Artist aims to set Guinness world record in East Vancouver park
United Kingdom-based artist Anthony Schrag hopes to see plenty of helping hands at a community event he is planning at Trout Lake in East Vancouver.
People are being invited to participate in an attempt to establish a Guinness world record as part of the first-ever Trout Lake Day on June 24.
The goal is to put together the largest group of people holding hands and rotating in a circle, according to Schrag, who has a temporary artist position at Trout Lake Community Centre.
For the world-record attempt, 1,500 people will be needed to join hands around the perimeter of the lake and then travel a full lap around.
Schrag, a one-time Vancouver resident, said the event will be a unique opportunity to bring the community together.
“There’re so many diverse people who use this park. There’re so many people who want different things from it,” he told the Straight by phone. “It’s the same as life. It’s the same as in any community; you’re going to have different people who want different things.”
“And I suppose if you can show that it doesn’t matter what the differences are, as long as you can connect on some level, then you can work towards a better future where everyone’s happier,” he said.
Schrag was selected for the position at Trout Lake Community Centre through the Artists in Communities Program, which is run by the parks board and community centre associations.
Through the program, artists work with a sponsoring community centre to engage the public in creative activities.
Trout Lake Day is the finale in a series of public events Schrag organized between April and June. It is also to feature art workshops, musical performances, games, and a picnic.
Previous playful events included a tree-climbing workshop, a day of napping, and concerts for the dogs, birds, and fish found at John Hendry Park, the home of Trout Lake.
“Most of my events have a pretty silly aspect to it, but that’s kind of fun,” he said. “Art is a lot about laughter and enjoyment. And frankly there’s not enough enjoyment in art anyway. It’s all pretty serious, mundane stuff.”
Schrag, 36, lived in the Middle East and Europe before spending most of his 20s in Vancouver. He studied at the University of B.C. and Emily Carr before completing a master’s degree at Glasgow School of Art in Scotland.
“I don’t make photos or sculpture or paintings or drawings. My work is art events. As a picture or a sculpture can evoke a feeling or a thought, so too can events,” Schrag said.
Trout Lake Day takes place at John Hendry Park on June 24 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The world-record attempt is scheduled for 3 p.m.