Vancouver History: Girl in Wetsuit

Comments 7 by Rebecca Bollwitt

When I was little I thought there was a mermaid perched on a rock almost 100 feet from the Sea Wall in Stanley Park. As it turns out one of the most recognizable marine landmarks in this city, the statue Girl in Wetsuit, actually does have a mermaid involved in her history.

Photo credit: Pat Z on Flickr from the Miss604 Group Flickr Pool

A life size bronze statue of a woman in a wetsuit, with flippers on her feet and her mask pushed up on her forehead, sits on a large intertidal boulder just offshore of Stanley Park. In September of 1968, Douglas Brown, a Vancouver lawyer, talked to sculptor Elek Imredy about his desire to commission a sculpture inspired by the famous Copenhagen mermaid, which could be sited on the great granite boulder just off the northern shore of Stanley Park. [City of Vancouver]

The “Little Mermaid” in Copenhagen is in fact fashioned after the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen. We may know her better as Ariel with an endearing yet annoying guppy friend Flounder. It’s hard to imagine that in a roundabout way our Girl in Wetsuit has that Disney connection.

To top it off, the original “Little Mermaid” statue in Denmark was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen of Carlsberg Lager.

If you put all the pieces together, our little seagull-stained Girl in Wetsuit sits perched on her rock on the north shore of Stanley Park, near the bridge erected by Guinness and resembling a statue for Carlsberg.

Although I may get Under the Sea stuck in my head the next time I walk by, at least I’ll be inspired to go drink some beer.

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7 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Jan KarlsbjergMonday, February 11th, 2008 — 5:05pm PST

    Hey, I didn’t know that The Brewer commissioned The Little Mermaid at Langelinie. Thanks for that little tidbit of information about Ye Olde Country, Rebecca. 🙂

  2. PatZMonday, February 11th, 2008 — 5:40pm PST

    say, what a nifty picture…
    yeah, now i’ve definitely got Disney songs stuck in my head.

  3. Barbara DodukWednesday, February 13th, 2008 — 2:09pm PST

    Did my post inspire you? HAHAHA

  4. Miss604Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 — 2:23pm PST

    Oh no I totally didn’t see that! Would have credited otherwise but thanks for the link 🙂

  5. Canada Cup of Beer This Saturday » Vancouver Blog Miss 604Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 — 2:42pm PDT

    […] fan of local brews and this city has a wonderfully blended history when it comes to beer (even the girl in the wet suit knows that). Photo credit: Duane Storey on […]

  6. Photos From The Past Couple Days | Tyler Ingram Dot ComTuesday, September 15th, 2009 — 8:39pm PDT

    […] get a different angle. I also tried to keep the Brockton Point lighthouse in the frame. Actually, Rebecca has some really good info on this […]

  7. Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens Around Town » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittTuesday, February 23rd, 2010 — 11:41am PST

    […] you have photos that I may post of the “Girl in Wetsuit” or any other statues sporting the mittens, please add them to the Miss604 Flickr Group. […]

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