Going with the grain in Parksville

Building sand castles on the beach is part and parcel of a summer visit to the beach. But visitors to the seafront in Parksville over the next few weeks can see some pretty spectacular things done with the small grains of rock. The town is playing host to Canada’s top sand scultping competition.

Mélineige Beauregard creating her sand sculpture

Mélineige Beauregard creating her sand sculpture
Pic © David Connop Price

The Quality Foods 30th Annual Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition has attracted artists from across the country, and as far afield as Spain, to show off their creative talents.

Individual sculptors use 10 yards of very fine sand to create their works, while the teams use 20 yards of sand.

Yesterday they packed the sand down into blocks and today were busy carving it.

Once completed, the sand is sprayed with a mix of white glue and water to hold it all in place. The sculptures are sprayed repeatedly for the first week to build up a crust that will keep the elements from destroying them before the end of the five-week exhibition.

While it looks fun, the sculptors are competing for prize money, but for many of the thousands who visit the festival each year the fun comes from seeing the imaginative creations they have devised.

Sculptor Brett Stocker carving his entry for this year’s competition

Sculptor Brett Stocker, of Mexico, carving his entry for this year’s competition
Pic © David Connop Price


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