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Public Art

 About Public Art

Public art is created by artists for public sites.  It increases sense of place for individual neighbourhoods and for the City as a whole.  Art has the power to energize public spaces, promote thinking and debate, transform places we work,  live and play into a more welcoming and beautiful setting.

Some art pieces are permanent (such as "Pacific Sails" on the Harbourfront Walkway), while others are temporary (such as the downtown Festival of Banners - organized by the Nanaimo Art Gallery and Arts Council).  Public art projects can be funded from a number of sources, including service clubs, neighbourhood groups, private individuals, developers and civic budgets.

Nanaimo's Community Plan for Public Art was adopted by City Council in May 2010. The plan was developed through a community planning process involving a number of artists, art managers, neighborhood representatives and members of the public. It identifies the benefits of public art in the urban fabric, Nanaimo's vision for public art and goals for implementing public art projects in the future; and lays out a number of guidelines and tool kits for artists and decision makers developing and installing public art in an inclusive, fair and creative manner. 

Temporary Public Art Program

Since 2010, the City of Nanaimo has been involved in a dynamic and evolving temporary public art program that enhances and animates our parks. Each year, outdoor artwork is installed on a temporary basis for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. The parks essentially become outdoor art galleries, showcasing artworks for a limited period of time.  

On January 16, 2017, Council approved seven new pieces of Temporary Public Art for installation in 2017:

  • Paleo dentriticus I by Trish Smith
  • Core III by Bryan Faubert
  • Portal by Heather Passmore
  • Lunar Flyer by Heather Wall
  • #Hungry Bunny by Dale (Dasch) Schulz
  • Meet me at the Blue Flowers by Deryk and Samuel Houston
  • Jean Burns Art Project by Sean Anderson, Valentina Cardinalli, Bryan Faubert, Alyssa Glassford, Marcus Hastings, Gerda Hofman, and Lynda Hyndman

The artworks were installed in May 2017 as part of Public Art Week.

For more information, please contact the Culture and Heritage Department at 250-755-4483 or

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