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VERY VINTAGE LIVING THE LIFESTYLE UNDER CONSTRUCTION NANAIMO AT NIGHT


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Nanaimo News Bulletin Saturday, September 29, 2012

Classes • Books • Charts • Fibres • Fabrics • Supplies

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For more information call 250-754-8141or visit www.dnbia.ca


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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tasty temptations

Wide variety of choice satisfies taste buds of foodies in Nanaimo

BY JENN McGARRIGLE

F

oodies can experience a wide range of culinary delights, including several new stops, in downtown Nanaimo. Corry Hostetter, general manager of the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association, said the downtown area has more than 60 restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and fast food joints to tempt the taste buds. While three major restaurants closed their doors downtown last month, others have opened this year. For seafood lovers, the Driftwood Bistro opened on Victoria Crescent in July where Armani’s Grill used to be. The restaurant specializes in seafood including fish and chips, fish tacos and seafood pasta, but the menu also includes options for meat and chicken lovers as well as vegetarians. Fibber Magees, an Irish pubstyle restaurant, also opened in July in the newly restored E&N Train Station building on Selby

CHRIS BUSH/THE NEWS BULLETIN

When the sun comes out, so do the chairs, tables and umbrellas. Several restaurants and coffee shops downtown extend their service to the sidewalks.

Street. The restaurant, which features live music and dining space on both levels of the historic building, serves up such traditional favourites as Irish stew, soda bread and a selection of mouth-watering pies such as steak, Guinness and potato pie. Chopsticks Noodle House on Wallace Street specializes in Asian noodle soup bowls and stir-fried noodle recipes and La Famiglia on Wesley Street is for those craving Italian fare. Finally, coffee lovers have a new

choice downtown – Starbucks has opened a new location in Port Place mall. Dining options downtown offer customers a wide range of unique culinary experiences. Powerhouse Living Foods on Commercial Street serves up an array of raw, plant-based foods that are also vegan and glutenfree. Creations include pizza, salads and smoothies. At Danforth Deli and Grill on Commercial Street, one can find a selection of local and interna-

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tional specialty cheeses as well as a breakfast and lunch menu that includes eight different types of grilled cheese sandwiches. The Nest Bistro on Franklyn Street offers a cozy dining experience with French and Italian-style fare and Acme Food Company, a longtime staple of downtown’s restaurant scene, whips up everything from fusion sushi to steaks, seafood, burgers and pasta. For more information on downtown dining options, please go to www.dnbia.ca.

Nanaimo News Bulletin

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MoreINSIDE

4 6 10 11 12 14

Past fashion eras popular Downtown a creative, cultural hub New buildings going up downtown Old buildings see facelifts Boat basin gets spruced up City comes alive after nightfall

Contributors: Jenn McGarrigle, Rachel Stern, Toby Gorman, Chris Hamlyn, Melissa Fryer Photography: Chris Bush

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Nanaimo News Bulletin Saturday, September 29, 2012

Street-wise style Whatever you call it – retro, hipster or vintage – past fashion eras prove popular with the downtown crowd BY JENN McGARRIGLE

D

owntown Nanaimo shop owners strive to provide customers with unique items that they can’t find anywhere else. There are several shops offering vintage clothing options for bargain hunters eager to search out gems from the past. Greg Badger, owner of Funk Your Fashion on Commercial Street, stocks some retro dresses, vintage-style jewelry and women’s hats, but his main vintage market is for men, who can find items such as old, embroidered cowboy shirts and polyester suits and golf pants. The shop also stocks vintage shoes, which he says often hold up better than contemporary shoes.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012 Nanaimo News Bulletin

The all new 2013 NISSAN ALTIMA has finally arrived.

CHRIS BUSH/THE NEWS BULLETIN

ABOVE: Michelle La France arranges a display of vintage shoes at Funk Your Fashion, which specializes in vintage clothing sales. OPPOSITE: Even the mirrors are vintage, reflecting the variety found in the Commercial Street shop.

The retro collection represents a time in the world when things were simpler and gives customers a chance to stand out from the crowd with these one-of-a-kind pieces, said Badger. “All the clothes people wear today generally look the same,” he said. “People go to the malls and literally buy the same things as their friends.” He said vintage is a niche market – it’s not for everyone who shops at his consignment store – but there are definitely some who go for it in a big way. Margaret Spencer, owner of Repeats on Wallace Street, agrees. She carries some 1960s dresses and hats from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s that sell quickly. “I find it amazing,” said Spencer. “People will try it on and it looks good. Vintage outlasts the trend. A good fabric, a good designer – that style can carry and women can wear it for a number of years. A true

good vintage piece will not go out of date and that’s why we’re selling them today.” She said consignment stores like hers offer people a chance to create their own unique look and style and the vintage selection is only one aspect of this. And for a new twist on vintage wear, Sara Barton, owner of Sassy Styles on Fitzwilliam Street, sells “upcycled” dresses made from vintage saris and other silks – an old product made into something new. “It’s a neat way to reuse things,” she said. “The products were made in a fair trade program in India. They use a lot of bright colouring and patterns.” Other consignment stores downtown to check for vintage finds include Betsy’s Boutique and Bridal Rentals on Fitwilliam Street and Yours and Mine on Wesley Street. For more information on shopping in downtown Nanaimo, please go to www. dnbia.ca/shopping.

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Nanaimo News Bulletin Saturday, September 29, 2012

Living the life Downtown core becoming a creative and cultural hub which offers proximity to art, shopping and recreation BY RACHEL STERN

C

reative minds are meeting and gathering in Nanaimo’s downtown core. “Downtown is the hub of creative culture. Downtown is going to be the place to be,” said Shayd Johnson, co-owner of Elephant Room Creative. Johnson lives and works in the downtown core and said there are people working and running several of the shops that are trying to do creative and innovation things in Nanaimo. “It’s magnetic and draws people who are creative,” Willow Friday, owner of House of Indigo. The community is also forging relationships. It’s a place where business owners, employees and customers are hanging out with each other after the shops close their doors. “We have a tight community. You get small-town heart with some big-town ideas,” said Johnson. “Nanaimo’s downtown is growing to become the place to be

and the place to live and the place to grow as a destination.” Those close relationships are one reason Friday said she likes living in the downtown area. “People in my neighbourhood are fantastic,” said Friday, who lives in the Old City Quarter. “It’s a really diverse, interesting group of people who live down here. I just love living in this section of town … everyone is really friendly.” Besides great friends to hang out with, Johnson said he’s only steps away from conveniences in the downtown area. He can get everything he needs in his neighbourhood from taking in a play at the Port Theatre, to hanging out at the Corner Lounge to walking or cycling along the Harbourfront walkway. “For me it’s being able to go up and down Commercial Street, walk around and see familiar faces, seeing people walking around for me that is exciting,” said Johnson.

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“I’m within walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores … also you’re steps from the waterfront.” He said it’s nice to be in the cultural hub and check out art shows, or be right in the thick of the excitement during parades or events that are held on Commercial Street in the summer. “That’s cool. That’s kind of exciting for us,” he said. Friday said living in the downtown area also allows her to leave her car at home and either bike or walk to her destination. For the downtown to get better, Johnson said it needs more people living in the area and becoming active in the downtown community. He said there are tons of potential spaces in the core that could be converted into lofts of studios. Johnson said long-term improvement plans that get more people living in the downtown core are going to make Nanaimo more vibrant and more sustainable.

Saturday, September 29, 2012 Nanaimo News Bulletin

7

CHRIS BUSH/THE NEWS BULLETIN

ABOVE: The waterfront bustles with activity as residents, visitors and shoppers browse through the stores and pick up refreshments along the way. More and more people are making their homes in the downtown area. OPPOSITE: The Modern Cafe is a long-time landmark in downtown Nanaimo.

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Nanaimo News Bulletin Saturday, September 29, 2012

www.nanaimobulletin.com

The He rt of the City

owned and operated shops. I find many friendly people downtown whether watching time pass in front of a coffee shop, or down along our spectacular waterfront. As a commercial property owner, I have been pleased with the direction downtown has taken and the type of stores that are now part of my company’s portfolio.

There are abundant shopping opportunities in Nanaimo. From upscale shopping to bargain basement discounts, Nanaimo’s got it all. We’ve become a destination shopping hot spot for those who want to experience true shopping pleasure. Treat yourself!

Steph Green

CAYO FASHIONS Erin Wagenaar

s a lover of all things outdoors magine your dream closet! Erin A and active, Stephanie turned I Wagenaar did and created Cayo to yoga as a means to cross train Fashions, a women’s clothing for her outdoor adventures. She instantly fell in love with the discipline of practice and is amazed at the continual opportunities yoga provides for physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. She is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to open OmTown Yoga downtown and to be surrounded by such an amazing community of students, teachers and friends. omtown.ca 43 Commercial Street 250-591-0101

store with a style of its own.

ISLAND LOTTERY AND SMOKE SHOP Bonnie Butler

fter 24 years Bonnie Butler A has developed a steady following of regular clientele who

ACME FOOD CO.

Thomas Robertson, Calvin Wallin, Sarah Wallin

QUINTESSENTIAL FASHIONS Carla Samson

BUCKLE MY SHOE

SHEPHERD Angie Gignac and Shawn PROTECTIVE SERVICES INC. Lamoureux Rick Hyne ngie Gignac has always wanted

arla Samson, owner of C Quintessentials believes in A a shoe store, and not just an helping clients create one-of-aordinary one either. Her shop had

D

owntown. What can I say? I’m ith a combined thirty years lucky in a way that I have the “My boutique items come from experience in the restaurant kind outfits. appreciate her specialty tobacco to provide high fashion footwear opportunity to operate a commercial designers in Europe, the States business, Thomas and Jodie products, including organic of the highest quality designed for “We carry unique clothing and property company that has some and Canada and because we’re Robertshaw know how to keep cigarettes, and service. comfort looks and longevity. really great young and vibrant all budget conscious I make sure customers coming back for more. accessories that you won’t see “It’s a small town feel here so on anyone else, from jewelry to In February 2012, she, and tenants, from ladies clothing, shoes they’re affordable.” over the years I’ve gotten to know According to Jodie that includes scarves, handbags to shoes.” partner Shawn Lamoureux, and lingerie, to the new owners of live music on weekends, a Like any ideal clothing closet Erin my customers personally.” launched Buckle My Shoe and it ACME Food Company. With a background in interior has a mix of items from flip-flops varied and constantly updated is everything she envisioned it Most come from Nanaimo but I find myself inspired by the courage to swimwear and even vintage menu, daily specials that include design and marketing Carla has would be. she also caters to the cruise ship created a successful business of our downtown family for taking a inspired designs. But her biggest half-price meals and 15-minute chance in both unproven concepts ElNaturalista, Frye, Hunter, seller is Yoga jeans. Not the type and marina traffic. lunches for the business crowd. that prides itself on customer service. Fluevog are a few of the European and downtown. Some of the you wear to a gym class but a “Cuban cigars aren’t’ available in “We want all ages and stages and American footwear designers company’s tenants have quit very stretch jean that fits any figure “We have regular clientele but the States so American boaters to feel like they have the best she features. lucrative jobs to chase their dreams and doesn’t lose shape. and travelers come here every also encourage walk-ins, we’re experience whenever they visit of owning their own business. up.” friendly so even if you are out year to stock pet “We order high-end shoes and “Everyone who puts these jeans us,” said Robertshaw. ‘All our walking the dog you’re welcome boots from Spain and Portugal, I started my journey back in 2003 on loves them,” she said. Bonnie feels the upscale direction food is fresh; cut and prepared to come in and browse.” hand made with the finest leather, when I moved my then home office For Erin, a special education the same day and served by being taken by developers and pair it with our coordinating into an office located on Commercial assistant, opening Cayo two highly trained staff. ” and land owners downtown is Samson has seen a lot of accessories,” Angie said. “Right Street. My intention at the time was years ago has been all success creating a unique district feel improvements in the downtown It’s a family owned business now our fall fashions are arriving to support the owner of Crankshaw with sales growing every month. that’s attracting more walking core in the past three years and with Jodie’s sister and brotherand with only a few items of each Holdings with bookkeeping and “Downtown is vibrant and traffic. this has had a major impact on in-law working the front end and style ordered they go quickly.” other support services, while I dynamic, there’s always a special business. bar, dad organizing the financial “It’s great for me,” she said. pursued a business in marketing event happening. We offer a For Angie and Shawn choosing a end and mom helping out with “I have a variety type store “I grew up downtown with my and photography. However, as different shopping experience. downtown location was a natural daycare and cooking. “The Dad’s business and have seen we all know downtown had many You can walk the seawall, browse so people can get giftware, choice. downtown location fits well with ups and downs. Now the growth challenges and I found myself caught a variety of stores and rediscover magazines, candy, pop or ice our family philosophy, there’s a cream as well as a lucky lottery is fantastic and improving up in the thick of it involving myself “You can ride your bike from Nanaimo. Maybe even find the real community feeling here. A ticket.” every year. There’s a real mix in many aspects of influencing store to store, have a cup of tea perfect pair of denims.” sense that the business owners of stores that offer both funky outside, shop a variety of unique change. have built themselves more than 39B Commercial Street and conservative. It’s a whole stores and enjoy an incredible 45 Commercial Street Today, I am happy to say that our a job, they’ve created a lifestyle.” shopping experience that is 250-754-2622 view,” said Angie. “I couldn’t have downtown is a vibrant place made up 250-591-1444 encouraging people to discover dreamed it better.” cayofashions.com of some really great shop keepers, 14 Commercial Street Nanaimo again!” various professionals, artists and 250-753-0042 6 Commercial Street many service providers including the acmefoodco.ca 2 Commercial Street 250-591-0314 barber on Victoria Crescent who cuts 250-753-1041 my hair at least once a month. quintessential.me

W

Shepherd Protective Services Inc. shepherdprotective.ca 250-753-4307

Nanaimo News Bulletin

y company owns and operates approximately 54,000 square feet of mixed office and retail M space all located downtown. While I am now long retired, I really do enjoy strolling along our downtown streets and chatting not only with my own tenants, but other independently

DOWNTOWN– THE PEOPLE, THE PLACES, THE FUN

OMTOWN YOGA

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Whether you’re looking for a specialty cheese shop, a fine place to eat, shoes, dresses or picture framing, a place to relax or in need of a lawyer, bookkeeper or doctor – you will find them not only as tenants of my company, but amongst those who make up our wonderful downtown. - Crankshaw Holdings LTD, Jack Ball- President

BASTION GALLERY FAST FRAMES Paula, and Blake McCathy

DIVA GIRLS Dot Smiley

t’s all about having fun and ISmiley, feeling comfortable, said Dot owner of Diva Girls, a

s one of the oldest businesses store specializing in lingerie and Burlesque costumes. still located in the hub of Nanaimo, owner Blake McCathy, “I started a Burlesque dance says his customers are the best troupe as a hobby and when in the world. They come from all it was hard to find costumes over the Island and even those I sold outfits from my home.” that have moved away still stay When her business got too big in touch. for her house, she looked for the perfect location. She found it in “It’s heartwarming to have that kind of clientele, who respect your downtown Nanaimo. work and keep coming back. We “This area has unique shops even created a website, www. with a wide variety of beautiful bastiongalleries.ca, as a further items to look at and purchase. service for our long distance They draw people from all over customers.” the island. My store ties in with that, bringing clients from In 32 years of business both Blake and Paula have seen many Victoria, Campbell River and even Vancouver.” changes in the area. Catering to sizes small to 6X and “We’re really encouraged by the all body types, Smiley specializes commitment of the landlords in bras, panties, corsets, feather to revitalize and improve the buildings. It looks better now than boas, tassels, hats, wigs, and Halloween costumes. ever.”

A

The gallery itself has seen a few facelifts as well and displays beautiful original and print artwork from a variety of artists both local and abroad. “We custom frame your artwork, needlework and photographs. The quality is superior and the value unbeatable.” 555 Terminal Ave. South 250-754-1744 bastiongalleries.ca

4 Commercial Street 250-591-1960

KISMET THEATRE ACADEMY Bonnie Catterson

t must be fate, because IShe’s Bonnie Catterson is back! traveled the world and has returned to Nanaimo and downtown to open a studio teaching dance, theatre, musical theatre and film and TV acting. “I know this area well, my mom owned Beat Street Dance School and I could have taken it over but decided to gain experience traveling the world. Now I’m really excited to bring that knowledge and the connections I’ve made back home.”

ISLAND DAILY DEALS

WHISPERS Julie Browett

Nadine Schemilt, Fraser Paterson, Adi Sharma, Derek Moul

Browett believes that Jdownulie education is key to breaking barriers to fulfillment in

t 23, Nadine Shemitt is A on her way to becoming a homegrown business mogul.

“Both men and women have different needs as they age so it’s important to get the right information about physical changes and sex.”

She and partner Fraser Paterson own Island Daily Deals and in just over a year they’ve moved from a room in their house with four employees to a 2,200 square foot space downtown and six staff.

“Moving here was a natural choice for us. We live on Stewart Avenue and every morning walk Catterson calls her area of town the waterfront to get to work. You the “theatre district” and said she can’t beat that,” said Shemitt. can see it becoming a hotbed of The online business is a group artists and performers. buying website where customers “Nanaimo has already showcased can download coupons and save a lot of talent, my goal is to help from 50-90 per cent at local not only aspiring actors, but to central Island businesses. facilitate all ages in achieving a “It’s great exposure for a variety higher level of confidence and of products and companies. ability. “ Businesses connect with Her belief is that the skills customers and consumers get learned spill over into everyday awesome deals.” life and with classes starting in Now that they have space, traffic early September as she puts and location Nadine and Fraser it, “Exploring the inner actor is aren’t stopping at one business. cheaper than therapy.” On Sept. 25, they’re launching the Executive Web Club, a 55 Victoria Road web development concept that 250-716-8863 kismettheatreacademy.yolasite.com with Nadine’s energy and drive promises to be another winner. 29 Commercial Street 250-591-3647 islanddailydeals.com

relationships.

Specializing in sex aids, toys, and lingerie, Whispers offers exclusive products for all ages, genders and orientations. “I’ve been in this industry for 12 years and am proud of the non judgmental, comfortable attitude our staff has to sex. We cater to a wide range of needs and maintain a professional friendly attitude.” Since moving to their downtown location Browett said they have seen a real improvement in business with cruise ship traffic and regular clientele. “Shops here are a destination, like us, so you get people enjoying downtown and the variety they’ll find in stores.” 525 Terminal Avenue 250-754-3003

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www.nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo News Bulletin Saturday, September 29, 2012

www.nanaimobulletin.com

The He rt of the City

owned and operated shops. I find many friendly people downtown whether watching time pass in front of a coffee shop, or down along our spectacular waterfront. As a commercial property owner, I have been pleased with the direction downtown has taken and the type of stores that are now part of my company’s portfolio.

There are abundant shopping opportunities in Nanaimo. From upscale shopping to bargain basement discounts, Nanaimo’s got it all. We’ve become a destination shopping hot spot for those who want to experience true shopping pleasure. Treat yourself!

Steph Green

CAYO FASHIONS Erin Wagenaar

s a lover of all things outdoors magine your dream closet! Erin A and active, Stephanie turned I Wagenaar did and created Cayo to yoga as a means to cross train Fashions, a women’s clothing for her outdoor adventures. She instantly fell in love with the discipline of practice and is amazed at the continual opportunities yoga provides for physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. She is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to open OmTown Yoga downtown and to be surrounded by such an amazing community of students, teachers and friends. omtown.ca 43 Commercial Street 250-591-0101

store with a style of its own.

ISLAND LOTTERY AND SMOKE SHOP Bonnie Butler

fter 24 years Bonnie Butler A has developed a steady following of regular clientele who

ACME FOOD CO.

Thomas Robertson, Calvin Wallin, Sarah Wallin

QUINTESSENTIAL FASHIONS Carla Samson

BUCKLE MY SHOE

SHEPHERD Angie Gignac and Shawn PROTECTIVE SERVICES INC. Lamoureux Rick Hyne ngie Gignac has always wanted

arla Samson, owner of C Quintessentials believes in A a shoe store, and not just an helping clients create one-of-aordinary one either. Her shop had

D

owntown. What can I say? I’m ith a combined thirty years lucky in a way that I have the “My boutique items come from experience in the restaurant kind outfits. appreciate her specialty tobacco to provide high fashion footwear opportunity to operate a commercial designers in Europe, the States business, Thomas and Jodie products, including organic of the highest quality designed for “We carry unique clothing and property company that has some and Canada and because we’re Robertshaw know how to keep cigarettes, and service. comfort looks and longevity. really great young and vibrant all budget conscious I make sure customers coming back for more. accessories that you won’t see “It’s a small town feel here so on anyone else, from jewelry to In February 2012, she, and tenants, from ladies clothing, shoes they’re affordable.” over the years I’ve gotten to know According to Jodie that includes scarves, handbags to shoes.” partner Shawn Lamoureux, and lingerie, to the new owners of live music on weekends, a Like any ideal clothing closet Erin my customers personally.” launched Buckle My Shoe and it ACME Food Company. With a background in interior has a mix of items from flip-flops varied and constantly updated is everything she envisioned it Most come from Nanaimo but I find myself inspired by the courage to swimwear and even vintage menu, daily specials that include design and marketing Carla has would be. she also caters to the cruise ship created a successful business of our downtown family for taking a inspired designs. But her biggest half-price meals and 15-minute chance in both unproven concepts ElNaturalista, Frye, Hunter, seller is Yoga jeans. Not the type and marina traffic. lunches for the business crowd. that prides itself on customer service. Fluevog are a few of the European and downtown. Some of the you wear to a gym class but a “Cuban cigars aren’t’ available in “We want all ages and stages and American footwear designers company’s tenants have quit very stretch jean that fits any figure “We have regular clientele but the States so American boaters to feel like they have the best she features. lucrative jobs to chase their dreams and doesn’t lose shape. and travelers come here every also encourage walk-ins, we’re experience whenever they visit of owning their own business. up.” friendly so even if you are out year to stock pet “We order high-end shoes and “Everyone who puts these jeans us,” said Robertshaw. ‘All our walking the dog you’re welcome boots from Spain and Portugal, I started my journey back in 2003 on loves them,” she said. Bonnie feels the upscale direction food is fresh; cut and prepared to come in and browse.” hand made with the finest leather, when I moved my then home office For Erin, a special education the same day and served by being taken by developers and pair it with our coordinating into an office located on Commercial assistant, opening Cayo two highly trained staff. ” and land owners downtown is Samson has seen a lot of accessories,” Angie said. “Right Street. My intention at the time was years ago has been all success creating a unique district feel improvements in the downtown It’s a family owned business now our fall fashions are arriving to support the owner of Crankshaw with sales growing every month. that’s attracting more walking core in the past three years and with Jodie’s sister and brotherand with only a few items of each Holdings with bookkeeping and “Downtown is vibrant and traffic. this has had a major impact on in-law working the front end and style ordered they go quickly.” other support services, while I dynamic, there’s always a special business. bar, dad organizing the financial “It’s great for me,” she said. pursued a business in marketing event happening. We offer a For Angie and Shawn choosing a end and mom helping out with “I have a variety type store “I grew up downtown with my and photography. However, as different shopping experience. downtown location was a natural daycare and cooking. “The Dad’s business and have seen we all know downtown had many You can walk the seawall, browse so people can get giftware, choice. downtown location fits well with ups and downs. Now the growth challenges and I found myself caught a variety of stores and rediscover magazines, candy, pop or ice our family philosophy, there’s a cream as well as a lucky lottery is fantastic and improving up in the thick of it involving myself “You can ride your bike from Nanaimo. Maybe even find the real community feeling here. A ticket.” every year. There’s a real mix in many aspects of influencing store to store, have a cup of tea perfect pair of denims.” sense that the business owners of stores that offer both funky outside, shop a variety of unique change. have built themselves more than 39B Commercial Street and conservative. It’s a whole stores and enjoy an incredible 45 Commercial Street Today, I am happy to say that our a job, they’ve created a lifestyle.” shopping experience that is 250-754-2622 view,” said Angie. “I couldn’t have downtown is a vibrant place made up 250-591-1444 encouraging people to discover dreamed it better.” cayofashions.com of some really great shop keepers, 14 Commercial Street Nanaimo again!” various professionals, artists and 250-753-0042 6 Commercial Street many service providers including the acmefoodco.ca 2 Commercial Street 250-591-0314 barber on Victoria Crescent who cuts 250-753-1041 my hair at least once a month. quintessential.me

W

Shepherd Protective Services Inc. shepherdprotective.ca 250-753-4307

Nanaimo News Bulletin

y company owns and operates approximately 54,000 square feet of mixed office and retail M space all located downtown. While I am now long retired, I really do enjoy strolling along our downtown streets and chatting not only with my own tenants, but other independently

DOWNTOWN– THE PEOPLE, THE PLACES, THE FUN

OMTOWN YOGA

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Whether you’re looking for a specialty cheese shop, a fine place to eat, shoes, dresses or picture framing, a place to relax or in need of a lawyer, bookkeeper or doctor – you will find them not only as tenants of my company, but amongst those who make up our wonderful downtown. - Crankshaw Holdings LTD, Jack Ball- President

BASTION GALLERY FAST FRAMES Paula, and Blake McCathy

DIVA GIRLS Dot Smiley

t’s all about having fun and ISmiley, feeling comfortable, said Dot owner of Diva Girls, a

s one of the oldest businesses store specializing in lingerie and Burlesque costumes. still located in the hub of Nanaimo, owner Blake McCathy, “I started a Burlesque dance says his customers are the best troupe as a hobby and when in the world. They come from all it was hard to find costumes over the Island and even those I sold outfits from my home.” that have moved away still stay When her business got too big in touch. for her house, she looked for the perfect location. She found it in “It’s heartwarming to have that kind of clientele, who respect your downtown Nanaimo. work and keep coming back. We “This area has unique shops even created a website, www. with a wide variety of beautiful bastiongalleries.ca, as a further items to look at and purchase. service for our long distance They draw people from all over customers.” the island. My store ties in with that, bringing clients from In 32 years of business both Blake and Paula have seen many Victoria, Campbell River and even Vancouver.” changes in the area. Catering to sizes small to 6X and “We’re really encouraged by the all body types, Smiley specializes commitment of the landlords in bras, panties, corsets, feather to revitalize and improve the buildings. It looks better now than boas, tassels, hats, wigs, and Halloween costumes. ever.”

A

The gallery itself has seen a few facelifts as well and displays beautiful original and print artwork from a variety of artists both local and abroad. “We custom frame your artwork, needlework and photographs. The quality is superior and the value unbeatable.” 555 Terminal Ave. South 250-754-1744 bastiongalleries.ca

4 Commercial Street 250-591-1960

KISMET THEATRE ACADEMY Bonnie Catterson

t must be fate, because IShe’s Bonnie Catterson is back! traveled the world and has returned to Nanaimo and downtown to open a studio teaching dance, theatre, musical theatre and film and TV acting. “I know this area well, my mom owned Beat Street Dance School and I could have taken it over but decided to gain experience traveling the world. Now I’m really excited to bring that knowledge and the connections I’ve made back home.”

ISLAND DAILY DEALS

WHISPERS Julie Browett

Nadine Schemilt, Fraser Paterson, Adi Sharma, Derek Moul

Browett believes that Jdownulie education is key to breaking barriers to fulfillment in

t 23, Nadine Shemitt is A on her way to becoming a homegrown business mogul.

“Both men and women have different needs as they age so it’s important to get the right information about physical changes and sex.”

She and partner Fraser Paterson own Island Daily Deals and in just over a year they’ve moved from a room in their house with four employees to a 2,200 square foot space downtown and six staff.

“Moving here was a natural choice for us. We live on Stewart Avenue and every morning walk Catterson calls her area of town the waterfront to get to work. You the “theatre district” and said she can’t beat that,” said Shemitt. can see it becoming a hotbed of The online business is a group artists and performers. buying website where customers “Nanaimo has already showcased can download coupons and save a lot of talent, my goal is to help from 50-90 per cent at local not only aspiring actors, but to central Island businesses. facilitate all ages in achieving a “It’s great exposure for a variety higher level of confidence and of products and companies. ability. “ Businesses connect with Her belief is that the skills customers and consumers get learned spill over into everyday awesome deals.” life and with classes starting in Now that they have space, traffic early September as she puts and location Nadine and Fraser it, “Exploring the inner actor is aren’t stopping at one business. cheaper than therapy.” On Sept. 25, they’re launching the Executive Web Club, a 55 Victoria Road web development concept that 250-716-8863 kismettheatreacademy.yolasite.com with Nadine’s energy and drive promises to be another winner. 29 Commercial Street 250-591-3647 islanddailydeals.com

relationships.

Specializing in sex aids, toys, and lingerie, Whispers offers exclusive products for all ages, genders and orientations. “I’ve been in this industry for 12 years and am proud of the non judgmental, comfortable attitude our staff has to sex. We cater to a wide range of needs and maintain a professional friendly attitude.” Since moving to their downtown location Browett said they have seen a real improvement in business with cruise ship traffic and regular clientele. “Shops here are a destination, like us, so you get people enjoying downtown and the variety they’ll find in stores.” 525 Terminal Avenue 250-754-3003

9


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www.nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo News Bulletin Saturday, September 29, 2012

New construction around downtown combines the latest energy saving innovations while harkening back to the past. The new city hall annex nearing completion on Dunsmuir Street is reminiscent of 1960s architecture found in the U.S. south west, especially when it appears with one of the palm trees behind Nanaimo’s City Hall. CHRIS BUSH/THE NEWS BULLETIN

Under construction

Diversifying Nanaimo’s downtown core paying off with new projects BY TOBY GORMAN

N

anaimo’s downtown continues to evolve and improve, whether it’s through new residential options, additional shopping and services, or green spaces where residents and visitors can enjoy some down time. City council’s goal of densifying the downtown core and making it an attractive place for people to work, live and play has already begun to

pay dividends as several projects have been completed while others are on deck and waiting to move forward. Downtown’s largest project is the redevelopment of First Capital’s Port Place Shopping Centre, a three-phase plan that includes the construction of High Street, which will connect Front Street and Terminal Avenue, and new commercial space that is already servicing customers. Council has also approved

three floors of residential space that will be built above the commercial ground floors, as well as townhouses and apartments along Cameron Road. The third phase, if approved, will include a high rise tower on the northeast section of the property. Downtown’s largest publicly funded project is the $15.7-million city hall annex redevelopment on Dunsmuir Street. Built to replace the current annex, an aging warehouse with seismic concerns, the

new 43,000 square foot annex is being constructed to LEEDS gold standard and is expected to be complete in the coming weeks. The new annex will also trigger an $800,000 renovation — money already included in the price tag — to the main city hall building to accommodate staff from the city manager’s office, human resources and payroll staff. Nanaimo’s harbour, however, is the gem of the city as well as the focus of several improvements. The Nanaimo Port Authority opened its new $25 million floating cruise ship terminal and welcome centre in May 2011, spurring further waterfront improvement prospects, such as a pending $9-million investment by the Pacific Northwest Marine Group to improve the popular boat basin, renovation of the old Moby Dick Lodge and the completion of the Palms Harbourside Marina on Stewart Avenue. Over the next decade, the port authority also envisions transforming the assembly wharf into a transportation hub that could incorporate ferries, buses, float planes, trains and cruise ships. The city’s most popular park, Maffeo Sutton Park, located along the busy sea wall downtown, will be entering its second phase of redevelopment in coming months that will include several new amenities to complement its Spirit Square upgrades finished in 2009. All of these improvements mean little without people, and new residential options downtown or near downtown continue to increase. With Pacifica, Studio NA and Vivo projects completed, other options, such as Insight Development’s $27 million, 26-storey, 82-unit Seawalk waterfront condos on Front Street await improved market conditions. Also awaiting improved market conditions are the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, which has plans to invest $30 million to expand and enhance its Casino Nanaimo, and the city’s effort to attract a developer to build a hotel to complement the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

YOUR MLA WORKING FOR YOU Doug Routley, MLA

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Nanaimo-North Cowichan

Community OfďŹ ces Unit 112-50 Tenth Street, Nanaimo BC V9R 6L1 Phone 250.716.5221 | Fax 250.716.5222 524 1st Avenue | Box 269 Ladysmith BC V9G 1A2 Phone 250.245.9375 | Fax 250.245.8164 Email douglas.routley.mla@leg.bc.ca Website www.dougroutley.ca


www.nanaimobulletin.com

Saturday, September 29, 2012 Nanaimo News Bulletin

11

Grants put new faces on old buildings BY TOBY GORMAN

T

hroughout North America, cities and towns have been following the successful Main Streets initiative, a program designed to promote investment in downtown cores to act as a catalyst for economic renewal and development. Nanaimo is no exception. For more than 20 years, Nanaimo has been following this initiative through the City of Nanaimo and the former Downtown Nanaimo Partnership Society (now the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association). The Heritage Façade Improvement Grant Program was created by the city in 2003 to provide financial incentives for heritage buildings as part of Nanaimo’s downtown revitalization strategy. Cash grants of up to $10,000 per façade facing on to a city street encourages the rehabilitation and enhancement of heritage buildings located in the city’s core. Since the program was implemented, 29 historically significant buildings in the Downtown Heritage Conservation Area have received a façade grant, adding to the authentic ambiance of downtown, the Old City Quarter and Nanaimo’s Old City community. The very first to benefit from the program in 2003 was the Nanaimo Free Press building at 223 Commercial St. Other buildings that took advantage of the program in its first year include the Modern Café at 221 Commercial St., the Old Fire Hall at 34 Nicol St., and Hall Block at 37 Commercial St.

One of the most notable participants in the program is the rejuvenation of the E&N Railway Station on Selby Street, which saw the community rally to raise more than $1 million to restore the heritage station, which was heavily damaged by fire in 2007. The most recent participants in the Heritage Façade Improvement Grant Program include the Palace Hotel at 275 Skinner St. and St. Andrew’s United Church at 315 Fitzwilliam St. Since its inception, the program has provided $264,169 in grant money while attracting $2.3 million in private investment. The intent, says Nanaimo heritage planner Chris Sholberg, is to bring back to life aging heritage buildings in danger of fading into the past for good, as well as add charm. “The $20,000 available annually sometimes seems like a drop in the bucket but the interest is there and we always find a home for the money,” said Sholberg. “This program achieves the small gains over time and incrementally add up to a big change in the downtown over time.” Because the city and DNBIA now operate separately, the DNBIA recently rolled out its own façade improvement program to complement the city’s heritage façade program. Corry Hostetter, managing director of DNBIA, said the organization is already receiving applications from its business improvement area members. “Although the program is relatively new, we did have one façade improvement at 418 Fitzwilliam St. that qualified and was awarded $7,500,” said Hostetter.

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12

www.nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo News Bulletin Saturday, September 29, 2012

Boat basin spruced up Public access will make marina vital and exciting part of community BY CHRIS HAMLYN

O

ne of the gems in the jewel of downtown Nanaimo could be in for some sprucing up. Pacific Northwest Marina Group, along with the Marker Group and Com Investments, has proposed a $9-million investment in a long-term lease of the Nanaimo Boat Basin from the Nanaimo Port Authority. Work on the 72-year-old, 4.45-hectare marina would include replacing creosote pilings with steel piles and wood floats with concrete finger slips. “We want to see the waterlot get used, create as much interest and vitality for all types of visitors, boaters and residents,” said Grant Rogers, owner of PNMG and Marker. “We want to make this place

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www.nanaimobulletin.com

Saturday, September 29, 2012 Nanaimo News Bulletin

13

We want to see the waterlot get used, create as much interest and vitality for all types of visitors, boaters and residents.

people want to go to.” The company has met with Protection Island residents, boat owners in the commercial fishing fleet and the public, and has made revisions to its site plan. Having the public there, encouraging people to come down and look at the boats and be a part of it is what makes it a vital, exciting marina,” said Lisa Makar, a company spokeswoman. “We’ve clearly identified on the site plan access points to public, the public walkways and a gathering place we would ideally like to see become a market place.” The revised site plan has also increased allocation of moorage for smaller boats. “For a new marina, industry standard for moorage of slips around 20 feet is about 10 per cent. In our initial drawing we allocated about 17 per cent knowing we had smaller boats around here, specifically Protection Island commuters,”

said Makar. “Talking to folks and seeing what we’re dealing with in terms of need, we’ve increased that allocation to 26 per cent.” While the proposal is still in the information gathering and environmental assessment process, Rogers said PNMG wants to be a partner in the revitalization of downtown Nanaimo put forward by the port authority and the city. “The Marker Group has a history of partnering with municipalities, like Sidney, and helping create areas that attract people,” he said. “No matter what happens in the future, capital investment has to be made just to keep the boat basin the way it is today. We want to be a partner in making this area more like an attraction, not just a parking lot for boats.”

Nanaimo’s waterfront and Boat Basin is where the city meets the sea and where landlubbers and seafarers share the space for work and play. Shops and cafes draw locals and tourists, especially in late summer, when cool sunny mornings include a stroll and conversations over coffee. CHRIS BUSH THE NEWS BULLETIN

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Nanaimo News Bulletin Saturday, September 29, 2012

www.nanaimobulletin.com

Night comes alive

Members of the Chinese acrobatic troupe Cirque Viva perform at the Port Theatre Jan. 11. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

UPCOMING EVENTS THE NUMBER 14 theatre show at the Port Theatre Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 7 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets $60; $55/members. Call 250-754-8550. CORY WOODWARD plays the Queen’s Oct. 4. BURLESQUE TO BROADWAY with Quinn Lemley from New York at the Port Theatre Oct. 12-13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $60; $55/members. Call 250-754-8550. MICHELLE WRIGHT country singer performs at Port Theatre Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $40; $35/ members; $15/students. Call 250-7548550. SARAH HAGEN pianist THE NADEN BAND plays the Port Theatre Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $14. Call 250754-8550.

Theatre, music and dance all part of the options available for entertainment downtown after dark BY MELISSA FRYER

O

nce the sun sets over the Nanaimo harbour, the neon lights of the dance floor come on. But it’s not only dancing to live bands or the latest top 40 DJs – Nanaimo also offers smaller, intimate venues that host singer-songwriters to the world-class Port Theatre’s varied lineup of entertainment. The Queen’s on Victoria Crescent puts live bands on stage almost every night of the week. Dozens of famous musicians made the stage at the Queen’s a stop on tour, including Bif Naked, Daniel Wesley and Big Sugar. The Cambie, across the street from the Queen’s, is the site of Nanaimo’s indie music

scene with local and Island bands taking the stage every weekend. On Skinner Street, a little side street off Commercial, sees three bars offering latenight entertainment, including the Palace Hotel, Club 241 with its stainless steel and neon light decor, and the Spice Lounge, which often sees the top hip-hop and urban music performers on its stage. Restaurants allow diners to get close to performers, with Driftwood Bistro and Acme Food Co. hosting singers and musicians regularly on weekends. Walk along Commercial Street and you’ll hear music from Serious Coffee, as well as buskers performing at Diana Krall Plaza and along to the waterfront. The Courts Pub at the north end of down-

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town hosts weekend entertainment ranging from music to comedy. Two theatres provide stages for musicians, actors and dancers. Nanaimo Centre Stage is a 100-seat theatre which hosts modern dance, burlesque, music and movies. The resident theatre company, Schmooze Productions, hosts two plays this season – Sweeney Todd and Spring Awakenings – plus acting workshops for all ages. The Port Theatre is nestled in the heart of downtown, between the Port of Nanaimo Centre and the waterfront. Inside you’ll find touring shows like Hawksley Workman, Michelle Wright and Jason McCoy – all part of the theatre’s Spotlight Series. Comedians such as John Pinette, Rick Mercer and Bill Cosby all stood on the theatre’s boards.

performs at Port Theatre Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m. Classical Coffee Concert series. Tickets $25; $22/members; $15/students. Call 250-754-8550. B IS FOR BRILLIANCE pianist Sara Davis Beuchner performs with Vancouver Island Symphony Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m., at the Port Theatre. Tickets $20$59. Call 250-7548550. HEY OCEAN! with New Empire at the Queen’s Nov. 14. Doors 9 p.m. Tickets $18 at Lucid, Tranceformations, Harbour City Music, The Dog’s Ear and the Queen’s.

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www.nanaimobulletin.com

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nanaimo News Bulletin

15

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