British Columbia

Chetwynd chainsaw carving sale has community buzzing

Chetwynd is home to over 150 public chainsaw sculptures, and that's a lot for the small community to maintain. To cut down on maintenance and help finance this year's Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Championship, the community is auctioning some sculptures off.

Mayor says it was tough to part with sculptures, but public collection getting too big

Oregon carver Chris Foltz won the 2014 Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Championship with his piece, Killing Time. (Chetwynd Chainsaw Carving Championship)

The District of Chetwynd is hoping to cut away at the costs of their chainsaw carving festival by selling off some of their public chainsaw art.

Chetwynd has over 150 pieces of chainsaw art on display throughout the town, and the Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Championship draws hundreds of tourists every year.

However, Mayor Merlin Nichols says their collection is growing faster than the district can keep up with.

Midnight Howl is the first chainsaw sculpture the District of Chetwynd is auctioning off. (District of Chetwynd)

"People here would love to keep them all, but, eventually we're going to get to the point where we're overrun with them," Nichols said. "There are so many chainsaw carvings, one city worker has to spend most of his work day curating and caring for them."

Nichols said the idea of selling off public art was a contentious one, and many people in the community are quite attached to the sculptures. However, Nichols says the money will be put to good use at next year's carving championships.

"Chetwynd has come to identify itself with the competition and with the sculptures that are produced every year through this competition," he told Daybreak North host Robert Doane. "It represents Chetwynd. … No question about that."

Midnight Howl, a carving of a wolf, was the first piece on the auction block. More sculptures will be sold to private buyers and others will be donated to neighbouring communities.

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Chetwynd cutting down on chainsaw carving collection

With files from Betsy Trumpener


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