This Wednesday at 7 a.m. the chainsaws were gassed up down at Frank James Park, their starter cords were pulled, and the 22nd annual Transformations on the Shore chainsaw carving was underway.
This year’s event features 17 carvers – professionals and amateurs alike – putting their skills to the test in the park, much to the delight of anyone who makes their way down to see the enormous raw logs become beautiful pieces of art over the course of five days.
The carving takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Saturday and from 7 a.m. until noon on Sunday, when the saws will be put away and the judging will begin. Awards will be given out starting at 2 p.m. after judges have assessed all the work.
One of the festival’s most popular events each year, the Quick Carve competition, will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. For that hour, the carvers will all start and finish one small piece in its entirety, with the finished works auctioned off in a live auction.
Don Daniels, chair of the Shoreline Arts Society, which puts on the event each year, says this year they will also be selling raffle tickets at the event for $5, the top prize of which will be “Pick of the Park,” meaning one of these gorgeous pieces of art could be yours at the end of the week. Other prizes include (but are not linited to) a whale watching package from Discovery Whale Watchoing, a flight from Vancouver Island Air, a night’s stay, breakfast and four hours of fishing at the Salmon River Inn and numerous gift certificates from local businesses.
Daniels also reminds visitors coming down to the park that the parking lot isn’t available for public use during the event.
“Parking is always a challenge, so it might be a good idea to park further away and walk to the park,” he says, reminding visitors to please use the crosswalk at either Hilchey Road or Westgate if they need to cross the Old Island Highway.
However you get there, though, he does want you to come down and see the chips flying.
“If you thought last year’s carvings were magnificent, wait until you see what is about to happen this year,” he says.