Bear Festival

Speed Sculpting Competition rules 2020

The Speed Bear Sculpting Competition in Ilomantsi, Finland, 15 August 2020

The theme of the Speed Bear Sculpting Competition is Freestyle. The sculptors are challenged to use their imagination to combine inventiveness with technical skills.


The Speed Bear Sculpting Competition 15 August 2020
The theme of the 2020 Speed Bear Sculpting Competition is Freestyle. The sculptors are challenged to use their imagination to combine inventiveness with technical skills. The chainsaw and the bear are still the core of the competition, but this time there are no limits to the surface treatment of the sculptures.


The registration deadline is 30 April 2020. Please register using the form on our website or send your registration to

Selection of competitors

A maximum of 30 sculptors will be entered into the competition in order of receipt of the applications. If there are any places left, sculptors can enter the competition at the Bear Festival competition office in Ilomantsi from 8–10 am on the day of the competition, Saturday, 15 August 2020.

Those who have entered the competition will receive a letter containing more details about matters such as the competition site, accommodation and catering. The competitors will pay for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Competitors must be aged 16 or over. Applications from applicants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by parental consent.


The sculpture must be made using the block of timber provided by the organiser. The block will be about 150 cm long, and the diameter at the top at least 45 cm. Pieces can be removed from the block and freely combined. In 2020, there will be no limits to the surface treatment of the sculptures. For example, sculptors will be allowed to paint their sculptures, to tool and decorate the surfaces with their own materials as well as to glue, screw or nail parts to the sculptures.

The materials and the working methods must not cause any harm or risk to the audience or the environment. Sculptors must remove or dispose of any surplus materials in a proper manner. The organiser will clear any sawdust and timber from the site. The surface can be finished carefully using a gas torch, though the use of open fire is prohibited.

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

Tools, equipment and safety

A chainsaw must be used for sculpting, and other tools that are intended or suitable for carving wood can also be used.

The competitors will bring their own saw and other tools, surface treatment materials and equipment, 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.

Each sculptor must sign a waiver before the competition.

Work schedule

The speed sculpting competition will be held at the Bear Arena in Katri Vala Cultural Centre on Saturday 15 August 2020 from 11 am – 1 pm.

Judging and prizes

The theme of the competition is Freestyle. Sculptors are challenged to come up with inventive, creative and personal ways of depicting the bear.

The three best sculptures in the speed competition will be determined by an audience vote. The voting will take place immediately after the sculpting time is over.

Prizes: 1st prize: EUR 700, 2nd prize: EUR 400, 3rd prize: EUR 300.

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. The owner also reserves the right to auction the sculptures. The future owners will be responsible for the display, maintenance and storage of the sculptures.

The Association 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 speed sculpting competition is organised by the Association for Rural Culture and Education and its regional organisation, the Vaara-Karjala Cultural Association, in cooperation with the municipality of Ilomantsi. The competition is part of the 2020 Bear Festival and the ITE art jubilee year programme.