Bowser festival showcases carving

Second annual Bowser Carving Festival August 8 through 11

The 2nd annual Bowser Carving fest happens this weekend by the Salish Sea Market

The 2nd annual Bowser Carving fest happens this weekend by the Salish Sea Market


Bowser will be a flurry of chainsaws, carving tools and torches this weekend as the second annual Bowser Carving Festival takes place.

At least seven professional carvers will be set up with their tools on the grassy area beside the Salish Sea Market August 8 through 11th.

Renowned local artist Ken Kirkby hatched the idea because local artists and merchants were complaining to him that the economy was terrible and business was down.

“I said, ‘why don’t we have a giant carve fest and fill Bowser with beautiful things made by local humans with local materials,” he said.

The idea is to attract tourists as well as locals to the event, who will also spend time in the area. And in about ten years time, have more sculptures per square kilometre than any other place, Kirkby said. He also hopes the event will bring people together, and create an old-fashioned-style community.

Last year, four Island carvers spent a weekend carving at the Sand Bar Cafe in Qualicum Bay. The finished pieces were purchased by local businesses and remain in visable areas around the community.

This year local businesses have stepped up again to purchase the seven pieces, Kirkby said, but people are encouraged to come watch the wood sculptures take form.

The event is driven by the folks at the Sand Bar Cafe to the south of the community and the Salish Sea Market on the north end of the community, and it will alternate at the two locations every year, Kirkby explained.

He hopes the event keeps growing larger each year, attracting more and more talented carvers to fill up Lighthouse Country with their work.

“We happen to have on this Island an absolute pile of talent and a lot of wood.”

The carvers will set up on Thursday August 8 and the sculptures will really take shape August 9 and 10, between 9 a.m. and about 7 p.m.  August 11 is the final day where the local businesses will choose their pieces, and it will all be over at around 5 p.m.

The Salish Sea Market is located at 6996 W Island Hwy.