Vancouver’s Notorious $100,000 Poodle Now on Twitter

Photo credit: Our City Our Art

Last week, news came out about a controversial new public art project in Vancouver.  A seven-foot-tall porcelain poodle was erected atop a 25-foot pole in the Main Street neighbourhood. The well coiffed canine came at no small cost.  The poodle, along with a bus art campaign along Main Street affiliated with the same project, cost nearly $100,000.

Now, it seems that the pampered pooch has taken to Twitter to make its case.

“Where do I pee?” read @MainStPoodle’s inaugural tweet earlier this week on Twitter.  He (or she) followed it up with a series of snappy, topical one-liners:

Heard a rumour they’re installing a cat on a stick across the street. Can’t wait!

I confess: I take performance enhancing kibble. How else do you think I can balance up here all day?

The pooch also seems to be a big fan of local Main Street businesses, including Red Cat Records and Main Street Beer.  His/Her bio includes several provocative hashtags: #$100,000mutt and #keepMainWeird.

The tweets have brought renewed attention to the art project.  “Poodle” is the work of Gisele Amantea, a Montreal artist who also spends time in the Gulf Islands.  The work was inspired by her experiences riding a bus along Main Street and soaking up the eclectic character of one of Vancouver’s hippest neighbourhoods.

In addition to the poodle itself, Amantea’s project includes several temporary works located on the #3 buses that service the Main Street corridor.  A work titled Memento-Pink consists of a bus entirely wrapped in the image of a pink poodle’s knit cozy.

Photo credit: Our City Our Art

Meanwhile, another bus work titled Memento-Envy shows a cluster of poodle cozies looking eagerly in the direction of a porcelain poodle.  This illustrates “the class and cultural differences that have historically marked Main Street,” according to an official project overview from the City of Vancouver.  A third bus features Memento-Multo, 22 cards showing curios and knicknacks found in shops along Main.

The $97,600 price tag of the project was borne by the federal government, TransLink and the City of Vancouver, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.  For now, it seems like Vancouver’s priciest poodle is doing exactly what it was intended to do: stir up discussion, dissent and debate about the place of public art.  Or, in the words of @MainStPoodle‘s latest tweet:

“I’m not a hipster but I fully support saving the @waldorfhotel – they always leave out scraps for me.”

What do you think about the Main Street Poodle art project? Let us know below. 

Want more updates on Vancouver and beyond? Follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.  


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16 Responses to Vancouver’s Notorious $100,000 Poodle Now on Twitter

  1. AR

    I like it and I am proud to live in the area

    • stacey and ben

      In true internet style, we heard about this on Definitely Raining. My son and I think it’s fabulous; can’t wait to see it when we go out walking.

  2. stupidest thing I’ve hear of in a long time. The city shuts down at least 6 viable artistic and community spaces in less that 8 months and at the same time spends a exorbitant amount of this tacky attempt at art.

    • Hannes

      I agree with Willisist 100%. It’s a slap in the face to the Vancouver art community. And the fact that this money went to a Montreal artist is a spit in the eye. Absolutely ridiculous.

  3. ronnie mac

    The concept of the project is fun, but i have to second Willist’s comments. The city/government can say they support the arts funding one-off projects like this, while the shutdown the local D.I.Y art community. Giving with one hand and taking with the other………

  4. ADHD

    This is shit ! not even good art, besides that I believe they could have spend that cash on things we need other that that Fu$&-@ eye sore

  5. Jai

    why diddnt they use that money on something that will actually benifit our community? we need more public venues not some tacky art thats not even locally made!

  6. Artist #4080

    It’s an utter failure. Once again true artistry and sense are shoved aside to create a piece for an absurd amount of money. All the city is asking for is a vandal to destroy it… Shutting down beloved local venues is one thing, raising bus fare is a separate thing… but spending this money on THAT is a KICK IN THE TEETH!

    we could have had a better dog atleast! –

  7. HLM

    No amount of government money will keep Main street “weird”… it’s completely dependent on the locals who populate the area. If Vancouver wants art it should ask its local artists – Montreal is already thriving when it comes to the arts, we should keep an eye on how our own town is doing. That poodle is in bad taste. They are a vicious breed.

    • Heddy

      And you…own a pit bull??

  8. Sigh


    Think of all the toilet paper i could by with that money! I could make poo art better then that garbage. And its 100% organic!

    Why a poodle of all dogs!?

  9. Jay

    Awesome seeing our busfare increases going towards such a useful cause #sarcasm. And it’s hideous.

  10. patrick

    The poodle is hilarious and charming and a perfect mascot for the Main Street thrift and antique shops that characterize the neighbourhood. The 100k cost of producing a sculpture of that scale – including the stand – is actually very very inexpensive. Many of the comments on this page are unintelligent, ill-informed and rude. As for the artist, she owns a house in B.C., lives there as much as she does in Montreal, and pays just as much in BC taxes, if not more, as you do.

  11. Judy

    The Poodle art project is super I think. Of course, I am biased as I have bred Poodles for many years and a lot of people don’t know what a real Poodle is any more with all the cross breds being produced. This is great. Being just about the smartest breed in existence and having a history for over 600+ years and who is a great companion to man, I think the Poodle deserves some recognition. Why not? There are a lot more hideous things around.

  12. Gail

    The Poodle is adorable! To be walking down that street and see it would make me smile…. I LOVE poodles, and they are anything but vicious! I love all animals, but face it..poodles are the epitome of doggie petdom and class. I am the owner of a standard poodle who is the most gentle, loving, beautiful, smart and faithful companion anyone would be privileged to have. I think that piece of art says a lot about that neighbourhood. Some of these posts say a lot more about the people posting them, than of this lovely piece. Vive la Poodle!

  13. Pingback: What is public art? | CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions