Bear Festival

Bear Sculpting Championship rules 2019

Bear Sculpting Championships in Ilomantsi, Finland, 15 and 16 August 2019

The theme of the Bear Sculpting Championships, GoBearGo, offers endless possibilities for participants to express their creativity freely. The sculptors are invited to describe their bears in action!

Rules of the competition 2019


Applications for the competition will be open to 30. April 2019. Please register using the form that can be found on our website at

Selection of competitors

A maximum of 25 applicants and invitees will be invited to enter the competition.

By 4 June 2019, those chosen to participate will receive a letter with more details about matters such as the competition site, accommodation and catering.

Competitors must be 16 or over. A consent from parents must accompany an application from an applicant younger than 18.


The sculpture must be made using the block of timber provided by the organiser. The competitors are not allowed to add any other materials to their sculpture nor finish the surface with paint or protective treatment. The surface can be finished carefully using a gas torch, though the use of an open fire is prohibited.

The competitors are allowed to change their block of timber once before the start of the competition.

The competitors are allowed to apply a wood protection treatment to their sculpture once the competition results have been announced.

Tools, equipment and safety

In addition to a chainsaw, any tools that are intended or suitable for carving wood can be used for sculpting.

The competitors will bring their own tools, fuel and chain oil (eco-friendly) as well as extension cords if necessary.

As a minimum requirement, the competitors must wear cut-resistant trousers and safety footwear, as well as hearing and eye protection. The competitors must bring their own safety equipment to the competition site.

Each competitor must ensure that they are fully insured.

The sculptors must commit to working in a manner that takes into account the safety of themselves, other competitors and the audience.

Work schedule

Registration will take place between 9 and 11 on Thursday morning, 15 August. The competition will start at noon and continue until 6 pm. On Friday, the competition runs from 9 am until 5 pm.

Judging and prizes

The theme of the 2019 Bear Sculpting World Championships is GoBearGo.  The organiser hopes that the competitors express a personal and creative take on the theme. The grounds for the assessment will be published on the Bear Festival homepage in June 2019. Prizes: 1st prize EUR 1,000, 2nd prize EUR 500, 3rd prize EUR 300. Prize for the audience’s favourite EUR 400.


The panel of judges will consist of experts selected by the organiser.

The panel will select the three best sculptures on the basis of the assessment grounds.

The award ceremony will be held at 3 pm on Saturday, 17 August 2019.

Ownership of the competition sculptures

The competition sculptures will be owned by the Vaara-Karjala Cultural Association of the Association for Rural Culture and Education. A deed of transfer will be drawn up for the sculptures. Some bears will be reserved as so-called ‘sponsor bears’ for companies supporting the activities. These will be drawn from sculptures selected by the association after the competition. The future owners will be responsible for the display, maintenance and storage of the sculptures.

The Union for Rural Culture and Education reserves the right to select two sculptures for its ITE art collection.

Photographs and videos

The organisers have the right to use photographs and other recordings taken during the competition in their competition-related communications.


The main organisers of the competition are the Association for Rural Culture and Education and its regional organisation, the Vaara-Karjala Cultural Association. The competition is part of the 2019 Bear Festival.