Brigitte Lochead carves in Memorial Park at the Chainsaw Carving Competition. (X. Y. Zeng photo)

Brigitte Lochead carves in Memorial Park at the Chainsaw Carving Competition. (X. Y. Zeng photo)

Cook takes People’s Choice as judges give first prize to Foltz

Remember the buzz in Memorial Park?

If you’ve seen Hope Communities in Bloom (CiB) chairperson Victor Smith after the Chainsaw Carving Competition last week, you would have noticed that he got a little tanned.

That’s because he and about 10 other volunteers spent multiple days putting together the competition, which he said was at its busiest on Saturday. On Saturday, a full showing of vendors, the Great Fraser River Salmon BBQ Competition and partner events hosted by Envision Financial, University of the Fraser Valley and Hope Mountain Centre drew big crowds to Memorial Park.

Three judges awarded the top three prizes to Chris Foltz, Jacob Lucas and Mark Colp, in descending order. The people, on the other hand, decided to pick Ryan Cook to receive the People’s Choice award.

Smith said that judges awarded the top prize to Foltz because his seams were of a high quality, his cuts were “nice and clean and sharp,” and his carving had good contrast with burning and clear coat.

“When he does the finish coat, he uses the Minwax (varnish) that we use, but he also, per gallon, puts in a quart of mineral oil, which then causes it to soak in better, which gives it better life for the carving,” said Smith. “It makes it easier for us to do the maintenance down the road.”

As to why the people’s choice award went to Cook, Smith said that people liked the Lion King carving Cook made.

“People love that because people just said, ‘Awwww,’ and kids and all that recognize that,” said Smith. “When we do the voting, we want everybody to vote so we’d give a vote to a kid and you don’t tell anybody and make the vote.”

Asked if the Chainsaw Carving Competition was affected by the wildfires, Smith said that he had to source wood locally.

“Where we had got wood before, there were fires going on in the area, so we definitely had to reinvent where we got the wood from,” said Smith.

Several carvings from the event will go around Hope, including one near the Fraser Bridge.

“We haven’t had one for quite a while there, so we want to put one up there,” said Smith.

All money raised at the event will go back into the community through CiB’s projects, such as the train conductor bear on Sixth Avenue and the Mile Zero stone carving where Sixth Avenue intersects with the Old Hope Princeton Way.

“There will be storyboards in there and then we’re going to put a milepost up with different places in the world and it will be solar powered,” said Smith. “Expect that to come in the next 60 days.”