Sandcastle competition sees mix of grand sculptures and budding artists’ creations

Mitch MacDonald
Published on July 19, 2014

The Fathers of Confederation, Province House and even a boa constrictor took on sandy forms at Brackley Beach Saturday.

The Great Island Sandcastle Competition was held with families and professional sandcastle architects alike using pails, shovels, sand and water to create works of art for a large beach-going crowd during the seemingly perfect summer day.

Artist Maurice Bernard, who is also a sandcastle sculptor and host of P.E.I. National Park’s summer program “Sensational Sandcastles” was offering tips through out the day.

Bernard said while there are professional sandcastle competitions, the Brackley competition largely sees tourists and families participating.

“It’s a lot of people doing it for the first time. They’re here on vacation and just wanting to try it out,” said Bernard. “It has brought a lot of energy onto the beach.”

With a theme focusing on the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, many of the castles featured the Canadian flag, as well as top hats worn by the Fathers of Confederation.

While many are aware of the basics of building a sandcastle, Bernard helped individuals make their creations come to life.

“Just learning a few little tricks can kind of make it stand out,” said Bernard.

One of the sandcastles that really stood out was created by Halifax residents Jacob and Mia Foster, with a little help from their parents.

Jacob, 11, and Mia, 9, created a large boa constrictor that had a beach chair and straw umbrella in the middle.

The two decided on the design after previously making a similar, yet smaller, one.

“A lot of people liked it before when we did it,” said Mia. “But this one’s bigger.”

“We thought that maybe we’d try it again,” added Jacob.

Bernard said that creating the sandcastles and visiting Brackley Beach while vacationing is also part of the P.E.I. experience.

“When you’re on vacation you really like being part of the place,” he said. “A lot of people really feel like they’re part of P.E.I. when they get involved in these types of activities.”

That’s a statement that Jacob and Mia, who are in the province for another week of vacationing, could both agree with.

“I’d say today has been the best day,” said Jacob.