Category: History, Culture and Shopping

The play’s the thing – Shakespeare by the Sea and more in Nanaimo

August 17, 2017

More than 400 years after William Shakespeare penned a play, we still can’t get enough of the loveable Bard. It’s no wonder Will’s timeless wit, wisdom, tragedies and comedies keep people coming back every year for Nanaimo’s immensely popular festival, Shakespeare by the Sea. This year it will be held Sept. 15 -17. The seaside location at Pioneer Waterfront Plaza puts a Nanaimo spin on Shakespeare’s works, as does the Vancouver Island Shakespeare Arts Society (VISAS) interpretation on his plays. This year, VISAS will perform the tragedy, King Lear, along with an abridged version of The Complete Works of William […]

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Get your Fringe Festival on and explore the outer reaches of Nanaimo, too

August 9, 2017

Fringe Festivals happen all summer around the world – from the world’s largest event in Edinburgh, Scotland, to the delightfully unique one right here in Nanaimo. What is a fringe festival you may ask? It’s a kind of free-wheeling show brought to you by theatre troupes from around the world. They each bring their own combo of stage talents – actors, musicians, comedians and storytellers – to the masses in hilarious, and at times, absurd ways. There’s also plenty of opportunity for audience participation in the shows. Nanaimo’s 10-day festival happens Aug. 10-19, at three locations: Port Theatre, Vancouver Island […]

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Symphony By The Sea: Tune in to Nanaimo’s arts, culture and nature scene this summer

July 25, 2017

Summer is never quite complete without the pleasure of listening to live music in a park, sitting in a lawn chair, the trees rustling in the breeze while you relax and soak up the sounds. In pretty Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo, chances are you’ll hear an old favourite at Symphony By The Sea, one of Nanaimo’s premier festivals happening on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The more than 5,000 people who’ve been attending this free, three-hour outdoor concert each year know all the tricks for getting the most out of it. They bring a comfy […]

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Golden summer days at Nanaimo’s Summertime Blues Festival and beyond

July 25, 2017

Grooving to the big, soulful sounds of the Kirby Sewell Band and the jubilant gospel tunes of Ruthie Foster during Nanaimo’s Summertime Blues Festival will certainly put you in the mood to explore more of Nanaimo, its neighbourhoods and backyard. There’s a reason people from all over the Pacific Northwest and even as far as New Mexico come for the four-day festival held in Maffeo Sutton Park – this year from Aug. 24 to 27. The golden days of late summer are ripe for exploring the bounty of farmer’s markets or honey farms, and enjoying down time on a patio at […]

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Sip & Savour Nanaimo’s Farmers’ Markets

July 25, 2017

Nanaimo is a community rich in the homegrown: from handmade beverages (we are home to four craft breweries and 2 wineries) to free-range buffalo raised on the land, farm-fresh produce and of course fish straight from our cold waters. We also have a vibrant artistic community, blending everything from tinctures to teas, and crafting traditional First Nations art, as well as glass work and wood sculpture. All of these delights, for each one of your senses, can be found at one of our three outdoor Farmer’s Markets, which typify our homemade handmade lifestyle and the local colour that makes Nanaimo […]

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Legendary fun in Nanaimo: First the Dragon Boat races, then some otherworldly adventures

July 5, 2017

The Dragon Boat Festival in Nanaimo doesn’t have a lot to do with the mythical, fire-spewing creatures they’re named after. It has everything to do, however, with fierce fun, teamwork and enjoying a slew of events over three days. Dragonboat image by Nancy Shields The main event goes July 7-9 at the harbour near Maffeo Sutton Park. You can cheer on the 70 teams of 20 paddlers as they churn up the waters in a battle to cross the finish line first. Before- and after-race fun includes land-based events like the Shriner’s pancake breakfast, Longwood Brewery beer gardens and sampling […]

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Sarah Etoile Shares Saysutshun – 7 Images of Newcastle Island

June 28, 2017

All words and images by Sarah Etoile. ʔukᵂaqiłs Sarah. Diitiidʔaaʔaqsp. I’m a First Nations photographer, steward and storyteller based on Vancouver Island. This week as @tourismnanaimo’s #guestagrammer I will be sharing Saysutshun, otherwise known as Newcastle Island, which is unceded Snuneymuxw Territory. My classmates and I paddled from the harbour to Saysutshun, and were graciously welcomed by Snuneymuxw First Nation by this totem pole. Our host, who also provides guided tours of Saysutshun, shared the history and connections with this island. After our welcome and guided tour with Snuneymuxw First Nation, we were allowed to wander around before lunch. Most […]

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Come to Nanaimo for a Slice of Canadian Coastal History

June 27, 2017

Nanaimo may be known as ‘The Harbour City’, but it could just as easily be known as ‘The City of Firsts.’ The Vancouver Island destination is home to some remarkable historic did-you-knows, such as B.C.’s first telephone, Western North America’s first railway and the first ocean-going ship built in B.C. While exploring Nanaimo—meaning “gathering place” in Island Hul’q’umin’um’ spoken by the Snuneymuxw Nation—you’ll also discover how rich it is in First Nations history and culture. Planning to make Nanaimo part of your Canada 150 celebrations? Here are some must-do activities while you’re in the area. Bastion Image by Nancy Shields […]

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Thanksgiving Studio Tour: Gabriola Island, BC

October 18, 2016

Thanksgiving art tour makes us thankful we live so close to Gabriola Island Every Thanksgiving the quiet island of Gabriola, a quick ferry ride from Nanaimo, B.C. hosts its annual studio tour. It’s easy to see why the weekend is one of the island’s signature can’t-miss annual events. Now in its 25th year, the Thanksgiving Studio Tour has emerged as a fall staple. Known as the “Isle of the Arts,” Gabriola Island draws crowds of locals and visitors alike to get out and celebrate the many artists working and living in the area. We started things off early on the […]

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Nanaimo Arts & Culture Happenings

January 29, 2016

I cannot tell you how excited I am about the upcoming events! Nanaimo has stellar things going on! Ok – get your popcorn ready – and a catheter – and get prepared to take in ALL the great movies at The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival! Thirteen films have been chosen for screening at the 11th annual Vancouver Island Short Film Festival (VISFF), February 12 at 7pm and February 13 at 2pm and 7pm. The Festival takes place at the Malaspina Theatre at Vancouver Island University and all of the films will be shown at each screening.  Tickets $15 | […]

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