Above: Park Board Chair Niki Sharma speaks with Global News about the controversial sign approval.
The Vancouver Park Board has approved a new piece of public art in East Vancouver but not everyone is happy.
A new sign was set up at Guelph Park — not by the Park Board — but by an individual. The name “Dude Chilling Park” stuck. Residents and the city got on board and the sign went viral on social media.
Now the Vancouver Park Board is making the “Dude Chilling Park” sign a permanent installation after a vote Monday night.
There is some debate in the community about whether or not the name is in reference to a statue in the park, or people who like to “hang out” there.
Steven Bohus of RAMP, the Residents Association of Mount Pleasant, says his organization was not consulted about the sign.
“A lot of the residents feel that this isn’t a game. There is a school there, there’s a parent advisory committee, and I don’t think this is a joke.”
Bohus says neighbourhood residents have worked hard to clean up the area.
“People worked very hard to clean up the area and this sign sends the wrong signal. Maybe it won’t do anything but it’s not taken seriously by the Park Board. There are far more important things to worry about in Mt. Pleasant. We shouldn’t be arguing about this, we should be getting on with improving our parks system, and we are parks deficient in Mount Pleasant.”
Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Trevor Loke says that more than 300 local residents were consulted with 8 per cent disapproving of the sign. 1,500 residents signed a petition in favour of the sign.
Park Board Commissioner Sarah Blyth said on twitter that she had never “seen such broad support in a long time for art.”
Both NPA Park Board commissioners were opposed.