The Dude is back! And he’s got a slick new look.
The famed Dude sculpture has returned to its rightful resting place in Mount Pleasant’s Dude Chilling Park — Guelph Park — after more than two years.
Crowds gathered on Tuesday at the park on Brunswick Street and Eighth Avenue, as the shiny new 500-pound bronze statue was being lowered into its position.
The Dude, or Reclining Figure, was created by B.C. artist Michael Dennis and left at the park back in 1991 after the Brewery Creek Art Exposition.
The new bronze piece is a replica of the original cedar statue that called the park home for 26 years, before it was removed in 2017 due to deterioration and safety concerns. Dennis took the art piece back to his studio on Denman Island to restore it and created a new mould to be placed back in the park.
The Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association has been fundraising for the past two years to make the Dude’s return a reality.
“It’s a happy moment for Mount Pleasant and the Dude Chilling Park attendees,” Thomas Fahey, MCCA outreach committee chair, told Vancouver is Awesome. “It looks magnificent.
“The Dude epitomizes a laid back presence that the park gives to everyone who decides to sit back under a tree and read a book, or enjoy quiet time with family and friends.”
Fahey says the process to recreate, ship, and install the Dude hasn’t come cheap and he was grateful to all who had contributed to their fundraiser.
“It’s taken an awful lot of time and energy,” he says. “We even know of youngsters in the park who have helped to raise funds with lemonade stand revenues.”
While the Dude is now in place in the park, Fahey says the association hasn’t yet reached their funding goal and donations were still being accepted.
To celebrate the Dude’s return the association is hosting Party with the Dude on Saturday to officially welcome the sculpture back to the park.
Partygoers can look forward to live tunes from The Undercovers, a barbecue with hot dogs and bratwurst, and refreshments.
If you’d like to donate contact 604-257-3080 (extension 1).
Party with the Dude!
Date: Aug. 17
Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Dude Chilling Park (Guelph Park) one block north of Broadway at Brunswick Street