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o m i a n Na


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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

re ' e w e Welcom here! e r ' u o y d a l g

In the pages that follow you'll discover more than 101 ideas on how to explore Nanaimo and region. We invite tourists, locals and visiting loved ones to follow our famous Nanaimo Bar Trail, dine dockside, touch pieces of fascinating mining history, admire local art or snorkel with our friendly harbour seals. Go island hopping, hike to our natural wonders, walk along the Harbourfront Walkway, and be sure to take in all the exciting events. See you out there! 101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo is an annual publication of the Nanaimo News Bulletin. All content created by contributors except where noted. Contributors include Chris Bush, Greg Sakaki, Karl Yu, Nicholas Prescod and Rachel Stern.






#1 Catch the Big Game - Page 4 #28 Ale Trail - Page 10



#59 Bathtub Race - Page 18 #67 Newcastle Island - Page 21 #76 Technical Trails - Page 26 #77 At the Fair VIEX - Page 28 #86 Nightlife - Page 30





Publisher: Sean McCue Editor: Melissa Fryer Production: Darrell Summerfelt Creative: Ava Clay Contact us: or 250-753-3707

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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017


1 CatchBIGtheGAME

that are phoning asking to buy season tickets. The excitement is incredible right now,” he said. The season runs from the end of July to October. Look for more at

Nanaimo’s sports scene busy every summer... Any given day, it’s probably game day in Nanaimo.

Rogers, Pirates manager. “Let’s go out and win.”

The Harbour City offers many different The Pirates played mostly road games early in spectator experiences for those wishing to the year, and the reward is that they end off catch a game. There are the usual the campaign with 15 of their last 19 summer sports – baseball, games at Nanaimo’s Serauxmen ••• lacrosse and football – Stadium. The regular season SOME OTHER amidst plenty of other goes until early July. Look SPORTS to watch options. for schedule information at in Nanaimo include international fastball exhibition Summer is baseball games at the Wheatsheaf

season, and the city Football has become field complex June 23-24 and has a club in the B.C. a big deal in Nanaimo Vancouver Island Championship Premier Baseball every summer largely due Series motocross races May League, which produces to the Vancouver Island 28 and Sept. 10 at the more major league Raiders, who won three Wastelands Motocross baseball players than any national championships over Park. other high school league in the last decade and are always in Canada. Nanaimo’s Mid Island contention. General manager Glenn Pirates are a young team that’s developing Cook said the Raiders “should be very, very even faster than the coaching staff might have good this year,” adding the community seems anticipated. to have noticed. “Real good signs for the season,” said Doug

“You would not believe the amount of people

Nanaimo is a lacrosse town, and that’s obvious every summer. The Nanaimo Timbermen senior A and senior B teams both get reliably good crowds. The senior A Timbermen play in the Western Lacrosse Association where many of the world’s best lacrosse players ply their trade every summer. Nanaimo is coached by an all-time great, Kaleb Toth, and features an up-and-coming roster that has high hopes of ending a playoff drought in 2017. The team plays its home games at Frank Crane Arena between late May and late July. Look for schedule info and more at www. Nanaimo’s senior B T-men are perennial contenders in the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association and will be looking to return to the Presidents’ Cup national championship for the fourth time in five years. This season the team will play most of its home games at Frank Crane Arena between now and mid-July. For schedule info, please visit

2151 Bowen Road (at Northfield) Nanaimo



101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

By Greg Sakaki

101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017



Nanaimo Museum...

Learn about how it all began as the museum offers a look at the city’s origins as a Snuneymuxw village before the Hudson’s Bay Company set up a trading post in the 1850s. Permanent exhibits detail the city’s transition from coal mining to forestry and beyond, while feature exhibits offer insight and knowledge about Canadian history and culture. 250-753-1821



Bungy jump and zipline... WildPlay Element

Park, located at 35 Nanaimo River Rd., offers four main attractions: 45-metre bungy jump, ziplines, swings and aerial adventure courses in the forest treetops. 1-855-595-2251

Westwood Lake... This

park offers a 6.2-km multi-use trail around the lake with gorgeous views of rocky bluffs and access to Westwood Ridges where hikers can find extended trails leading up the slopes of Mount Benson. The lake is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, canoeing and paddleboarding, with lifeguards on duty during the summer months.


Art classes... Try your hand

in a variety of mediums through Nanaimo Parks and Recreation and Nanaimo Art Gallery. Arts supply store Iron Oxide in the old firehall on Victoria Road also hosts events for art lovers and creators. 250-591-4766

Canadian Military History ... on Nanaimo’s dynamic waterfront.

Come See, Come Learn, Celebrating Canadian Military History and honouring the service of our Come armed forces, RCMP, and Merchant Experience Navy past and present. No visit to Nanaimo is complete without a visit History History to the Military Museum!

Come See, Come Learn, Come Experience History

Canadian Military

... on Nanaimo’s dynamic waterfront. ... on Nanaimo’s dynamic waterfront. Come See,Celebrating Come Learn,Canadian Come Experience MilitaryHistory History Celebrating Canadian Military History and honouring the service of our forces, RCMP,ofand and armed honouring the service ourMerchant Navy pastand andMerchant present. armed forces, RCMP,


Walking... For anyone looking to explore the outdoors in a more leisurely fashion, Nanaimo offers parks and trails to view wildlife, wildflowers and breathe clean air. Start with Cottle Lake (Linley Valley), Neck Point, Piper’s Lagoon, Buttertubs Marsh, Colliery Dam and Cable Bay. Paved multi-use trails, such as the Parkway Trail and E&N Trail, also make for a nice outing.


BMX... The Marie Davidson

BMX Park has its ups and downs – and that’s a good thing. Nanaimo BMX Association’s track at Beban Park hosted world championship races, yet anyone on two wheels is allowed to use the facility. Regular races happen Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings all spring and summer.


European Style Bakery Mon.-Fri. 8am-5:30pm Sat.8am-5pm Sun.Closed

Navy past and present. No visit to British Columbia’s Most Significant Nanaimo is complete without a visit Military Museum to the Military Museum!

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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

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Lacrosse... Nanaimo has a long history with lacrosse and supports three main teams. Nanaimo Timbermen lacrosse teams of the senior A Western Lacrosse Association and the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League play at Frank Crane Arena and at Beban Park in the summer. Nanaimo DBL Timbermen senior B lacrosse team plays at Nanaimo Ice Centre on Third Street in the summer. Baseball... Serauxmen Stadium’s en closed ballpark hosts the Nanaimo Pirates of the B.C. Premier Baseball League, the VIBI Mariners, and the Nanaimo Coal Miners senior men’s team. Football... The city’s biggest football games take

place at Caledonia Park on Wall Street. The Vancouver Island Raiders of the Canadian Junior Football League are nearly unbeatable in their home park, taking the provincial conference championship in 2013.

Indoor climbing... Amid the 7,500 square feet of surface area of the Romper Room on Boban Drive are countless climbs using three basic methods: top roping, which involves ascending a route while tied at the top; lead climbing, which is bringing a rope from the bottom and clipping in on your way up; and bouldering, which involves climbing just a little way up the wall, without a rope. 250-751-ROCK


Horseshoes... A great way

to spend a leisurely summer afternoon. Six public pitches are maintained at Bowen Park near the tennis courts.



The big draw are Nanaimo’s three artificial reefs: HMCS Cape Breton and HMCS Saskatchewan near Snake Island and the Rivtow Lion in Departure Bay.

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Indoor swimming... At Beban Park, you’ll find a pirate-themed pool with a 61-metre waterslide, leisure pool and interactive play features. Nanaimo Aquatic Centre on Third Street boasts a 52-metre pool, three water slides, a leisure pool, wave pool and lazy river. Both facilities also offer steam rooms, hot tubs and weight rooms. Disc golf... An 18-hole disc golf course is located in Bowen Park. Borrow discs from the administration office, open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and try your hand tossing the discs into the baskets.

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Thanksgiving Studio Tour... This self-

guided tour of Gabriola artists’ studios happens every Thanksgiving weekend in October. More than 60 studios are open for visiting and viewing during the event.


Water parks... Chill out

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on a hot summer day at Kiwanis Water Park across the road from Departure Bay Beach; Deverill Square water park on Irwin Street; and Harewood Centennial Park (Sherry Fields) on Howard Avenue.

Bowling... A great activity for any day. Brechin


Lanes on East Wellington Road offers five-pin bowling with automatic lanes and scoring, and bumpers for the kids. 250-753-2341. Splitsville on Calder Road offers 10-pin fun. 250-754-2442

Serving Nanaimo since 1998, we prepare everything from scratch in our kitchen and use only the finest ingredients. You will love our delicious food, beautiful dining rooms, generous portions, and reasonable prices. In addition to our regular menu items we also feature Nanaimo’s best gluten free pizzas, pastas, stir fries and desserts – even a gluten free beer!

Come home to Milano’s... where we treat strangers like friends, and friends like family!

See our menu at 6551 Aulds Rd, North Nanaimo 8

options, from Indian to Thai, Mediterranean to Ukrainian, sushi, burgers, wings and fish and chips.


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Dining... Nanaimo has a wide variety of culinary

101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

250 390 5060

Tennis... Beban and Bowen parks both feature six public tennis courts that operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Bowen also has three nighttime token-operated courts. Tokens cost $8 per hour from park offices or Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Afternoon tea...

The Grand Hotel offers house-made blackcurrant scones with Devonshire cream, miniature sandwiches and pastries, and a choice of 16 varieties of loose-leaf tea. 250-758-3000


You won’t get much closer to waterfront that this. Trollers Fish and Chips and Penny’s Palapa Mexican restaurant can be found in the Boat Basin off the Harbourfront Walkway, while the Dinghy Dock Pub is a short ferry ride across the harbour.



Floating restaurants...

Bastion... Nanaimo’s iconic

Bastion was originally built in 1853 by the Hudson’s Bay Company and is the last of the original free-standing HBC bastions. Operated as an exhibit by Nanaimo Museum, it is open for tours during the summer season daily. 250-753-1821


Golf... Golf can be played year-round

in Nanaimo, which is likely why there are seven local courses for residents and visitors to enjoy. Courses include Nanaimo Golf Club with views of Departure Bay, Gabriola, Cottonwood, Fairwinds, Pryde Vista, Eagle Quest and Winchelsea View. Beban Park features a pitchand-putt course for those who want to work on their short game.


The Nanaimo Skate Bowl can be found on the corner of Comox Road and Wall Street, while the Pioneer Skatepark can be found on Dover Road, behind Dickinson Crossing shopping centre. The Cedar Skatepark is located on Walsh Road.


Lotus pinnatus...

Adopted in 2010 as Nanaimo’s official floral emblem, the rare bloom, also known as the bog bird’s-foot trefoil, is located in only a handful of places in Canada – all in the Nanaimo area. The delicate bloom is best spotted at the Harewood Plains, located in south Nanaimo between White Rapids Road and McKeown Way.


Nanaimo River Salmon Hatchery... October to December is the

best time to visit the hatchery, but juvenile salmon in their outdoor channels can be seen until May. The public is welcome to use the trails year-round. Take Beck Road to Rugby Road to find the hatchery. 250-245-7780.

Contest ends: Aug. 25, 2017. Draw date: To be announced.

101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017



Ale Trail Connects

then you’ve got a pretty appealing product for tourism.”

Communities & Breweries Craft breweries adding What does Longwood Brewery, White Sails Brewing and Wolf Brewing Company have in common? Aside from being in Nanaimo and serving beer, they’re all part of a relatively new and unique trail network called the B.C. Ale Trail, which was founded in 2015 and includes more than 50 different breweries throughout the province.

British Columbia’s geography, combined with its beer scene, provides the perfect mixture of outdoor recreation adventure tourism value to communities and craft brewery adventure, says Long, adding the trail is more than Chris Long, B.C. Ale Trail project just drinking beer. coordinator, says British Columbia has one of the best beer scenes in the entire world and the trail is designed to promote breweries and the communities they call home.

“We have basically the best beer scene, arguably, on the planet,” Long said. “If you couple that with our stunning geography,

“It’s about recognizing that, wherever these communities are, they have something interesting going on.”

The three breweries are also part of the route called the Nanaimo-Comox Valley Ale Trail, which includes various scenic points, tourist spots and restaurants, such as Wild Play


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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

Element Parks, Sugarloaf Mountain and the Dingy Dock Pub. The trail also recommends trying out the Nanaimo Bar Trail. Long says what makes Nanaimo a great place is its location, selection of breweries and proximity to nature. He says combining Nanaimo and Comox Valley only made sense from a tourism and marketing perspective.

According to Long, there are more than 130 breweries in British Columbia and the craft beer scene is worth millions of dollars. Craft breweries aren’t just selling beer, they’re providing an economic boost to communities in a similar way that wineries have.

“Craft beer … ignites a community in a really unique way that a lot of other food “Nanaimo and Comox Valley came on board and beverage industries haven’t been able to do,” Long said. “They’ve got four breweries and putting the two together felt like the there now and all of a sudden there smart thing to do,” he said. “We is cultural renaissance that didn’t want to encourage visitors to ••• exist there.” see most of the Island and thats why we tagged them together.”

“We have basically the best beer scene, arguably, on the planet,” Long said.

The B.C. Ale Trail network has seven trails in total that not only provide information about the top local breweries, but also include outdoor recreation activities, as well as restaurant and hotel recommendations.


“If someone from Oregon is into craft beer and they’re considering coming to British Columbia, they don’t just need to know where the beer is,” Long said. “They need to know where to stay, what to do and where to go.” MICRO AUTOBODY







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By the end of 2017, the B.C. Ale Trail network will consist of 80 breweries across 15 different communities in the province. Long says something else that makes the

“If you end up at Wolf Brewery they’re very likely going to say ‘check out White Sails or the Longwood’,” he said. “In many respects it’s just another factor that piles on as to why craft brewery is such a valid part of the B.C. story.”




He also says Nanaimo will also become part of a second ale trail route called the Parksville-Qualicum Beach/Cowichan Valley ale trail.

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McNab’s Corn Maze... A fall staple for a fun family activity in

Nanaimo is this three-hectare farm, located at 4659 Yellow Point Rd. The maze usually starts around mid-August. 250-245-0666

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Port Theatre...

Nanaimo’s 800-seat performing arts centre plays host to more than 250 events each year. To see what’s playing, visit or call 250-754-8550.

Bingo... Get out your dabbers and head for Harbour City Bingo at University Village Mall. 250-754-1421

Vancouver Island Military Museum...

Memorials, medal displays, books and military records can all be found at the military museum, located in Piper Park in downtown Nanaimo. The Wall of Honour recognizes veterans from across Canada. Museum is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 250-753-3814



Millstone River Salmon Side Channel... Located

in Bowen Park, this channel is the perfect place for a stroll in nature and to learn more about the environment. Ducks, otters and beaver inhabit the channel year-round. Late September through December are the best times to see coho salmon.

Departure Bay Beach... A gorgeous stretch of sandy beach with shallow water and tidal pools for the kids. Watch the ferries come and go, visit the Snuneymuxw First Nation portal, picnic, swim or test out the playground at one of Nanaimo’s most popular areas.

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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017



Canada Day celebrations...

Nanaimo celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday and its diversity with all kinds of music, food, entertainment and family events on July 1 at Maffeo Sutton Park.

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Scenic tours... Tofino Air and Harbour Air float plane operators offer not only harbour-toharbour service to get to and from the Island, but also scenic tours of coastal British Columbia. or

Try your luck... Casino Nanaimo

just underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation, adding to its gaming floor space and introducing The Well Public House. The downtown Nanaimo casino offers slot machines and table games.


Yoga... There are dozens of yoga styles offered in Nanaimo, including Moksha, Ashtanga and Paddleboard, whether you are inexperienced, seek a challenge or are somewhere in between.

MID ISLAND You’re at home here


Sailing... Learn to sail with Van Isle Sailing Coop, a non-profit group that own sailboats on which members get to sail, learning from experienced crew. Nanaimo Yacht Club hosts its annual Cutty Sark SIN Regatta. 250-754-7011

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Crabbing... Get a licence and compete with

resident seals for supper at local crabbing hot spots. One of the most popular places in Nanaimo to set traps is the crabbing dock, jutting out from Maffeo Sutton Park.

Running... Nanaimo has

five popular running routes in Nanaimo, including Harbourfront Walkway, Westwood Lake and Jack Point Park for trail runners, plus Parkway Trail and E&N Trail for tarmac. Most of the local running clubs and stores host drop-in groups, with many also raising money for charity.

Silly Boat Regatta... The 2017 Silly Boat Regatta takes place Sunday, July 16 at Maffeo Sutton Park. Participants have four hours to assemble a floating concoction of craziness before races begin at 1 p.m. Activities and games throughout the park help raise money for Nanaimo Child Development Centre.

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Co-op Centre 2517 Bowen Road, Nanaimo Free Entertainment • Jump Around: Monster Obstacle Course, Gigantic Pirate Slide, Dunk Tank and Jumpy Castles for all ages. • Vesta Fire: Kids Flow Zone • Con Man Magic • Crazy Chris - Balloon Artist Extraordinaire • Face Painting by Faeriewhale Face Paint

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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017


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Dragon boating... The 2017 Save-OnFoods Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival takes place at Maffeo Sutton Park July 7-9. The 14th annual festival attracts roughly 30,000 spectators and 80 teams, raising money for the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.


Visit a farm... Nanaimo region offers

dozens of farms offering all sorts of fresh goods right at the farm gate as well as experiences that educate visitors on how the products are made. Be sure to check out Fredrich’s Honey and Yellow Point Cranberries, as well as farms offering blueberries, eggs and more.

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Concerts in the park... Bring your lawn chair or blanket to the Lions Pavilion in Maffeo Sutton Park or the Bowen Park Amphitheatre for outdoor concerts in the summer months.

Bison farm... Buffalo Bob Wilson raises a

herd of bison on a 96-hectare ranch 10 km south of Nanaimo, offering farm tours and wagon rides to educate visitors about the herd and how it is ethically raised. 250-245-8282

Festival of Banners...

Artists create banners with a common theme which are displayed on streetlamps throughout the city from May to October of every year. Banners are then sold off for charity.

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Beach volleyball... The beach courts at Bowen Park off Wall Street are a popular place throughout the summer, whether it’s for a fun pickup game with friends or as part of a league.

Malaspina Galleries... On Gabriola Island visitors will find tunnel-like limestone formations caused by more than a thousand years of erosion. Petroglyphs... Petroglyph Park is a twohectare provincial park featuring prehistoric sandstone rock carvings depicting mystical animal and human figures. Located on Island Highway south of Nanaimo.

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Nanaimo has several camping opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, whether by the ocean, the Nanaimo River, one of the many local lakes or near the mountains. Campgrounds within minutes of the city include Newcastle Island Provincial Marine Park, Living Forest Oceanside Campground, Mountainaire, Rondalyn Resort, Brannen Lake, Westwood Lake and Zuiderzee Campground.



Nanaimo has some great playgrounds across the city, including the Altrusa play park at Beban Park. During July and August, Nanaimo parks and rec offers program for children age six to 12. 250-756-5200


Freshwater fishing... People

from all over the world visit Nanaimo to fly fish some of the globe’s best streams and rivers, including the Nanaimo River. Fly fishermen are on the rivers year-round and many lakes are annually stocked. Call a retailer for the best fishing holes or Nanaimo and District Fish and Game Association at 250-754-2846.



Nanaimo is home to one of Canada’s premier motocross tracks at The Wastelands. The track is operated by the nonprofit Nanaimo Motocross Association and hosts a number of Island Series races annually.


Community theatre... One

of the oldest theatre groups in western Canada is Yellow Point Drama Group. With Nanaimo Theatre Group, Western Edge Theatre and Schmooze Productions, there are plenty of theatre productions throughout the year for a variety of tastes.



Gabriola Island... Just a

20-minute ferry ride across Nanaimo harbour is an island known for its thriving arts community. Kayaking, hiking, beaches and water sports draw people to the island. Snuneymuxw First Nation left its mark on the island through petroglyphs, which can be viewed near the United Church.


Protection Island... Hop on

the passenger-only ferry from the Boat Basin for a trip to Protection Island. Take a stroll through this tight-knit neighbourhood, stop for food at the Dinghy Dock and be sure to check out the rookery of heron nests near the ferry terminal.

Dog show...

Nanaimo Kennel Club hosts its Extravaganza Dog Show at Equestrian Meadows in Nanoose on June 15-18. Show features breeds and agility trials.


Hands-on Fun in the Barnyard & Horseback Trail Rides

Explore Nanaimo River Estuary

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Bathtub racer Curtis Skipper reaches the beach at Maffeo Sutton Park at the finish line of the 2016 Great International World Championship Bathtub Race.


is a Big Deal in Nanaimo

Best Dorchester GreatWestern International World Hotel Championship Bathtub Race will be held Hotel in the Park July 23 Boutique at Maffeo Sutton heart of Downtown Nanaimo

Nanaimo takes Bathtub racing more seriously than anywhere else – but at the same time, the community has more fun with it than anywhere else, too. One of Nanaimo’s major claims to fame is its huge Bathtub race every summer. The Great International World Championship Bathtub Race and the

accompanying Nanaimo Marine Festival make up the premier weekend during the Harbour City’s festival season. It’s going to be another big year for bathtubbing. Last year marked the 50th race, and this year is the 50th anniversary and another chance to celebrate the history of an event that started as a centennial celebration in 1967.

Best Western Dorchester Hotel Boutique Hotel in the heart of Downtown Nanaimo

Located in the heart of Downtown Nanaimo Inner Harbour, walking distance from Harbour Air Located terminal,inConvention Port Theatre,Inner Harbour, walking distance from the heart of Centre, Downtown Nanaimo Historic attractions, & Variety of boutique stores Harbour Air terminal, Convention Centre, and restaurants. On-site restaurant, Free WiFi, Port Theatre, Historic attractions, Free Parking included. & Variety boutique stores and restaurants. On Site restaurant, Free WiFi, Free Parking included.

Those who haven’t seen a bathtub race might have a different picture in their heads of what the sport looks like. There’s nothing rub-a-dub-dub about these tubs – yes, they start with a bathtub shape, but they’re essentially tiny speedboats. The supermodified vessels can reach speeds upward of 60 kilometres per hour and at the great race the tubs get pounded by the waves for 58 gruelling kilometres.

JULY 6-9, 2017

19th Annual

INFRINGING Dance Festival

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We are grateful to live, work and play on the traditional territory of Snuneymuxw First Nations. We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia.

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359 Martindale Road, Parksville


Open to The Public 7 Days a Week.

“It’s an adrenaline rush,” said Jaime Garcia, veteran tubber. “It’s the speed, it’s the endurance, it’s everything … It’s a lot of mental and a lot of physical and if you don’t have the will, you won’t finish a race.” It gets competitive. The top racers continue to test the limitations of the super-mod division. Last year’s winner Justin Lofstrom set a new world record for the course and his tub rocketed through the surf so speedily that the runner-up demanded an engine inspection afterward.

The bathtub race takes place amidst a lot of other finish-line fun. Thousands of people line the piers and the park every year to cheer the tubbers as they disembark, run wobbly legged up the beach and ring the bell. The rest of the park is filled with family activities, vendors, music and the like. The eve of the big race always features a headline concert and a fireworks show. In the first-ever race in 1967, more than 200 tubbers participated, with 47 making

it all the way across the Strait of Georgia to the finish line in Kitsilano. In 1997, the race course was altered so that it started and finished in Nanaimo, with the bell at Departure Bay Beach. In 2015, the course was tweaked again so that it starts and finishes at Maffeo Sutton. This year’s great race is July 23. For more information, please visit

By Greg Sakaki

••• Bathtub racer Phillip Kilback nears the beach at Maffeo Sutton Park at the finish line of the 2016 Great International World Championship Bathtub Race.


Saysutshun, the

Newcastle Island Marine Park Occupied by the Snuneymuxw people since time immemorial, Saysutshun, is a wonderous escape from the bustling urban centre of Nanaimo, just a ten minute ferry ride from Maffeo Sutton Dock. Roundtrip ferry ride is just $5! Enjoy the 363 hectares of natural beauty and 22 km of trails, plus camping, hiking, swimming, and biking. For a truly unique wedding, corporate, or community event, the Historic Newcastle Pavilion is an ideal location.

Come spend the day with NEWCASTLE ISLAND us on Newcastle Island MARINE PARK in Snuneymuxw traditional territory

101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017


62 63

Nanaimo bar trail... A list of coffee houses,

bakeries, restaurants and bars have tinkered with our iconic treat to create recipes that not only cling to convention, but also trample tradition with their creations. Download the brochure and map from


Pick up a good book...Vancouver

Island Regional Library has three locations in Nanaimo with summer reading programs for children. Literacy Central Vancouver Island runs a used bookstore downtown, which raises money for its literacy programs.


Admire art...

Local artists provide galleries with a variety of styles and mediums. Downtown hosts many of the city’s galleries, including Nanaimo Art Gallery, Hills Native Art and Golden Otter Gallery. In the Old City Quarter you’ll find Electric Umbrella tattoo shop and gallery, as well as Gallery Row, an outdoor gallery located between the colourful shops on Fitzwilliam Street.

Snorkel with the seals...

Spend a few hours swimming with the harbour seals at Snake Island. For tours, call Sundown Diving at 1-888-773-3483/250-253-1880 or Diver’s Choice Charters at 1-866-716-8867.



See a movie...

Nanaimo has two big-screen theatres with comfortable seating, including Galaxy Theatre at Nanaimo North Town Centre and Avalon Cinema at Woodgrove Centre.

Malaspina Mural... Located in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, the Malaspina mural was painted by E.J. Hughes on the concrete walls of the former Malaspina Hotel. The painting was saved from destruction and restored as part of the city’s public art program.


Sample spirits...

Arbutus Distillery offers three main spirits distilled on site, including gin, vodka and absinthe, along with other blends. The distillery also hosts a cocktail lounge at its Boxwood Road location. in North America. It takes you back to a century when Morden Colliery was a thriving, coal-producing mine.

ERTS CONIN C THE PARK This summer, bring a lawn chair and a picnic while enjoying some great musical entertainment in two of Nanaimo’s most beautiful and popular parks. Please check the City of Nanaimo website for schedule of performers.

Tuesdays 12:30-1:30 pm • Maffeo Sutton Park (Jul 4-25) • Bowen Park Amphitheatre (Aug 1-29)

Wednesdays 6-7:30 pm • Bowen Park Amphitheatre (Jul 5-26) • Maffeo Sutton Park (Aug 2-30)

250-756-5200 • 20

101 Things to See and Do 2017 - Nanaimo Region

Newcastle Island,

Saysutshun in the Snuneymuxw Hul’qumi’num dialect means “training for running.”


Nanaimo Harbour's Feel Good Place

to ensure a pleasant stay, thanks in part to For thousands of years, Newcastle Island to the Snuneymuxw people has been and is still legacies from the Island’s 20th century history. “Saysutshun,” a place where competitive canoe Newcastle Island was purchased by the pullers ran the island’s trails to build strength Canadian Pacific Steamship Company in 1931 and endurance, where people collected to operate a resort. The dance pavilion the medicinal herbs and a place where their company built still operates a cafeteria, small people retreated to recover spiritually and convenience store for campers and visitors, emotionally from life’s traumas. and is a multipurpose centre for weddings, Newcastle Island Marine Provincial parties and other social functions. Park — Saysutshun — was and The island’s 363 hectares is a “feel good” place, a jewel ••• encompass a long span of in Nanaimo’s harbour history. First Nation people where a 10-minute ferry Hiking, camping, maintained villages there ride delivers nature photography, swimming, dating back several thousand seekers from the city’s years. After the arrival of wildlife watching, kayaking noise and hectic pace Europeans, Newcastle Island and more awaits visitors and into an oasis of became home to a Japanese sun-warmed beaches to Newcastle Island herring saltery, shipyard and and hiking trails through sandstone quarry that provided forests of Garry oak, maple, ••• construction stone for buildings Douglas fir and arbutus, and grinding stones for pulp mills campgrounds and historic sites. and coal mining operations. The waters surrounding Newcastle Island’s Kanaka Bay is named for Peter Kajua, a shores are a mecca for kayakers and scuba Hawaiian immigrant worker, who was tried divers and each summer dozens of watercraft and hung for murder and buried somewhere from B.C. and the U.S. Pacific Northwest tie near the bay in an unmarked grave in 1869. up mooring buoys in the sheltered waters of Mark Bay or at the island’s docks. Newcastle Island became a provincial park in 1961 and is now managed by Snuneymuxw Whether it’s a day excursion to the island, First Nation. a weekend of camping, a family reunion or company picnic, the island has the amenities In February, the Snuneymuxw purchased the

Fredrich’s Honey Wed. to Sun., 10am - 5pm. Demos and Taste Testing. Wheelchair accessible. Visa, Mastercard, Interac Accepted.

Offering Vancouver Island unpasteurized honey and beehive products including bee pollen, propolis, honeycomb, beeswax, beeswax candles, soaps and more.

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2798 Cedar Road 250-245-4214

water taxi M.V. Grey Selkie from Victoria Harbour Ferry Company, which provided ferry service for several years between Newcastle Island and Maffeo Sutton Park in downtown Nanaimo. The Grey Selkie is part of Snuneymuxw First Nation’s economic development plans to provide more employment for its people and revitalize Coast Salish culture on the island. That will depend, in part, on bringing more people to Saysutshun. Lowering the cost to get there will make the island more accessible, so the per-person water taxi fare to the island has been dropped to $5 this year. Weddings, school excursions, corporate conferences, meetings, wine and cheese events and multicultural tours showcasing Snuneymuxw and Canadian history on Saysutshun are part of the First Nation’s shortand long-term economic development plans. Camping facilities will likely be expanded slightly to handle peak season overflow and the First Nation is also upgrading its electronic point-of-sale system to improve payment options for park services. YOU DONATE To learn more about what to see and do on Newcastle Island, please visit By Chris Bush

Loaves and Fishes op 12 weekly depots through

1009 Farquhar








Please mail your cheques to:

Loaves & Fishes 1009 Farquhar St. Nanaimo, BC Loaves and Fishes operates 12 weekly depots throughout the city V9R 2G2

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101 Things to See and Do 2017 - Nanaimo Region Please, mail your cheques to: 1009 Farquhar Street Nanaimo BC V9R 2G2


Shop, Dine, Relax.

in this charming heritage area of the city. ST OF THE CI BE E

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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

Great food, drink

& good times!

Pub Hours: Mon - Sat 10:30am - 12:30am Sunday 11am - 12am Liquor Store Hours: 9am - 11pm Seven Days A Week

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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017


71 72 73

Artwalk... Nanaimo artists combine forces in late

fall to host the annual Nanaimo Artwalk. On Dec. 2-3, artists open their studios to the public for tours and discussions about their creations.


Wine tasting... Nanaimo has two wineries

producing grapes in the lush East Wellington area of the region. Millstone Estate Winery has 2.5 hectares of vineyard to stroll through after a glass of wine on the licenced patio, which often hosts live music. www. Chateau Wolff is a boutique winery offering pinot noir and chardonnay.

69 70

Tea leaf reading... Calico Cat Tea House

on Haliburton Street offers 10-, 20- and 30-minute readings with a home-cooked meal. Also offers afternoon tea. 250-754-3865

Shopping... Nanaimo has no shortage

of shopping malls, including the largest on Vancouver Island. Woodgrove Centre in the north end offers anchor tenants Wal-Mart and Hudson’s Bay as well as specialty stores Sephora, Lush and David’s Tea. Head south on the Island Highway and visitors will find Nanaimo North Town Centre, Country Club Centre and Port Place shopping centre.

Open mike... With hundreds of musicians living and working in Nanaimo, there’s no shortage of open mike nights in the city. Check out venues such as the Vault Café, Serious Coffee, Corner Lounge and the Nanaimo Bar for schedules and guidelines.

74 75

Rent a bicycle or scooter... Hub City Cycles

and Tuff City Power Sports rent bicycles and scooters for adventurous folks looking to take advantage of trails and road loops.

Buskers... Live music is found all over Nanaimo, including downtown and the Harbourfront Walkway. Keep an ear tuned as buskers change locations daily. Vancouver Island Symphony...

Under the direction of Pierre Simard, the Vancouver Island Symphony has been recognized for its contribution to culture in Nanaimo. The symphony presents roughly eight shows per season, featuring music from Beethoven to the Beatles.

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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017


Nanaimo Welcomes You to

Attend the Church of Your Choice St. Paul’s Anglican 250-753-2523 • 29 Church Street

St. Andrew’s United Church

250-753-1924 • 311 Fitzwilliam St.

Built in 1893, St. Andrew’s has 124 years of service to the community of Nanaimo. We hold traditional church services accompanied by our pipe organ and choir. We are a friendly, welcoming church offering tea and coffee after church. We have a Sunday School for children and teens, a thrift shop offering household goods and clothes and an Outreach program. Worship Service: 11 AM

Trinity United Church

Generations Church

Minister Foster Freed We worship every Sunday at 11am; we also offer a church school program for young children that runs at the same time. All are welcome. For more information go to our website.

A place where individuals and families can take a fresh step on their spiritual journey and experience God. Our passion is to love God, serve others, and grow in grace! Our gatherings focus on energetic worship and relevant teaching in an informal atmosphere. Everyone is welcome. For Sunday worship times, please see

Proclaiming God’s love and the faith of Christ crucified and resurrected through Christ centered music, preaching and liturgy. We welcome you to join us in knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour and Friend. A spiritual oasis in the middle of the city.

250-390-2513 • 6234 Spartan Road

250-753-0258 • 1300 Princess Royal or call 250-753-0258

Brechin United Church

Nanaimo Church of the Nazarene

Brechin United Church is an Affirming Ministry and an inclusive congregation that welcomes all seekers and sojourners. You will experience us as open to exploring questions of faith and deepening spirituality. With a focus on outreach, we seek ways to respond to needs in our local community. Sunday services engage current context and feature a lively music program. Our community of faith welcomes you.

“Growing Together in Love” Service time: Sunday, 10:30 am All Welcome

Trinity Catholic Church

Christian Science Society

In the Catholic tradition of the Apostles we invite you to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, our source of strength & spiritual life. Jesus is truly present with us in Holy Mass. Everyone is welcome to our celebrations Saturdays at 6pm, Sundays at 8am or 9am, Mondays at 6pm and Tuesdays to Fridays at 9am. There’s also a family/youth mass every third Saturday of the month. Adoration is every Friday at 9:30am, the Rosary is at 8:30am Tuesday to Friday, & El Shaddai is every first Saturday of the month.

The Church of Christ, Scientist, known as the Christian Science Church is a Christian denomination whose members welcome everyone to its worship services and reading rooms. God's loving embrace for the whole creation is all sufficient and all pervading. Worship services are at 10:30 am at 20 Chapel Street it's reading room hours are Tuesday to Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at 10 Esplanade Street.

1998 Estevan Rd. 250-754-9212

250-585-5553 • 2150 Departure Bay Road

250-390-2612 • 6234 Spartan Rd

Nanaimo, 20 Chapel St. 250-753-8036

First Baptist Church 250-753-0241 • 1650 Waddington Rd. First Baptist Church’s vision is “To Know Christ... and Make Him Known.” Guests are welcome at our two Sunday morning Worship Services at 9 am and 11 am.

Thank you and GOD Bless! 101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017


Plenty of beginner trails for those just starting out in mountain biking

76 Technical

Trails Challenge Riders

“Linley Valley has a small selection check out the Doumont trail network. Located near the base of Mount Benson, of trails, but it’s a really fun selection,” Wacker said. “As soon as you are an Doumont consists of more than 25 different trails, with names like Bad 2 the intermediate rider you can have a blast Bone, Fine China, Bent Nail and Cripple in Linley Valley. You can rip out for 45 minutes and get a nice fun loop in. It’s a Creek. Wacker says while Doumont is best suited for those with more advanced good technical climb with a fun descent.” mountain biking experience, it's a Other popular trail networks include good place for beginners who South Benson, The Abyss, Extension Ridge and Ridge want to take that next step ••• Runner, which is located in their riding ability. near Extension Ridge trail. When it comes to “It’s a fun, fast and flowy mountain biking in the “Pretty much all the trail trail that everyone can networks connect to each Harbour City, there is love,” she said. "For other so whether you beginners, they can take plenty of it. are looking for something it slow. It’s really fun and ••• challenging or something fast and it really gets people nice and simple there is really amped on riding and wanting to something for everybody, ” Wacker build up their skills so they can rip down said. "Everybody can grow their skills, it someday." whether they are totally new to the sport Those looking for a ride in central or they have been doing it for 20 years.” Nanaimo can check out Linley Valley, For more information, please visit www. which offers three trails that range in skill levels. The longest trail, called Serenity, is 3.6 kilometres in length and reaches a By Nicholas Pescod maximum elevation of 192 metres.

From Westwood Lake to Linley Valley and all points in between, Nanaimo has no shortage of great trails for those on two wheels. Dana Wacker, avid mountain biker and communications director with the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club, says Westwood Lake offers plenty of well-maintained trails for riders. “For brand new mountain bikers they can hit the trail and do the Westwood Lake loop,” she said. “It’s the shared route. If they want to branch off into something more technical they can branch off into one of our trails that are well marked from the main trail and go from there.” Anyone with a little bit more skill is encouraged to

L’Association des francophones de Nanaimo into Tapping Culture, Friends ! and Fun r e evri en f uary r b e In F 18 20

présente / presents

Beban Auditoriu m

2300 Bow en Rd.

Eat, Drink and be Irish! On the day of your Birthday, come celebrate with us & receive a Free Birthday Meal up to $20 for lunch / $30 for dinner *ask server for details

Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighborhood Pub

1724 Stewart Ave, Nanaimo

Pub: 250.591.3088 Liquor Store: 250.591.3090 Located at Stones Marina


101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

Looking for Something to Do? JOIN ONE OF THESE CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS! Nanaimo Fish & Game Club

L’association des Francophones de Nanaimo 250-729-2776

Bienvenue tout le monde! Welcome to Nanaimo’s fun group! Experience the joie de vivre of Francophone culture: great people, activities and food, upbeat music, energetic dancing, and memorable cultural events for Francophones and Francophiles of all ages. We would like to thank our Government Partners: Canadian Heritage, B.C. Gaming, and City of Nanaimo.

250-754-2846 • 1325 Nanaimo Lakes Rd. Open Op en To To The Th he Pu Publ blic bl ic www. ww w.Na Nana naim imoF oFis isha hand ndGa Game Ga me.c me .com om

The Nanaimo Fish and Game Club is one of BC’s premier Conservation and Environmental Protection organizations with some of the finest Archery and Shooting Programs and facilities available. Adult and Junior Members enjoy Archery, Black Powder, Rifle, Handgun and Shotgun Programs. Also: Open to the Public.



SUMMER ART CAMPS AT ART LAB July 10-14 & July 17-21

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Know your limit, play within it. 101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017



There's Magic in the Air

Vancouver Island Exhibition adds entertainment, displays and more this year

A new addition this year is the first annual Rib Fest, which will be held at the Gyro Youth Sports Fields. “We’ve got four rib trucks coming and each truck is 40 feet long,” said Streeter, adding the Rib Fest will be held over the three days.

“We thought we need to change it up. We need to do lots of new stuff,” said The mainstage is moving from its usual place on the parking lot to the Karen Streeter, president of the Vancouver Island Exhibition. “We’ve got lots of new stuff this year.” remaining space on the fields. The fair will have everything from traditional agricultural displays and Midway is back and is offering additional rides. The kid zone is amusement rides to live-action role players and zorb balls, also returning with a new teen zone. sometimes referred to as a human hamster ball, an inflatable ball The teen zone will have a Pokémon tournament, computer made of plastic people can get inside. games and a range of free activities. The live-action role playing The VIEX is held Aug. 18-20 at Beban Park and this year’s theme group, Medieval Chaos, will also be attending. is There’s Magic In The Fair. ••• For the first time there will be a farmers’ market at the fair. “That’s what we are trying to do, make it new and create the The Vancouver Feature performers include the Strathcona Mounted Troop, magic again,” said Streeter. which is a Canadian Forces volunteer display unit. For more Island Exhibition Part of the expansion is due to the fair adding activities to information, please visit is expanding celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, which were paid for by a Canada 150 grant. The West Coast Cowgirls, a trick riding group will perform this year. Friday at the fair. One of the red barns on the exhibition grounds, ••• located at Beban Park, will be transformed into a The regular beer garden has grown this year. Canada 150 display called Step Back in Time. Half “We have gotten permission to make it huge, actually the beer garden of the barn will have a display created by the Mid Island is going to be the whole field. It’s going to be a new entertainment hub,” said Vintage Tractor and Equipment Club and there will be Streeter. displays from the Nanaimo Museum, the Mid Island Métis Association and Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre. In addition to the new events and activities, people can enjoy the traditional 4-H displays and horse shows. The fair will also have a reconciliation quilt. People will be invited to grab a square of material and write messages “I used to be the livestock coordinator before I became the president on it or create designs. Elders from the Nanaimo so the animals always have a special place in my heart, especially the Aboriginal Centre and seniors from Nanaimo horses,” said Streeter. organizations will be in attendance to talk to visitors and help with the project. By Rachel Stern For more information, please visit

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101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017


Nanaimo Blues Festival...

The city’s annual blues festival returns Aug. 24-27 at Maffeo Sutton Park. The first night kicks off with a fundraiser for the city’s food bank, followed by three days of blues music, including Maple Blues Awards Guitar Player of the Year David Gogo.

79 80

Escape rooms... Teams of two to six people have just 60 minutes to find the clues, solve puzzles and escape the room. Break Out Nanaimo offers a selection of escape rooms for entertainment. Infringing Dance Festival...

Annual festival, Dancing In The Belly Of The Dragon, runs July 6-9. Performers present traditional dance or fusions from the rich cultures of people who make up our country and our city. Four-day festival features ticketed indoor performances at Vancouver Island Conference Centre and free outdoor performances at Maffeo Sutton Park. 250-716-3230


Tip a wee dram... The

Wee Tipple Party is the city’s annual whisky and scotch festival, held March 2 at the Grand Hotel. Sample spirits from all over the world while raising money for Crimson Coast Dance Society.

82 83 Canon firing... Every day at noon during the summer months, staff from Nanaimo Museum dress in period costume and fire the historic cannons next to the Bastion.

84 85

Longwoodstock... The third annual music festival at Longwood Brewery’s location on Boxwood Road takes place in 2017 on Aug. 11-12.

Party in the Park... The second annual day concert goes country this year with Aaron Pritchett headlining the ticket, which also features Lion Bear Fox and Eagle Eyes among other bands. The event happens June 24 at Beban Sports Fields. Harbourfront Walkway... Nanaimo’s most popular attraction with locals and tourists alike is the waterfront walkway. Beginning at the Gabriola ferry terminal, the walk winds through the Boat Basin and along the quay, where you can grab a coffee or an ice cream before continuing to Maffeo Sutton Park and beyond.


1 # Toy Store

Toys, Games & Puzzles for All Ages

#102-2517 Bowen Rd. Nanaimo

Kool Toys & Teaching Tools


101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017



Music & dancing fans can find their tribe at Nanaimo hot spots

NIGHTLIFE Begins Well Before Sundown

The sun doesn’t even have to go down for Nanaimo’s musicians and entertainers to come out and play. Venues across town are now offering shows beginning before 7 p.m., allowing fans to see their favourite musician, comic or theatre group while still making it home in time for a good night’s sleep before work the next day. But if you’re a night owl, many downtown bars cater to your need to see the sunrise from the wrong side of the day. A Nanaimo staple for more than 130 years is the Queen’s Hotel. Located on Victoria Crescent, this legendary bar features live music performed by locals and touring acts alike – you might just catch the next big thing on a random weeknight. But it’s not just music – early shows often feature comedy and burlesque on the Queen’s stage.

a happening little place aptly named the Nanaimo Bar. Drinkers will hear music from DJs and musicians playing original and cover tunes – all while bartenders mix up top-shelf cocktails.

Around the corner on Commercial Street you’ll find The Corner Lounge. Cynthia and Brian Biebrich bought the downtown hot spot about a year ago and set about ••• creating their own With so many unique live music scene, with regular musicians calling open mike nights and Nanaimo home, it’s no jazz jams. Musicians wonder performers from across Canada find any stage are finding and playing in the cozy venue. available.

One such venue hosting early shows is the Lighthouse Pub, which offers music ••• beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a waterfront view of Nanaimo harbour. In addition to pub fare upstairs, the building also has a restaurant downstairs and in the summer months a patio on stilts in the marina, which is an excellent place to sip a drink and watch the seaplanes land. Walk up from the waterfront to Front Street and you’ll find

For good food and better atmosphere is the Modern Café, recognizable for its grand neon sign. Down the alley is the Old City Station pub, where you can get a pint, a pub meal and watch a game. Occasionally you’ll catch some live music, too. With so many musicians


calling Nanaimo home, it’s no wonder performers find any stage available. If you’re into club music and dancing all night, you’ll find a series of nightclubs with Level 2, Koncept and Evolve. All three offer DJs, theme nights and specials for those who like to dance and get lost in the music. We end our tour of downtown with two unique venues. The Palace Hotel has been around almost as long as the Queen’s and has collected just about as much character. The Vault Café is located in a heritage building and offers an alternative to the nightclub scene with live music and movie nights in its intimate space. You don’t necessarily have to be downtown to enjoy Nanaimo’s nightlife. Trendy restaurants in Nanaimo’s north end, such as Cactus Club, Brown’s Social House and Simon Holt provide top-shelf liquor, local beer and a lounge in which to gather, chat and possibly catch the game. By Melissa Fryer

There’s Magic in the Fair

Bumper Boats Complete with water cannons! 2 18-hole Stunning Miniature golf Courses

August 18, 19 & 20, 2017 • Ice cream parlor • Souvenir Gift Shop Bumper Boats complete with water & cannons! • Redemption Games Room Two 18 Hole Stunning • Full service RV Park on the beach Miniature Golf Courses Tel: 1-866-325-1874 375 W. Island Hwy., Parksville, BC Play day or night! Tel: 250-248-6612


101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017 375 W. Island Hwy., Parksville, BC

• Ribfest, free Kids & Teen Zone • Strathcona Mounted Troop • Music & More Beban Park Fairgrounds


Nanaimo Dining Guide DINING AMENITIES









2 Chefs Affair

123 Commercial Street (250) 591-4656

ABC Country Restaurant

6671 Mary Ellen Dr. (250) 390-4064 *Banquet Room available

Browns Socialhouse 6338 Metral Drive (250) 933-6641

Carlos O'Bryan's Neighbourhood Pub 1724 Stewart Avenue (250) 591-3088

Columbia Bakery 2151 Bowen Road (250) 758-7219

Longwood Brew Pub


5775 Turner Road (250) 729-8225


Milano's Ristorante #300-6551 Aulds Road (250) 390-5060

Milton Street Public House 247 Milton Street (250) 591-1090

Modern Café


221 Commercial Street (250) 754-5022


Mt. Benson Lounge

@ Nanaimo Golf Club 2800 Highland Boulevard (250) 758-2451



Cafes & Bakeries

Pubs & Lounges

*Contact for Details

101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017


91 92 93

Kayaking... Some favourite Nanaimo launch

87 88 89 90

points for kayakers include Brechin boat ramp near Departure Bay and Wallbeach Road in Nanoose. Paddle around Newcastle Island and Departure Bay with your own kayak, or rent from Alberni Outpost, which also offers tours, such as full-moon paddles.

Catamaran tours... Island Marine

Adventures offers catamaran tours of Nanaimo harbour as well as tours aboard its hovercraft and inflatable. 250-714-5303

Show your pride... Nanaimo Pride Society

hosts the annual Pride Parade June 10, which is one of many events celebrating Pride Week in the city. A flag raising takes place June 9 as well as an art show June 9-11.

Morrell Sanctuary... Volunteers help

manage a 111-hectare nature reserve at Morrell Sanctuary on Nanaimo Lakes Road. Visit the trails and view the birds and wildlife that call this park home. The society also hosts educational programs for students.

Salish Sea Marine Trail... Much like

the Trans-Canada Trail on land, the Salish Sea Marine Trail links paddlers to sites on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland by securing access points and safe havens along the B.C. coast.


101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017


Nanaimo offers paddleboard rentals and lessons as well as calm lakes or challenging ocean waters for novice to experienced paddlers. Nanaimo parks and rec offers paddleboard lessons as part of its programs.


Spa day...

Trans Canada Trail...

A key feature of the Nanaimoarea portion of this national trail network is the Haslam Creek suspension bridge. To access it, use the Timberlands Road trailhead.

The city is home to a multitude of options when it comes to the spa, including Breze Concept Salon and Day Spa in Country Club Centre and Maffeo Salon and Day Spa. You can even indulge in a Nanaimo bar pedicure, from Kiyo Salon and Day Spa.


Take your dog for a walk... City of

Nanaimo offers a dozen places to let Rover roam off-leash, with the most popular being the Beban Park dog park, accessed off Labieux Road. Pups can also play at Cable Bay Trail, at the power lines above Westwood Lake, and the upper dam trail at Colliery Dam Park.


Nanaimo River Salmon Hatchery... October

to December is the best time to visit the hatchery, but juvenile salmon in their outdoor channels can be seen until May. The public is welcome to use the trails year-round. Take Beck Road to Rugby Road to find the hatchery. 250-245-7780.


Morden Colliery Historic Regional Park... The park’s

surviving, but rapidly deteriorating, head frame and tipple loom up 23 metres – grey, formidable and one of two such remaining above ground structures in North America. It takes you back to a century when Morden Colliery was a thriving, coal-producing mine.


Kids Activities...

Nanaimo parks and rec ensures a number of free or affordable activities are available for families. See the city’s Activity Guide for a checklist of activities and a draw for a parks and rec gift certificate.



Bird watching... More than 250 bird

species call the Nanaimo area home or return annually on migration routes. Popular viewing areas include Buttertubs Marsh, an 18-hectare sanctuary at the end of Buttertubs Drive, Neck Point Park and Nanaimo River estuary. 250-390-3669

Farmers market...

Nanaimo Downtown Farmers’ Market celebrates its 20th year. It runs Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Pioneer Waterfront Plaza. Cedar Farmers’ Market happens every Sunday next to the Crow and Gate Pub, while Island Roots Farmers’ Market happens year round. In the summer, you’ll find it at Beban Park on Wednesday, beginning at 4:30 pm., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Walking Tour... Nanaimo Museum offers guided tours of its exhibits as well as Nanaimo landmarks. Private tours are also available. 250-753-1821


Spectacular, scenic, scheduled helicopter flights between Vancouver Victoria and Nanaimo Spectacular, scenic, to scheduled helicopter flights between Vancouver + Kids Fly Free! * to Victoria and Nanaimo + Kids Fly Free! *

Sunrise and Sunset Savings.

May 18 – Sept 15 Select early morning and late evening sailings.



Pictured: Downtown Nanaimo Heliport at 100 Port Drive

*Terms and conditions apply Pictured: Downtown Nanaimo Heliport at 100 Port Drive

*Terms and conditions apply



Select Sailings 4 Routes Only

For full details: Visit or call 1-888-BC FERRY |  @helijet |  helijet | 1.800.665.4354 |  @helijet |  helijet | 1.800.665.4354


File Name:

*Prices quoted are in Canadian dollars and include all applicable taxes. Fuel rebate is not reflected in the advertised price. Nanaimo Port Authority fees and surcharges (where applicable) are not included.“Sunrise and Sunset Savings” Promotion is applicable to standard under-height vehicles (includes driver fare) up to 20 feet in length and 7 feet in height only. Offer is valid on select sailings from May 18 – September 15, 2017 on the following routes: Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay); Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Nanaimo (Duke Point); West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay); West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Sunshine Coast (Langdale),in either direction. Not applicable for over-height vehicles, over-length vehicles, buses or commercial vehicles. “Sunrise and Sunset Savings” promotion is available on BC Ferries Vacations packages. Limited time offer. Other conditions may apply. Please visit for full details on applicable sailings. BC Reg. 48839.

BC Ferries

101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017



Insertion Date: May 23, 2017 Material Due:

May 12, 2017


sell banner SHOPPING intoNANAIMO

Trust Your Vehicle to the Professionals


Snorkel with the seals


on Snake Island



Dale Hoskin and his team of licensed technicians will take care of all of your vehicle repair needs, from brakes, tune-ups, suspension to engine repairs and electrical.


PractiCar Car & Truck Rentals


2205 Northfield Road, Nanaimo


227 South Terminal Avenue, Nanaimo 250-753-6461 Toll Free: 888-296-8888 Mon.-Fri. 8am-6pm Sat.-Sun. 9am-5pm

friendly, professional service...everytime! “Family Owned & Operated”


#2-6430 Hammond Bay Rd., Nanaimo


Check Out!




Every Friday “We make it, Bake it or Grow it”

Call for details

COMPUTERIZED SCORE KEEPING Enjoy your game, let the computer do the math BUMPER BOWLING Takes the gutters out of the game. Great for little tots BIRTHDAY PARTIES Bowling Birthdays are a BIG HIT! JOIN A LEAGUE!

May 5 to Oct. 6, 10am to 2pm PIONEER WATERFRONT PLAZA Near the Bastion


101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

1870 E. Wellington (250) 753-2341


• Discounts at some of Vancouver Island’s Premier Golf Courses • Low daily, weekly, monthly rates and Special weekend packages terminal rental service at Harbour Air, Sunshine • In Coast Air, and Seair Seaplanes • Free local pick up <<< 1602 Northfield Road •and Nanaimo drop off. Harbour & acAirport .lanoita•n1.800.227.7368 evird.www

250.758.3509 9053.857.052





(local number)

<<<<81602 <<< Harbour •oNanaimo 1602 637.7Northfield 2Northfield 2.008.1 ••tNanaimo Road ropriA• & ruobraHHarbour miana& N Airport •Airport daoR d••l1-800-227-7368 e1.800.227.7368 ifhtroN 2061 <<< <<< Nanaimo 8637.722.008.1 • tropriA & ruobraH omianaN • daoR dleifhtroN 2061 <<< For National Car & Truck Rental locations, look for this symbol:


d Road • Nanaimo Harbour & Airport • 1.800.227.7368 <<<




101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017



Page's Resort Marina

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Best Western Dorchester

3350 Coast Road, Gabriola Island (250) 247-8931


70 Church Street, Nanaimo (250) 754-6835


•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Living Forest Oceanside Campground 6 Maki Road, Nanaimo (250) 755-1755

••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Ramada Inn Nanaimo

Buccaneer Inn

1577 Stewart Ave, Nanaimo (250) 753-1246

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Westwood Lake Campground

315 Rosehill St., Nanaimo (250) 716-2009

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Coast Bastion Hotel 11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo (250) 753-6601

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Howard Johnson Harbourside 1 Terminal Avenue, Nanaimo (250) 753-2241

380 Westwood Road, Nanaimo (250) 753-3922

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Value Lodge 736 Nicol Street, Nanaimo (250) 754-2328

Tenting and RV Sites:



Camping Cabin & Cottage: Rental

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Inn on Long Lake 4700 N. Island Hwy, Nanaimo (250) 758-1144



Hot Tub

Serviced Tent Sites

Swimming Pool

No Service Tent Sites

Fitness Facilities


Photo by Sean McCue

Kitchenettes/ Fridge

Boat Launch

Meeting Rooms


Water View


Ocean/Lake Access

Private Entrance

Pet Friendly


Private Bathroom

Active on TripAdvisor

Breakfast Included



101 Do in inNanaimo Nanaimo2017 2017 101Things Thingsto to See See and and Do

37 37

Your Lakeside Resort in the City! T.F. 1.800.565.1144 PH. 250.758.1144




101 Things to See and Do in Nanaimo 2017

Special Features - 101 Things Nanaimo 2017  


Special Features - 101 Things Nanaimo 2017