Carving on the Edge Festival organizers admire a totem pole. (Submitted photo)

Carving on the Edge Festival organizers admire a totem pole. (Submitted photo)

Carving on the Edge Festival returns Sept. 8-13

Festivities include Totem Pole raising at Naa’Waya’Sum Gardens on Sept. 9

Founded in 2010, the Carving on the Edge Festival emerged out of a desire to gain a deeper understanding of the coastal traditions of carving with the goals of encouraging the growth of the carving community and building much-needed cultural bridges.

In 2018, the Board of Directors decided to transition the festival to a biennial format, to allow time and resources in the alternate festival years to focus on supporting local cultural projects and building capacity for community programs. Over the years, this investment has supported dugout canoe mentorship, community carving club and supports language revitalization projects. The community investment continues this year with a youth engagement project. . In 2022, the “Through Our Eyes” photovoice project partnered with Tla-o-qui-aht youth, the Wickaninnish Community School and Ucluelet Secondary School to empower youth to tell their stories through photography and writing. Their photos and stories will be featured at the Edge Art Exhibit during the festival.

The 2022 Carving on the Edge Festival is guided by this year’s theme mułmunčʔałuk: Taking Care of the Roots, and centres on the importance of the passing on of knowledge, through family, friends, peers and culture. Knowledge-sharing and relationship building is at the heart of the festival and there is no better time to explore mentee/mentor relationships, generational knowledge and the importance of community care than at the first festival back together after a difficult few years of isolation and loss.

This year, the festival proudly partners with the Naa’Waya’Sum Coastal Indigenous Gardens for the Artist Forum, Totem Pole Raising and the Open Carving Area. . The raising of the Naa’Waya’Sum totem pole will take place during the festival on September 9, 2022, starting at 11:00 a.m. with a celebration to follow.

The festival offers a wide range of workshops on Saturday and Sunday. There will be adze and hook knife making, relief carving, printmaking, painting on wood and carving with women. There will also be cedar weaving workshops and sharpening demos.

The Shore Pier will host an expanded Edge Exhibit, presentations and artist-led tours. The Edge Exhibit will be open to the public for the entire duration of the festival, with ongoing artist tours throughout the day. Featured at the Edge Exhibit will be a variety of carvers and weavers from traditional to contemporary arts. As well, the “Through Our Eyes” Youth Photovoice Project will be on display with youth from Tofino, Ucluelet, Opitsaht and Ty-Histanis.

To view submission guidelines and submit to the Edge Exhibit, visit the submission form on their website at

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