The hamster-ball race will return to Sunday’s Cadboro Bay Day, one of several oversized inflatables that prove popular at the annual festival. Saanich News file photo

Canada 150 the theme for Sunday’s Cadboro Bay Festival

Sculptors turn 60 tonnes of sand into Canadian creations

Every year sculptor Fred Dobbs comes back to Cadboro-Gyro Park to lead the annual Cadboro Bay Festival sand sculpture, and this year is no different.

Dobbs will lead a crew of artists in designing a main sculpture with two additional works, and the decision for this year’s theme was easy: Canada’s 150th.

“We’ll design the Canada 150 logo with some helpful little Canadian beavers, very busy beavers, wearing toques, carving into the scene,” Dobbs said.

Sixty tonnes of sand will arrive on Friday morning from the Cowichan Valley.

The sand comes in slinger trucks which “shoot it right into the form boxes” in which the sculptors mix water into the sand, pound it and compact it.

“It’s not unlike pouring concrete into a form box, and when we strip away the forms the sand stays in a box [shape],” Dobbs said.

The public is welcome to watch the crew as they carve away on the structure starting at about 9 or 10 a.m. on Saturday until about 8 p.m.

“The real show is Sunday morning when it’s finished and the festival is on,” Dobbs said.

Saanich’s event co-ordinator Rob Phillips said Caddy Bay will again host the popular inflatable activities, including bumper ball soccer, hamster-ball races and the obstacle course.

It’s very family focused with lots of activities for kids aged between four and 12.

Weather depending, the event draws upwards of 4,000 visitors. Parking on the grass field off Penrhyn usually fills up by the early afternoon. A free shuttle bus for parking at UVic’s Lot No. 5 runs in a continuous loop from noon to 4 p.m.

There will be food vendors, doughnuts and other treats, including the Rotary Club’s burgers and Gordon Head Lions making cotton candy.

Remember to bring a refillable water bottle as the CRD will have a water tank on hand to refill bottles.

ON STAGE:

11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Cookeliedh (Celtic)

12:30 to 1:45 p.m.: Jazz Hounds

1:45 to 3 p.m. Younger than Yesterday (Beatles-esque)