Bear Sculpting Championship rules 2021

The Bear Sculpting Championship 13–14 August 2021

The focus of the bear sculpting championship is chainsaw sculpting and the subject is the bear. The theme for 2021 is Bear and Cub, which evokes ideas about the chain of generations and the joys, responsibilities and challenges associated with it. The theme can be an inspiration for affectionate interpretations as well as thought-provoking expression.


Register for the competition by 11 April 2021 using the form on our website or send your registration to

Selection of competitors

A maximum of 40 applicants and invitees will be invited to enter the competition.

By 8 June 2021, those chosen to participate will receive a letter containing more details about matters such as the competition site, accommodation and catering. Participants will be responsible 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 250 cm long, and the diameter at the top at least 50 cm. Pieces can be removed from the block, and these loose parts can be joined together by glue, screws and nails. Wood preservatives can be used to treat the surface of the sculptures, but painting is not allowed.

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 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

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 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.

If a sculptor does not wear the safety equipment referred to in the rules, s/he will be suspended from the competition until the safety equipment standards are met.

Each competitor must ensure that they are fully insured.

The sculptors must commit to working in such a manner that takes into account their own safety as well as that of the other competitors and the audience.

Each sculptor must sign a waiver before the competition.

The competitors are not allowed to use technical assistants during the competition.

Work schedule

Registration will take place in the Bear festival info tent at Kansallistalo yard (Yhtiöntie 8) either on Thursday 12 August 2021 from 6:20 until 7:30 on the evening or on Friday 13 August 2021 from 8:30 until 10:30 on the morning. The competition will be held from 12 noon – 7 pm on Friday, and 9 am – 4 pm on Saturday.

Judging and prizes

The assessment criteria will be published on the Bear Festival homepage in June 2021.

1st prize: EUR 1,000, 2nd prize: EUR 500, 3rd prize: EUR 300.
The panel of judges may award prizes on special grounds for a total of EUR 400.
The prize for the audience’s favourite is EUR 700.


The panel of judges will consist of experts and representatives of arts, wood handling, the environment and local culture.

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

The award ceremony will be held at 2 pm on Sunday, 15 August 2021.

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


The competition is organised by the Association for Rural Culture and Education and its regional organisation, the Vaara-Karjala Cultural Association. The competition is part of the Bear Festival 2021, partnered by the municipality of Ilomantsi.


Due to potential coronavirus restrictions, we reserve the right to make changes to the arrangements for the sculpture competition and the festival.