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CHETWYND, B.C. – Twelve chainsaw-wielding artists have descended on the District of Chetwynd to take part in the 2016 Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Competition.

The contest is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and this year features carvers from here in BC to as far away as Denmark. The carvers each have a total of 36 hours to transform an enormous red cedar log into an elaborate work of art, with the winner taking home a large cash prize. Reigning 2-year champion and Oregon native Chris Foltz will not be in the lineup this year, due to a last-minute work schedule conflict. The twelve carvers competing this year are:

  • Jordan Anderson – Alaska, USA (placed 2nd in 2015)
  • Jeff Samudosky – Connecticut, USA (placed 3rd in 2015)
  • Joerg Jung – British Columbia, Canada
  • Ryan Cook – British Columbia, Canada
  • Roderick Brown – British Columbia, Canada
  • Paul Frenette – Ontario, Canada
  • Mark Colp – California, USA
  • Jason Emmons – Indiana, USA
  • Chad Danczyk – Wisconsin, USA
  • Niels Petersen – Denmark
  • Tommy Craggs – Durham, UK
  • Mike Winia – Ontario, Canada

Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce Manager Tonia Richter says that despite the recent downturn in the regional economy, the event managed to raise sufficient funding and sponsorship for the event, which was almost cancelled in 2015 due to lack of funding. This year’s event suffered a low blow last month, when several of the town’s carvings were vandalised, two beyond repair.

Richter says that despite the rain, attendance to the event has so far been fairly good, and organisers are looking forward to “off the wall detail” in the carvings this year. The carving competition runs Thursday through Saturday from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM, and on Sunday from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM, when final judging of the pieces begins. The carvers will also participate in a quick carve from 3:00 to 4:00 PM on Sunday, after which pieces will be auctioned off.

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