(photo: Stanley Park, 1920’s, Vancouver Archives)
You may have come across the outdoor checkers board in Memorial West Park, southwest of the field house, near the playground. This concrete checkers board has been there since 1928 at least. According to “The Story of Dunbar: Voices of a Vancouver Neighbourhood” (ed. Peggy Schofield, 2007):
“…men in suits and women in hats and summer finery sat on deck chairs and enjoyed the beautiful flower beds. A checkers game nearby became quite popular. A group of men would congregate in silence around the perimeter where two men, standing on alternating black and white squares embedded in the ground, would move the wooden pieces from square to square with a metal rod. The black and white squares are still in place behind the field house…”
Drawing on this history, Leah will be creating a contemporary version of this historic game, using chess instead of checkers. In a new location closer to Dunbar St., just south of the Community Centre, Leah will be installing a semi-permanent chessboard, using pieces of grass mats and wool rugs as squares. The chess pieces will be constructed in a workshop on October 14th, in preparation for the launch of the outdoor chess installation on October 17th. Please join us! Details below…
Working Holiday Chess: making the pieces
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 1:00-4:00 p.m. Dunbar Community Centre, 4747 Dunbar St.
Artist Leah Weinstein invites the public to help her create a set of chess piece sculptures for a large outdoor installation in Memorial West Park. Using various locally gathered materials including wood and plastic, together we will construct the 32 chess pieces in the Dunbar Community Centre Art Room. Please register online here.
Working Holiday Outdoor Chess Play
Saturday, October 17, 2015 1:00-3:00 p.m. Memorial West Park, Dunbar Community Centre. 4747 Dunbar St.
Artist Leah Weinstein invites the community to Memorial West Park for the launch of the outdoor chess installation. The chessboard measures approximately 12×12 feet in size and is made from pieces of mats and rugs inserted into the lawn. The chess piece sculptures are constructed from locally gathered materials, made with the help of community members. Visitors of all ages are invited to play.