Updates from Culture & Events

City of Nanaimo // November-December 2020

Watch a new video profile on the
story of Harewood Skatepark

Take a few minutes to watch this video profile which celebrates the new Harewood Skatepark! This video by Filter Studios captures the dynamic action of local boarders and art through amazing drone footage. Follow along as SK8r’s catch air, carve the bowl and tail slide along the ledge! Skateboard enthusiast and Nanaimo Art Gallery curator Jesse Birch shares how Coast Salish artwork is integrated into the park.

Snuneymuxw Elder Gary Manson shares the pronunciation of the Hul’q’umi’num word ‘xwyunumus’ and what it means in the context of this amazing new park. Through interviews with Mayor Leonard Krog, Jordan Peltz from Nanaimo Skateboard Association, and Heather Campbell from Harewood Neighbourhood Association, we highlight the partners who, over time, helped to make this dream a reality for the skateboarding community, and a place for people of all ages and abilities to belong.

image: Looking Forward by Sebastian Abboud; commissioned as a response to REIMAGINE NANAIMO, 2020

Activating conversations on culture

Over the past month, we’ve been engaging in strategic conversations on arts and culture as part of REIMAGINE NANAIMO. Based on A Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo 2014-2020 and inspired by discussions with partner organizations and arts leaders here in Nanaimo and beyond, we structured our inquiry around five key themes:

SUSTAINABILITY: funding, skill and resource sharing
RECONCILIATION & DECOLONIZATION: advancing ethical change in the cultural sector
OUR PEOPLE: growing and retaining talent in Nanaimo
SPACES & PLACES FOR CULTURE: needs for the future

With facilitator Sharon Karsten, our Culture & Events team hosted over 60 participants who actively contribute to the cultural ecosystem in Nanaimo, including leaders from arts and culture organizations, arts-based business, local institutions like VIU and Vancouver Island Regional Library, and individual artists working across disciplines. Our session on Reconciliation and Decolonization was co-lead by guests including Elder Gary Manson, Elder William White, and artist, author and story-teller Eliot White-Hill, who each shared their knowledge and perspectives generously.

Our small-group dialogues as part of REIMAGINE NANAIMO were designed not only to invite insights that the City can use to inform plans and action, but also to create value for participants by facilitating connections and knowledge sharing. We’re so grateful for the thoughtful way people stepped up with their valuable time and expertise. What we heard will guide and support our next steps!

If you’d like to share insights on any of the topics above, contact us by email to request a copy of our discussion questions and send us your response by November 30th. If you haven’t already, visit www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca to complete the online survey by November 30th and check out the Creative Community Contest!

Image: Looking Forward by Sebastian Abboud; 
Commissioned as a response to REIMAGINE NANAIMO, 2020

Grants & Opportunities

Supporting your work

Results to be announced in early 2021

Thank you to all applicants to our funding programs: Culture & Heritage Project and Operating Grants, and the Downtown Event Revitalization Fund. Applications are now being assessed. We look forward to supporting a new year of activity. Results will be announced in January 2021.

Grant Writing 101 info session with Walter Quan
focus: BC Arts Council 'Pivot Program'

BC Arts Council recently launched the Project Assistance: Pivot Program, a new fund for organizations and collectives to help them adapt programs and practices in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a deadline of January 4th, 2021.

Cultural organizations and collectives looking to better understand BC Arts Council grants are invited to us for a free zoom information session with Walter Quan, Program Officer at the BC Arts Council:

December 1st from 6:00 to 7:15 pm - Please RSVP in advance for zoom details

Learn more about Pivot

RSVP by email

Nominate an arts & culture leader today!

We are calling on you to nominate cultural leaders who deserve recognition for their work! Every year, we honour and celebrate achievements in arts and culture through the City’s Culture & Heritage Awards.
We’re accepting 2021 nominations from the community until December 10th in four categories:


This is your opportunity to recognize the people and groups that you believe make Nanaimo a culturally vibrant city. Nomination forms and details on past award winners is available online.

Read more

Art in Public Spaces

New art for Nanaimo in 2020

Meet the artist: Bryan Faubert

Bryan Faubert, based in Calgary, Alberta, is an artist with deep connections to Nanaimo. Having spent five years here at a formative time in his career, Bryan sat down with us to discuss his sculpture 'Out From Out Where: Beyond Liminality', which was recently installed on the waterfront in McGregor Park across from the Port Theatre.

Faubert moved to Nanaimo after life brought him to the difficult place of living on the streets. He’s not shy about having to overcome difficult challenges, and in fact draws strength, gratitude and direction from his experiences. He shared that the time he spent growing as a person with the support of the arts community of Nanaimo changed his life.

After time living in Vancouver and Halifax, Faubert relocated to Nanaimo, visiting the Edgewood facility to undertake intensive treatment. While moving through recovery, he met Willow Friday, owner and operator of Iron Oxide Art Supplies, and began working on the renovation of the space that became her shop, currently located at the historic #2 Firehall on Victoria Road. His involvement in the construction of the space allowed him to use his skills to help fellow artists realize their own ambitions. Faubert built a tool inventory and opened Studio 34, a space where artists and makers who were interested in learning more about fabrication techniques could come to learn new skills and try out things, with guidance and support by Faubert. He ran a stretcher building workshop, introductions to mold making, stone carving and welding, joined the Nanaimo Arts Council, and became a very active part of the community. Eventually, his growth led him to take on a new challenge, and he relocated to Calgary where he recently completed a Master of Fine Arts.

Today, Faubert continues his studio practice in Calgary. His ambition to create large scale immersive sculpture has been informed by his experiences across the country, interacting with communities of various stripes. His style of drawing with a long continuous line, established over his years of considering street art and work that can speak directly to others of emotion and psychic space, continues to inform the plasma torch process he used to hand-cut intricate figures in metal. The archway he installed as part of our Temporary Public Art program this year offers day and night time views of an intermingled community. Gender fluid and open to interpretation, the lines he has drawn in metal are both windows back into Nanaimo, the surrounding sky, sea and urban landscape, and abstract faces and bodies of the interconnected community that supported him along his journey.

Contact Us

We're here to help! Contact us directly at 250-755-4483 or cultureandevents@nanaimo.ca. Our office is located at the Bowen Park Complex (500 Bowen Road, Nanaimo BC) and we are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (by appointment or registration only).

With respect & gratitude, we acknowledge that our work is carried out on the territory of the Snuneymuxw people

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