The Nanaimo events calendar is full of fun and unique activities throughout the year. Experience art, heritage, culture, and the flavours of local cuisine while you’re in town.

From our world-famous bathtub races in July, to tasting your way along the Nanaimo Bar Trail at any-time of year, attending the craft beer and music festival of Longwoodstock in September, or stepping into history at the museum or attending a variety of other exciting festivals – we invite you to discover what makes Nanaimo so unique.


Nanaimo is a very diverse place. I love the culture and natural wonders here in Nanaimo.
Leif Bogwald
There are some fantastic festivals that happen every year.
David Gogo
Nanaimo's Annual Events

February 22-24: Maple Sugar Festival

March 6: Nanaimo Whisk(e)y Festival

March 23: Vancouver International Film Festival at Vancouver Island University

April 3-5: Vancouver Island Chamber Music Festival

May 17: Nanaimo Heritage Festival

May 30-31: Hammond Bay Studio Tour

June 4-August 29: Commercial Street Night Markets, every Thursday. runs every Thursday for 13-weeks from June 4 to August 29, from 5-9 pm. The area is closed off to traffic so visitors can shop the vendor booths and purchase everything from food to crafts. Live entertainment will also be staged at several points downtown, along with bouncy castles and climbing walls for the little ones.

June 6: 5km Foam Festival

June 14: Nanaimo Pride Festival

June 19-20: Preliminary Red Bull Pump Track Qualifier

June 21: National Indigenous Persons Day celebrations at Maffeo Sutton Park

July 1-November 23: Grow Nanaimo at the Nanaimo Museum

July 10-12: Dragon Boat Festival

July 19: Silly Boat Regatta

July 24-26: Marine Festival & World Championship Bathtub Race has been welcoming visitors for more than 40-years, to take part in this now world-famous festival and race. At the core of the bathtub festivities, Maffeo Sutton Park & Sway-a-Lana Lagoon will play host to vendors, arts & crafts, and a Kiddies Karnival, July 24-26.

August 7-15: Nanaimo Fringe Festival

August 13-16: Nanaimo Summertime Blues Festival

TBD: Red Bull Pump Track Championship Canadian Qualifier hosts this country’s best for a spot in the world qualifiers as Nanaimo hosts the Red Bull Pump Track World Championships. The Stevie Smith Bike Park will host the Canadian Qualifier in August (TBD) for the third year in a row.

TBD: Longwoodstock Beer & Music Festival

October 10-12: Gabriola Thanksgiving Studio Tour

November 19-22: Kris Kringle Craft Market

TBD: Cedar Yellow Point Artisans Country Tour

December 5-6: Nanaimo Art Walk

TBD: Vancouver Island Market

Winter Events In Nanaimo
Valentines Day
Valentines Day
Fill your evening or weekend with romantic plans. Check out things to do, accommodation specials, and more.
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Annual Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Erable
Annual Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Erable
Celebrate good times at the Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable! Join in the joie de vivre and indulge in an annual February weekend of food, fun, and music. Decadent toffy on snow, delicious French Canadian cuisine, and toe-tapping, high-energy music and a public market too!

Date: February 28th - March 1st, 2020

Where: Beban Park Social Centre, 2000 Bowen Road, Nanaimo

Cost: Various
Full Schedule
Refuge Canada: Feature Exhibition
Refuge Canada: Feature Exhibition
Moving through major waves of arrival from Second World War era up to present day, Refuge Canada does not shy away from opportunities to portray the darker chapters of history. Hopeful stories of optimism and success are balanced by moving accounts of shattered lives, fear, and examples of Canada’s mixed record in welcoming refugees. Refuge Canada is a travelling exhibition from the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dates: January 25th - May 9th, 2020

Where: 100 Museum Way, Nanaimo

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Wee Tipple Party - Nanaimo's Whiskey Festival
Wee Tipple Party - Nanaimo's Whiskey Festival
A lavish evening showcasing fine whiskies, delicious hors d’oeuvres, live music, a silent auction, and stimulating conversation.

Date: March 6th, 2020. 7pm

Where: The Grand Hotel, 4898 Rutherford Road, Nanaimo

Cost: $129
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Farm Tours & Goat Walks
Farm Tours & Goat Walks
Go behind the scenes at Yellow Point Farms to experience first hand what farm-life on a diverse livestock and produce farm on Vancouver Island is all about. When you attend a farm tour, they'll guide you on an immersive excursion through some of the day-to-day activities on the farm, and give you the chance to interact with some of the animals first-hand! As a fully operational and growing farm, they're not 100% open to the public all the time, but they are pleased to share their farm experience with you through the Fall Farm Tour, Fall Goat Walk, & Private Farm Tours.
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