Hope embarked on a mission to become the chainsaw carving capital in 1991.
After one of the aging Douglas fir trees in Memorial Park was found to be suffering from root rot, an idea to carve the remaining trunk into a work of art quickly captured the imagination of the community. Soon local residents and visitors alike fell in love with the work of local carvers Pete Ryan and Randy Swope, and photographers visiting from around the world took to capturing images of their work.
Over the years many other carvers have honed their skills and the Hope and District Chamber of Commerce stepped up to organize Hope’s international chainsaw carving competition, which takes place this year Aug. 1-4 in Memorial Park. The event draws top-notch carvers from near and far. Visitors can watch as massive blocks of cedar are transformed, in a single weekend, into new works of art for the community.
As the number of carvings on display around the community grew, a self-guided carving tour was added to the Hope Arts Gallery Art Walk.
From the mystical world, there is a wizard, Sasquatch and Pegasus on display. From past worlds, there is a Viking warrior and lumberjack. In keeping with our natural surroundings, visitors can also view many wildlife carvings that line our streets.
In all, there are more than 50 carvings on display throughout the community.