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Mayor’s Column – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017


Once more Chetwynd has done it. The 2017 International Chainsaw Sculpturing Championship is successfully over and the champs have returned to their homes in Australia, Japan, Britain, the USA, and Canada. In this event our own home-grown Randy Gauthier demonstrated his artistic talent, hand-eye coordination, and physical endurance with the world’s best.

Way to go, Randy. We’ll be watching you as you release the hidden art in competitions across the continent.

If you haven’t seen the art generated at the 2017 Championship, you owe it to yourself to shake loose the ties that bind at the first opportunity and, with your family and friends (or solo), make the rounds of 2017 productions. You’ll be astonished at the objects that have been concealed in forest trees for multiple scores of years – just waiting for the bite of the saw that sets them free.

During the first twelve years of the Chetwynd Championship, organized by the Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce, it grew from an idea to an outstanding event, and matured to become the premier chainsaw art championship in North America (in the opinion of many carvers). Indeed, it has been a growing success. For the first time this year the event was organized by a society whose sole purpose is to organize the event. Kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? And 2017 has been every bit as successful as its predecessors.

You might wonder what goes into a successful event such as the International Chainsaw Sculpturing Championship. Then, again, you might never have stopped to ponder the question. Let me help you with your pondering.

In the first place we have a committed team of volunteers. I really don’t know where they start but among the many details that cannot be forgotten we would find the following: invitations to world-class chainsaw artists (probably high on the list if not first), recruitment of qualified judges, sponsors, placement of vendors, security, safety, fuel and oil, saw chain, files, saw parts, volunteer recruitment, cleanup, hotels, food and refreshments, the reception, publicity. I know there are details I cannot even imagine but I’ve seen enough to recognize the enormity of the undertaking.

As an outsider looking in I have only admiration for the volunteer team that pulled off the event with such outstanding results.

Sponsoring components of the Championship is one of the elements of a successful event. I appreciate, the District of Chetwynd appreciates, we all appreciate the sponsors and their willingness to contribute to the success of an event that is putting Chetwynd on the world map. It is good to see sponsors from Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge helping to make this event truly regional in interest. May your tribe increase!

Yes, even the taxpayers of Chetwynd shelled out $40,000 (a long-standing habit). Some of you knew this. Now everyone who reads this piece of modern literature also knows.

Spectators are not always valued for their real contribution to a successful outcome – especially if there is no gate charge. Don’t be misled, spectators, by a little perceived lack of appreciation. We all experience that lack from time to time. You are vitally important, especially on a rainy weekend like we just enjoyed. I firmly believe that without the admiring audience the artists would somehow feel a substantial lack of the vital energy they need to bring the object into the open within the allotted time.

Plan for 2018.


Merlin Nichols, Mayor