Category: Art, History and Culture

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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Haunted Nanaimo

October 29, 2015

Boo! It’s Halloween! To help get you in the spirit, we rounded up some “allegedly” true stories of Nanaimo’s haunted history. Beware, though – Nanaimo does have a dark side… Beban House One of the most well-known ghost stories of Nanaimo is the hauntings at Beban House. Once the home of a wealthy sawmill owner, Frank Beban, the house was featured on Creepy Canada in 2001. There have been stories of people hearing balls bounce down the hall, children talking and playing with a boy that no one else can see but them, sights of women passing through the halls, […]

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Rainy Day Activities in Nanaimo

October 10, 2014

Well, it looks like our luck has run out this week – rain is in our forecast. Of course, our weather changes so unpredictably, so who knows, maybe by the time you’re reading this it’ll be sunny the rest of the month. However, just in case the rain is here to stay, here are a few Tourism Nanaimo approved activities for those grey, rainy days: Take in Nanaimo’s History Explore the Nanaimo Museum where you can completely immerse yourself in Nanaimo’s proud and diverse culture. From First Nations to Coal Miners to Chinese Immigrants, there is so much to learn about our […]

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Morning Star Bison Ranch

September 5, 2014

A few weeks ago one of our summer students, Laura, wrote about the Morning Star Bison Ranch. Laura had researched the ranch but was unable to make the drive down south to experience the ranch first hand. When the opportunity came about to take Erika, a masters student at VIU, on a tour around Bison Bob’s Morning Star Bison Ranch Laura and I jumped at the chance! Morning Star Bison Ranch is located south of Nanaimo in the Cassidy region by the Nanaimo Airport. Signs clearly mark the turnoff for the farm, which is an additional 4km from the turnoff off of […]

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Shopping Along Rutherford Boardwalk

August 26, 2014

Nanaimo has so many little hidden gems and the Boardwalk on Rutherford definitely falls into this category. It is located right at the top of Rutherford hill in North Nanaimo. Quilted Duck Gift Shop Tucked away in this centre you can find the Quilted Duck Gift Cottage, which is a decoration and gift paradise. You can find a selection of candles and soaps, pictures, paintings, beautiful napkins along with ceramic and glass ornaments, wooden signs, cushions, and so much more. Around Christmas the entire shop gets transformed into a Christmas wonderland with countless ornaments, tree decorations, basically everything that you […]

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Take a Day to Experience Some of Nanaimo’s History!

August 19, 2014

Hey guys! Now that summer is coming to an end you may be running out of ideas of what to do with the family unit! Since school with be starting up again very soon you might as well get a head start on getting everyone back into the flow of learning in a fun interactive way! Nanaimo has an extremely rich cultural history from petroglyphs to mining you can easily fill your day with educational and interesting activities! The Bastion Built in 1853 by the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Bastion was the fort and trading post of Nanaimo! The Bastion […]

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