Category: Festivals and Events

Bathtub Weekend 2018

July 16, 2018

July 20th-22nd It all started in 1967 when former mayor of Nanaimo, Frank Ney, famously donned a pirate costume, raised his sword, and launched Nanaimo’s first annual Bathtub Race. “Tubbers” and visitors from around the world have been coming to Nanaimo for more than 40 years to take part in this now world famous festival and race. This year’s Bathtub Festival — a part of the larger, month-long Marine Festival — takes place at Maffeo Sutton Park & Sway-a-Lana Lagoon on the weekend of July 20th to 22nd. The Scoop, Or “Bail Bucket” if You Prefer With a mix of […]

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Commercial Street Summer Night Markets 2019

July 12, 2018

June 20 – August 29   Taking place over eleven consecutive weeks, from June 21st to August 30th, The Commercial Street Night Market makes for an amazing downtown Nanaimo experience. Between 5pm and 9pm on Thursday evenings, Commercial Street, the city’s ‘main street’, will be closed to vehicle traffic to allow pedestrians to enjoy 100+ vendors, local merchants, booths, exhibits, and tents. Food trucks will be parked along the street for a tasty and convenient bite. Many permanent downtown businesses, sidewalk cafes, art stores, and clothing shops, etc., will be joining in on the fun by extending their hours until […]

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The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival 2018

July 5, 2018

July 6, 7, & 8, 2018 Maffeo Sutton Park, 10 Comox Rd, Nanaimo, BC Also, check out The InFrinGinG Dance Festival happening the same weekend. This year’s 16th annual Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival (July 6, 7, & 8, 2018) hosts 72 teams from Vancouver Island, Western Canada, and the USA. The event takes place at Maffeo Sutton Park on Nanaimo’s downtown waterfront. Dragon boat racing is an exhilarating sport to take part in or to watch, so you won’t want to miss it! There’s no better way to gain insightful information than talking with the experts, so we contacted Leslie Sutton, the […]

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The InFrinGinG Dance Festival 2018

July 4, 2018

JULY 5-8, 2018 Celebrate diversity through dance Also, check out The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival happening the same weekend. Showcasing an array of music and dance styles, the InFrinGinG Dance Festival brings together performers from across the world. The goal of this event is to allow artists to share a piece of their culture, whether authentically traditional or infused by their contemporary identities. For festival goers, this is an opportunity to explore and learn about different peoples in a fun and interactive way. This festival hosts various events: theatrical productions, interactive performances and workshops, a film-screening, and mass-choreographed public displays […]

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Get into a Merry Christmas mood at the Kris Kringle Craft Fair

October 26, 2017

It’s easy to get into the merry spirit of the Christmas season when the Kris Kringle Craft Market gets underway in Nanaimo. There are plenty of reasons why more than 12,000 people from around Vancouver Island head to Beban Park to attend the four-day event, held this year from Nov. 16 to 19. If the twinkling lights, festive décor and the smell of gingerbread don’t put you in the Christmas spirit, the buzz of dozens of activities each day surely will. More than 150 artisan vendors will be selling goods such as hand-crafted soaps, unique jewelry, wooden toys and woolen […]

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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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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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SUMMERTIME BLUES FESTIVAL SETS A SOULFUL AND ROCKIN’ HIGH BAR IN NANAIMO

September 27, 2016

SUMMERTIME BLUES FESTIVAL SETS A SOULFUL AND ROCKIN’ HIGH BAR IN NANAIMO By Guest Blogger Nancy Shields The 2016 Summertime Blues Festival in Nanaimo had it all: deep soulful tunes, spirited uplifting songs and incredible musicians from near and far. The promoters showed true diligence when it came to selecting the artists. This year featured 21 acts, including the British blues/rock legends Savoy Brown, American blues legends Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, along with locals like Lazy Mike & The Rockin’ Recliners. It was an incredible three days full of dancing, good times and great vibes. The festival was held […]

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Rocking out at Longwoodstock

September 9, 2016

By Guest Blogger Nancy Shields Longwoodstock. What more can I say? This fun-filled, sun-baked weekend was one for the ages. Longwoodstock is the creation of Longwood Brewery, and combines two of the greatest things in the world: beer and music. This was the Festival’s second year, and due to immense interest, had been extended this year to two nights instead of just one. The first night kicked off at The Queens and featured incredible local bands such as Dope Soda, Lovecoast and Jon Middleton. As I approached the Longwood Brewery on Saturday, I knew the day was going to be […]

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Symphony by the Sea – Music for all Ages

August 12, 2016

A Guest Blog by: Deidre Tansey for Festival Seekers The sun is sitting low, blocked by scattered clouds, and Maffeo Sutton Park is slowly beginning to fill. People from every part of Nanaimo and beyond are headed towards the charming park pavilion. Young families carrying coolers filled with snacks, couples holding hands, and seniors with lawn chairs, knowingly armed with golf umbrellas and warm clothes. The setting is casual, buoyant and incredibly scenic, not the expected scene for a symphony orchestra, but that is the draw! Every year for over a decade, music lovers have gathered in the park for […]

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