Canine capers take the lead in Sunderland arts trail

Retail Liaison Manager John Green and Marketing Manager Samantha Czwordon-Wright from The Bridges with one of the giant snow dogs during its visit to Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD
Retail Liaison Manager John Green and Marketing Manager Samantha Czwordon-Wright from The Bridges with one of the giant snow dogs during its visit to Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD
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Sunderland organisations are like dogs with two tails as they gear up to take part in a canine culture event.

The Bridges and Sunderland BID are among the North East groups to sponsor giant Snowdog sculptures which will form an art trail of 50 dogs across the region from September.

An example of one of the decorated Snowdogs

An example of one of the decorated Snowdogs

Each dog, inspired by the Raymond Briggs’ Snowdog character from The Snowman and the Snowdog film, will be decorated by an artist to give it a unique identity.

It’s hoped the project, organised by Newcastle’s St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice and Wild in Art, will help attract tourists into the city centre who can plot the trail and pose for selfies with the dogs.

Ken Dunbar, chief executive of Sunderland BID, said: “This is a unique and exciting project which will bring visitors of all ages to the North East and to Sunderland.

“It is a great opportunity for us, not only to be part of something very special, but to help drive the local economy by increasing the number of visitors who come to the city.”

The Bridges will also be having their own Snowdog which will take up residence in the centre.

“There is no doubt that this will bring a huge boost for retailers,” said Andy Bradley, centre director.

He added: “When Wild in Art has carried out projects in other areas the visitor numbers have been phenomenal and there’s no reason to think this won’t be replicated in the North East, which is great news for Sunderland.”

The trail will launch in September and run for 10 weeks, after which time the sculptures will be auctioned in aid of the hospice.