Vancouver’s comedic and controversial ‘Barge Chilling Beach’ sign is no more

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Park Board signs off on English Bay barge sign' Vancouver Park Board signs off on English Bay barge sign
WATCH: The Vancouver Park Board has erected a new sign near that notorious barge that was grounded in English Bay during last month's storm. The new temporary name Barge Chilling Beach is a nod to Vancouver’s Guelph Park and its famous Dude Chilling Park public art. – Dec 15, 2021

A cheeky civic sign on Vancouver’s waterfront that sparked both humorous reactions and controversy has come down.

The Vancouver Park Board tweeted Friday that it had removed the “Barge Chilling Beach” sign from its Sunset Beach location, near where a large barge remains washed up on shore following November’s powerful storms.

“It was always intended to be temporary—a way to bring some joy during a difficult time,” the board wrote.

Read more: Vancouver Park Board renames beach after celebrity barge that drifted loose during floods

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The park board said it was initially “blown away” by the overwhelmingly positive local and international response.

“And then to see it serve a second good and unexpected purpose, to spark conversations around reconciliation, was both amazing and humbling,” it added.

Read more: Vancouver’s ‘Barge Chilling Beach’ sign vandalized

That conversation around reconciliation likely refers to the sign’s repeated graffiti incidents, in which someone painted “Í7iy̓el̓shn,” meaning “another soft foot under place” — the name of the beach in the Squamish language.

Amid the paint incidents, Indigenous advocates pointed out that the park board had been quick to install the temporary parody sign, but that the city had been slow to add Indigenous place names to Vancouver.

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“Thank you for letting us be a part of this incredible moment in time; we look forward to the many meaningful conversations to come,” the park board finished.

The sign — a riff on the city’s other iconic parody “Dude Chilling Park” sign in Mount Pleasant’s Guelph Park — proved to a huge hit with locals and tourists, and a popular backdrop for selfies.

While the sign was gone Friday, the barge itself will still be there for some time.

A spokesperson for the barge’s owner, Sentry Marine Towing, said the company was hammering out the final details of a removal plan, and hoped to have work underway within the next 30 days.

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