Vancouver Island carvers will take to Qualicum Bay this weekend — and they’re leaving their creations in the community when they go.
The fourth annual chainsaw carving festival in Lighthouse Country — deemed The Art of Carving a Community — will see four professional carvers from Qualicum Bay, Courtenay, Campbell River and Nanaimo take chainsaws, carving tools and torches to big hunks of cedar transforming the simple pieces of wood into masterpieces.
“It’s not a competition — that’s the beauty of it,” said Sharon Waugh, who is helping organize the family-friendly festival.
The three-day event will kick off this Friday, Aug. 7 and continue all weekend. Admission is free of charge. This year it will be hosted in Qualicum Bay between Cone Zone and Henry’s Kitchen, along Island Highway.
“It’s a great venue for people to come and watch the carvers at work but also to have lunch or dinner,” said Waugh, adding the first day and a half is usually a noisy one with several chainsaws going off at once.
She said local businesses or organizations purchase the finished carvings and display them in town.
“The intention is to fill the community with outdoor art,” said Waugh.
There are now 12 carvings from past events dotting Lighthouse Country and this year four more will be added.
The Bowser Seniors Housing Society has raised enough money to purchase one of the carvings to mark the area where their housing facility will be located. She said this is the first time a non profit organization will get a carving.
Because it’s a non-competitive event, she said there are few restrictions and no theme so carvers have free reign of their pieces.
“It’s up to the carvers as to what they see in the wood,” said Waugh.
In the past, cedar has been donated to the event by Island Timberlands but this year for the first time the community is supplying wood from private land.
The Art of Carving a Community will take place this weekend (Aug.7-9) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Carvers will be set up between Cone Zone and Henry’s Kitchen in Qualicum Bay, located at 5968-5970 Island Highway. For more information contact Sharon Waugh at 778-424-2012.