New for Fire & Water 2017 is the Chainsaw Carving Jamboree. Join us on Saturday and Sunday in the Community Centre parking lot and watch as 11+ chainsaw carvers pick up their tools to create beautiful pieces of art. On Sunday, we’ll be hosting an auction where the highest bidder can walk away with one of the pieces.

Brought to you by the Agassiz Chainsaw Sculptors 

Antonin Hlas: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Antonin Hlas, was born on August 18th, 1959 in Czechoslovakia, a country rich with history and art. In 1985 he came to Canada and quickly discovered the untouched beauty of the wild nature.  Antonin says “I am surrounded by inspiration whenever I am in the woods or on the water; I take it all in and imagine creating my new piece. Some people take a chainsaw and cut wood for a fire. I like using a chainsaw for carving. I like to take a piece of wood and turn it into something else. The raw beauty of natural wood helps me in my creations. Combining nature and art is my goal.”

Dan Beaudoin: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Dan has been chainsaw carving since 2012 after taking the introduction to chainsaw carving course with Walter Keller and working with his carver friend Jim Neidermayer.  He prefers to carve for recreation but cannot keep up to the demand from friends and family.  Dan has competed in both the 2015 and 2016 4P Chainsaw Carving Competition in Powerview.

De-anne Holmes: Seddon’s Corner, Manitoba

De-Anne has been an award winning hand carver for many years.  Since taking the introduction to chainsaw carving course with Walter Keller in 2015 she has done numerous public carving appearances including “the Quick Carve” at the 4P Chainsaw Carving Competition in 2016.  She earned a spot at this year’s 4PCCC and will compete with the “Carver Kings.”  De-Anne works full time as an RDA in Beausejour and is a councillor for the RM of Reynolds.

Franco Atanasovic: Pine Falls, Manitoba

Franco Atanasovic is 32 years old and lives in Powerview-Pine Falls,  Manitoba.  An automotive technician by trade, he took an interest in chainsaw carving about a year and a half ago and carves on weekends and in his spare time. Franco enjoys art, “transforming a log into a creative piece of art is very meaningful to me. I’m new at it but practice makes perfect and every piece is unique. I’m inspired by the art and skill of chainsaw carving. I enjoy wildlife carvings, and I enjoy doing bears.”

Gary Foidart: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Gary is a self-taught chainsaw carver who changed up from over 25 years of making small indoor sculpture. Gary participated in the speed carve event at the 4PCCC and has done shows at the Winnipeg Arbor Day Festival and at Dominion City. He plans to retire next year and carve full time.

Jim Niedermayer: Silver Falls, Manitoba

Residing in Silver Falls Manitoba in God’s country, Jim enjoys spending time in the wilderness growing and harvesting wild rice in the boreal forest.

Jim is self-taught in the art of chainsaw sculpturing, learning the anatomy of animals, and his passion is bringing them to life using wood as his canvas. Jim has competed in many competitions across Canada and has attended events in the United States. He enjoys giving new meaning and a life beyond to a resource that would otherwise be thrown away.

Kyle Ried: The Pas, Manitoba

Having grown up most of his life in The Pas, Manitoba he learned to love the vast boreal forest all year round and spending as much time outside canoeing, fishing, and hunting, etc. Kyle currently resides in Saskatoon while pursuing a PhD in Geology. After several years of attending the Trappers Festival and watching the chainsaw carving events Kyle thought “How hard can it be? So I picked up my saw at home and began practicing on a couple of logs the day before the trappers carving event”. “The next day I carved a crude looking owl, placing third in the carving competition and second place in the speed cutting event”.  Kyle was a competitor in the 2016 4PCCC.


Marty Duerinckx: St. Ouens, Manitoba

Marty is a 54-year-old self-taught carver. He has carved in many competitions in the 80’s and participated in yearly Prairie Bird carving competitions doing small pieces. He gave it up for many years to pursue a business venture that involved horses. He then picked up chainsaw carving in 2000 but then gave it up to pursue a career in the health care field. He has recently got back into carving a couple of years ago and it has become his passion.

Myles Mclean: Red Rock Lake, Manitoba

Myles retired in 2007 from the Province of Manitoba as a Correctional Officer to his Cottage at Red Rock Lake in the Whiteshell Provincial Park. He grew up in the East Man Region River Hills and Seven Sisters Area on a farm and has been a Registered Trapping Helper and Line holder for almost 50 years, which fuels his passion for the outdoors and being close to nature.

Myles is a proud single father with 3 grown sons who served this Country by joining the Military and all were on tour at the same time in Afghanistan in 2008. Thankfully all returned home safely.

In 2002 he took a log building course and was inspired by the course instructor who was a chainsaw carver. He started carving small projects and progressed from there. In 2011 Myles went to a chainsaw carving event in Ridgeway Pennsylvania where there were over 280 carvers from around the world and Myles says “it was an unbelievable event that changed me which started my artistic side to come out.”

Rick Hall: Manigotagan, Manitoba

Rick Hall was born and raised in Wabowden, Manitoba.  As a child, I grew up on a trap line and was surrounded by the wilderness and wild life that I have learned to respect. I was the third eldest of eight siblings. I graduated from Cranberry Portage high school in 1974. All through my school years, I loved to draw and paint. People recognized this as a talent and encouraged me to continue. Upon completion of high school, I entered the work force as a logger. Worked as a logger for twenty one years. I completed a Log Home Building Training Course and built my first log home. With years of experience as a logger, chainsaw operator, log home building instructor and my artistic talent, it was then I began to build homes, picnic tables and furniture out of logs. Having gained this experience, I began wild life chainsaw carvings. I started my chainsaw carvings as a hobby but now I’m interested in selling my carvings.

Russ Kubara: Beausejour, Manitoba

Russ (aka Rooster) has been carving since 2007.  He calls himself a “serious recreational carver” but does take commissions if it is something he wants to carve.  Russ has competed in the 4P Chainsaw carving competition in 2015 and 2016, the Kenora 2016 competition and has also been doing carving shows at numerous events including the Double B Fair and Rodeo in Beausejour.

Walter Keller: Elma, Manitoba

Both my previous careers: as a forester engaged in forest and fire management, and later as a professional log builder and log building instructor have left me with a profound appreciation for my medium ; the natural tree trunk. Carving with chainsaws and hand tools, I always strive to incorporate the natural features of the trunks, stumps, logs or driftwood into the emerging carving or sculpture.

I particularly found that there is beauty in wood, no matter how lowly the piece of raw material may appear at first glance. I often use discarded butt logs from clear cut areas, whole tree stumps from excavations – or land clearing operations. Urban tree removal services offer large trunks or character logs to me for the taking, in fact to this date there has never been a tree felled for the purpose of obtaining a carving log.

Life size realistic animal carvings depicting the fauna of the boreal forest are a large part of my carving repertoire. On the other hand I found a free hand kind of sculpting, releasing the spirit of the wood into the visible world. Using whole stumps with the root system intact, tree crowns, witch’s brooms, multiple forked trunks i.e. natures quirks as a medium to call the wood spirits into the tangible state. These whimsical creatures are allowed to appear without any preconceived drawings or notions and are veritable happenings. The size of these sculptures may vary greatly.






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