Bear Festival

Bear Sculpting World Championship rules 2017

Forest Folk Bear Sculpting World Championships 24 and 25 August 2017 

The theme of the Bear Sculpting World Championships, Forest folk, offers endless possibilities for participants to express their creativity freely. Bear, the king of the forest, and his subjects are a solid foundation for a creative approach.

The Bear Sculpting World Championships will be held on Thursday and Friday, 24 and 25 August 2017. Rules of the competition:


Application for competition is open between 1 March and 24 May 2017

Selection of competitors

A maximum of 20 applicants and invitees will be invited to enter the competition.

By 30 May 2017, 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 allowed to change their block of timber once before the start of the competition.

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 jackets, 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, 24 August. The competition will start at noon and continue until 6pm. On Friday, the competition runs from 9am until 5pm.

Judging and prizes

The theme of the 2017 Bear Sculpting World Championships is forest folk.  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 2017. Prizes: 1st prize EUR 1,500, 2nd prize EUR 700, 3rd prize EUR 400. Prize for the audience’s favourite EUR 500.


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 2.30pm on Saturday, 26 August 2017.

Ownership of the competition sculptures

The competition sculptures will be owned by the Vaara-Karjala Cultural Association of the Union 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 union 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.