Updates from Culture & Events

City of Nanaimo // August 2021

Meet Nanaimo's Poet Laureate: Kamal Parmar

Photo: Dirk Heydemann, HA Photography


At the beginning of August, Nanaimo-based poet Kamal Parmar began a two-year term as the City of Nanaimo’s Poet Laureate. In this role, Kamal aims to raise the profile of poetry in Nanaimo and activate poetry as a tool for healing and increased connection between people of all ages. She says that she “firmly believes that each of us has some subtle form of poetry in us, which needs to be explored.”

Kamal is poet and writer who has been passionately engaged with writing from a very early age. She experiments often with Haiku poetry and also with creative non-fiction. Her poems explore a range of topics, from childhood recollections of her home in India, to the beauty of the Canadian prairies, to her personal journey alongside her mother through Alzheimer’s. 

To listen to an audio recording of Kamal's poem, click the link below.

Summer Is Passing - Audio Recording

“This is my humble tribute to the wonderful City of Nanaimo, whose breathtaking beauty touches the heart and soul of every resident. Thank you, Nanaimo”

Summer is Passing

Sky, not a deep blue but mottled with cloud.
Every time I look, they change from wispy silver to curling grey.
A week back, a burnt-orange sun hung in the coppery bowl of the sky
and the evening star, late coming.
The sea shimmered like lapus lazuli,
now ruffled, strong waves toss,
fill the air with spray that tickles my cheek.
The waning pulse of the day,
as darkness closes in, much before lights on.
The church bell tolls for evening vespers.

Summer passes.
The breeze, empty of honeysuckle
claps through arbutus and maple leaves, rises and falls among the willow.
No longer is there the mundane crescendo of the honey-bee
nor the rasp of crickets or cicadas,
echoing from overgrown bramble bush.
Feathery dandelions dance in the breeze,
children shout and run, chasing butterflies.
as summer is passing—
and children won’t let go.
In dark lakes and moors, ringed with oak and willow,
the swallow and skylark stop and listen
to the first drizzle of rain.
The air laced with juniper.

Art in Public Spaces Working Group

Troy Moth, Standing Figure, 2020 
Photo: Sean Fenzl


Earlier this spring, we put out a call for applications to the City’s new Art in Public Spaces Working Group. We were heartened to see so many applications from qualified, passionate community members.

All applications were forwarded to City Council, who undertook a thorough review and appointed five members to the Working Group to serve a two year term. We are delighted to announce that the following individuals, who bring a range of expertise, have agreed to participate as members of the Working Group:

  • Jesse Birch
  • Cheryle Harrison
  • Marie Leduc
  • Yvonne Vander Kooi
  • Eliot White-Hill

2022 Culture Grants: deadline October 19, 2021 
Applications now available online

We have now launched the 2022 applications for funding assistance to support cultural activities in Nanaimo. Funds are available in three streams: Culture & Heritage Operating Grants, Culture & Heritage Project Grants and Downtown Event Revitalization Funding.

NEW this year, you can download and submit your application in person or complete the process online through the online submission page. All program details are now available:

Culture & Heritage Operating Grants
Culture & Heritage Project Grants
Downtown Event Revitalization Funding

Your 2021 Culture Grant & Final Reports
Final reports are coming due! This year, we require returning applicants to send us their final reports by September 20, 2021. Final Reports are required before a new application for Cultural Funding can be submitted. Find the Final Report Forms online in each program page:

Culture & Heritage Operating Grants – REPORT FORM
Culture & Heritage Project Grants – REPORT FORM
Downtown Event Revitalization Funding – REPORT FORM

Grant Info Session
To help you navigate your application, members of our team has provided grant information sessions and will be ready to provide one-on-one advice and answer your questions. New applicants are encouraged to attend! To register for a grant information session email

Thursday, September 16, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Friday, September 17, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Grant Writing Office Hours
Need a little extra guidance on applying for Cultural Funding? Book a one-on-one appointment to meet with Coordinators on the Culture & Events team. To register for a 45 minute time slot, email us

Monday, September 20, 8:00 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday, September 21, 8:00 AM – 6 PM

Opportunities in Public Art & Music in the Park

Urban Design Roster
call for portfolios 2021-2022

Left: Joel Good, Eagle and fish design at Harewood Youth Park, 2021  
Centre: Noel Brown, Eagle and Frog in Maffeo Sutton Park, 2021 
Right: Sebastian Abboud, Utility wrap on Skinner Street, 2021
Photos: Allison Collins

The City is seeking portfolios from artists and designers for a new initiative called the Urban Design Roster. The Urban Design Roster is a new program that offers artists and designers an opportunity to be involved in civic urban design and small-scale artwork related to City infrastructure. This open call seeks the talents of artists and designers who may wish to tackle a particular design challenge. This Call is open to both established and emerging artists, including those interested in expanding their practices into the public realm for the first time. The deadline to apply is August 30, 2021.

More about the Urban Design Roster

Temporary Public Art
call for submissions 2022

Left: Peter Achurch, Sea Bed, 2020 
Right: Joël A Prévost, Name Your Dog!, 2020 
Photos: Sean Fenzl


The call for submissions to create a new Temporary Public Art project is now open! In the newly updated Temporary Public Art Program the City will support two artists annually in the creation of new works for public spaces in Nanaimo. The deadline to apply is September 13, 2021.

More about the Temporary Public Art Program

Music in the Park Summer Series: Theo Massop

Photo: Theo Massop

Tuesday, August 24, 6:00-7:00 PM
Location: Colliery Dam Park, near washroom building.  Parking off of Wakesiah Avenue and Sixth Street.

Bring a blanket or chair and join us, rain or shine, for our final concert in August with musician Theo Massop. Performing near the washroom building, Theo draws from the styles of acts such as Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle. His musical approach combines flavours of reggae, blues, folk, country and straight-ahead rock, all performed without pretension and from the heart.

More about the Music in the Park Series

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!