Sports Tourism

Nanaimo, the Harbour City and home to the famous Nanaimo Bar, is a transportation gateway and a central destination on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Nanaimo is a classic West Coast community offering natural beauty at every turn, and vast recreation potential. Our famous island style hospitality, mild climate, and dedicated community members create a perfect environment to host events of all types. Tourism Nanaimo and our community stakeholders are committed to helping you hold your best event yet.

Getting here is easy! Nanaimo is well connected to the rest of the Island & the mainland. Our central location provides quick & convenient connections through multiple transportation options. To view all of our transportation options click here.

We are here to help! Nanaimo is serious about supporting event organizers, whether they are local groups or visiting. Tourism Nanaimo is the destination marketing organization for Nanaimo and our knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff will be your first point of contact when planning a successful event. Please do not hesitate to contact us at for more information about hosting an event in Nanaimo & Region.

The City of Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Hospitality Association fund sport event hosting through two different grants aimed to facilitate economic development and overnight visitation. Sport tourism* is a major economic generator for Nanaimo and by working together with local community sport organizations we can encourage visitors to come to Nanaimo, stay longer and return at a future date.

Community Sport Organizations wishing to host multi-day regional, provincial or national sporting events in Nanaimo are eligible to apply.

Please read the general criteria for each grant below and click on the various links to learn more about each grant.

Hosting an Event

The secret is out; Nanaimo is a great place to host events. Nanaimo has deemed sport one of the top priorities by investing in brand new facilities; such as the Nanaimo Ice Centre, Third Street Sports Zone, and Oliver Woods Community Centre; as well as keeping existing facilities immaculate. The community boasts an impressive list of satisfied hosting partners including: BC Summer Games, BC Senior Games, U-17 World Hockey Challenge, Dragon Boat Festival, ABA BMX World Championships and many more. Nanaimo has an active community with a diverse selection of top-quality sporting venues including: gymnasiums with state of the art sprung flooring systems, FIFA regulation sized soccer pitches, 4 NHL regulation sized ice rinks, a 2,000 seat ice arena, the only track facility in Canada with a straightaway track that runs parallel to the oval, and an incredible network of parks and trails, just to name a few.

City of Nanaimo Sport Hosting Grant

The City of Nanaimo has an annual budget of $20,000 to assist groups in hosting multi-day sporting events and tournaments through its sport event hosting program. The maximum amount a community group can receive is $2,000 per event. Sport organizations may only apply for one sport hosting grant per intake.

City of Nanaimo Sport Hosting grants are primarily intended to support sport organizations hosting smaller-scale events at a local, regional and inter-regional level that are hosted in Nanaimo. Sport organizations bidding on events at a Provincial, Inter-Provincial, or National level, or for sport event organizers interested in creating new sporting events in Nanaimo, please refer to the Nanaimo Hospitality  Festivals & Events grants program.

Sport event organizers who are hosting a sporting event within a 24 month period of their application are eligible to apply for a City of Nanaimo Sport Hosting grant. Grant applications will be accepted and evaluated on the following schedule:

Application Intake Deadline Evaluation Period Grant Notification Date
Nov. 15, 2017 Nov. 16-Dec. 14, 2017 Dec. 15, 2017
May 15, 2018 May 16-June 14, 2018 June 15, 2018

The evaluation committee meets twice annually to evaluate applications and award grants.
Please note that online applications can be submitted at any time, although there may be a 2-4 week period when the online application form isn’t available after an application deadline.

Prior to applying, please review the Program Information for details about the program, eligibility requirements, evaluation process and program obligations.

To submit your application:
Step 1: Review the City of Nanaimo Sport Hosting Grant Program Information
Step 2: Review the City Sport Hosting Grant Question Preview – please ensure you have all the information before moving to step 3
Step 3: Complete the online application – Click here to apply.

For questions about the City of Nanaimo Sport Hosting grants program please email or call 250-668-3910.

Nanaimo Hospitality Festival & Events Grant

The primary objectives of the Nanaimo Hospitality Festival & Events grants are to increase the number of new festivals and sporting events that drive new overnight visitations to Nanaimo; to augment the capacity, length and/or quality of existing festivals and sporting events that drive incremental overnight visitations to Nanaimo; and to support feasibility studies that look at developing new festivals and sporting events, or improving and expanding current festivals and sporting events, with the goal of driving future overnight visitation to Nanaimo.

Applications will be accepted on a continual basis and be evaluated by the Nanaimo Hospitality Association grant review committee every couple of months. The application deadlines for each grant review period are indicated below. Applications will be evaluated based on the event’s ability to generate overnight visitation, economic impact, the organization’s experience to organize and host the event, the organization’s financial need, and the potential to have the event return to Nanaimo. Please apply early so that the grant notification date still falls prior to your event, as grants will not be provided after your event takes place.

Application Deadline Application Review Period Notification of Grant Award
August 31, 2017 Sept 2017 October 1, 2017
October 31, 2017 November 2017 December 1, 2017
December 15, 2017 January 2018 February 1, 2018
February 28, 2018 March 2018 April 1, 2018
April 30, 2018 May 2018 June 1, 2018
June 15, 2018 June 2018 July 1, 2018
August 31, 2018 September 2018 October 1, 2018

Applicants may apply for a maximum of $50,000 per year, per sporting event, and will be awarded up to a maximum of a 50/50 cost share basis for eligible expenses.

Applications will not be accepted for sporting events that take place in July due to accommodations already being at capacity.

To submit your application:
Step 1: Read and review the 2017 Nanaimo Hospitality Grant Program Info
Step 2: Review the 2017 Sporting Event Grant- Question Preview – please ensure you have all the information before moving to step 3
Step 3: Complete the Nanaimo Hospitality Sporting Event Grant Application.

For questions about the Nanaimo Hospitality grants program please email, call 250-668-3910, or visit the NHA website at

* Sport tourism is defined as any activity in which people are attracted to a particular location as a sport event participant, an event spectator, or to attend sport attractions or sport-related business meetings. Sport tourism visitors travel more than 80 km to reach the host community and/or stay overnight.

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