Hope carving competition cancelled; event to expand in 2011

The roar of the chainsaws will be sadly missing over the Brigade Days weekend in September, with the primary organizer of the International Chainsaw Carving competition taking a little personal time.

  • May. 22, 2011 11:00 a.m.

The roar of the chainsaws will be sadly missing over the Brigade Days weekend in September, with the primary organizer of the International Chainsaw Carving competition taking a little personal time.

Victor Smith, who also heads the Hope and District Chamber of Commerce, is happily planning his wedding, leaving little room for organizing the 2011 International Chainsaw Competition.

The event, however, developed by Smith in an effort to revitalize Hope’s reputation as a chainsaw carving capital, will be back next year bigger and better than ever.

“It was the feeling of the chamber board that it would be better to postpone this year, in light of the heavy work load that we face and the time frame that we have to work within,” said Chamber vice-president, Susan Johnston.

Smith was unavailable for comment this week and is currently working in Chetwynd B.C., commuting back to his hometown of Hope B.C. to continue his volunteer work.

“We do not want to hold a competition that may not get the full benefit that it deserves,” added Johnston.

Smith has almost single-handedly organized the competition for over five years using his personal logging and mining industry contacts for supplies, heavy equipment and labour, and his Chamber contacts for the lodging of the many world-class carvers who arrive each September to compete for prize money.

The Chamber of Commerce board, however, will be stepping up their involvement next year to expand the event, which has, over the last few years, refreshed the majority of carvings found on the streets of Hope.  Next year the board would like to see other forms of woodworkers invited to the event, and they have formed a committee of board members and business owners to support Smith in his efforts, added Johnston.

“We will strive to host an event that would be multifaceted…. We are confident that this is in the best interest of hosting an exceptional event. “I personally am very excited about the possibilities,” added Johnston.

The International Chainsaw Carving Competition is funded in part by the District of Hope, in cooperation with the Hope and District Chamber of Commerce.

Through sponsorship by individual local businesses a majority of Hope’s deteriorated street carvings have been replaced since the inception of the competition.

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