PORT HARDY— Everyone who attended the Filomi Days celebration at Carrot Park will have seen chainsaw carver Clinton Bleaney creating his latest sculpture.
For both days of the annual celebration the former Port Hardy resident was hard at work beside the erstwhile dive shop, transforming a chunk of old-growth cedar into a spectacular pair of eagles swooping over rocks and salmon.
Bleaney completed the work on Wednesday and was on hand on Thursday to help oversee delivery of the piece to its new home in Port Hardy’s arena. The exact resting place within the arena has not yet been decided, with several options still being weighed, but, wherever the 800lb piece finally ends up, it’s sure to be a spectacular and eye-catching addition to the recreational facility.
Bleaney, who has been carving for a little over four years, was recently laid off from his job as a faller in Powell River and decided to create a piece for his home town. “When I think of Port Hardy I think of eagles,” he said about his choice of subject matter, “plus there’s the Tri Port rep hockey team, they’re the Eagles too.”
Fitting then, that sculpture has found a home in one of the venues the Eagles call home. Once the sculpture has found its permanent home, conditions within the arena should be perfect to house the piece as it will be kept dry and cool, discouraging warping.
“It’s a great spot for it,” said Bleaney, “it’s used all year ’round with the hockey, ball-hockey in the summer, dances; it’ll definitely get seen in here.”
Once Bleaney decided to craft the piece he told his father, a shake blocking company owner, who in turn reached out to family friend Owen Cotter who then donated the block that the carver transformed.
Bleaney also said that the Regional District were a fantastic help in bringing the project to fruition, transporting the huge piece to their yard to get its finishing touches and then on to its new home in the arena.
When Bleaney returns to Powell River he will begin work on his next project— a 30 foot high, 5 foot diameter, commissioned piece depicting predators of the west coast.