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Mayor’s Column – June 18, 2014

Meet the Mayor

June 18, 2014

Well, we’ve been entertained again with the whining music of chainsaws responding to the signals of expert, strong-armed conductors. Not exactly a choir, though, was it? More like twelve soloists simultaneously clamoring for the attention of five hundred awed guests.

We’ve been more than entertained. While these whining chainsaws truly are music in our ears, this annual event means a lot more than music and sawdust to us in Chetwynd. Besides the twelve new sculptures adorning our streets, we have had the benefit of five days of association with the best in world-class talent and the visitors they attracted to stare, exclaim, wow, and drop a few of their hard-earned coins into Chetwynd tills.

While the merchant and the inn keeper think of money in the till and appreciate the ripple in the bottom line produced by the visitors, this event is much bigger than money. Chetwynd is shaped in ever-so-subtle ways by the annual influx of motorized sculptors from around the world. We meet wonderful people from across this continent, from Europe, Australia, and Japan. This kind of association in a small town will certainly shape our culture and inform our world view.

We are the sum total of our experiences and the people we meet. I can’t help but be a better person for having met the artists who now have left behind them these twelve magnificent productions. Fascinating, isn’t it, that when a highly cultivated eye for form and texture is linked to dexterity, muscle strength, physical endurance, a friendly, competitive spirit, and a finely tuned chainsaw that we all become unwitting beneficiaries.

How can it get any better than this? I am sure that by the time the last echo had died away behind Old Baldy that our intrepid Chamber of Commerce workers were planning an even better event for 10+one. Trust them to do it – again.

This is the Chetwynd that we call home. We’re a small-enough town that when we get behind a project it gets done. We’re a big-enough town that when we get behind a project we can find the resources to finish it. I am sure 10+one will happen when it is supposed to happen.

It does take all of us together to make it happen. Council will approve District support; Administration will see that the support gets to the people in charge of the project; these visionary workers will put a team together and make it happen.

As for the tenth-anniversary event, I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone who had a part in growing our inventory of beautiful art in 3D wood. The support of the sponsors was crucial. It paid for travel, for food, for lodging for the artists, for equipment. Volunteers decorated the venue, set up the tents, cleaned up chips and bark and chunks of wood. And what of the audience? You make it all worthwhile. Cheer on. Encourage. Exclaim. Stand in awe. Come again next year.


Merlin Nichols, Mayor