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Check out the Squamish Day Loggers Sports Festival: summer fun for the whole family

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by Jasmine DeMarcos
July 27, 2016

Community investment

 ​How are you spending your British Columbia Day long weekend? We recommend checking out the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival, from July 28 to August 1, where you can watch competitors from around the world carve chairs out of logs with chainsaws, throw axes and climb trees. Not enough action for you? Enjoy a barbeque, pancake breakfast, kids’ festival, live music, and a parade.

When we’re not talking with local residents about the proposed Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline project at our community office in Squamish, we’re proud to sponsor events around town, including the Squamish Days Outdoor Movie Night on July 28.

Squamish Loggers Sports Association president Bryan Couture has been involved with the world-class event since 1974. He told us about one memorable year a couple of decades ago, when BC Gas (now FortisBC) was working on a gas line near the Loggers Sports grounds, and their equipment got stuck. He brought a tractor from the grounds to help free the equipment, and the grateful crew asked what they could do to help Bryan in return. At the time, the Loggers Sports grounds had problems with flooding, so the BC Gas crew brought their equipment, dug trenches and helped install a water drainage system. When local residents saw the crew at work they assumed a gas line was being installed.

“I spread a rumour that we were heating the bleachers with natural gas,” Bryan said. “But in reality they were helping us install better water drainage so our infield wouldn't flood every year. It’s great when community and industry can work together and find solutions to get projects done… There’s not enough industry in Squamish right now,” he added.

"We need more industry, larger scale employers and more opportunities for residents to work locally in solid, well-paying jobs. I’d like to see more industry come to Squamish. We can't just build houses—industry brings tax dollars as well. Squamish is changing and growing, and we need to increase the taxes coming in to keep with the demand for services and demand on our infrastructure. In my work life and volunteering with Squamish Days for more than 40 years, I’ve seen how industry and tourism can work together. I ran a business taking exhibition logging shows across Canada and the world, introducing people to the history of the west coast of Canada through logging. We did our shows at festivals, fairs, conventions, trade shows, and brought the logging industry to the tourists where ever we travelled.”

We asked Bryan a few questions about the Loggers Sports Festival:

What makes this a great event for people of all ages?

People enjoy the spectacle of the Loggers Sports competitions; it's a different type of sporting event then you typically see, and there are only so many places you can go to see them. Plus, our festival is affordable and family friendly. Most of our events are free to attend, meaning you can enjoy an entire five-day long weekend of entertainment with your family for around $100, depending on how hungry and thirsty you are! Also, the history of the event really resonates with the locals. This year we’re celebrating 59 years of the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival. For a lot of the locals this event is something they grew up with, and it just goes without saying they always spend their BC Day Long Weekend in town watching or being a part of the historic event.

Why do you think it attracts competitors from around the world?

There aren't many places to compete in loggers sports around the world, and we're lucky enough to have one of the biggest and best competitions, and locations, in North America. The competitors that come to Squamish Days rave about our town, and return year after year to compete and spend some time in our west coast paradise! 

Why is this event important for the Squamish community?

The most important thing about the Squamish Days Festival is that it’s a major fundraiser for six service clubs and groups in Squamish: the Squamish Rotary, Squamish Elks, Royal Canadian Legion, Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue Station 4, Squamish Equestrian Club and the Squamish Curling Club. These groups volunteer and help organize different aspects of the festival weekend and in return each gets a share of the profits. So when people come out to our events, buy tickets, sponsor, or enjoy some tasty snacks at the loggers sports grounds they are helping these clubs raise money for their local initiatives.

Are you looking for event volunteers? How can people get involved with Squamish Days?

Yes—we've always got a spot for new or returning volunteers! You can register online at www.squamishdays.ca/partners/volunteer/ or send an email to celebrate@squamishdays.ca and we will connect people to the current volunteer opportunities.