Artist Craig Mutch returns to White Rock's Spirit of the Sea Festival this weekend to work his magic with sand.
"Ancient Cultures" is the theme of his latest work, to be created during the festival on the boardwalk side of White Rock Museum & Archives.
Mutch will be working with 14 tons of sand delivered to the site this week.
Donations will be collected at the site for Love is the Answer, a charity that supports efforts to empower HIV/AIDS orphaned children in Africa "to a selfsustainable future."
This time around, Mutch's main sponsors are Goldkey VW, RE/MAX realty and Singer Olfert Financial Group.
Sand-sculpting tools in hand, Mutch has recently travelled to India, China, Florida, Niagara Falls, Hong Kong and Parksville on Vancouver Island.
"Hong Kong was the highlight, with 2012 Olympics as the theme," Mutch told the Now.
In White Rock, he'll be helped with the "Ancient Cultures" work by fellow sculptor Delayne Corbett.
Back in the mid-1980s, Mutch was living in Edmonton and came to White Rock on holiday from his job as a graphic designer with a newspaper. On the beach here, he was amazed by the creativity of those sculpting sand during the festival's big contest of the era.
"I got into it just by hanging around with those artists," said Mutch, who now lives in Vancouver.
Today, he travels the world with his sand-sculpting skills.
Mutch is also adept at shaping snow and ice into works of art. "Ice is fascinating to me because it's additive, where sand is more subtractive," Mutch explained in 2011. "You build the sand up and carve out of it. With ice, you put stuff together - you carve out of a block, sure, but you can actually build things like arms and things like that. The only thing is, you're in a minus-10 tent as opposed to a plus-20 beach with sand."