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Winners declared at Vancouver Island’s global sand sculpting competition

Competitors from Ontario, Victoria capture top prizes in Parksville
Karen Jean Fralich won first place in the singles event at the 2023 Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition. (Kevin Forsyth photo)

The 2023 Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition wrapped up Sunday (July 16) with 22 impressive and creative creations.

Karen Jean Fralich, who hails from Ontario, won first place in the singles event, while Victoria’s Fred Dobbs and American Ted Siebert took home the doubles award.

The theme of this year’s event was ‘Wonders of the World’, with Fralich opting to pay homage to a natural wonder: the Great Barrier Reef.

“You can see it from space, it’s so big,” she said. “I just went crazy with cool details that I love about coral reefs, and I put my face in the middle of it all.”

Fralich is a judge on a CBC television show called Race Against the Tide and has won 30 first-place titles at international sand sculpting contests, as well as five World Championship titles.

Dobbs and Siebert won for their piece, ‘Wonderland’, inspired by the fact that both carvers previously completed Alice in Wonderland projects.

“It’s not about Alice in Wonderland, it’s just about Wonderland and the idea that one of the wonders of the world is actually imagination — fantasy,” said Dobbs.

Dobbs and Siebert have competed together at contests in Australia, South Korea, Romania and Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: Full lineup of events for your 2023 Parksville Beach Festival

Rounding out the singles awards were Thomas Koet in second place with ‘The Two Wonders of the World’, Abe Waterman, third place with ‘Themeless Parksville’, Peter Vogelaar in fourth place with ‘Age of Wonder’ and in fifth place Damon Langlois for ‘Seed’.

In doubles, Seveline Beauregard and Joris Kivits took second place for ‘Love without Borders’ and Sue McGrew and Dmitry Klimenko won third place for ‘The King’.

Koet also took home the competitors’ choice award for solo and Edith van de Wetering and Wilfred Stijger were awarded competitors’ choice for doubles with ‘Dreams’.

The competition drew sculptors from as far away as the Netherlands, the U.S., Germany, Poland, Mexico, Russia and Germany.

The 29 master sculptors worked for 30 hours over three days on their masterpieces, which will be available for public viewing from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily until Aug. 20.

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Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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