Visitors peruse the creations at last year’s inaugural Victoria show. This weekend the artists will be on hand in Sidney.

Visitors peruse the creations at last year’s inaugural Victoria show. This weekend the artists will be on hand in Sidney.

Wildlife takes over Bodine Family Hall

Carving show makes the move to the Saanich Peninsula

The Winspear Centre will be filled with birds, fish and marine mammals as well as the artists that created them as the The Pacific Brant Carving and Art Show comes to the Peninsula.

Pegged as B.C.’s largest wildlife art show and woodcarving competition there will be displays, auctions, wood turning, workshops and demonstrations featuring the Island’s top wildlife artists.

“We were getting some declining attendance by the public and we thought we would just try Victoria,” said show chair Dennis Drechsler. “This is probably our last gasp for Victoria.”

The Pacific Brant Carving and Art Show originated in the Parksville area. In 1991, volunteers from the Mid Island Wildlife Watch Society organized the first Brant Wildlife Festival – including a wood carving competition – to be held every April when the Pacific Brant Geese stop in the area to rest and feed before continuing to their Arctic breeding grounds.

In 2006, the Nature Trust of British Columbia, took over and in 2010 the wood carving show was moved to Victoria and re-named the Pacific Brant Carving and Art Show.

“We thought with Mary Winspear being an arts centre we might have some success. We’re very hopeful,” Drechsler  said.

“It’s always been what we call a wildlife woodcarving show and competition,” he added.

The competitors are divided into different skill levels novice through expert and carvers compete. By winning ribbons they work their way up into the expert category.

“When people come into the show there will be tables set up … that’s for the wildlife carvers. And then there’s a series of fish carvers as well, and some wood turners,” he said. Wood turning was added last year and drew a decent amount of competitors.

Ribbons first through third are awarded in each discipline and category. Then there’s the coveted “best in division” and “best of show” ribbons within each skill level.

Saturday there are live carver demonstrations all day, and in the evening a live auction and an awards ceremony. A silent auction continues throughout both days. Proceeds are split between the carver and the club.

Sunday Cam Merkle, who placed second in master class in world competition in 2010 will demonstrate painting the Stellar Jay.

“He’s very accomplished and the painting demonstration will be very interesting,” Drechsler said.

It’s slated to be their largest show to date and will feature the Island’s top wildlife artists and photographers.


The Pacific Brant Carving and Art Show is April 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and April 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Bodine Family Hall of the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney. Admission is $7.



Peninsula News Review