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Hamilton BIA singles out local quack for ability to make people smile

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Hamilton BIA singles out local quack for ability to make people smile

The Barton Village BIA has singled out local quack, Lewis Mallard, for his ability to bring a smile to the faces of Hamiltonians.

“Throughout Covid, this mallard duck has put a smile on everyone’s face,” says a Barton Village Instagram post from Wednesday (July 22) announcing their community member contest winner.

For the past few months, Mallard had been ruffling feathers in and around the community in an attempt to bring some levity to the streets.

In a Q & A with the artist behind the duck and shared on The Barton Villager blog, Mallard says the quacktastic idea was born on a sunny afternoon in Gage Park while tripping on mushrooms.

“I can’t say that I had a vision of a giant duck while I was high but I did feel the presence of this kind of alter ego creature that needed to be born into the physical world,” he said.

“After a few months of reflection, I settled on a mallard. My mother always told me I was a bit of an odd duck.”

Mallard, a self-proclaimed psychedelic folk artist, made his debut at Supercrawl in 2019 and started donning the suit more regularly earlier this year to start handing out his homemade masks to people in the community.

He was profiled, to much acclaim, by the Hamilton Spectator’s John Rennison, who captured Mallard in his glory, wandering the streets of Downtown Hamilton.

Since then, several local media outlets have picked up his story and his popularity has soared.

Even though Mallard, who migrated from Toronto, has gained such notoriety, he continues to waddle through the streets of Hamilton looking to connect with members of the community.

To this end, Mallard has created tiny wood tiles, similar to those found in your Scrabble game, featuring his likeness that he offers to people who cross his path.

“This project is still in the beginning stages and the city has been very receptive to me and that means a lot,” he says in the blog.

“I’m trying to engage people in a new way, give them a truly unique experience that they will remember. The tiles are kind of like a participation ribbon.”

Mallard also paints and creates animations that feature some of his fellow feathered friends and some recognizable Hamilton landmarks in his colourful and bold folksy style.

His Instagram account is certainly worth a follow if you’d like to experience Hamilton through the eyes of a quack or if you’d just like to learn more about this unique Hamilton personality. His masks and artwork are also available to purchase, just reach out via Insta.

Photo courtesy Lewis Mallard’s Instagram

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