Ruby Seaberg, left, and Jake Copp dance to the rock tunes of Curds&Whey during the Parksville Beach Festival finale concert on Saturday, Aug. 19. — Adam Kveton Photo

Canada? Yes. 150? Not quite

Parksville BeachFest attendance falls just shy of record as Canadian sculptors claim honours

The Parksville Beach Festival Society did not reach its goal of 150,000 spectators in Canada’s 150th anniversary season, but the 2017 Quality Foods Sand Sculpting exhibition wrapped up its five-week run Sunday with the second-highest turnout in the event’s history.

The exhibition, which began July 14 with the theme Canada One-Five-O,, drew 130,149 visitors. That was just two per cent off the all-time record of 133,430 set in 2016, but was well ahead of the third-highest turnout and left organizers pleased with the results.

“The warm, sunny weather, the appeal of the sculpting and the strong economy have all contributed to such tremendous results,” said Cheryl Dill, president of the Parksville Beach Festival Society. “We’ve noted very positive feedback about the quality of the sculpting from local residents and visitors at the gate and through social media. The affordability of the activities helps to attract so many.”

Additional events that took place during the festival included ten free outdoor concerts, an artisan market and, for the first time on closing weekend, an evening viewing of the sculptures professionally illuminated with colourful lighting.

“We were thrilled with how well the ‘light up’ of the sculptures was received by the public on Saturday evening,” said Wendy Sears, event manager for the festival. “It is a wonderful complement to the Quality Foods Festival of Lights and we are excited to continue with this tradition in the future.”

Sand sculpting awards were distributed July 16, at the close of sculping, by the Beach Festival Society. But over the past five weeks, visitors had the opportunity to vote on their favorite sculptures. More than 124,000 votes were recorded for the People’s Choice awards.

“These are highly coveted awards amongst the master sculptors in our competition,” said Dill. “While people had many favorites, the winners were very clear and they are all Canadian sculptors, which is wonderful given our theme.”

The results are as follow:

Doubles: Guy-Olivier Deveau, Quebec; and Damon Langlois, Victoria: “Little Iron Horse.”

Solo: Peter Vogelaar; Winlaw, B.C.: “The Last Spike.”

The Parksville Beach Festival Society assigns 25 per cent of its gate proceeds to community projects and philanthropic groups, in addition to contributing to the maintenance and development of the Community Park.

Since 1999, the Society has donated $500,000 to non-profit organizations and community projects, which included construction of the park gazebo and community signs. A year ago the society followed up its record attendance by awarding 60,000 to 19 groups that served as Beach Festival volunteers. For 2017, The Society aims to donate to several not-for-profit organizations which served as gate greeters at the entrance to the sand sculpting site during the public exhibition. The exact donation will be determined once bookkeeping is completed this fall, Dill said in a written release.

— NEWS Staff and Beach Festival Society submission

[gps-image name=”8218803_web1_170824-PQN-beachfest-fireworks.jpg”]

 

Spectators take in the annual Quality Foods Festival of Lights fireworks show at the close of the Parksville Beach Festival at Community Park Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. — Jeff Westnedge photo

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach staff moving forward with report for cinema, brew pub

Councillor makes motion to include The Old School House proposal

Annual pickleball tournament fills up quickly

Two-day event to take place indoors at Oceanside Place May 24-25

Lighthouse Country bus tour to focus on area’s tourism destinations

Business assocation wants more tourists to come to the area

Flock of spinners holding fleece and fibre fair in Coombs

Annual event raises money for Bradley Centre, supports local producers and vendors

BC Ferries CEO, president speaks to Parksville and Qualicum Beach chambers

Guest asks about Vancouver Island resident discount fares

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

PNE’s Summer Night Concerts by Village People, Lauper, Goo Goo Dolls, more

Mostly retro sounds at this year’s fair in Vancouver, starting Aug. 18

Notley to skip western premiers meeting today, but slams leader who’s there

Notley told reporters that B.C. Premier John Horgan is trying to shut down the Trans Mountain pipeline

No suitors emerge for pipeline project stake as Kinder Morgan deadline looms

Analysts and observers remain perplexed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s comment last week that “plenty of investors would be interested in taking on this project”.

Energy wells plugged as Hawaii’s volcano sends lava nearby

A spike in gas levels could prompt a mass evacuation in Hawaii

Trump seethes over Russia probe, calls for end to ‘SPYGATE’

“SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!” Trump said on Twitter

Grads receive BC Transit passes

BC Transit provides passes to graduating students in more than 50 communities

Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

Literary agent Andrew Wylie said Roth died Tuesday night of congestive heart failure.

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

Most Read