Rules & Judging

Over the past 39 years the Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition has attracted visitors from all over the world and we’re expecting another awesome turnout this year!

Dates of the competition are July 13th – 16th, 2023.  The exhibition is open to the public from Friday July 14th at 2pm until Sunday August 20th at 8:30pm.  The event is held at the Parksville Community Park, located at 193 Island Hwy. East in Parksville, BC.

Prize Money 2023 (CAD)
Soloist Double
First $1800 $3600
Second $1550 $3100
Third $1300 $2600
Fourth $1050
Fifth $800
Competitor’s Choice Award $250 $500
People’s Choice Award $500 $1000
  • All competitors will receive a $1200 CAD appearance fee.
  • Plots will be pre-assigned, but you will be able to request your top 3 choices.
  • The theme for 2023 is the “Wonders of the World”.
  • On Thursday, July 13th, pound up will take place from 8:00am – 5:00pm with a 45 minute break – lunch will be supplied. You may begin carving on Thursday once your pound up is complete. You may also pound up on Friday if needed.
  • Plots are competitor-only zones. Only registered competitors may participate in the construction process. Soloists may use a helper to assist with the assembly and removal of the forms, but helpers may not help fill the forms or assist in pounding. Forms can be placed and left in the plot prior to start. It is suggested that you arrive early enough on Wednesday so that you can pick up your forms and leave them in your plot so they are ready for Thursday morning.
  • Competition time is 30 hours -Thursday July 13th, 8:00am – 5:00pm with a 45 min lunch break, Friday July 14th, 8:00am – 5:00pm with a 45 min lunch break, Saturday July 15th, 8:00am – 5:00pm with a 45 min lunch break and Sunday July 16th, 8:00am – 2:00pm with a 45 min lunch break. All breaks are timed and must be taken. Work must stop at the break horns and final horn.
  • There will be a Sponsor reception on Friday, July 14th from 6:00-8:00pm. We request that all competitors attend. Our sponsors will also be attending this event.
  • Most meals will be provided during the competition for all participating sculptors. If you have any dietary restrictions please let us know on your registration form.
  • Doubles will receive 15 yards of sand with a 20′ x 20′ plot size. Soloists will receive 10 yards of sand with a 12′ x 15′ plot size. Materials are the sand within the plot and water available on site. No non-beach decorative material, artificial colours, paints, flour, sugar, cement or adhesives are permitted. Water will be plumbed in to the site so water will be available with hoses instead of having to fill troughs.
  • We have some wood forms from previous years that will be available on a first come, first served basis, as well as flex forms. It is recommended that you order your forms ahead of time so that the forms and/or the wood are ready for you. You may also provide your own forms.
  • You will be supplied with weather screens to protect your sculpture after you have finished carving particular elements and as you proceed from the top down. Sculptors are allowed in the plot to spray at any time, and your entire sculpture must be sprayed (unless rain makes spraying impossible) before you can qualify for prizes or any financial award.
  • No power equipment or machinery is allowed in the plot. Cordless drills, etc, may only be used outside the plot.
  • Any advertising displayed by competitors must be pre-approved by the Parksville Beach Festival Society. No personal marketing or sponsorship signage will be permitted.
  • You must carve the title of your piece in the sand before judging to be eligible for prize money and expenses. Paper or wooden signs are not acceptable.
  • We encourage you to bring a laminated piece of paper with your name on it and some info about your sculpture, so that the public can see what you are building during the weekend. This will be replaced by your head shot and a description of your sculpture after the competition.
  • Judging will be from 2:30-4:30pm on Sunday, July 16th and awards will be handed out at approximately 5:00pm. All judges’ decisions will be final.
  • Please keep your plots clean and free of litter.
  • Please submit in your t-shirt size, head shot and bio so we can create signage and let the media know who will be competing at this year’s event.
  • Competitors are responsible for bringing their own sculpting tools and plastic, should you wish to cover up your sculpture overnight in case of foul weather. Shovels, hammers, crow bars and rakes will be available.
  • We will arrange accommodation for you and will pair you with another sculptor. If you wish to room with someone please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request. If you wish to make your own accommodation arrangements you will be responsible for payment. Please let us know if you are booking your own accommodations.
  • The Parksville Beach Festival Society will pay for your travel costs to a maximum of $2000 CAD for international travel and $1200 CAD for North American travel. Please submit your application outlining your travel costs. We strongly suggest that you make ferry reservations to and from the event, since this is a very busy time for BC Ferries. If you are flying in, we suggest that you book in advance and book economy class airfare. No others will be considered. All funds are in Canadian currency and subject to completion of your piece.
  • You MUST have your receipts in by August 25th, 2023 or you will NOT be reimbursed. The sooner you hand in your original receipts the quicker you will receive your reimbursement.
  • Please link the Parksville Beach Festival to your web site
  • If you have any other questions please email the Event Manager, Wendy Sears at
What the judges are looking for:

Judging a sand sculpture is like comparing the beauty of a tulip to a rose – it’s subjective with the elements of technical difficulty and artistic merit.

When judging a sand sculpture, the “Wow Factor” plays a critical role: What’s your first impression? What emotions are stirred in your heart? What’s the impact?

The judges look for a wide variety of things when judging the work of internationally renowned sand sculptors. The key elements are artistic merit, overall design, creativity, originality, consistency, accurate proportions, illusion of movement, expressive faces and details. Also considered is the general balance of the design along with use of sand and a consistent theme.

Sculptures can collapse so judges also look at the technical difficulty, scrutinizing the use of impossible-looking overhangs, cut-through’s, height, hollowing out, arches and delicate narrow elements, along with the sculptor’s general control of the sand.

When you are selecting your favourite sculptures, consider the following and see how close you can get to the judges’ outcomes:

Wow Factor – 30%
  1. What’s your first impression (the piece’s ability to capture your attention)?
  2. The sculpture’s ability to make you think; its appeal to you on an emotional level.
Artistic Merit – 30%
  1. The quality of the composition and the overall skill displayed in the carving.
  2. Perceived quality or value as a work of art – expressed action, realism, abstraction, and/or animation.
Overall Design – 20%
  1. Overall composition and use of the elements of composition (balance, rhythm, contrast, etc.)
  2. Use of the elements of design (lines, shapes, textures, overall form, etc.)
  3. Consistent and accurate proportions (or effective manipulation, as in a forced perspective).
  4. Display of imagination, originality, creativity & concept.
  5. Continuity of theme (consistent quality throughout the sculpture and effective use of the sand).
Technical difficulty – 20%
  1. Does the piece display the sculptor’s ability to maximize the sand’s potential?
  2. Height, depth, mass.
  3. Verticality, cut-through’s, overhangs and undercuts.
  4. Consistent quality (display of sculptor’s ability to use the time and sand effectively).

Put your business in the spotlight and reach over 100,000 potential customers.  There are many ways to participate!  If you don’t find the right fit for your business and budget, we would be happy to customize a benefit package to suit your needs.  Contact us at


Master sculptors from all around the world apply to participate in Parksville’s annual competition each year.

Today Is
27 Jan 2023