Updates from Culture & Events

City of Nanaimo // February 2022

       Image: Dawn, Kamal Parmar, Poem for April 2022

Poetry Programs in 2022

With a renewal of energy and the sharing of culture on many platforms, we marked the first meeting of Nanaimo’s City Council in 2022 with a reading by Nanaimo’s Poet Laureate Kamal Parmar. Her latest poem, entitled Flying High, was recorded and is available on our website:


For more opportunities to share a love of poetry, keep a lookout for Poems for Windows, appearing in libraries and community centres around town. For this project Parmar shares a new poem in public space each month, with poster designs activated by the Urban Design Roster group Webb Creative. Poetry enthusiasts can participate in this project by submitting their own poems to The Poet Laureate will select poetry from the entries to include on future posters in the series!

More opportunities to hear poetry are being added all the time, including an online (zoom) reading and open mic event featuring local poets Ursula Vaira, Kim Goldberg and Carla Stein on February 27th. 

Spring with Haiku
February 27th, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Hosted by the Vancouver Island Regional Library
Register Online at:

Resilience in Arts and Culture 2021: Vignettes

The City of Nanaimo’s Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo strives to “ensure sustainability for artists and artisans who are essential for a vibrant arts and culture scene.” The Covid-19 Pandemic continues to impact the Arts and Culture sector in ways that require creativity and ingenuity in order for artists, businesses and organizations to continue to flourish. In December of 2020, City Council approved a one-time grant fund stream called the 2021 Resilience Grant to support new, one-time events and programs taking place in 2021. Successful applications put forth programs that were designed to adapt or respond during the Covid-19 pandemic and we’re pleased to share the outcomes of three projects supported by the Resilience Grant Fund in 2021:

Image: Nicole Arendt, still image from Wilhelmina's Garden, 2021

Nicole Arendt

Artist Nicole Arendt is an independent musician, composer, filmmaker, educator and Iyengar yoga teacher.  She is also the principal timpanist with the Vancouver Island Symphony, and the marimbist with Brave New Band.

"I am so grateful to have been awarded a 2021 Nanaimo Resilience Grant. This award contributed to a very fruitful "pivot" mentorship project. I'm a professional musician, and, due to Covid restrictions, all of my concerts with live audiences in the same space as I have been cancelled (or postponed) since March 2020. The Nanaimo Resilience Grant allowed me to work in a meaningful way during this very challenging and disheartening time, and to build skills that will be invaluable to me as concert life begins to return. The grant helped to fund a mentorship in the field of video production: studying and practicing lighting, editing, storytelling, interview skills, and more. As part of the project, I created 2 short films that feature Nanaimo community members, small businesses, and not-for-profit arts groups, each with their own undercurrent of resilience built in. In October I had the opportunity to put my new skills to use. My ensemble, Brave New Band, was contracted to perform a livestream concert and invited to come to a Vancouver recording studio to do the work but, thanks to the work of this mentorship, we were able to produce the entire event ourselves at our home studio, thereby keeping the work right here in Nanaimo." 

- Nicole Arendt; Musician, Composer, Filmmaker, Educator

Learn more about Nicole's work by visiting and

Image: Western Edge Theatre, still image from Virtual Ecstasy, 2021

Western Edge Theatre

Founded in 2002, Western Edge Theatre produces new plays and other contemporary, cutting edge theatre for the central Vancouver Island area.

"City of Nanaimo Resilience Grant funding supported Swipe Right! Digital Theatre Festival, a new initiative that invited artists from our community to tell theatre stories in new ways. The results were amazing, and we had a great time premiering them at both a real-life launch in the Bowen Park amphitheatre and online in Fall 2021."

- Frank Moher; Executive Director of Western Edge

Learn more about the project and Western Edge Theatre's 2022 line-up by visiting

Images: Sad Girl Review

Sad Girl Review

Sad Girl Review is an online contemporary art and literary magazine established in 2018. We strive to showcase and celebrate the best in girly, melancholy material by emerging and established creators.

"This funding has made a world of difference to Sad Girl Review! We have gained an assistant editor (Amy, a VIU student), purchased and maintained equipment, planned upcoming promotions, and most importantly, we are able to offer honorariums to our contributors for the first time. We're looking forward to building this issue to showcase the work of local creators, and we want to encourage more people to get involved by reading the magazine and sending in work."

- Amber Morrison Fox; Editor and Publisher of Sad Girl Review

More info:


Contact Us


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

Follow us on Instagram @Culture_Nanaimo! Stay updated on the work of the Culture & Events team, and see how we’re building community through arts & culture by amplifying & championing local creativity #LoveArtsNanaimo

Follow us!