Updates from Culture & Events

City of Nanaimo // April 2021

Hello Arts & Culture Community,

It’s spring out there, and we’re eager to share some new art projects to enrich Nanaimo’s public spaces. Soon, new anti-graffiti wraps by Sebastian Abboud will be hitting three downtown locations to inject colour and to address graffiti on utility bins. This is a pilot project, and one we hope to expand. We are in the process of developing an Urban Design Roster to gather portfolios and expressions of interest from artists and designers interested to undertake civic infrastructure design challenges. We will be launching the program with an open call to artists and designers later this year, in tandem with our updated Temporary Public Art Program.

At Beban Park Pool, the work to continues on a new project by artist Eliot White-Hill, called Sacred Gathering of Freshwater and Saltwater. With designer Cory Landels and input from Snuneymuxw leaders, we are working with White-Hill to craft interpretive signage and a printed booklet to accompany a series of murals and new banners. Look forward to seeing Hul’q’umi’num words and stories at the pool when this newly refreshed facility reopens for the community.

We are also eagerly awaiting this season’s street banners, designed by Becky Thiessen, which will begin hitting lampposts throughout town in early May! The designs, based on ideas about the future of Nanaimo, bring colourful renderings of the estuary and cedar boughs together with our urban spaces.

With many new things on the horizon in the realm of public art, we are also launching the City’s new Art in Public Spaces Working Group. Consider applying and sharing it with your circles.

Image: Anti-graffiti wrap by Sebastian Abboud, 2021

Get Involved: City seeks members for Art in Public Spaces Working Group

We're currently inviting applications for an Art in Public Spaces Working Group. The newly formed Working Group will consist of five individuals who will be appointed by City Council to serve as knowledgeable volunteers for a two-year term, helping to advance the City’s public art program by offering strategic and technical expertise and championing the role of art and design. Applicants will be considered for their demonstrated knowledge and experience in the expanded field of public art and creative place-making.

To be eligible, applicants must reside or work in Nanaimo. Applications are sought from visual artists, arts administrators, educators, curators and art historians, architects, design professionals, landscape architects, and Indigenous knowledge keepers.

Find all the details online. The deadline for applications is Monday, May 10, 2021 by 12:00 noon.

View details & apply online

Youth Poet Laureate Valina Zanetti

Celebrating Poetry

April is National Poetry Month! To mark the occasion and to respond to our current moment, we invited a few Nanaimo-based poets to write or share works via our Instagram page on the theme ‘Things We Miss.’ Kim Goldberg sent us the poem "Let's Pretend," which first appeared in We Are One: Poems from the Pandemic (Bayeux Arts, 2020). About this poem, Kim says, “a group of 12 of us local women writers had been meeting monthly at Nanaimo Bakery for two years to swap literary gossip. That came to an abrupt halt when COVID hit last March, inspiring this poem."

To find a newly commissioned poem by Charlotte Taylor, called “The Fabled Faeries Chant,” as well as images and a poem called “Parkway Trailway” by Peter Culley, visit our Instagram page @Culture_Nanaimo.

Visit @Culture_Nanaimo on Instagram for more poetry

REIMAGINE NANAIMO Phase 1 Engagement Summary

Image: Peter Culley, Untitled, 2011, published on his blog, mosses from an old manse: notes from Nanaimo

Nanaimo seeks its next Poet Laureate 2021-2023

The search is on for our next City of Nanaimo Poet Laureate! Nanaimo’s next Poet Laureate will be appointed by City Council for a two-year term and will serve as a literary ambassador for the City, charged with creating and presenting poetic works and engaging activities for the benefit of our community.

Poets are invited to review the complete guidelines including eligibility requirements and details on how to apply online. The deadline is April 30, 2021.

View details & apply online

REIMAGINE NANAIMO Phase 1 Engagement Summary

Countdown to Culture & Heritage Awards: Local potter creating new work for 2021 recipients

As part of a commitment to supporting local artists, this year potter Bronwyn Arundel was commissioned to design and produce special pots to gift to the recipients of the Culture & Heritage Awards. Arundel is well-known locally for her work in ceramic which incorporates humour and whimsy. She is also the owner of Nanaimo Ceramic Arts. Award presentations will be made in late April, aligned with COVID protocols, and the City will release video portraits to celebrate the achievements of each honoree.

This year, the recipients of the 2021 Culture & Heritage Awards are:

  • Ay Lelum–The Good House of Design, Excellence in Culture
  • Eliot White-Hill, Emerging Cultural Leader
  • Marianne Turley, Honour in Culture Award
  • Christine Whitelaw, Honour in Culture Award

Read more about the 2021 Culture & Heritage Awards

Update: Resilience Fund Applicants

The Resilience Grant is designed to respond to the emerging needs of Nanaimo’s arts and culture community with flexible, rapid one-time funding in 2021. 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.

The program was launched in January 2021 and the deadline for applications was March 1. A total of 41 applications were received with requests totalling over $140,000.

Please stay tuned for results. Applicants will be notified of results in May 2021.

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territory of the Snuneymuxw people

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