BARRINGTON, N.S. – Professional lumberjacks from across the Maritimes and the northeastern U.S. will be competing for top honours and prize money at the third annual Nova Scotia Lumberjack Championships, to be held in Barrington on June 16.
Ryan McIntyre, president of the North Nova Lumberjack Society (NNLS), confirmed last week that Barrington has been selected to host the provincial championship event this year.
“It will be in Barrington,” said McIntyre in an interview. “We haven’t finalized the venue yet. We’ve got it down to two spots.”
Wanting to promote the sport, the North Nova Lumberjack Society initiated the Nova Scotia Lumberjack Championships in 2016. In its first year, the event was named the best overall competition on the pro-circuit by the Maritime Lumberjack Association. “We’re pretty proud of that,” said McIntyre. “To start one up and get voted the best is pretty good. It’s a feather in our cap.”
For the last two years the provincial championships have been held in Truro, attracting upwards of 35 professional competitors from across the Maritimes, as well as a large number of spectators. By holding it in southwestern Nova Scotia, McIntyre said organizers are hopeful they will attract competition from the northeastern U.S., given the easy access from New England to the area via the Yarmouth and Digby ferries.
“We’re really excited to be coming down to the south shore,” said McIntyre. “It’s really a beautiful spot to hold it. Barrington has got the heritage there. Forestry is huge and has been tied to that community for a long time.
While not all the details of the one-day pro-show are finalized yet, for the past two years competition events included springboard chop, underhand chop, standing block chop as well as a number of sawing events such as hot saw and single bucking.
“We got some of the best in the world right now in those events in eastern Canada,” said McIntyre, adding in 2016 a world record was set in single buck, and there have been Maritime records broken both years.
“It’s pretty high-calibre competition,” he said. “We’re looking forward to putting on a great pro-show down there.”
The NNLS has requested $7,500 in financial support from the Municipality of Barrington to assist with operating costs to run the event, which have been in the $30,000 range over the past two years, wrote McIntyre in a letter to the Municipality: “The requested funds would be primarily used to ensure we can provide a prize payout structure that will attract the best athletes in the sport from Eastern Canada and the northeast United States to travel to Barrington to compete.”
The request was received by municipal council at a committee meeting on Jan. 8. The committee “expressed interest in having this event hosted in the municipality, and would like to pursue this opportunity,” the meeting minutes read. “Staff have been asked to request some further information from the event organizers, and also have a discussion regarding partnering with neighbouring municipal units.”
Sponsorship “is a big part of having a successful event,” said McIntyre. “Funding will drive what we can do. How much prize money we can offer. What kind of media coverage we can get for it. We worked with the Lumberjack TV series the last two years and we were considering it again this year, but it may be cost prohibitive so it really comes down to if we have the funds available.”
McIntyre said one of the reasons the event has been so successful over the past two years is a lot of businesses around Truro and across Nova Scotia provided sponsorship. “Hopefully we can get the same support on the south shore.”