Thu. May 26th, 2022

The sign was “always meant to be temporary – a way to bring some joy in a difficult time,” the Vancouver Park Board said.

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A much-loved sign celebrating a stranded barge that washed ashore near English Bay in stormy seas is now gone.

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On Thursday, the Vancouver Park Board removed the Barge Chilling sign it had erected last month as a Christmas present for the city after a barge ran aground during a violent November storm.

The sign was “always meant to be temporary – a way to bring some joy in a difficult time,” the park’s board said in a post on social media Friday.

The response to the tongue-in-cheek sign – a nod to East Vancouver’s Dude Chilling Park sign and the public art installation – has been “overwhelmingly positive,” it said.

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The barge has become a local landmark that inspires countless memes and selfies and gets calls to make it and the sign a permanent fixture on the beach embankment, just like an art installation. It even has its own Twitter account .

However, the sign has also raised questions about original place names and was painted over with traditional original names on at least two occasions.

After the first instance, Sto: lo artist Ronnie Dean Harris wrote a comment on Instagram, in which he said that the beach already has a name: “I7iyelshn”, pronounced ee-ay-ul-shun, meaning “soft underfoot” on local native languages.

At the time, a spokesman for the park board said the board is “committed to reconciliation” and has been developing a naming policy with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

On Friday, the park board said the sign served an unexpected purpose, which was “to spark conversations about reconciliation,” which was “both amazing and humiliating.”

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