Chainsaw artist Nick Hall placed the finishing touches on a new pole outside the Squamish Nation Totem Hall on Friday.
The almost eight-metre (25-foot) art piece, carved into a Douglas fir, was commissioned by the Squamish Nation.
At the Nation's request, the piece includes an eagle perched at the top, a grizzly bear, a wolf, and a mountain goat carved onto the trunk as well as salmon swimming around the base.
The pole also features hints of the animals’ habitats. For example, the salmon swim in rapids and the goat is perched on rocks.
"I tried to make it the same sort of rocks as the Chief," Hall said, pointing to the Stawamus Chief, which towers across the highway from Totem Hall.
Hall told The Squamish Chief that the project started with the eagle, which was carved back in February.
Also an arborist, he said working with his chainsaw atop the tall pole was not daunting.
"I actually had to build a platform at the top — it looked a bit like an eagle's nest — and that gave me something to stand on while I was carving," he said, after just adding some tar varnish to the pole to protect it from the elements.
Hall, who is not Indigenous, said he enjoyed working for the Nation. Many members stopped by to chat and offer support while watching him work, he added.
While originally from Ontario, Hall is a frequent participant at loggers sports, including at the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival.
(He was wearing a local festival shirt when The Chief interviewed him.)
It is at loggers sports where his chainsaw carving artistry began.
"I have always been a little bit artistic," he said. "As part of a lumberjack show that I do — I used to do a travelling lumberjack show all over Australia and New Zealand and all over the world — we would just carve a little chair."
From there, people have asked him to carve other things.
"I would just carve something simple, and before you knew it, I was doing bigger and bigger carvings," he said. "Before you know it, we were doing five-foot carvings."
He had never done anything on the scale of this project before, however.
"This one was a huge project for me," he said, adding he is proud of how it turned out.
Find more of his work on his Sawdust Factory Wood Creations Instagram account @sawdustfactory_wc.