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 sports@nanaimohospitality.ca 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.


Sport Hosting Grant – City of Nanaimo

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 sports@nanaimohospitality.ca or call 250-668-3910.


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 grants@nanaimohospitality.ca.

* 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.

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