Vancouver proclaims official ‘Smokey D Day’ in honour of DTES graffiti artist
A graffiti artist living in the Downtown Eastside celebrated his 54th birthday Saturday by having it proclaimed an official holiday by Vancouver’s city council.
James Hardy, who goes by the name “Smokey the Devil,” was presented a framed declaration at city hall Thursday, stating that March 11, 2023, would be “Smokey D Day.”
Hardy — who had exchanged his usual streetwear for a suit when appearing before council — was recognized for 25 years of community service in the DTES through murals that inform the public about the ongoing opioid crisis, COVID-19 and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
The artist was cheered on by a host of witnesses, including his 17-year-old son, as Coun. Brian Montague handed him the document.
“It’s overwhelming that something like this would ever happen to me — an artist who never went to school for it or anything,” Hardy told Postmedia News. “It feels surreal.”
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