Chainsaw carvers showed off how to handle power tools with real finesse as the 77th Trappers’ Festival began to wind down at The Pas, Man., Saturday.

It’s a different year for the festival, which kicked off Thursday in The Pas and wraps up on Sunday. The mild weather that’s also impacted other seasonal events in Manitoba led to the cancellation of the festival’s signature World Championship Dog Races competition.

But organizers of the No Frills carving and logging competitions say the weather couldn’t be better for them.

“It’s a winter festival. We’re up in northern Manitoba, we’re known for cold weather, yet we can still have fun in these cold snaps,” said MC Darryl Langlois, who used to compete in speed cutting competitions himself.

“Today, it is nice out. This is why everybody is going to be out and about, because it is beautiful weather.”

A composite image showing two people with their right hand on a wooden sculpture. The person on the left is touching a bear, while the one on the right is touching a wolf.
Left: Eric Lavallee and his carved sculpture of a bear. Right: Lindsey Morran and his sculpture of a wolf. (Submitted by Sarah Shawaga)

Delores Lavallee came to the event to support her husband, Eric, who has participated in the competition four times. This year, he carved a bear.

“It’s nerve-wracking to sit here and watch him compete,” Delores said. “I always wish that he’d win first.”

Eric finished second.

“Eh, OK. Not happy!” he said. “Same guy beat me last year.”

WATCH | Welcome to the 77th Trappers’ Festival

Welcome to Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival in The Pas

The 77th annual Trappers’ Festival kicked off Wednesday in The Pas, Man.

A couple of people described a sculpture of an eagle and feather by Lindsey Morran from last year as the most impressive they’ve seen at the festival. Moran, who won the carving competition again this time around, drew inspiration from nature once more.

“A squirrel, I think,” he joked. “Nah, actually it’s a wolf.” 

Sam Constant’s wood-carved model of his own Ski-Doo came in third.

A man riding a skidoo carved out of wood.
Sam Constant riding his snowmobile. (Submitted by Sarah Shawaga)

“That’s what I like to do is chainsaw, cut logs, try and show my daughter what I can do,” Constant said.

“Even if I didn’t place … as long as my daughter knows that I know how to do stuff, I’d like to show her that.”

WATCH | King and Queen Trapper hopefuls show off their skills in The Pas:

Day 2 competitions at Trappers’ Festival in The Pas, Man.

Competitors at the Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival in The Pas rise to the challenge of axe throwing, pole climbing and moose or goose calls.

Artists get creative at craft fair

The chainsaw carvers weren’t the only ones showing off their artistry at The Pas this weekend.

About 45 vendors from as far away as southern Saskatchewan sold their goods at the festival’s craft fair, which wrapped up Saturday.

A man sitting on a table with paintings, showing off his artwork to people passing by.
Allan Chapman shows off some of his artwork during the last day of the Trappers’ Festival craft fair. (Kevin Nepitabo/CBC)

Allan Chapman said he comes down to the festival from Thompson almost every year to sell his art, but also to meet other people “who like this kind of stuff.”

“When I came out of residential school, I was kind of lost, right? So I asked questions to the elders and that, and they would tell me things like, ‘This bird is doing things for a reason. This animal is doing things for a reason.…’ Signs like that,” Chapman said as he described the inspiration to some of his paintings.

“In a fast-paced world like this, we overlook these little things, and so I want to touch on those and I let the birds and animals form the message.”

WATCH | Bannock, a canoe and some snares: Day 3 of Trappers’ Fest:

What do you get when you combine bannock, a canoe, some logs and a few snares? Trappers’ Fest!

It’s Day 3 at Trappers’ Festival in The Pas, Man. Check out what the competitors got up to.

Veda Pegelo, who’s originally from The Pas but now lives in Dauphin, was selling some of the crafts made by her dad, as well as her own beadwork.

“I get really excited whenever I see anyone wearing something I made,” she said. “Because I’m like, Wow, somebody actually likes something that came from my mind and that I created.”

The festival wraps up Sunday with its Beerfest competition.

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