An orca whale will appear as the feature element of the sand sculpture display highlighting the upcoming Cadboro Bay Festival Aug. 12 in Cadboro-Gyro Park.
Fred Dobbs, who returns to the festival for the 10th straight year as lead sculptor, said he chose that subject because he wanted to present a topical subject in a positive light.
“It has been on the minds of many people,” he said, pointing to the killer whales that recently visited Victoria’ Inner Harbour among other sightings.
The display will also reference other forms of marine life and show how they interact with the human world.
The sand creation will also draw inspiration from the natural environment that will surround the display — Cadboro Bay, nearby islands, and of course, the mountain ranges looming to the east of the bay on the continental mainland.
For Rob Phillips, special events co-ordinator for the District of Saanich, no place offers a better setting.
“These are our crown jewels in Saanich,” he said.
The Cadboro Bay Festival aims to show them off by giving residents a relaxed day at the beach, with the sand sculpture display as the main draw.
“Ours is not a competition like [the event in Parksville],” he said. “Ours is more of a display.”
Work on the whale begins on the Friday before the actual festival (Aug. 10), when some 60 tons of sand arrive. Dobbs and the three sculptors will then begin the process of packing the sand with the help of forms.
About 80 per cent of the carving will take place on Saturday, said Dobbs, who adds the public can follow along.
“People not only want to see the finished product,” he said. “They also want to see how it’s done.”
Sunday — the day of the festival — will see Dobbs and his team put on the finishing touches.
Starting at 11 a.m., visitors can also take part in other activities. They include various types of bouncy castles, arts and crafts, music and food vendors. They can also check out Cadboro Bay village itself. Three local bands will perform at the event, which runs until 3 p.m.
The main parking area at Cadboro-Gyro Park typically fills up quickly so the large grass area inside the park will be open for additional parking. The grass parking area will close at 5 p.m.
New this year is that the only entrance to the grass parking area will be off Cadboro Bay Road, with no vehicle access to parking using Penrhyn Street. Wilson’s Transportation will be providing a free shuttle bus from the lower section of lot No. 5 at the University of Victoria down to the main entrance of Gyro Park, with the shuttle making continuous trips from noon to 4 p.m.