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

Maple Sugar Festival

Nanaimo Whisk(e)y Festival

March 23: Vancouver International Film Festival at Vancouver Island University

April 3-5: Vancouver Island Chamber Music Festival

April 18-19: EarthFest: Creative Climate Solutions Showcase

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

September 18-20: Nanaimo International Jazz 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

Spring Events In Nanaimo
Festival Nanaimo!
Festival Nanaimo!
The 6th Annual Festival Nanaimo is a multidimensional community festival that takes place in Nanaimo throughout the month of March. The festival is about exploring Nanaimo, the city we love, through a variety of activities that include great music, performance art, visual art, culinary events, lectures, recreation and many other special events.

Date: March 1st - 31st

Where: Various Venues throughout Nanaimo

Full Schedule
Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival
Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival
VIMFF is an annual international 10-day community festival, featuring mountain film screenings, live multimedia presentations, photography exhibitions, workshops, seminars & other special events. Nanaimo is one of the 50+ communities across Canada, the US, Europe and Asia hosting an event this year.

Date: Monday, March 23rd, 6:30 pm

Where: Malaspina Theatre, Building 310, 900 5th St, Nanaimo

Cost: $17, online and at the door.
Get Tickets
Festival Musicalia
Festival Musicalia
This premier festival weekend is a new concept, replacing the previous Vancouver Island Chamber Music Festival and melding together a weekend of up close and personal recitals, a master class and our annual Solo Concert with guest pianist Steven Osborne

Date: April 3rd - 5th

Where: Venues in include St. Paul's Anglican Church, The Conservatory of Music and The Port Theatre

Cost: Varied
Learn More
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

Learn More
EarthFest Creative Climate Solutions Showcase
EarthFest Creative Climate Solutions Showcase
Creatively United and the Gail O’Riordan Climate and The Arts Legacy Series presents a fun-filled, free, all-ages event featuring area sustainability experts, organizations and businesses with interactive displays. Enjoy food, art, live music, informative presentations, electric bikes, + more!

Dates: April 19th & 20th

Where: Various Venues

Cost: $15 - $30, with free events as well
Full Program

Book Your Stay Now