About Us

In 1978, after the first International Carving Competition at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, about a dozen or so carvers, led by the late Norman Tarver, came together to form a carving club. This was the beginning of the Ontario Wood Carvers Association. The club supported the production of the CNE Woodcarving Show until 1989. Since that time, OWCA operates an annual competition and show of its own. We have evolved into a charitable, non-for-profit organization devoted to promoting, educating and connecting carvers in Ontario.

After more than 37 years, the Ontario Wood Carvers Association is still flourishing! Throughout the years, members have given demonstrations of their skills and actively promoted carving as a hobby and a profession at regional shows across Ontario and the United States. Our members have also encouraged the formation of local carving clubs wherever there was interest.  

We are particularly proud of our Youth Outreach program. Many of our carvers volunteer to work with schools and teach carving to students. These programs are rewarding on many levels. Our seminars and workshops are always popular and in demand. Children as young as four years old enjoy the soap carving and keep coming back for more. The “You can Carve” and “Learning by Doing” workshops are helping youngsters and adults of any age to learn the art and create a piece of their own work. Always a pleasure.

We bring clubs, carvers and wood artists together. Let us connect you with teachers, friends and mentors. Become a leader yourself, volunteering with our youth outreach program.

Build your skills with the help of master carvers and other wood artists. Learn from presentations at our monthly meetings, from the “You can Carve” and the “Learning by Doing” seminars and workshops.

Enter your work in our annual competition and show. See more than 1,000 carvings, sculptures and other pieces of wood art, get advice from the experts and visit the vendor booths for new tools and books. A must-see event for anyone interested in wood artistry.

Included in your membership, Ontario Woodcarver magazine brings you news, feature articles and updates on competitions, workshops and shows.


Tom Gallagher working on the Maple Leaf Forever project
Screech Owl by Winston Smith