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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.