Squamish Nation To Put 13 Billboards Near Lion's Gate Bridge
This is such a strange issue. On one hand everyone thinks billboards are so nasty, and besides that they are typically operated by these giant right wing companies like Clearchannel so nobody wants to support them. On the other hand there is this huge precedent particularly in Vancouver for tearing down things that are really really cool, such as neon signs and billboards, so that legions of people must then go to the Vancouver Art Gallery and gaze upon the Fred Herzog exhibition and be nostalgic for this rich, varied, textured historical landscape that is now gone.
In this example however, the Squamish Nation has arranged to erect lots of giant glowing billboards right around the Lion's Gate bridge at the entrance to West Vancouver, the most uptight suburb of the city. West Vancouver, where there are more police per capita than anyplace in North America and yet the worst thing that happens there on a crime level is 13 year olds knocking slurpees out of each other's hands at 10:45 in the parking lot of the only 7-11 in the world that really closes at 11.
Of course it's not just a matter of being uptight, when talking about opposition to giant billboards. Billboards can be awful, and are situated in public space, and they just sit there and violate a person's mental space and enjoyment of the envionment, and then people's experience of the world becomes cluttered up with extremely unstylish advertisements for boring, corporate things like Arnold Schwartzenegger movies and boob jobs.
So in the end I don't know where I am on this issue. I do think that people tend to get more uppity about billboards when they are being put forward by First Naitons, which is completely unfair.
On the other hand, a more creative solution to Squamish cash flow problems might be better. Perhaps someone should pay them not to put up the billboards. That would make everyone happy I think.
The Squamish Nation, long-time occupants of the town's Capilano Indian Reserve, had just announced they'd soon be erecting 13 large, electronic billboards beside three major bridges into Vancouver.
A few other billboard related stories, although the companies in question here are not Clearchannel, I think they are called Outdoor Media Advertising, or something like that.