Friends and family of Dallas Smith gather at the South Surrey Skate Park next to the tribute designed by Jordan Cameron.

Friends and family of Dallas Smith gather at the South Surrey Skate Park next to the tribute designed by Jordan Cameron.

Short reprieve for graffiti tribute

The City of Surrey delays paint-over for skate park memorial to Dallas Smith

His work won’t be visible for long – but graffiti artist Jordan Cameron is still glad he did it.

Cameron’s large, graffiti-style tribute to his friend, popular Peninsula native Dallas Smith, was painted at the South Surrey Skate Park on the day of Smith’s funeral, Aug. 24.

Originally scheduled to be painted over Monday by a city crew, the tribute – a stylized depiction of the name Dallas, adorned with a pair of wings – won a reprieve of sorts the same day, following protests by Smith’s peers.

“We’ll be painting it out toward the end of the week,” Surrey parks manager Laurie Cavan told Peace Arch News. “It’s best to give it a bit of time, out of respect for emotions which are running very high in the community. The individuals who were involved intended this to be something that was temporary and they have been working in close co-operation with us.”

The memorial, which Cameron designed, was a heartfelt tribute to a former skater buddy who, like him, considered the park a “second home.”

Smith, 30, died in an Aug. 13 plane crash near Kelowna.

Even as he painted the tribute, Cameron knew it was likely to be of short duration. That’s what he was told on-site by city parks staff, he said, following visits by both the police and a bylaws officer.

The painting, which took five hours to complete with the help of a tattoo artist friend, using paint donated by Smith’s friends, became the focus of a post-funeral celebration attended by many of the skating community and Smith’s mother.

“I’d still have done it, if only for that day, if only for that moment, so his mom could see it and knew what he meant to me,” said Cameron, 31.

“The guy was an ace.”