2024 Show

Antique Decoys

General guidelines

  1. Entries can be inspired by decoys from the past but must be the carvers interpretation of an "old" decoy.
  2. Decoys should be made to look old by the manner in which they are carved and finished.
  3. Decoys should be functional, durable and able to withstand the hard use of hunting.
  4. The decoy must be "antique" in style and appearance.
  5. The decoys will not be floated.

Entries will be grouped into three classes:-

  • All Ducks
  • All Geese, Swans and Confidence Decoys
  • All Shorebirds


There are best of show awards for all skill levels combined for the three categories.

Feature Species Awards

These awards are sponsored by Telegraph Cove Resort

All prizes will be in the form of Gift Vouchers.

  1. Waterfowl Award - Best life-size Bufflehead drake (spring plumage), Div. A, Cat. 2
  2. Upland Gamebirds Award - Best (any size) Mountain Quail male (summer plumage). Life-size (Div. B, Cat.8) or Miniature (Div. C, Cat.12)
  3. Shorebirds Award - Best life-size Red Phalarope female (summer plumage), Div. E, Cat.18

This competition is open to carvers of all skill levels. Your carving will first compete in your skill level and then all eligible entries in the show will be judged together for these awards.


Ribbons will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each Category, and medallions for Best of Division. Large rossettes and cash are awarded for Best of Show by skill level for the four main Sections of the Show: Wildfowl, Fish & Wildlife, Traditional Carving and Woodworking.

Brochure Printing

The brochure provides more details on awards and category definitions

In case of any discrepancy between the show brochure and the website, the competition rules in the current brochure will apply.

Print/View the Brochure Print/View

Cocktail Carvings

The Cocktail Competition will be composed of three categories:-

  • Land - all terrestrial creatures
  • Water - any creature that spends most of its life in water
  • Air - any creature that is capable of flying
  1. There are NO skill levels - Carvers from all skill levels will compete against each other in each of the 3 categories.
  2. Bodies including head and tail to be no larger than four inches, in any direction.
  3. Habitat is not included in the four inch rule.
  4. You may enter any species you wish.
  5. No restrictions on detailed painting or texturing.
  6. Habitat allowed and encouraged.
  7. Decoys do not have to float.


A condition of entry in the Cocktail Class is that your entry will be sold in the auction. The carver will receive 50% of the winning bid.

Divisions and categories

New to competitons and need help on where to enter, then try our Guide - View

  1. Realistic Life-size Birds known as "Decorative", refers to carvings portraying realism through carving, feather texturing and painting. Water bird categories include both flat bottomed birds (as if on water) and carvings that have full body profiles and can be standing, flying or shown with habitat. Habitat may include materials other than wood.
  2. Song Birds are grouped in three categories by size - small, medium and large (see Species lists). The judging chair will decide placement of any species not on the lists.
  3. Miniature refers to a carving that is one-half life-size or smaller. Carvings less than full-size but larger than half-size compete in the appropriate full-size category.
  4. Heads compete in the appropriate full-size category.
  5. Hunting Decoys refers to working decoys that could be used for hunting. Decoys MAY BE FLOATED (depending on the number of entries) and must self right; ducks from any position and geese from the side. Unsupported primary feathers are not allowed. Entries will be judged for sturdiness and proper floatation.Simplicity of painting is required. All entries must have attachment points for anchor lines (lines and anchors not needed).
  6. Contemporary Decoys includes both IWCA-style decoys and non-floating flat bottom “smoothies”. Entries may be with or without a keel but WILL NOT BE FLOATED. There are no restrictions on painting. This division also includes shorebirds mounted on a simple base with a wood or metal dowel.
  7. Antique-Style refers to carvings made to look as if they are old by the manner in which they are carved, painted and finished.
  8. Decorative Life-size Fish entries will be judged for realism of the fish and habitat, as well as the other judging criteria listed.
  9. Decorative Life-size Wall Mount entries will be hung on the wall for judging and must have sturdy attachments for hanging.
  10. Decorative Miniature Fish entries must be full-bodied, one-half life-size or less, with a maximum subject length of 8 inches.
  11. Interpretive Fish Carving entries will be judged based on creativity, not as a true-to-life representation. Eyes may be carved or glass. Natural finish or painted entries are acceptable.
  12. Interpretive and Stylized wildlife is open to any interpretation or style; entries can be natural finish, wood burned or painted but not trueto-life.
  13. Myth and Fantasy includes both animsl-like creatures (dragons, unicorns) and humanoids (elves, fairies, gnomes, mermaids, Santas, trolls, wizards, etc.).
  14. Botanical includes carvings depicting flowers, fruits, leaves or other vegetative subjects. It is also the category to enter carvings made from wood-like materials (except bark) such as nuts and gourds.
  15. Miscellaneous is for carvings that do not fit any other category. Examples include abstract forms, puzzles, spoons and othe wood sculptures.
  16. Native-Style refers to carvings inspired by First Nations art, particularly the natives of the Pacific Coast of North America, but other native styles are welcome in this Division. The two categories seperate “in-the-round” (masks, rattles, totems, bowls) from mainly “flat surface” carvings (plaques, paddles and boxes)
  17. Woodturning is divided into six categories. Hollow-form includes vases or turnings where the opening of the vessel is relatively small; boxes are any lidded container; multi-part assemblies are entries with multiple turned pieces in a set (such as chess or tea sets); spindles are any "between centre" turnings; segmented turnings are composed of multiple pieces of wood glued together, typically to create designs.
  18. Woodworking - Decorative includes pyrography (woodburning), marquetry (inlay) & intarsia (using varied shapes, sizes and species of wood fitted together to create a mosaic-like picture) and scroll saw projects intended to be artwork or primarily decorative. Pyrography includes pictures, boxes or other items where woodburning is a dominant element of the piece.
  19. Woodworking - Functional includes four categories of items intended to be used for specific functions. Household includes breadbords and other small functional items not covered by other categories. Furniture includes tables, chairs, cabinets etc.
  20. Musical Instruments is divided into three categories: all stringed instruments, percussion (drums and other instruments that make a sound when they are hit, shaken or scraped) and woodwind (flutes, recorders, etc.).

Please note the Show has been split into four Competitions with a Best of Show awarded in each.

Divs. and Cats. have been modified to reflect this change.

Wildfowl Carving Competition

Division A:Realistic Lifesize Waterbirds
Category 1:Marsh Ducks
Category 2:Diving Ducks
Category 3:Geese & Swans
Category 4:Seabirds, Shorebirds, other

Division B:Realistic Lifesize Landbirds
Category 5:Small Songbirds
Category 6:Medium Songbirds
Category 7Large Songbirds
Category 8Upland Gamebirds
Category 9Raptors
Category 10Woodpeckers & Others

Division C:Realistic Miniature Birds
Category 11Waterbirds
Category 12Landbirds

Division D:Hunting Decoys (Floating)
Category 13Marsh Ducks
Category 14Diving Ducks
Category 15Geese, Swans & Confidence

Division E:Contemp. Decoys (non-floating)
Category 16Marsh & Diving Ducks
Category 17Geese, Swans & Confidence
Category 18Shorebirds

Division F:Antique-style Decoys
Category 19Ducks
Category 20Geese & Confidence
Category 21Shorebirds

Fish and Wildlife Carving Competition

Division G:Decorative Lifesize Fish
Category 22Trout, Salmon & Char
Category 23Other Freshwater Fish
Category 24Saltwater Fish

Division H:Mounts / Miniatures / Interpretive
Category 25Wall Mounts
Category 26Decorative Miniatures
Category 27Interpretive / Stylized

Division I:Realistic Wildlife
Category 28Land Mammals
Category 29Water Mammals
Category 30Reptiles, Amphibians, Others

Division J:Interpretive/Stylized Wildlife
Category 31Natural Finish
Category 32Woodburned or Painted

Traditional Carving Competition

Division K:Humans & Animals
Category 33Caricatures
Category 34Realistic Humans
Category 35Domestic Animals
Category 36Myth and Fantasy

Division L:Natural Materials & Misc.
Category 37Canes, Walking Sticks
Category 38Driftwood Creations
Category 39Bark Carving
Category 40Botanical
Category 41Miscellaneous

Division M:Relief & Chip
Category 42Relief Carving
Category 43Chip Carving

Division N:Pacific Coast Native-Style
Category 44Masks, Rattles, Totems, Bowls
Category 45Paddles, Plaques, Boxes

Division O:
Category 46Stone
Category 47Bone, Antler

Woodworking Competition

Division P:Wood Turning
Category 48Bowls & Platters
Category 49Vases, Hollow-Forms
Category 50Turned Boxes
Category 51Multi-part Assemblies
Category 52Pens, Lamps, Other Spindles
Category 53Segmented Turnings

Division Q:Woodworking - Decorative
Category 54Pyrography
Category 55Marquetry & Intarsia
Category 56Scroll Saw

Division R:Woodworking - Functional
Category 57Boxes
Category 58Toys
Category 59Household Items
Category 60Furniture

Division S:Musical Instruments
Category 61Stringed
Category 62Percussion
Category 63Woodwind

Special Competitions

Division T:Cocktail Carvings
Category 64Land ( All terrestrial creatures)
Category 65Water ( aquatic/semi aquatic creatures)
Category 66Air (All creatures that fly)

Division U:Special
Category 67Carvers' Challenge

Division Y:Youth
Category 68Age 11 and under
Category 69Age 11 to 14
Category 70Age 15 to 18

Skill Levels


  • For participants age 18 and younger. Entries will be judged by age groups as follows: 11 and under, 12 to 14, 15 to 18. NOTE:- Youth competition is found in the SPECIAL competitions in online registration. Participants under 18 do not have to enter in Youth if they wish to compete in a higher skill level. There is one Youth competition for all entries (no seperate Divisions and Categories).


  • This is the entry level of competition. You may enter at this level until having won 3 Best of Division awards with 3 different pieces.


  • For carvers or woodworkers who display skills beyond the Novice level. You may enter at this level until having won 5 Best of Division awards on 5 different pieces.


  • For individuals who display advanced skills in all judging criteria. After winning 5 Best of Division awards with 3 different carvings in 3 different shows, the carver must move to the Expert level.


  • For individuals who qualify to move beyond Advanced, displaying excellence in all judging criteria. You are allowed to compete in Advanced for Divisions in which you have not achieved the Expert skill level.


  • Some competitions in the show are open to all skill levels. This applies to Division T: “Cocktail Carvings” and Division U: "Special" (annual Carver's Challenge), so you will enter the skill level as “OPEN”. There are other OPEN competitions in the show for special awards where you enter your normal skill level and category, but you will also compete with other carvings drawn from all skill levels. This applies to:
    • Best Antique-style
    • Best Brant
    • Best Hunting Decoy
  • The People’s Choice and Carver’s Choice awards are also open to all skill levels and are chosen by ballot.

Species Listing

Species categories follow the Pacific Northwest Carvers (PNC) association listings except where some categories have been combined.

Marsh Ducks
black duck, gadwall, mallard, pintail, shoveler, teal(all), wigeon, wood duck, whistling duck.
Diving Ducks
bufflehead, canvasback, eider, goldeneye, harlequin, merganser(all), long-tailed duck, redhead, ring-neck, ruddy duck, scaup, scoter, smew.
Geese, Swans
brant, canada, snow and all other geese, mute, tundra and all other swans.
A term used in the three decoy divisions(D, E, F) for species that are nut hunted, but their presence may encourage other waterfowl to land, such as a seabird (and including shorebirds and wading birds in Div D).
Sea Birds
albatros, anhinga, auk, boobie, cormorant, frigatebird, gannet, gull, jaeger, pelican, penguin, petrel, puffin, shearwater, skimmer, skua, tern, tropicbird, others.
Shorebirds (and wading birds)
avocet, coot, crane, curlew, egret, flamingo, gallinule, godwit, heron, ibis, knot,limpkin,oystercatcher, phalarope. plover, rail, sandpiper, snipe, spoonbill, stilt, stork, turnstone, whimbrel, woodcock, yellowlegs.
Small Songbirds
bushtit, chickadee, creeper, finch, kinglet, nuthatch, siskin, sparrow, swallow, warbler, wren (except cactus), yellowthroat, verdin.
Large Songbirds
crow, cuckoo, flicker, grackle, jay, longspur, magpie, mockingbird, nighthawk, nutcracker, raven, robin, shrike, thrasher, varied thrush.
Medium Songbirds
all others not on above lists.
Woodpeckers, others
bee-eater, cuckoo, dove, hummingbird, flicker, kingfisher, parrot, pidgeon, road runner, swift, toucan, woodpecker, other non-passerine land birds.
Upland gamebirds
grouse, guineafowl, partridge, peafowl, pheasant, ptarmigan, quail, turkey.
Raptors (Birds of Prey)
eagle, falcon, hawk, kite, osprey, owl, vulture.
all raptors, songbirds, upland gamebirds, woodpeckers/others.
all ducks, geese, seabirds, shorebirds.

Endangered Species Competition

Murres (Common or Thick-billed)

common murre

Common Murre

thick-billed murre

Thick-billed Murre

Your Carving may be realistic lifesize (Div. A, Cat. 4 Seabirds, Shorebirds, Others) or miniature (Div. C, Cat. 11 Waterbirds),

interpretive/stylized (Div. G), relief or other flat style (Div. K), or other media such as stone or bone (Div. O),

but NOT cocktail size (Div. T).

Carvings will first compete by category with all other entries, and then all eligible entries will be judged for

these awards by skill level. $50 + Rossette each for Novice, Interrmediate, Advanced & Expert.

Get a head start... 2025: Best Endangered Black-Crowned Night Heron

Hunting Decoys

This competition is for all entries in Division D: Hunting Decoys (Floating)

Cat 13. Marsh Ducks

Cat 14. Diving Ducks

Cat 15. Geese, Swans & Confidence

The Best Hunting Decoy will be awarded $300, an individual trophy and their name will be added to a permanent plaque, in Honour of Bob Humphreys. Bob was a long time member of the Nanaimo Fish and Game Club and an avid decoy carver.

This is a purchase award and the Nanaimo Fish and Game Club will raffle the winning carving to raise funds for their work.

This Division will honour the original working decoy, hand carved from wood and designed to be hunted over.

Decoys MAY BE FLOATED (depending on the number of entries) and must self right — ducks from any position and geese from the side.

Unsupported primary feathers are not allowed.

Entries will be judged for sturdiness and proper flotation.

Simplicity of painting is required.

All entries must have attachment points for anchor lines (lines and anchors not needed).

Contemporary Decoys

This competition is for all entries in Division E: Contemporary Decoys (Non Floating)

Cat. 16. Marsh & Diving Ducks

Cat. 17. Geese, Swans & Confidence

Cat. 18. Shorebirds

Contempoeaey decoys include both IWCA-style decoys and non-floating flat bottom “smoothies”

Entries may be with or without a keel but WILL NOT BE FLOATED.

There are no restrictions on painting.

This division also includes shorebirds mounted on a simple base with a wood or metal dowel.

Purchase Awards

Each year the Mid Island Woodworkers Guild sponsor a competion,

with the winner receiving $500.

The winning carving will then be used for the following years Raffle prize. This is an "Open" class so carvers of all skill levels will be judged in a single competition.

For 2024 the chosen subject is the Best Smoothie Loon (Div. E, Cat. 17, Non-floating).

Any species of loon, half-size or larger.

The "Bob Humphreys" Award

The Nanaimo Fish and Game Club are offering a $300 purchase award for the best Traditional Hunting Decoy (Div D). The winning carving will be used by the Nanaimo Fish & Game club as a fund raiser to help with there conservation activities. For more info read more...

Wood Turning Competition

The Woodturning Division (Div. P) has been incorporated into the Woodworking Competition. The division has also been split into six different categories which allow better grouping than the old.

There is no limit to the number of entries by each turner.

** Selling is not a requirement of competing.

It will be up to each turner to decide which category their entry best fits. However, during judging, if the judges feel your entry is a better fit for a different Category, they will have the permission of the Show Chair to move it and re-register it in the other Category.

Wood Challenge 2024

Ball in a cage

This is an ongoing special award category where we'll choose a carving subject that has a challenging aspect to it. We started in 2018 with a 'Mobius', 2019 'Leaves'. The challenge for 2024 is the classic carving of a ball in a cage out of a single piece of wood..

No sawing/re-gluing allowed. It can be any size or configuration—use your imagination! Entries will compete in a special "Open" category.

Art Show Entry Forms

Art Show Entry Form - not available yet

Complete the form and mail or email to the address at top of the entry form.

Photos of last years winners can be seen here....

Carving & Woodworking Entry Forms

A traditional paper entry form, for the Carving Show can be printed here.


Sales Table Entry Form

Sales Table Entry Form - Print/View

This form is for anyone who would like to have their work for sale at the show (Not in the competition).

Online Registration

Pre-registered carvings are $7 per entry.

All carvings registered at the door will be $10 per carving.

Online Registration is now closed. Please register at the show.

2024 Online Registration is now closed. Please register at the show.

The competitions are open to carvers and other woodworkers of all skill levels. All entries must be entirely the work of the person(s) entering. If the entry is by more than one person all names must be on the entry form. Your entry must have been completed within the LAST 5 YEARS, and not competed in the “Brant” show before. You may no longer enter the SAME carving a second year in a row in another skill level. There is no limit on the total number of entries an individual may enter in the show, or in any category.

All entries must be made of wood (excluding Division O "Other Media"), with the exception of eyes, feet, habitat, hardware or supports which may be made of other materials. Wood includes bark, nuts and laminated products. For Advanced and Expert wildfowl carvings, you must fabricate the wildfowl feet. Habitat materials other than wood may be included in the presentation of a carving, provided that the materials used are appropriate and are used in a complimentary manner. For wildfowl, fish and other wildlife the carver should fabricate all habitat components. In Advanced and Expert skill levels, judges may deduct for the use of “found” materials (such as real branches, driftwood, pebbles/rocks). Bases used for support but not part of the habitat can be made by someone other than the carver.

Entries may not be removed until Sunday at 4:00 PM.

Judges will consider the following criteria in the judging process. All five criteria are important, and they overlap and build upon each other. The most successful carvings will succeed in all five areas.

  1. Craftsmanship refers to the technical skills involved in carving or woodworking, including painting and finishing. Good craftsmanship should be consistent throughout the piece.
  2. Accuracy involves the correctness of a piece from a scientific perspective (if applicable).
  3. Essence of the Species (if applicable): that which brings the piece alive, capturing the unique qualities of a particular species.
  4. Artistry of a piece refers to its design and composition. This is where presentation, innovation and creativity all come into play. There should be beauty in the concept apart from the beauty of the subject itself. Line, form, content, colour, mass and movement should work together to create an integrated whole.
  5. Originality the piece should express your ideas and your own work — not copy someone else’s work. Originality becomes more important with each higher skill level.

Criteria adapted from the Ward World Championship.

The judges’ determination is final and not subject to review. Judging and competition standards of the Pacific Northwest Carvers Association are followed unless specified otherwise. The show officials may change an entry to a more appropriate skill level or category or may disqualify an entry for violation of the competition rules.

  • You are responsible for knowing and understanding all of the rules of the contest entered.
  • You are responsible for entering each piece in the appropriate Category and Skill Level.
  • You will address any complaints directly and only to the Show Chair.
  • You may not communicate with the Judges at any time during the judging.
  • You should not have an entry critiqued by a Judge prior to the competition.
  • If you solicit a Judge to critique your entries after they have been judged, you will accept the Judge’s comments courteously.