International Rock Balancing Festival

IMG_6523With a name like that, how could I not go?  Organized by BAWI, or Balanced Art World International (, the festival was held on the shores of the Ottawa River.  The weather was gorgeous, and the festival was both fabulous and completely bizarre.

The event was free, and the organizers were nowhere to be seen.  In the shallows, Stone Balance Land Artists (that’s what they’re called!) were busily constructing their stone art.  Spectators wandered in and out of the water with their dogs and children, admiring the sculptures, and offering (probably unwanted) advice.


IMG_6525I gathered that the Stone Balance Land Artists (which seems like an awfully long name for people who pile up rocks) must use only natural components found in the immediate area.  No glue, cement, or other form of structural aid is permitted.  There’s a manifesto on the website that the artists agree to follow.

Some of the art was weird, and some of it was strangely beautiful.

IMG_6527 IMG_6536


These rocks looked like they were lining up to jump in the water.

IMG_6540The Canada geese were extraordinarily interested.   Or perhaps they were just hoping to be fed.

IMG_6530 IMG_6542It was all just so bizarre.  There didn’t appear to be any competition of any sort, or a prize for the tallest/ largest/ sturdiest etc.  There was nothing to indicate why the artists had travelled from all over the world to Ottawa to stack stones in the river.

And what makes a person decide to become a Stone Balance Land Artist?  Did they just wake up one day and decide to balance rocks?  Seems like an awfully frustrating hobby.

Spectators were obviously inspired since people (especially small boys) were busily rummaging around the shallows and along the beach trying to find the perfect rocks.


I decided I would stick to people watching, and gelato eating.

Mango-passion fruit gelato!

Mango-passion fruit gelato!

After all, I wouldn’t want to take a good thing for granite. 😀  (I tried to hold off on the rock puns but I just couldn’t resist!)




About Carrie K

Teacher, writer, traveller. Slightly neurotic. Overly talkative. Loving life. You can also follow me on Twitter: kimchigirl72
This entry was posted in Canada, Life, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to International Rock Balancing Festival

  1. North Watt says:

    Hi Carrie I was one of the stone balancing artist during the event along the River in Ottawa, thank you for your words and looking into the world of balance that I love so much. You can find my photos on Facebook as North Watt..

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