2018’s first-place winner in the solo division was Peter Vogelaar’s ‘Hendrix Live - Wild Thing’. (Courtesy of Parksville Beach Festival)

Parksville sand-sculpting competition will draw competitors from around the world

‘Myths and Legends’ the theme for this year’s event July 12-14

It’s that time of year again. The Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition in Parksville opens to the public at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 12.

This year, 29 international master sculptors will face off in a 30-hour competition that ends with an awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on July 14.

Last year saw 125,908 people come through the gates during the course of the exhibition. This year, event manager Wendy Sears hopes to bring that number up to 150,000.

“This is probably Parksville’s signature event. I’d say it’s probably the largest-attended event on Vancouver Island, just because of the length of time it runs,” said Sears.

The exhibition will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day until Aug. 18.

Entry is by a suggested donation of $4 per person.

The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Myths and Legends’.

Other than the theme, the specifics of what the sculptors will create is a mystery until the event is in motion. Sears says that the theme is purposefully broad to allow for a range of interpretations.

“They have to incorporate the theme into their sculpture. That’s really the only thing we ask. We don’t know what they’re doing until they do it,” she said.

Sears says the chance to compete in Parksville is highly sought-after by international sculptors. This year, the Beach Festival will host sculptors from Japan, the United States, the Netherlands, Russia, Mexico and Canada.

Parksville local David Kaube is set to compete again this year. There will also be sculptors from Victoria, the Lower Mainland, and the Interior.

Sears says the event helps puts Parksville on the map.

“When you go outside of Parksville and you say ‘Parksville’, what do people say? ‘Sandcastles’. Everybody associates Parksville with this event,” said Sears. “We’ve really gone away from sandcastles… it’s actually sculptures, it really is sand art. These people are master sculptors.”

The competition is an official qualifier for the World Championship of Sand Sculpting. Sears says that this event has been a breeding ground for sculptors who have gone on to be big deals in the sand sculpting world.

“A lot of the sculptors that are now sculpting professionally actually came out of that,” said Sears. “They started on the beaches of Parksville, White Rock sculpting the sand for fun, loved it, and now they’re artists.”

Sculptors will compete solo or as duos. Each duo team receives 15 yards of sand and each solo competitor receives 10 yards.

The average weight of a yard of sand varies, but it’s somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2,600 to 3,000 pounds. Sears says the festival trucks in more than 350 yards of sand.

“Imagine 12 dump trucks with trailers – that’s how much sand we need,” said Sears.

This year, the sand was sourced from a pit in Campbell River. It’s not easy to find the right stuff – most sand available for purchase has already been washed. For sculpting, the right sand needs to still be sticky with silt, but filtered through to ensure there aren’t any rocks or sticks.

“I know a lot more about sand now than I thought I would ever need to know,” said Sears with a laugh.

In addition to the competition and exhibition, Beach Festival has planned a number of events to keep locals and tourists entertained all summer long.

There will be live music every Friday and Saturday evening during the festival. Bands will play from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. under the main picnic shelter in community park.

There is also a Art in the Park event scheduled for July 27-28. More than 70 artisans from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands will be selling their creations at the Parksville Community Park next to the tennis courts.

Proceeds from the event also go back into the community. The Parksville Beach Festival Society is the driving force behind the festival, and they donate 25% of gate proceeds to community projects and philanthropic groups that work in the Parksville area.

This year, a portion of the proceeds will go towards the construction of a outdoor theatre / band shell in the park, a project that launched at the end of May.

For more information, visit www.parksvillebeachfest.ca.

Just Posted

Nanaimo baseball stadium lighting project costs increasing by $350,000

Finance committee recommends LED lights at Serauxmen Stadium

Tribal Journeys go through Snaw-Naw-As, Snuneymuxw, Stz’uminus territory

Paddlers now in Ladysmith en route to final stop in Lummi, Wash.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Housing and opioid crises the real threats

Letter writer shocked that someone could blame vulnerable citizens for Nanaimo’s tarnished image

Nanaimo-Opoly will let board game players deal Harbour City properties

Victoria’s Outset Media and Walmart Canada partner on local edition of popular game

Nanaimo RCMP arrest individual in connection with stolen e-bike

Arrest made following traffic stop on July 12

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

World’s fastest bathtub racer to be determined this weekend in Nanaimo

Great International World Championship Bathtub Race caps full weekend of downtown events

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Beefs & Bouquets, July 18

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Celebrity adds star power to Green Party town hall in Nanaimo

Pamela Anderson attended with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Most Read