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Chainsaw carver creates memorial piece to honour veterans in Qualicum Beach

Art piece to be unveiled at Legion on Remembrance Day

A professional chainsaw carver is logging a lot of hours to create a memorial piece to honour Canadian veterans for Remembrance Day.

Marina Cole said she is honoured to be given the opportunity to carve a tribute to soldiers who have given up their lives for our freedom.

The artist, who owns Chainsaw Spirit in Alberta, was looking forward to attending Qualicum Beach’s Timber Fest but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“I think it was fate,” said Cole about getting the opportunity to carve a memorial piece for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 in Qualicum Beach. “I feel so honoured to be able to do this for them and I am so blessed that they had me come down to do it. It’s an unexplainable feeling.”

The art piece Cole is creating will be unveiled on Nov. 11 – a bench that showcases a veteran kneeling down with a child beside him. To help Day with her creation, she had asked retired Canadian Forces and Legion member Ben Villeneuve to model for her.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach pares down Remembrance Day celebration

“I am honoured but I am also lucky because I just happened to be in the Legion in my uniform from doing the poppy campaigning,” said Villeneuve. “She grabbed me and she said ‘can you kneel here and do this?’ I said yes and that’s when she took a bunch of pictures and started carving. That’s what you see.”

Cole has carved many pieces in her career but every creation presents a different challenge.

“Trying to get the emotions into the carving itself is really hard when you are using wood,” said Cole. “You have to get that feeling into it and I think that’s probably one of the hardest things and having that feeling that everyone is counting on you to make something beautiful. That’s another big thing for me.”

Those who want to see Cole at work can visit the Qualicum Beach Legion.

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Professional chainsaw carver Marina Cole works on the figures of her memorial art piece for the Royal Canadian Legion 76 in Qualicum Beach. (MIchael Briones photo)

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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