More Excitement Gleaned from The Province

One edition of The Province and so much to learn! Following in the footsteps of other Vancouver-area bloggers who dissect local free media (I ripped my copy of The Province off a local restaurant so it counts as free), here are my wacky cullings:

Hope is the Chainsaw Carving Capital of the Entire World, though the one website calls it the Chainsaw Carving Capital of Canada and others more modestly simply use the Chainsaw Carving Capital:

It all started with a large tree in Memorial Park that was diagnosed with a bad case of root rot. While local residents anguished over the loss of the tree, Hope artist, Pete Ryan, suggested that there might be a way to gain something positive from the situation.

Thanks to Pete’s vision, the tree was cut down from a high point on the trunk so that a 12 foot stump remained behind. Pete then set to work on the stump with his chainsaws. The result was a carving of a bald eagle with a salmon in its talons.

The Province tells us that Pete Ryan “carved Michael Jordan and Pavel Bure busts for a New West sports bar and a life-sized 1937 Ford Roadster for a Langley carwash.” He also did a digestive system for a Seattle doctor. **Note: the latter was not life-sized.**

(For the history fanatics among us, check out the Hope’s timeline. Stallone fans can take the First Blood tour of Hope.)

Next up, as part of Heritage Week, some information on James Johnstone, who can research your home’s history for $500 – $2000.

While this seems extravagant, as a museum employee, I can vouch that this sort of research is not easy. Historical photos cost money, mostly for the printing and the time staff spends searching for your photo. Then there are the hours looking up information, poring through old records and wishing that people had wised up earlier and stopped handwriting every darned thing. Johnstone explains, ” This price is based on the Vancouver Historical Society’s recommended rate of $25.00 per hour for home history research services.” I wish I was getting that.

To give an example of heritage home renovations gone right, the Sunday Homes section looked at a 1916 Shaughnessy home that transformed from a “rickey rooming house” ugly duckling into, 18 months later, the Cinderella of the local market. Personally, I am too afraid of ghosts to attempt living in any house older than a current elementary school graduate, but hey, good for the rich folks who can afford this.

Then, again in the heritage vein, W.P. Kinsella brings up railway gardens in his editorial. For people who don’t have access to Edwinna von Baeyer’s Rhetoric and Roses, A History of Canadian Gardening, Kinsella summarizes their history by describing early train stations as ugly with “repulsive grey cinders” and railways as “notoriously cheap”: “Sir William Van Horne, the old robber baron himself, approved of railway gardens, for they ultimately reflected well on the railroads, were inexpensive and made money by attracting travellers.”

That has got to be the most interesting edition of The Province ever. All that’s missing is a sudoku puzzle.

Update: All this talk about chainsaw art, has elicited some reminiscing about teenhoods spent in unsavoury locales.

2 Comments so far

  1. Jen (unregistered) on February 27th, 2006 @ 12:43 pm

    Since I spent a summer of my youth working for the Hope & District Chamber of Commerce, I can definitively say that the official answer is “Hope is the Chainsaw Carving Capital” – the of what part is left off intentionally, just in case another, more legitimate claim to the title in any given of what comes along.

  2. mike hrycyk (unregistered) on February 27th, 2006 @ 6:31 pm

    so, they can fight it out with chainsaws for all i care but Chetwynd, also a small town in BC also makes the claim to be the chainsaw sculpture capital of canada. wiki proof

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