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.


Nanaimo Hospitality Sporting Events Grant – Nanaimo Hospitality Association

The primary objective of the Nanaimo Hospitality Sporting Event Grant is to increase the number of multi-day sporting events held in Nanaimo. The grant aims to support new sporting events, or annual events that are hoping to increase their attendance by improving, expanding, or extending the number of days the event takes place, which will ultimately increase the number of visitors staying overnight in local paid accommodation.

Please visit the Nanaimo Hospitality Association website for more information about their grants program or email

* 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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What’s Your Travel Type?

Have you ever wondered what type of traveller you are? Whether you’re more of a history buff, or perhaps a thrill-seeker? Destination Canada created this quiz to help you better understand exactly what type of traveller you are. If you’d like to see an itinerary that matches your traveller type, check out our custom itineraries.

Free Spirit

Free Spirits are most likely to be seen at a tourism hot spot, participating in a group tour, or dining out at a top restaurant.

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Cultural Explorers are most likely to be seen exploring heritage sites and museums. CE's also love to interact with locals.

Authentic Experiencer

Authentic Experiencers are most likely to be seen in nature reserves, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, at a heritage site or a museum.