recommendation to install the large bench, created by carvers Jerry Strelioff, Shea Larking and Mandy Chalmers, at the waterfront. A large, hard surface area consisting of brick pavers or a permeable solution to be installed under or around the bench was also suggested to improve accessibility, withstand wear and tear and assist in future cleaning.

Staff indicated the bench has been stained for weatherproofing.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach council endorses ‘Out of the Woods’ carving event

Coun. Teunis Westbroek endorsed the location but would like to see the bench eventually placed near the cenotaph the Legion plans to relocate somewhere on the waterfront. He suggested in the meantime the bench be placed in the lobby of the Civic Centre to protect it from the elements. Coun. Scott Harrison also raised concerns about the wear and tear on the bench as it will be located where it will be exposed to salt water.

“Anything that’s within the first 500 metres of salt water is going to see kind of deterioration,” said director of engineering and capital projects Bob Weir. “Because of the type of materials, we would expect that bench would last a few decades and I think that’s all we can expect out of a wood structure. The wave action and things coming over the bank, it is the same issue for our benches down there. We would put this one a little but further back that we typically have our benches and hopefully it would it would be a bit more protected.”

Mayor Brian Wiese suggested the town have a maintenance program to help prolong the lifespan of the wooden bench.

He said installing the bench inside the Civic Centre will make it last longer but its usage or visual appreciation of the artwork will not be as significant.

michael.briones@pqbnews.com

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