Railway Parkette and Canadiana tree sculpture unveiled

The Town of Orangeville has unveiled its largest tree sculpture project yet. The tribute to Canadiana is the centrepiece of a newly-developed parkette at 42 Town Line. The story totem, entitled “Nature’s Unity”, celebrates Canada 150. Its arrival, however, was delayed pending the development of its new home – the Railway Parkette, across from the Orangeville Train Station.

The sculpture and the development of the parkette were made possible by a donation from Stonebridge Building Group Inc., represented by principal Mark Crowe. The Railway Parkette features decorative paving stones, two deciduous trees, low shrubs, park benches, and the tree sculpture surrounded by river rock and borealis plantings, as well as two historical railway plaques.

Weighing approximately 3,000 pounds, the sculpture is carved out of an old Elm tree. Nature’s Unity is a collection of spiritually and environmentally significant animals brought to life in a hierarchy as they tell the story of Canada and its natural beauty.

Starting with the log itself, Kitchener-based artists Paul and Jacob Frenette sculpted deep textured bark to represent the tree this piece came from and the heart of Canada itself – the forests. Then there’s the beaver which maintains Canada’s water irrigation. Rising past the water, there are raccoons and foxes -- the delicate but beautiful part of the ecosystem. Then rises the wolves, bound together as a couple, representing the love and procreation of nature. The bear, overlooking the piece, represents the strength and power of the wild but also the spirit as you enter higher parts of the totem pole. The barn owl, delicate but vital, represents the innocence and need for care. The Native face represents all of us bound as humans on earth. Two great horned owls sit at the top, represented in unity; with a watchful eye they keep nature in balance removing disease and bad omens. They represent the endless cycle of birth and death. Lastly, the Maple Tree Spirit is depicted, representing all nature has to give and reminding us that we are all bound by nature.

Paul and Jacob teamed up along with Douglas Lingelbach to bring imagination to reality with this sculpture. The three artists put their heart and soul into bringing this story to life over the course of a few weeks. Paul and Jacob Frenette are known as “The Carver Kings” and are extreme sport chainsaw sculptors. In addition to taking on custom commissions and stump carving jobs, they compete in competitions all over the world and put on chainsaw shows at various events throughout Canada.
Paul Frenette, has been carving for 15 years and ranks in the top carvers in Canada.  He has competed and won or placed in world class competitions with the best of the best.  Paul was also a TV personality on the TV show spinoff of “Timber Kings -- Carver Kings” on HGTV and “SAW Dogs” on OLN.

Jacob Frenette, Paul’s son, has been carving full-time for four years now but has been doing shows with him for more than a decade.  He was also on the TV show Carver Kings as a carving apprentice. Jacob is on his way to becoming a top carver in Canada. Jacob is also competing in the general competitions and has won or placed in and above his class of carver. Check out the the Frenettes’ work at www.carverkings.com.

Douglas Lingelbach, a pro power carver from Saskatoon has been carving for 30 years and competing as a professional carver for the past four years. His main mediums are wood, ice, snow and stone.

In recent years and since the TV show Carver Kings, there has been a growing demand for carving shows and demonstrations at community events as the awareness of chainsaw carving has grown. Chainsaw carving is no longer the amateur rustic folk art that it was; chainsaw carving has evolved as entertainment and an art form.

Orangeville Mayor Jeremy D Williams says it is great when a local developer works with the Town to create a lasting work of art to be appreciated for many years to come. “I’m thrilled to see Orangeville’s collection of wood sculptures grow,” Mayor Williams says. “Art is an important part of our community. This sculpture will serve to enrich our urban landscape and inspire future artists.”

For more information on Orangeville’s Art Walk of Tree Sculptures please call 519-941-0440 Ext. 2253 or email [email protected].