As the heart of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is home to a diverse collection of creative artists, musicians, actors, writers, and artisans. With a history of collaboration, an ecology of acceptance, and a community of creativity, Nanaimo is a natural environment where culture thrives.
The Snuneymuxw First Nation settled in what would eventually become Nanaimo, and played a big role in the region becoming known as one of the biggest sources of coal on the west coast of North America. The Snuneymuxw people are working with the community to create a just foundation for future generations of First People, demonstrating their strength, perseverance, and endurance.
Explore the streets and neighbourhoods of Nanaimo to see many of the buildings and parks that were erected in the early days of our development. Check out the On This Spot app (available for Android and iPhone) to compare pictures of yesteryear with what we’ve grown to today – it’s an interesting way to see how much we’ve developed over the years.
The Nanaimo Museum
Explore a coal miner’s cabin and see what life was like working in the coal mines of Nanaimo. Learn about the Hudson Bay Trading Company and why the Bastion is one of the region’s most recognized landmarks. Take an interactive journey to experience daily life in a traditional longhouse with the Snuneymuxw community, and then visit our Sports Hall of Fame to see our contribution to the world of sports. The Nanaimo Museum Is an engaging and informative experience in downtown Nanaimo.
Vancouver Island Military Museum
Celebrate our Canadian Military history at this comprehensive curated collection of Canadian wartime memorabilia. Learn about our military presence around the world and meet the volunteers who share their stories and personal wartime experiences on guided tours and interactive displays and exhibits.
Visit the Nanaimo Art Gallery to experience the masterful works of local artists, such as Marianne Nicolson’s Inquiry to Newcomers, installed at the rear of the Nanaimo Art Gallery, as well as visiting exhibits from other galleries. Or enjoy some hands-on time in the Art Labs for kids, teens, or adults – unleash your creative spirit and see what you’re capable of. Admission to the gallery is by donation, and they’re open six days per week in the spring and fall.
It’s for good reason that Nanaimo has been named the Island’s “shopping mecca.” Many of the major brand name retailers you know and love are located along the old Island Highway 19A in one of the city’s many fine quality shopping centres including: Port Place Shopping Centre, Country Club Centre, Nanaimo North Town Centre, and Woodgrove Centre, the largest shopping centre on Vancouver Island.
Downtown Nanaimo features three distinct shopping districts: The Arts District in the city core, the Old City Quarter up the hill, and the Waterfront District along the Harbourfront Walkway, each offering distinctive shops and services.
From indoor to outdoor venues, Nanaimo offers live music and theatre performances that helped it earn the title Cultural Capital of Canada.
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The Nanaimo Blues Society hosts the Summertime Blues in August 23-25, 2019 featuring International Blues Artists, Canadian Blues musicians as well as our own local talent on our "Soft Opening" on August 22 benefitting the Loaves & Fishes Food Bank.
The Nanaimo Arts Council is dedicated to the promotion of artistic achievements in our city and region. We encourage creative endeavours of every kind. We strive to educate all on the value of creative activities and their contribution to the public good.
A must see little shop on Nanaimo's waterfront offering a selection of gifts, souvenirs, jewelry and other things.
Featuring the work of Glass Artist Ted Jolda, Jewelry by Emily Ferris, Mixed Media by Carolyn Lutz & more.
Enjoy herb gardens, plant nursery and boutique offering distinctive culinary, bath and body products.
Family run, fully stocked with all your favourites! Happy plants, happy people!
We make great things! Elegant to rustic, designs in small wood products, furniture and jewelry.
A wildlife adventure for the whole family! Live raptors, black bears and more. Open 9–5 daily March through Dec 21.
The Bastion, built in 1853 as an original Hudson’s Bay Company outpost is now a museum that gives great insight into the way of life a century ago. Historic cannons are fired daily at noon throughout the summer.
Visit Vancouver Island's largest shopping centre for the largest selection of fashion retailers! Featuring over 140 stores and services.
Founded in 2002, House of Kiyo is a destination for Beauty and Relaxation. We are built on the foundation of Integrity, Creativity, Education and Inspiration. The heart and soul of our culture comes from the positive power of teamwork and leadership.
6400 sq ft of cooking, living and giving! Located in the heart of Downtown Nanaimo, Flying Fish offers the best, the funkiest, the most fun and the most practical items you will need to have, share and gift.
FIT2Dance.ca supports the culture of connection through Kizomba Social Dance. We offer personalized Kizomba Dance instruction, lively Social Events, and unique Dance Festivals throughout Nanaimo all to foster a healthy & vibrant dance community for years to come.
Visit our one stop quilting shop and buy our no-calorie Nanaimo Bar Kit! Sew up your own souvenir of Nanaimo.
It's the beach at Cable Bay Studio this summer! Hand made items for wearing or decorating with a west coast flair.
We are a full service lingerie boutique providing exceptional customer service and catering to women of all shapes and sizes. We aim to vow, inspire and empower you, making your lingerie shopping experience fun and uplifting.
Come and experience The Rising Stone Studio with its unique sculpture, mixed media and installed art. Captured in stone, wood, canvas or cast in various media.
Visit Vancouver Island's largest specialty toy store! Over 6,000 sq ft of toys, games, puppets, puzzles, science kits, craft kits, beach toys, kites, Playmobil, Schleich, teacher resources, and much more!
Nanaimo North Town Centre is your one stop shopping centre. When you visit us you will enjoy great shops and services including Canadian Tire, Sears, London Drugs, Fairway Market, and Galaxy Theatres.
Fredrich's Honey has been producing honey, pollen & propolis on Vancouver Island since 1966. Theo Sr. started the farm with his brother Erwin. Now Theo Jr runs the bee business and things couldn't bee sweeter!
Shopping in a pastoral environment on the field of Crow & Gate Pub. Fresh veggies, meats, flowers, and baked goods.
The Nanaimo Downtown Farmers' Market is one of the youngest markets on the island, being only in it's eleventh year. From a beginning of only a few vendors, we have grown to become a market of over fifty full time vendors, and many drop ins.
A magical shoppe in the Old City Quarter, offering local art, amazing jewelery and fair trade imports. Enchanting!
Bodacious provides you with beautiful and luxurious fashions in sizes 10 to a curvy 24! Perfect fit, flattering styles,and oh-so-comfy fabrics! Joseph Ribkoff, Parsley & Sage, Grizas...
Visit our 50,000sq foot North Nanaimo location - best Nanaimo Bar Fudge in Nanaimo!
British Columbia's Most Significant Military Museum. Canadian military history, on Nanaimo's historic waterfront, celebrating Canada's military history and honouring the service of our Armed Forces, R.C.M.P and Merchant Navy.
Au' si:em siyeyu.
Welcome to Saysutshun/Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park in Snuneymuxw traditional territories. Come explore what we have to offer!
A little home-grown Island based soap company that started in a small kitchen. 100% natural and organic.
Shop, dine and relax in Nanaimo’s historic Old City Quarter featuring a mix of unique retail shops, restaurants and services. Here the pace of life is relaxed and you will be greeted by friendly merchants and locals alike.
Tea Desire opened their first tea store in May 2005. Tony and Heidi Aupers the founders of Tea Desire are experienced entrepreneurs. They bring European and Canadian market experience to their tea stores where they stock the finest loose leaf teas and tea ware.
We offer “Family Fun in the Country” from mid August-October. Come enjoy our 7 acre maze, farm animals and hayrides.
Up in the pristine Cassidy Highlands just south of Nanaimo BC lies a home where the buffalo roam on beautifully sculpted fields which is the home of Bob Wilson's, Morning Star Bison Ranch.
Tracks Outdoor Adventures INC, locally owned and operated tour company in Nanaimo since 2001. Offering authentic, personable tour experiences in Nanaimo &Vancouver Island. History & Cultural, Wine &Culinary, Nature Sightseeing. Group sizes from 4-400, Follow FB & IG
The Chemainus Theatre Festival is a vibrant, established and fully professional theatre. We feature some of the finest performers and performances in Canada. The Chemainus Theatre Festival is your place to get together and liven up.
A delight for tourists and local art enthusiasts, “Gallery Row” has been an attraction since the year 2000. An outdoor venue where local artists' creations are mounted on wrought iron frames on the alley walls.
Vancouver Island's premier cheese shop and specialty foods store. Over 150 kinds of cheese.
Nanaimo Art Gallery inspires and challenges our community through art. Exhibitions are excellent, relevant and are extended through dynamic programs. Art Lab, our space for learning, offers hands-on activities for all ages.
Gorgeous award-winning quality stoneware and functional pottery by master potters Jo and Vic Duffhues of Ladysmith, BC. Come visit us!
The Ecoforestry Institute Society (EIS) was founded in 1995 at Wildwood Ecoforest, and is dedicated to the principles and practices of ecoforestry. We have stewarded Wildwood Ecoforest since 2001 and now hold the property in trust on behalf of the public.
"Island-ish" is about a wonderful blend of beauty, quality and comfort, in our homes, wardrobes and time. Stop in!
Original Paintings and painted Furniture and Gifts in an original style by award winning artist Claudia Lohm
The Vancouver Island Symphony features professional musicians and soloists from across the country. They proudly offer special education and community concerts and programming in the central Vancouver Island region
A gallery/shop selling locally hand made work by over 60 artists including owner Tanya Streeter. We sell silk scarves, hand printed Ts, prints, paintings and other wall art, metal, glass, wooden bowls,spoons and frames, jewelry and more!
Nanaimo’s 800-seat waterfront theatre offers a broad range of cultural events. Programs involve local groups as well as touring attractions, enriching the overall quality of life in the region. Over 250 events are held in the theatre each year attracting 100,000+ people
Menswear store located downtown Nanaimo.
Come sit on a Nanaimo Bar at the Nanaimo Museum! Nanaimo’s regional museum is a worthwhile introduction to the area’s past, first as a home for the Snunéymuxw (the name from which Nanaimo derives) people and then as a coal mining boomtown.