Speed Sculpting Competition rules 2021

The Speed Bear Sculpting Competition 15 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.


The registration deadline is 11 April 2020. Please register using the form on our website or send your registration to riitta.ryynanen@msl.fi.

Selection of competitors

A maximum of 30 sculptors and invitees will be entered into the competition in order of receipt of the applications. If there are any places left, sculptors can enter in the competition in the Bear festival info tent at Kansallistalo yard (Yhtiöntie 8) from 8.30–10.30 am on Friday, 13 August 2021.

Those chosen to participate 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 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 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.

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 a manner that takes into account the safety of themselves, 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

The speed sculpting competition will be held at the Bear Arena in Katri Vala Cultural Centre on Sunday 15 August 2021 from 11 am – 12 pm. The competitors will be allowed to cut and debark their block of timber before the competition, between 10:30 and 11 am, if they so wish.

Judging and prizes

The three best sculptures in the speed competition will be determined by an audience vote. The voting will take place 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 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.