Black Bear holding a Salmon

Photo of the art Peter Ryan, Black Bear holding a Salmon, 1989
Chainsaw Carving
Yellow Cedar, Paint

Long Lake Boat Ramp

The sculpture was donated to the City of Nanaimo by the Nanaimo Salmon Festival Society in 1989. Peter Ryan was considered a ‘fixture’ at Nanaimo's Annual Salmon Festival, often carving on site during the event. His live chainsaw carving sessions were promoted as one of the derby’s features. The log was donated by the Northwest Bay division of Macmillan Blodell.

Peter Ryan’s sculptures can be spotted around Nanaimo in several prominent places: Black Bear Holding a Salmon is located along the Island Highway at Long Lake, Eagle Carving is at the intersection of Island Highway North and Brechin Road, and Salmon is at Brechin Boat Ramp. All three carvings were painted in 2008 with the intent to preserve them.

Peter Ryan (1950-2021) was a chainsaw carver based in Hope, BC. Originally from Toronto, he relocated to Vancouver 1974. Ryan created wood sculptures for private and public commissions, with one of his best known works being the sign outside of Hope District Hall in the District of Hope. He most often sculpted wildlife but he also created signs and statues. He appeared in several television shows for his approach to carving, including Saw Dogs and Carver Kings on HGTV.

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