'On this day in 2020': Humorous yet factually dubious plaques reinstalled in Calgary park
Published Thursday, October 8, 2020 6:31AM MDT Last Updated Friday, October 9, 2020 9:00AM MDT
CALGARY -- The unsolicited signs mounted on benches in a northwest park have been reinstalled by the City of Calgary hours after Calgarians objected to their removal.
The engraved metal plaques along the trail in Bowmont Park commemorated questionable accounts of Calgary's history, ranging from the site of the 1937 departure of the first hamster pilot to circumnavigate the globe to the fording of the Bow River by a herd of elephants at the beginning of the 20th century.
The City of Calgary removed the signs on Tuesday as they were found to be in violation of the policy regarding commemorative plaques and graffiti but Calgarians took to social media to voice their concerns over the departure of the less than accurate reminder of the city's history
"We were a little too cautious. The reason why we reinstalled them was because they had such a good spirit," said Anna Blaxley with City of Calgary Parks.
The city asks anyone with similar ideas to check with them first but says whoever put these signs up is not in trouble.
The plaque creators, who wish to remain anonymous, have been watching the story unfold.
"It’s way more than we ever could have imagined but it’s nice to see people have got the sort of fun out of them that we designed them with," said the co-creator of the plaques in a phone interview.
The Calgary father said he and his nine-year-old son brainstormed ideas for inscriptions, then ordered and installed the plaques this spring.
"I think we had about ten or so, then we looked at what plaques cost and decided six was a good number."
Their project, which was meant to spread joy to strangers, seems to be working.
"This is an example of people getting up to good... instead of getting up to no good," said Jennifer Diakiw, a park user who called the city to advocate for the plaques return.