Council approves policy to deal with wood carvings

City council has approved a new policy that will dictate how the city deals with left over carvings

City council has approved a new policy that will dictate how the city deals with left over carvings from the annual Transformations on the Shore competition.

Working with the Shoreline Arts Society – which hosts the carving competition around Canada Day each year – the city will use a set of guidelines to determine whether a carving can be repaired, moved or destroyed.

The policy will apply to all wood carvings that are located on city-owned property. A majority of the pieces that are not purchased or donated to local businesses following the carving competition are left on city land for public enjoyment.

Some of the sculptures, though, are aging, weathering and deteriorating which begs the question of what to do with them.

“Several of the carvings have fallen into a state of disrepair due to a lack of maintenance,” wrote Elle Brovold, the city’s property manager, in a city report. “In an effort to address this issue, city staff have determined that an internal policy that outlines the responsibilities of the (Shoreline Arts) Society and the city and the processes for dealing with the disposal or retention of the carvings (is necessary).”

The policy, which was drafted by city staff months ago, was forwarded to the city’s Community Services, Recreation and Culture Commission prior to it coming to city council at its Monday night meeting.

The commission gave it the thumbs up.

“The commission feels that the wood carvings generated by the Transformations on the Shore Chainsaw Carving competition are of value to the community in terms of promoting local culture and attracting tourists,” said Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture. “The commission feels that the associated proposed policy will provide an effective framework for dealing with wood carvings located on city property.”

Under the policy, the city’s Public Art Committee will periodically review carvings located on city land to determine whether pieces are suitable for disposal or removal.

The Shoreline Arts Society, which retains an expert maintenance team, will then confirm with the city on whether a carving should be repaired, moved or destroyed.

A carving may be deemed suitable for repair, removal or destruction for the following reasons:

  • The good condition or security of the carving cannot be reasonably guaranteed
  • The carving requires excessive maintenance or repair
  • The carving endangers public safety
  • There have been significant changes in the use, character or design of the location of the carving which may affect the integrity of the carving
  • Adverse public reaction has occurred over a long period of time
  • The quality of the carving is debatable and subsequently justified
  • Removal is requested by the society
  • The carving site is no longer accessible to the public or the spot is to be re-developed