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Looking forward to 2021 and beyond!

2020 was a year of significant change and challenge. This year, as we continue to adapt and re-vision programs and activities, our Culture & Events team looks forward to working together, across sectors and disciplines, in our role as a convener, connector, facilitator, enabler and funder.

We are launching into 2021 with an announcement of a new funding opportunity to support work in the arts and culture sector, and a future-focused call to artists and designers—read on for details!

Image: Vancouver Island Symphony play a socially distance concert at the Port Theatre, Fall 2020

Grants & Opportunities

Apply Now: Resilience Fund 2021

This grant opportunity is designed to respond to the emerging needs of Nanaimo’s arts and culture community with flexible, rapid one-time funding. Offering awards in the range of $1,000 to $5,000, the program is intended to help recipients navigate changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and support local initiatives that contribute to the stability of the arts and culture ecosystem, contribute to community resilience, create public value, and take advantage of emerging opportunities. 

Individual artists, collectives and non-profit organizations with an arts and culture mandate are eligible to apply. Full details about eligible activities, costs and funding priorities are contained in the program guidelines, and application forms.

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Read the guidelines, and application forms and apply online! 

Image: Vancouver Island Symphony play a socially distance concert at the Port Theatre, Fall 2020

image: Crimson Coast Dance Society, Whizbang Stoked: As Hot as it Gets! 2014

Results released: Culture & Events Grants 2021

Grants have been awarded for 2021’s Culture & Events Operating Fund, Project Fund and Downtown Events Grants! We wish success to all recipients who are contributing to the vibrancy of our arts and culture sector during this year of change!

City of Nanaimo is supporting $478,166 in funds through 47 Culture & Events grants:

21 Culture and Heritage Operating Grants ($314,388)
10 Project Grants ($42,337)
16 Downtown Event Revitalization Grants ($121,441)

Read the Council report.

Image: Crimson Coast Dance Society (Nanaimo) Whizbang Stoked: As Hot as it Gets! 2014

image: Banner Design Schematics

Call for Street Banner Designs

The Call to Artists and Designers for the 2021 Street Banner Design Program is open!

The theme of this year’s call is Nanaimo 2121: One Hundred Years Forward. We're inviting artists + designers to consider: What does our city need to thrive? How will the decisions and changes we make today shape our city for generations to follow? How will opportunities, challenges and realities we face today be remembered by our future community? How will seeds we plant today blossom in 100 years' time? What shapes will a future Nanaimo take?

One artist will be selected from all proposals for 2021. Creative responses to the idea of a future Nanaimo are encouraged to consider and imagine our shorelines, skies, infrastructure, park lands, community places and the city's inhabitants.

Deadline February 18, 2021

Read the design guidelines and apply online!

Contact Us

We're here to help! Contact us directly at 250-755-4483 or

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


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