The city is running out of places to put wood carvings created by sculptors in the annual Canada Day weekend carving competition.
The Shoreline Arts Society, which hosts the event, has once again offered the city a carving of its choice from this year’s competition. Council accepted the donation at a council meeting July 10 and debated setting up budget to maintain all the carvings the city is responsible for.
“As you probably noted, looking around the city, some of these carvings are getting a little bit worn,” said City Manager Andy Laidlaw.
Ross Milnthorp, city manager of parks, recreation, and culture, said that while the carvings reflect local culture and “serve as a tourist attraction” they also “deteriorate rapidly when exposed to weather and require a maintenance budget to keep them looking presentable.” He also noted the city is running out of space in preferred locations.
Coun. Andy Adams said for what the carvings bring to the community it would be worthwhile to put up the money to maintain them.
“The Shoreline Arts Society and what this initiative has brought to our city has been nothing short of outstanding,” he said. “And each year…we get more and more carvings added.”
Coun. Claire Moglove asked city staff whether Shoreline has the means to preserve the carvings. Milnthorp said the society has provided maintenance for the carvings but it’s not something it can do on a regular basis. Moglove then put forward a motion to accept a carving this year and set up an annual $5,000 maintenance budget.
Coun. Larry Samson also moved that the city do an inventory of all the carvings it’s responsible for and determine the amount of money needed to keep up all the sculptures. Both motions passed unanimously by council.
The ongoing inventory and allocation of the carvings will likely be passed on to the new Community Services, Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission, which includes members of the public and is expected to form this September.