You might be able to get a sense of the Galapagos Islands in the sands of Parksville this summer.
And it your lucky, you might be able to visit the real islands first-hand.
The Parksville Beach Festival Society has announced the 2018 Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition theme: Wild Things — from here to the Galapagos.
Beach Festival Society president Cheryl Dill said in a news release that the theme was an easy decision after collaborating with title sponsor Quality Foods, which is launching its reusable bag campaign.
“Many of the international sculptors appreciate a universal theme that leads to a vast array of ideas,” said Dill. “Taking action to improve our environment locally and globally, aligns well with our international event.”
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage list, the Galapagos Islands, made up of 19 islands, are 1,000 kilometres from the South American continent in the Pacific Ocean. The surrounding marine reserve has been called a “living museum and showcase of evolution.”
“Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands,” according to the Galapagos Islands page on the UNESCO website. “These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life — such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch.”
In keeping with the 2018 theme, Noel Hayward, president of Quality Foods, said the company will be giving away two trips for two to the Galapagos Islands — one to a customer and one to a Quality Foods employee.
The winners will be announced on Aug. 11, prior to the Quality Foods Festival of Lights fireworks display. “We appreciate the sand sculpting Galapagos theme because it ties community, fun and awareness all together,” said Hayward.
Quality Foods will offer reusable bags with the net proceeds from the sale of each new bag, along with a 1,000 Q Point donation from each subsequent use, contributing to local charities and societies, according to the Beach Festival release.
“We have put our heads together to come up with an interesting way to help reduce single-use bags in our stores while benefitting many local community programs,” Hayward said.
The five-week long Beach Festival event will feature international sand sculpting, an art show, buskers and free concerts each weekend. The festival will run July 13 to Aug. 19 at Parksville’s Community Park.
The competition will begin July 13 with sculpting from 2-9 p.m. and will continue July 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibition will run July 16 to Aug. 19 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Entry to the exhibition is by donation.
The Parksville Beach Festival Society assigns 25 per cent of its gate proceeds to community projects and philanthropic groups annually. Since 1999, the society has donated $557,150.
For more information visit www.parksvillebeachfest.ca.
— NEWS Staff and
Beach Festival Society release