Vancouver’s comical and controversial ‘Barge Chilling Beach’ sign is no more – BC

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

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

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

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

“And then seeing him serve a good and unexpected second purpose, sparking conversations around reconciliation, was both amazing and humbling,” he added.

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This conversation around reconciliation likely refers to the sign’s repeated graffiti, in which someone painted “Í7iy̓el̓shn”, which means “another soft foot under the square” – the name of the beach in the Squamish language.

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

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

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

Although the sign disappeared on 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 working out the final details of a relocation plan and hoped work would be underway within the next 30 days.

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