Snowdogs go walkies on Wearside + where to see them in the city

Launch of Great North Snowdogs, Sunderland
Yongster Ophelia Wass aged 2

Launch of Great North Snowdogs, Sunderland Yongster Ophelia Wass aged 2

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Snowdogs are going walkies on Wearside as a public art trail which encourages people to plot the pooches is unleashed across the region.

After months of preparation, 13 large canine sculptures are in place around the city including Keel Square, the Bridges and at Seaburn as part of The Great North Snowdog trail.

Across the North East, there are 61 large Snowdog sculptures, each measuring 1.5m tall, and 97 smaller ones which all have a unique identity after being given a new leash of life by artists and schoolchildren.

The dogs will be in place for the next ten weeks with people able to track the trail on a special app. At the end of the run, the dogs, based on the Snowdog character from Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman and The Snowdog, will be auctioned off in aid of St Oswalds Hospice.

Despite a handful of the Snowdogs being damaged by vandals ahead of the launch, Ken Dunbar, chief executive at Sunderland BID, which has sponsored some of the city’s dogs, says the colourful creations have captured people’s imaginations already.

He said: “It’s deplorable that people can do that to the sculptures, but the comments people have made in response to the vandalism shows just how much support there is for the project.

Launch of Great North Snowdogs, Sunderland
From left Artist Heather Penten, Sunderland Bid marketing manager Gemma Dishman, St Oswalds CE James Ellam and St Oswalds marketing Anita Ball

Launch of Great North Snowdogs, Sunderland From left Artist Heather Penten, Sunderland Bid marketing manager Gemma Dishman, St Oswalds CE James Ellam and St Oswalds marketing Anita Ball

“People have already come from outside of the city to see the dogs we have here. The dogs will also be a great backdrop to events we have coming up such as Sunderland Pride and Sunderland Restaurant Week.

“As well as being a great way of bringing public art to life, the trail is also raising money for a great charity.”

James Ellam, chief executive at St Oswald’s Hospice, in Newcastle, said: “We have been planning the trail for so long so it’s great to finally see the dogs in place and people interacting with them. I’ve never seen so many tweets and pictures.

“It’s fantastic that a children’s story can help raise money for a children’s hospice and it’s a great way of telling more people about what we do for families across the North East.”

Launch of Great North Snowdogs, Sunderland
From left St Oswalds CE James Ellam and Suderland Bid CE Ken Dunbar

Launch of Great North Snowdogs, Sunderland From left St Oswalds CE James Ellam and Suderland Bid CE Ken Dunbar

•Spocky Dog

Location: Washington Galleries

Artist: Hilary Sanderson

Sponsor: Washington Galleries

Launch of Great North Snowdogs, Sunderland
From left Artist Heather Penten, Sunderland Bid marketing manager Gemma Dishman, St Oswalds CE James Ellam and St Oswalds marketing Anita Ball

Launch of Great North Snowdogs, Sunderland From left Artist Heather Penten, Sunderland Bid marketing manager Gemma Dishman, St Oswalds CE James Ellam and St Oswalds marketing Anita Ball

•The Snowbrador

Location: Washington Galleries

Artist: Ruby Cooper

•Luna

Location: Sunderland Minster

Artist: Geoff Chappell

The Bridges Snowdogs

The Bridges Snowdogs

Sponsor: CHUF

•Snowdog Down the Rabbit Hole

Location: Park Lane

Artist: Heather Penten

Sponsor: Sunderland BID

•Hiding Lions

Location: Sunderland Winter Gardens

Artist: Helen Stephens

Sponsor: Stagecoach

•Great North Polar Pooch

Location: Sunniside Gardens

Artist: Sandra Jaekel-Bothyart

Sponsor: Gentoo

•Aero-Dog

Location: Market Square

Artist: Deven Bhurke

Sponsor: Sunderland HHI

•Day of the Dog

Location: Bridges Shopping Centre

Artist: Sophie Green

Sponsor: Bridges Shopping Centre

•Winter Lily

Location: St Oswald’s Shop, Blandford Street

Artist: Sarah Jane Richards

•Tails of the Sea

Location: Keel Square

Artist: Joanne Wishart

Sponsor: Primary Times

•Wonderhound

Location: Stadium of Light

Artist: Illona Clark

Sponsor: Sunderland AFC

•Spraydog

Location: Stadium of Light

Artist: Frank Styles

Sponsor: SAFC

•Frostbite

Location: National Glass Centre

Artist: Charlotte Mitchell

Sponsor: National Glass Centre

•Sparky

Location: Seaburn seafront

Artist: David Sith

Sponsor: Pet’n’Pony