The sawdust has settled on another successful Chainsaw Carving Competition in Hope

Barbara Colp, Mark Colp’s wife, is photographed while carving a small tree. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Barbara Colp, Mark Colp’s wife, is photographed while carving a small tree. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Barbara Colp practices her carving skills on a small tree while her husband, Mark, competes in the competition. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Barbara Colp practices her carving skills on a small tree while her husband, Mark, competes in the competition. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Levi Caya, from Ontario, works on his competition piece during the 2021 Chainsaw Carving Competition. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Levi Caya, from Ontario, works on his competition piece during the 2021 Chainsaw Carving Competition. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Levi Caya, from Ontario, works on his competition piece during the 2021 Chainsaw Carving Competition. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Levi Caya, from Ontario, works on his competition piece during the 2021 Chainsaw Carving Competition. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Mandy Chalmers holds and measures a large wing she plans on adding to her sculpture base. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Mandy Chalmers holds and measures a large wing she plans on adding to her sculpture base. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Samples of Hannu Yliruusi’s work. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Samples of Hannu Yliruusi’s work. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Hannu Yliruusi works on his competition submission on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Hannu Yliruusi works on his competition submission on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Jesse Toso works on the wingspan of his water-bomber plane with a narrow electric sander. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Jesse Toso works on the wingspan of his water-bomber plane with a narrow electric sander. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Jesse Toso works on a thin wooden carving with a narrow electric sander. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Jesse Toso works on a thin wooden carving with a narrow electric sander. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Jesse Toso works on a thin wooden carving with a narrow electric sander. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Jesse Toso works on a thin wooden carving with a narrow electric sander. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
A view of Liam Troman’s 2021 carving competition submission. Troman visits Hope all the way from Nova Scotia. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)A view of Liam Troman’s 2021 carving competition submission. Troman visits Hope all the way from Nova Scotia. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Moberly Lake’s Randy Gauthier stands next to his carving for this year’s competition. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Moberly Lake’s Randy Gauthier stands next to his carving for this year’s competition. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Randy Gauthier, from northeastern B.C., works on his competition carving. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Randy Gauthier, from northeastern B.C., works on his competition carving. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Vendor Valley: In addition to a dozen chainsaw carvers, the Competition also welcomed more than two-dozen vendors, many selling items they had made themselves. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)Vendor Valley: In addition to a dozen chainsaw carvers, the Competition also welcomed more than two-dozen vendors, many selling items they had made themselves. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
A view of Vendor Valley from the other direction: In addition to a dozen chainsaw carvers, the Competition also welcomed nearly two-dozen vendors, many selling items they had made themselves. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)
Hannu Yliruusi focuses on carving his competition entry, which was a stag. (Bill Dobbs)Hannu Yliruusi focuses on carving his competition entry, which was a stag. (Bill Dobbs)
Rocky LaRock saws into a large stump during a speed carving session. (Bill Dobbs)Rocky LaRock saws into a large stump during a speed carving session. (Bill Dobbs)
Barbara Colp works on developing her carving skills in the background while her husband, Mark Colp, was busy displaying his skills in the foreground. (Bill Dobbs)Barbara Colp works on developing her carving skills in the background while her husband, Mark Colp, was busy displaying his skills in the foreground. (Bill Dobbs)
Liam Tromans stands next to one of his chainsaw carvings as he takes in all the Chainsaw Carving Competition had to offer. (Bill Dobbs)Liam Tromans stands next to one of his chainsaw carvings as he takes in all the Chainsaw Carving Competition had to offer. (Bill Dobbs)
Liam Tromans works on a piece during one of the event’s speed carving sessions. (Bill Dobbs)Liam Tromans works on a piece during one of the event’s speed carving sessions. (Bill Dobbs)
Rocky LaRock works on scorching aspects of his carving to affect the colour of the wood grain. (Bill Dobbs)Rocky LaRock works on scorching aspects of his carving to affect the colour of the wood grain. (Bill Dobbs)
Victor Smith, who helped organize the event, auctions off various carvings produced during the competition. (Bill Dobbs)Victor Smith, who helped organize the event, auctions off various carvings produced during the competition. (Bill Dobbs)
Bridgette Lochhead’s artistic vision isn’t at all blurred by the sawdust flying in her face as she saws into a large piece of wood. (Bill Dobbs)Bridgette Lochhead’s artistic vision isn’t at all blurred by the sawdust flying in her face as she saws into a large piece of wood. (Bill Dobbs)
Liam Tromans works on his competition piece. (Bill Dobbs)Liam Tromans works on his competition piece. (Bill Dobbs)
Liam Tromans works on his competition piece. (Bill Dobbs)Liam Tromans works on his competition piece. (Bill Dobbs)
Fighting kangaroos appeared at the Chainsaw Carving Competition courtesy of Ryan Villiers’ competition submission. (Bill Dobbs)Fighting kangaroos appeared at the Chainsaw Carving Competition courtesy of Ryan Villiers’ competition submission. (Bill Dobbs)
Levi Caya saws into the piece that would stand as the competition’s winner on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021. (Bill Dobbs)Levi Caya saws into the piece that would stand as the competition’s winner on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021. (Bill Dobbs)
Tyler Welfing begins cutting and sawing away to reveal his vision. (Bill Dobbs)Tyler Welfing begins cutting and sawing away to reveal his vision. (Bill Dobbs)
Victor Smith, who helped organize the event, auctions off various carvings produced during the competition. (Bill Dobbs)
Victor Smith, who helped organize the event, auctions off various carvings produced during the competition. (Bill Dobbs)
Victor Smith, who helped organize the event, auctions off various carvings produced during the competition. (Bill Dobbs)

After more than a year-and-half cooped up due to the pandemic, Hope locals and visitors alike came out in droves to attend this year’s World-Class Chainsaw Carving Competition, marking it one of the most successful events yet.

“Attendance was good—very good,” said Victor Smith with Communities in Bloom, the organization behind this year’s event. “There were lots of families there, which was good to see. There was like electricity in the air with all the sawdust and (whirring of) chainsaws. People were pumped to be out and about.

“(Overall,) we were extremely happy with attendance.”

With 13 carvers from across North America filling out Memorial Park, Smith says this year’s event was their biggest yet.

“The marketplace (of vendors present) had lots of variety, (and comprised) a nice blend of people from outside the area, which complimented what we had here. And the food trucks were also lots of fun,” Smith added.

This year also brought a unique variety of competition pieces, said Smith. From fairies to bears and dogs, to a giant Indigenous Chief’s head, to a water bomber plane, the entries were as diverse as those carving them.

Some of the “carvers said it was the best (carving competition) they’d ever attended: it was the most fun, had the most interaction with people. It’s like one big family when everyone comes to Hope (to compete in our competition),” Smith said.

But none of it would have been possible without all the volunteers who helped make the vision a reality.

“We had a huge volunteer group, and it was just amazing. Our volunteers are who made this happen, and we’re so lucky to have them,” said Smith matter-of-factly.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@hopestandard.com

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