The group behind the city’s annual carving competition is proposing changes that could mean the sculptures will be on display for a limited time and then removed indefinitely.
A carving walk, which would feature all of the carvings from the past summer’s event in one place for a period of one year, is the latest idea floated by the Shoreline Arts Society.
Marcia McKay, secretary of the Shoreline Arts Society, said the group couldn’t help but notice that people kept coming to look at the carvings well after the competition last year.
“This past year we noticed how popular Frank James Park has been since the carvings were left in place for a few extra months and we would like to propose that the city establish a carving walk,” McKay said.
She told council at its Monday night meeting that a carving walk would keep all the carvings in place year round.
“We’d arrange that most of the carvings remain on display until the following year when they would be replaced with new ones,” McKay said. “It would keep the display fresh and be a sustained tourist attraction, whether at Frank James Park, the Spit, in Campbellton, or even at Robert Ostler Park.”
McKay said that with Frank James Park able to accommodate 26 to 28 carvers every year, that would mean 26 to 28 new carvings for people to look at each year, no matter the time of year.
With the carvings being replaced on an annual basis, it would also mean less upkeep for the society.
“We would propose that the walkway – or the area that you give us – be made up of those carvings and then we would replace them every year,” McKay said. “The older carvings would go to the sponsors or they could go elsewhere, depending on how popular they are.
“If we had a turnover of these 25 to 30 (carvings) we think it would be quite healthy.”
Following advice from Mayor Andy Adams and City Clerk Peter Wipper, McKay said Shoreline Arts will provide a formal, written request to the city to consider a carving walk.
Meanwhile, McKay said the society is gearing up for its 19th carving competition, which runs from June 24 to 28 this year.
She added that the society is once again expecting a full slate of carvers and even have a registrant from as far away as the Netherlands.