Chainsaw carver Shane Williams beside the nine foot (2.7 m) bench he made for Sunshine Bay complete with an eagle and osprey carved with a chainsaw.

New bench at Sunshine Bay

The West Arm Outdoor Club is making a difference in Harrop-Proctor.

The boat launch at Sunshine Bay has a new bench to take in the beautiful views of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake.

The West Arm Outdoors Club re-decked the boat launch this June and when the work was done, director Dale Williams said it was obvious that they needed something nice there.

The club put a simple request in to Dale’s son, chainsaw carver Shane Williams, but what he delivered was a piece of art.

The bench was created with chainsaw carvings of a sun rising out of Kootenay Lake framed by an osprey and eagle perched on each side. The nine foot (2.7 m) long bench weighs 200 pounds (91 kg) so it was assembled on site last month.

“I’m into birds,” said Shane on what inspired him.

“People want me to carve bears as chainsaw art loans itself to that but I love birds. I can’t get enough of them. I keep carving them: owls, robins, you name it.”

He chose the raptors because “those birds are always down there and I put sunshine on the bench back for Sunshine Bay of course, with a 100-mile view to give it depth perception.”

It took him one week to build the impressive piece saying he “put in extra time.” He said the bench is more chunky than the delicate pieces he has been working on recently.

Williams started chainsaw carving two years ago as what he calls self-prescribed art therapy. “Being a musician is so hard to make a living,” he said. “So I took ethereal music into something physical, transferring a portion of my musical creativity into carving.

“I’m so deep and complex,” he chuckled. “I’m all about the funnies.”

Williams uses specialty chainsaws for his carvings and this new carver has as much character as his work displayed on his Facebook page, Wicked Wood Chainsaw carvings.

With another project under its belt, the club continues to work with the RDCK to secure tenure, and permission, to construct a fishing platform at Procter.

The platform will be handicapped accessible, and also encourage children’s fishing opportunities which they aim to complete by next spring.

The club is a non-profit, conservation society affiliated with the BC Wildlife Federation, and is based out of the communities located at the outlet of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake (Procter, Balfour, Harrop, Queens Bay, Longbeach, and the North Shore).

The 40-member strong organization is involved in several different projects that operate with community support, with the major emphasis on promoting the wise use of natural resources relating to fisheries, wildlife, and habitat.

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