Chainsaw carving competition coming

chainsaw carving woodNaomi Larsen

CHETWYND – The Fourteenth Annual Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Competition is welcoming three brand new carvers to the roster this year.

Along with this year’s lineup of: returning champion Chris Foltz, Oregon, USA; Jeff Samudosky, Connecticut, USA; Jordan Anderson, Alaska, USA; Joerg Jung, British Columbia; Ryan Cook, British Columbia; Paul Frenette, Ontario; Mark Colp, California, USA; Jason Emmons, Indiana, USA and Tommy Craggs of Durham, UK are Roderick Brown, British Columbia; Chad Danczyk, Wisconsin USA; and Neils Petersen, Denmark.

Competition organizer and Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tonia Richter said she’s excited about what this year is going to bring. The competition is set for June 9–12 in Chetwynd.

One dozen of the world’s best carvers are squaring off in a timed event lasting four days and culminating in the completion and judging of their masterpieces.

“It’s going to be very stiff competition this year,” Richter said.

Wood for the competition arrived last week from Campbell River. Gerry Strelioff and John Herman select the wood personally for the competition and have been doing so for the past eight years.

“I went down and measured and got it all ready to be cut in the next few weeks,” Richter said. “The diameter is ridiculous.”

Sponsorship is continuing to trickle in and while things are trucking along pretty good, Richter said they currently do not have sponsors for second and third place, which are $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

“I’m reaching out to the existing sponsors to see if they would like to return and sponsor,” Richter said. “In the past a company would sponsor both, so that’s up for grabs. First person that calls me gets it.”

The competition begins Thursday June 9 and continues Saturday 8 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm with quick carve starting at 2 pm and auction and awards at 3 pm.

Carvers begin at 8 am each day and have a total of 35 hours over a period of four days. More than $10,000 in prize money is up for grabs and each carver receives a $1,000 appearance fee to assist them with travel costs.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the three new carvers,” Richter said. “And I can’t wait for them to come to Chetwynd and experience what we have to offer.”

On Sunday afternoon prior to the awards ceremony each carver creates a ‘quick carve”— a piece that’s started and finished within 45 minutes. Following the quick carve the piece are auctioned off with the proceeds of the carvings going back to the artist.

To help with parking issues there is a horse drawn shuttle to take people back and forth from the Visitor’s Centre on North Access Road to the Competition Site at the Chetwynd and District Recreation Centre.

At most competitions the carvers sell their main creation at the end. However, at Chetwynd’s competition the carvings are kept and displayed throughout the town. First place winners from each year are on display outside the Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce. The remaining carvings are put on display throughout the community. After this year there will be more than 160 carvings throughout town.

For more information on the competition, to step up and sponsor or to find out shuttle schedules call the Chamber at 250-788-3345 or email