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Modern logger sports in its 26th year on northern Sunshine Coast

Event showcases heritage, contemporary skills and industry that made the qathet region prosper
CLIMBING HIGH: Powell River Logger Sports is in its 26th year and begins on Saturday, July 13. A carving competition begins July 10 at Willingdon Beach.

Logger sports competitions have gone through stops and starts throughout the years, but 2024 marks the 26th year for Powell River Logger Sports at Loggers Memorial Bowl at Willingdon Beach, according to event coordinator and competitor Michelle Silvester.

According to Sunshine Coast Tourism's guide to Powell River Logger Sports, the pole climb, underhand chop and axe throw events started more than a century ago in logging camps up and down the coast, including in the qathet region. In the evenings, loggers would entertain each other, showing off their skills.

The logger sports guide revealed that: "In 1971, premier WAC Bennett issued a proclamation stating that logger sports is BC’s official industry sport, recognizing the labour and skills of loggers in the province. In 2023, the Government of BC proclaimed July 15 as Logger Sports Day in BC."

Fourth-generation logger and former logger sports world champion Bob Marquis stepped away from the Powell River Logger Sports board this year. Tyler Brady has stepped in as interim-president, said Silvester.

Marquis has always been a strong defender of the industry on the northern Sunshine Coast. 

“The work that Tla’amin Nation and Powell River Community Forest are doing, alongside many other excellent local industry leaders, is a beacon of hope for the future here,” Marquis stated at last year's logger sports event. “Never before has so much of the forest been under local control, being logged with local values.”

He added that Powell River Logger Sports is thrilled to showcase the heritage and contemporary skills, and the industry that has made this region prosper for so long and will, sustainably, for generations to come.

Located across from qathet Museum and Archives is the Forestry Museum, which features displays about local logging history. It is usually open July and August, but is temporarily closed.

Powell River Logger Sports takes place on July 13 and 14 at the amphitheatre located at Willingdon Beach. The official opening ceremony is at 11 am on July 13.

Admission is free but volunteers will be collecting donations that will go to Powell River Action Centre Food Bank.

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