Parksville sand sculpting event begins today

Despite some nerves over the recent poor weather, excitement is building for Parksville’s big summer event, starting today in Community Park.

Last year’s winning soloist Bruce Waugh (from left) works with fellow competitors Brett Stocker and Fred Mallett to prepare their sand piles on Thursday.

Last year’s winning soloist Bruce Waugh (from left) works with fellow competitors Brett Stocker and Fred Mallett to prepare their sand piles on Thursday.

Despite some nerves over the recent poor weather, excitement is building for Parksville’s big summer event, starting today in Community Park.

Though it has taken months of preparation and work, the 12th annual Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition kicks into high gear today (July 15) with the pound-up.

Cameras are encouraged for people who are unfamiliar with the incredible creations that will emerge from the sand over this weekend, leading to the judging on Sunday afternoon.

Parksville council and acting mayor Chris Burger eagerly welcomed all visitors to the city during the competition.

“Our congratulations to the Parksville Beach Festival Society and their many community volunteers on what we are sure will be a most successful event,” Burger said in a press release. “We also applaud the society board for their vision and passion that results in this event getting better and better each year.”

This year there are some new and complementary events to make it more of a festival atmosphere to keep people coming back throughout the four-week viewing period. Read more about those in today’s edition — and upcoming editions — of The News.

There will also be more souvenirs for sale, including the unique Sand Shaper, which the organizers signed an exclusive deal to bring in before they realized they were actually designed by Wilfred Stijger from the Netherlands, already secured as one of this year’s competitors.

Along with Stijger there are world-class competitors coming from three provinces, two U.S. states and five countries including Mexico and Latvia.

They are competing for a guaranteed spot at the world championship in Fort Myers Beach, Florida in November.

Since the current incarnation of the event started in 1999, it has grown to welcome over 99,000 people last year alone and participating charitable groups shared $42,000 from donations at the gate.

The 2011 sand carving competition takes place this weekend and the gated exhibition remains open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until August 14. Most activities are free but they ask for a suggested donation of $2.50 per person to help keep the event running.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erin Haluschak visits the VI Free Daily/PQB News studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Erin Haluschak talks missing persons on Vancouver Island, women in media

Podcast: Black Press reporter also talks about importance of women in the media

(File photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo to increase fees for disposal of mattresses

Current rate of $15 per unit not enough to cover recycling

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

NEW CUTLINE Payphone use is declining dramatically. (Black Press Files)

This payphone sits just east of TD Bank in Parksville, on Harrison Avenue. (Emily Vance photo)
Last call approaches for Vancouver Island payphones?

Some payphones don’t get used for days as mobile phones diminishing need

Garden centre manager Jack Olszewski and Chris Beaudoin say business has grown by 50 per cent at the Sooke Home Hardware Store. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
Flower power: COVID restrictions fuel bloom boom on Vancouver Island’

More people seeking flowers to add colour, says Sooke landscaper

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Most Read