The sounds of chainsaws is not something that usually catches your attention in this neck of the woods as it is not that unusual of an sound, there is always someone trimming trees, taking down hedges and what not. Unless you live in Campbell River and it is the end of June, when the sound of multiple chain saws splitting the air with their screams. This is the time of year the Shoreline Arts hold the annual Transformation on the Shores Chain Saw Carving Contest in beautiful Willow Point.
Frank James Park comes alive with wood chips flying and the angry buzz of saws artfully chewing away a great masses of wood.
I stopped by the park the morning after I first saw the cranes moving the massive slabs of wood into the park. It was early and Barb the organizer was keeping watch over the park because the security guards were not due for a couple of hours yet. It was a gorgeous morning, and the park was quite abate the passing traffic on the highway, the birds and the sound of soft surf on the beach.
This quite solitude would not last long, as the day drew on, the hustle and bustle of this small seaside park was to reach a roaring crescendo. In the next 5 days, thousands of on lookers, dozens of carvers and tens of dozens of volunteers would gravitate toward Frank James park to pay tribute to the skill of carvers, thousands of pictures were to be taken, votes would be cast with festivities reaching well into the evening.
Who would have thought that chainsaw carving would become such an immense attraction, one of the cornerstone events in Campbell River. One that attracts attention from the far reaches of the island and the world.
But an attraction it is, with such master carvers as Max Chickite, Glen Greensides and Jerry Strelioff in attendance there is no wonder the crowds were gathering. To watch the precision of the art was in itself quite memorizing.
The skill and planning it takes to complete a carving grown only from imagination and carved out of wood, to last only as long as the wood is persevered is one few posses. The ancient forefathers of our First Nations understood this, cherished the art and worshiped the represention of the figures lovingly carved within the wood. The appreciation of art for the sake of art can only be understood by the individual, with as many perspectives are there are people.
Click on the Picture for a slide show video of the event
The Transformations on the Shore chain saw carvings will stay in Frank James park for a short time, then they will be transported to more permanent positions in various places around the community. Take a little time and peak at their website then go for a walk and see how many carvings you can find.
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