According to the Province newspaper, Park Board vice-chair Aaron Jasper was baffled by the renaming when he heard about it on Thursday, and stressed the new moniker was not part of any official renaming committee or process.
He did, however, compliment the person who obviously put a lot of effort into crafting the counterfeit sign, which even features the official Vancouver Parks and Recreation crest.
“Hey, someone has done a great counterfeit of a parks board sign,” he told the Province. “But it is not legit.”
By Friday, the “Dude Chilling Park” sign creator came forward. Twenty-five-year-old Graffiti artist Viktor Briestensky told the Province he changed the sign because that’s how his friends referred to the public space officially known as Guelph Park.
“I’m a dude,” he said. “I had no intentions of catching so much attention.”
But the prank did attract a lot of attention, and continues to do so.
In fact, there’s now an online petition calling on the city to officially rename Guelph Park to Dude Chilling Park.
“By renaming this lovely rectangle of grass to “Dude Chilling Park”, people will give this little rectangle of nature the respect and attention it deserves,” the online petition, which as of Monday afternoon had garnered nearly 1,400 signatures, reads. “We all witnessed how much attention the park gained from just one day of social media posts on the internet. Imagine how much that attention can grow, given a little time and nurturing.”
“Imagine a visitor from Toronto sharing his photo relaxing with the ‘chilling dude’, instead of just another boring picture of him riding the downtown bull statue,” the online petition concludes.
If you care to add your voice to the movement, the petition is here.