• 2015 Sports Day in Canada

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 08, 2017

    Saturday, November 21 marks the sixth annual RBC Sports Day in Canada. This day is a national celebration of sport and it's ability to build community and get Canadians moving!

    Bball

    carpertbowling

    Sport is an integral part of our lifestyle here in Nanaimo. The City offers a number of programs and facilities that cater to a variety of sports. 

    swimming

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    Here in Nanaimo, you can join in the free festivities in Beban Park featuring:

    • a ball hockey tournament in the parking lot near Altrusa Park playground from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
    • free skating lessons from 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm and a demonstration at 2:15 pm with the Nanaimo Skating Club in Frank Crane Arena
    • and a a Rep league game starts at 3:00 pm with Midget Tier 1 (Nanaimo Clippers) taking on Midget Tier 2 (Peninsula Eagles) in Cliff McNabb Arena where we invite everyone to come out, watch and cheer on your favourite team.

    hockey

    As a run-up to Sports Day in Canada, everyone is encouraged to wear their favourite team jersey to work, school or wherever on Friday, November 20 as National Jersey Day. Nanaimo City Council recently proclaimed that the City will be participating in National Jersey Day. 

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  • Active Life: End of summer signals time to start exercising

    walking
    by Ross Collicutt | Sep 23, 2016

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    If you’re like many people, summer is truly a break – a break from routine, from schedules and sometimes a break from fitness regimes.

    As the days of fall approach, here are some simple ways to start exercising again if you have taken some time off this summer:

    Start small – Getting back into exercising can feel totally intimidating. Try going for a brisk walk for a set amount of time and then gradually add intensity and duration. It’s amazing how a simple walk in the neighbourhood can help get you back on track.

    walking

    Remember how good you will feel – It is sometimes easier to focus on the effort it takes during exercise as opposed to how good you will feel when you are done. Remember that post-workout high. I am positive you will not regret any workout you complete.

    Fit

    Schedule it – Just like we schedule other important events, putting it in your calendar will prevent you from booking other things at the same time. This also helps make working out a priority.

    Exercise with a buddy – It’s easy to find other things to do or to make excuses, but working out with somebody else helps keep you committed, and it’s way more fun to have somebody else with you who often becomes a supporter and motivator.

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    Challenge yourself for a month – Try yoga, walking, a boot camp class or something else for a month. By breaking it down into a set time frame, it will likely feel less intimidating, and it could lead to some life-long habits. It’s amazing how much your fitness level can change in a short month.

    Yoga

    Remember the ‘why’ – Working out has so many proven health benefits – physically and emotionally. We all have our individual reasons for exercising. Find your “why” and it will help you stick with it for a lifetime.

    Try something newParks and Recreation is a great place to look for a variety of health and fitness programs. We have boot camps, yoga, dance, skating, aqua fit, weight rooms and so much more. Maybe something you’ve never tried before will become your new ‘favourite’ activity that will keep you motivated and committed.

    dance

    For more information, please pick up a copy of our new Fall and Winter Activity Guide or visit www.nanaimo.ca.

    In the meantime, I’m meeting friends for a hike through Linley Valley.


  • Hometown Hockey Comes to Nanaimo!

    pucks
    by Ross Collicutt | Sep 16, 2016

    Exciting news, Nanaimo! Our community has been chosen as a stop on the third season of Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour! A total of 24 towns and cities across Canada will host this fun, community-focused hockey event.

    On February 25 and 26, Maffeo Sutton Park will be transformed into a community festival atmosphere. Ron MacLean and Tara Slone will broadcast live from the park on February 26 while the Ottawa Senators play the Florida Panthers on their home turf in Miami. 

    This is a great event to showcase Nanaimo, our dedication to sports and recreation (hockey, in particular) and our community spirit. 

    Stay tuned for more updates as planning unfolds in the coming months. 

    We will provide regular updates on the City website, the City blog, facebook and twitter. And, check out Rogers Hometown Hockey for more information on the Tour and the match-up games.

    September 7 - Puck Drop!

    pucks

    A kick-off event was held on September 7 in the Nanaimo Museum to announce this exciting event for Nanaimo.

    Mayor and Council along with representatives from community organizations and players from the Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association toasted the announcement with a Nanaimo Bar cake.

    cake

     

    Council

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    CounBestwick

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  • Fall Events with Parks and Rec

    TerryFoxRun
    by Ross Collicutt | Aug 31, 2016

    Can you feel fall creeping in already? The days are getting shorter, nights cooler and routines are getting back to, well, routine. The Parks and Recreation department has a variety of fall events to help make the transition from summer to fall fun.

    Parks

    On September 18, join people across Canada and around the world for the 36th Annual Terry Fox Run. This 2 or 5 km walk, run or wheel continues on Terry's Marathon of Hope and starts in Bowen Park. Registration is at 9 am and the run starts at 10 am.

    TerryFoxRun

    The last Sunday of September is Rivers Day, a day to celebrate the world's waterways and their importance to all life on earth. This year, a number of tours and activities are planned both before and the day of. On September 25, stop by Bowen Park from 11am to 2:30 pm for a salmon BBQ hosted by Nanaimo Area Land Trust (NALT) and live music by Mt Benson Ceili Band, Dave Hart and TerraZetto. You can also register for one of the many informative tours:

    • Take a tour of the Nanaimo River Watershed with the Nanaimo River Watershed Roundtable on Friday, September 23. You will visit local forestry operations, the Jump Lake Reservoir and the new water treatment plant.
    • Tour the Island's last remaining coal mining head frame with the Friends of Morden Mine and NALT during the Morden Colliery Historical Park Tour on September 25.
    • Explore the unique flora and fauna of Vancouver Island's largest estuary either by walking with members of The Nature Trust of BC or by rafting with members of VIU's Recreation Management Department on September 25.
    • Have a treetop adventure on Rivers Day with the Nanaimo River Watershed Roundtable during the Nanaimo River and Wild Play Adventure Centre Bus Tour.
    • Go for a walk along the lower Nanaimo River with NALT and learn about this productive riparian area during the Nanaimo River Regional Park Bus Tour and Eco-Walk on September 25.

    RiversDay

    Pools

    Families can soak up the fun at Beban Pool with Family Pool Party Fridays. Held every Friday evening from 7-9pm starting October 7.

    Don't just sit and watch a movie, dive and watch a movie in Nanaimo Aquatic Centre! This unique way to watch movies is held one Saturday a month starting October 15 with a special Halloween-themed Dive-In Movie.

    NAC (3)

    Speaking of Halloween, Beban Pool will be hosting the annual Halloween Howl swim on October 28 from 4-7 pm. The pool will be transformed into a spooky setting and fun activities like pumpkin relay races, water balloon toss, water running mats and face painting.

    HalloweenHowl

    Arenas

    Kids go back to school next week and the arenas are starting their fall programming with a series of Welcome Back Skates including:

    • Senior Leisure skate. For skaters 60 years and up, this skate session starts Tuesday, September 6 from 10-11:30 am in Frank Crane Arena. Enjoy skating laps to our excellent musical selections or practice your skills in specially designated areas. Coffee and tea will be served during this session. 
    • Parent & Tot skate. This skate for parents and kids 6 years and under starts Wednesday, September 7 from 12:30-2 pm in Frank Crane Arena.
    • Family skate. Bring the family to Frank Crane Arena on Wednesdays from 6:30-8 pm and Sundays from 10:45 am-12:15 pm starting September 7 for this family-focussed skating session. 
    • Adult Leisure. This skate session for adult skaters of all levels starts on Thursday, September 8 from 10-11:30 am in Frank Crane Arena.
    • Everyone Welcome skate. The name says it all. Everyone is welcome at these sessions starting Thursday, September 8 from 6:15-7:45 pm in Nanaimo Ice Centre and Saturday, September 10 from 1:15-2:45 pm in Frank Crane Arena.
    • Ryan Vending Twoonie Skate. This Everyone Welcome Skate on Friday, September 9 from 3:45-5:15 pm in Nanaimo Ice Centre is sponsored by Ryan Vending and costs (you guessed it!) just $2 per person.
    • Glow in the Dark Skate: Held the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8 pm, you will skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. 

    glowskate

    A new addition to Nanaimo Ice Centre is thE&Nbsp;Starlight Skate held one Saturday a month from 7-9:00 pm starting September 17. This skate is an opportunity to come out and enjoy soft lighting and mellow music. It's a great night out for couples and families. 

    The popular Lions Free Skates start back up on Sunday, September 18. These sponsored skate sessions are held every Sunday from 12-1:30 pm (10:45am-12:30pm on Clippers days games) through to March 26, 2017 in Frank Crane Arena.

    Skate

    For more information on events with Parks and Recreation, pick up a copy of the Fall & Winter Activity Guide or check out the community events page on the City website.


  • (Re)Focus on Nanaimo's Heritage: From tellers to webmasters

    gnlb
    by Ross Collicutt | Aug 18, 2016

    When you think of iconic buildings in Nanaimo, the Bastion might first come to mind but a close second may be the Great National Land Building. Located downtown on Church Street, it was built in 1914 during the 1912-14 coal miners' strike. 

    gnlb

    Originally built to standard plan designed by Bank of Commerce architect, Victor Horsburgh it is now home to Real Estate Webmasters the building has housed a bank, real estate company and accounting firm. At one time, it was owned by former Nanaimo Mayor, Frank Ney. 

    BlendChurchStreet

    The Great National Land Building is an important intact example of the type of bank architecture that was popular throughout Canada during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    Related Links:

    Search the City’s Heritage Register online

    Follow the Culture & Heritage Department on Instagram

    Subscribe to Culture & Heritage eNews 

  • Active Life: Parks and Rec busy planning full slate of fall programming

    2016FallWinterAGCover
    by Ross Collicutt | Aug 09, 2016

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    What an amazing summer it has been in the City of Nanaimo so far. Many of us have been entertained at the Concerts in the Park series, cooled off in one of the City’s water parks and participated in a few summertime festivals. It’s no wonder that summer is my favourite season.

    It’s hard to believe that in a short amount of time, kids will be going back to school while the rest of us return to our regular routines and schedules.

    There is lot of behind-the-scenes work taking place at Parks and Recreation right now as we get ready for the return of the fall and winter season. We have a team of people who are working to bring you your Activity Guide. This process takes several months of planning and organizing, but the result is a program guide with over 1,000 programs to choose from.

    Here is a sneak peek of some of our new classes that will be offered this upcoming season:

    2016FallWinterAGCover

    Little Ninjas - A beginner’s level course that teaches kids (ages 3 to 12) basic tae kwon do skills, stretching and some self-defense moves.

    So Groovy Baby - Bring your baby in a sling or carrier for a great dance workout.

    Lego Robotics - Let your child (ages 6 to 8) take their Lego-building talents to the next level by incorporating math, physics and engineering concepts.

    Banjo - Who can resist moving to the sounds of a well-played banjo? Well, if you’re 12 years and older, you can learn how to play, too!

    Cheese Making Series - Try making a variety of cheeses this season from brie to feta and everything in between.

    Cardio Craze - Participate in a wide range of cardio exercises in a class that changes things up constantly to keep things interesting.

    Beginner Yoga - This class take the intimidation factor out of learning yoga by teaching you from the ground up.

    High-Intensity Interval Training - These new drop-in classes at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre will challenge you using a variety of equipment. Take your fitness to the next level.

    Want to know what other new classes we have for you? Pick up your new Fall and Winter Activity Guide starting Aug. 20 at all our recreation facilities. Program registration begins on Aug. 24. For more information, please visit www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756-5200.


  • Treasure hunting in Nanaimo's parks

    AlberniOutpost
    by Ross Collicutt | Jul 28, 2016

    Nanaimo's parks are fun to explore. And, amongst your search for hidden fairy doors, owl carvings and dinosaurs, you can also go on a hunt for treasure! Many of our parks are great locations where you may find a geocache hidden.

    AlberniOutpost

    Image source: Alberni Outpost

    Geocaching is an activity where participants use GPS coordinates to find geocaches, or caches, are hidden around them. A cache is typically a small waterproof container with a logbook inside it that a geocacher will use to record they found it. There may even be some trinkets inside for trading. This modern treasure hunt has gained a lot of traction in the past few years with over 2 million caches hidden worldwide!

    geocache1

    Image source: Geocaching.com

    There are over 800 caches hidden around Nanaimo. Some spots that are great for exploring and geocaching include Jack Point and Biggs Park, Westwood Lake Park, Pipers Lagoon Park, Bowen Park, Neck Point Park, the Harbourfront Walkway and Newcastle Island

    Take a moment...to explore one of Nanaimo's parks and you too could find treasure!

    Cover image source: The Geocaching Blog

  • Wanted: Your feedback!

    by Ross Collicutt | Jul 20, 2016

    A complete community along Nanaimo's south downtown waterfront...An active, thriving community...A safe city...a sustainable municipality...a healthy Nanaimo. What do these mean to you?

    City Council recently laid out its priorities to move Nanaimo forward and would like to hear what you think of them at an upcoming e-Town Hall meeting on Monday, July 25th at 7:00 pm.

    There are many ways you can join the conversation:

    • in person on July 25 at the Shaw Auditorium in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre
    • on the eTown Hall event page on Facebook
    • tweet during the eTown Hall using hashtag #NanaimoTH
    • provide your comments or ask questions on the City website
    • call us with a question during the eTown Hall at 250-754-4251

    The priorities Council have identified are:

    Phased Development of South Downtown Waterfront 

    This priority supports the creation of a complete community along Nanaimo’s south downtown waterfront. It will be a catalyst for our community’s future health, a key economic driver for downtown revitalization and a destination to access attractions, services and amenities. Providing linkages between our downtown, the Port Authority and Snuneymuxw First Nation lands, this transformational priority will draw in developers, attract investment and generate strong community pride.

    Recreation, Culture, Sports and Tourism

    This priority supports a healthy, active, thriving community for the benefit and enjoyment of residents and visitors alike. By providing the necessary resources and facilitating the development of recreation, sport and culture, Nanaimo, through this priority, will grow as a community that appeals to investors, tourists, residents and newcomers of all ages seeking a vibrant West Coast lifestyle.

    Public Safety 

    This priority supports the collective wellbeing of our community by protecting the lives of all our residents. Through programs supporting protection, prevention and education, Nanaimo will be a safer and more secure community.
    Governance Renewal: This priority guides Council and staff in renewing the City’s capacity to effectively and efficiently serve the residents of our community. Through regular public outreach, Council will establish a respectful tone that facilitates understanding, openness and thoughtful discussion concerning how our city is governed.

    Community Wellness

    This priority recognizes healthy communities directly reflect the wellness of its individual members. Through investments in infrastructure, including bike routes, parks, and trails, and with decision making which addresses the reduction of poverty, the importance of economic accessibility and the impacts of climate change, this priority enhances a sense of place, supports sustainability and protects Nanaimo’s most vulnerable.  

    You can read the draft update of the Strategic Plan, learn more about the priorities listed above and provide your feedback on the City website.

  • Active Life: Walking around Nanaimo offers dozens of ideas to get active

    playgroundprogram
    by Ross Collicutt | Jul 14, 2016

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    If there’s one thing that most people know about me, it’s that I love walking.

    I especially love walking in the summer because you can go early in the morning or later in the evening and still catch the light of day. During this week on my travels, this is what I walked by:

    Children participating at the free playground program. This tradition has been part of Nanaimo’s summer for many years. It is a great way for children between the ages of five and 12, along with their parents, to play games and make crafts under the direction of an enthusiastic leader.

    This year’s venues also include some evening options. I know I plan on taking my kids. They happen Monday to Friday until Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Harewood and Mansfield parks; Monday to Wednesday until Aug. 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Carmanah and Country Hill parks; Thursday and Friday until Aug. 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Groveland and Deverill Square parks; Wednesday evenings, 4:30-7:30 p.m., at Mansfield, Carmanah, Country Hill, Groveland and Deverill Square parks.

    playgroundprogram

    Music filling the air at the Bowen concert in the park. These free outdoor concerts are again part of the city’s summer schedule.

    Lunch time concerts are held Mondays, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in Maffeo Sutton Park in July and Bowen in August.

    Evening concerts are held Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., in Bowen Park in July and Maffeo Sutton Park in August.

    This year’s line-up is diverse and is great entertainment for the whole family. Check our website for the schedule of performers.

    concert (2)

    Families playing together at the Departure Bay water park. I have to admit, this is one of my family’s favourite summertime destinations.

    We love to cool off when it’s hot and then play games on the adjoining field. Other water parks to check out include Deverill Square, Harewood and Mansfield. Take a picnic and make a day of it.

    departurebay

    I love walking in this beautiful area – especially when I get to see and experience the many activities that make Nanaimo so great.

    For details on these programs, please visit www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756-5200. In the meantime, it’s time for me to put on my runners and get out for another walk.

    My FitBit is telling me I still need to get a few more steps in order to reach my goal.

  • Active Life: Feel like a kid in city's parks

    westwood (3)
    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 16, 2016

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff. 

    I’ve decided: I want to be a kid again.

    Yup. No doubt about it. I want the summer to feel like it lasts forever, I want to play all day, I want to be able to run down to the store with my few pennies and come home with a full bag of candy, and I want to be free from all my adult worries. I’m sure many can relate.

    westwood (3)

    Since reverting back to our childhoods is impossible, perhaps we can do the next best thing: get out into our community and do things to make us feel like kids again.

    Water Parks: Cool off at Departure Bay, Deverill, Harewood and Mansfield Parks daily until September.

    Playground Program: Bring your children, ages five to 12, to various playgrounds for led activities. Held Monday to Friday and many Wednesday evenings.

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    Find the Golden Bucket Contest: A great way to discover your local parks. Get the weekly clue from Facebook, Twitter or our website every Wednesday until Aug. 31. You search for the bucket and answer a question about the park for a chance to win prizes.

    Westwood Lake Park: Nanaimo’s favourite summer destination has lifeguards on duty daily from June 26 until Sept. 3.

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    Family Fishing Day: Do something special with dad on Father’s Day at Colliery Dam Park. Play games, make crafts, learn to fish and take part in a trout release.

    Family Fun Night and Barbecue: Celebrate the beginning of summer with musical entertainment, family activities and more on June 29 at Departure Bay Park. There’s a barbecue hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Nanaimo Sunrisers and a salad bar by Nanaimo Foodshare. Cost is $4.

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    Canada Day Celebrations: Live entertainment and activities for the whole family held at Maffeo Sutton Park from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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    Concerts in the Park: Take in some amazing entertainment in two of Nanaimo’s parks. Held Wednesday evenings from July 6 to Aug. 31. July concerts are held at the Bowen Park amphitheatre while August concerts are in Maffeo Sutton Park. Lunchtime concerts held Mondays from July 11 to Aug. 29. July concerts are in Maffeo Sutton and Bowen Park in August.

    For more information, please visit www.nanaimo.ca or call parks and rec at 250-756-5200.

    In the meantime, I’m going  down to the corner store with my pennies (I mean Toonies) to get a treat.

  • Summer Fun in the City!

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    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 09, 2016

    It's hard to believe June has already arrived! The days are getting longer, soon kids will be out of school for the summer and we will be venturing outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather. Parks and Recreation has plenty of programs, activities and events coming up to make for a memorable summer in the City. Here's a snapshot of what's planned:

    Water Parks

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    The water parks located in Departure Bay Centennial ParkDeverill Square Gyro 2 ParkHarewood Centennial Park and Mansfield Park are great way to cool the kids down on those hot summer days. Depending on the weather, they typically open for season in May and close in September.

    Search for the Golden Bucket Contest

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    Back for another year! This fun scavenger hunt let's you explore parks around Nanaimo you may have never visited before. You also may learn a few fun fact along the way! Each week, a clue to where the golden bucket is located is posted on the City website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. Once you find the golden bucket, there will be a question in the bucket for you to answer. Send your answer to askPRE@nanaimo.ca. You will then be entered to win a prize pack.

    Family Fishing Day

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    On Father's Day, the whole family can join in on a free day of fishing fun in the new location of Colliery Dam Park. Enjoy a trout release, fly tying demos, arts and crafts, games and, of course, learn to fish.  

    Concerts in the Parks

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    Back for another season, this popular series of free concerts starts at the amphitheatre in Bowen Park on Wednesday evenings in July and moves to the Lions Pavilion in Maffeo Sutton Park in August. New this year, the lunchtime concerts on Mondays will start out in Maffeo Sutton Park in July but will move to Bowen Park in August. 

    Glow in the Dark Skates

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    The arenas continue with the popular Glow in the Dark Skates every other Wednesday night throughout the summer. Held in Cliff McNabb Arena for June, it then moves to Nanaimo Ice Centre for July and August.

    Wacky Wednesdays

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    Nanaimo Aquatic Centre hosts an afternoon filled with weird and wacky fun every Wednesday in July and August.

    Summer Camps

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    Last, but definitely not least, we offer a variety of summer camp programs for ages ranging from pre-school to teen. Check them out starting on page 33 of the Spring and Summer Activity Guide

    To learn about more events around the City this summer visit the Community Events and Planning section of the City website.

     

  • Learning with Other Municipalities

    CAMA
    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 08, 2016

    Last week, I headed to Winnipeg to attend two important national municipal conferences, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual Conference and the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators Annual Conference.  I came back from these conferences with lot of great ideas on moving the City forward into the future. I'm excited to share my ideas with staff and workshop them in the coming weeks.

    CAMA

    CAMA (Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators) Annual Conference

    From May 30 to June 1, I attended the CAMA Annual Conference. The theme of this conference was "The Resiliency of the CAO". It offered an array of opportunities for all Chief Administrative Officers, municipal senior managers and staff members from various other functions in their respective organizations who are serious about enhancing their skill sets. The conference provided information and best practices to help us and our communities succeed and prosper. 

    To learn more about the conference and workshops held, visit the conference website.

    FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) Annual Conference

    From June 2 to 5, I along with over 1,500 other municipal leaders attended Canada's largest municipal-federal conference. Accompanying me were Councillors Jerry Hong, Diane Brennan and Wendy Pratt. This year's theme was "Municipalities: The Heart of Canada" with the focus on municipalities as nation-builders and how this sector is helping to shape our country's future.

    To read all about the contents of the conference, read the program here.

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  • Core Service Review Completed!

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    by Ross Collicutt | Jun 01, 2016

    Core ReviewAfter much anticipation and hard work, the City of Nanaimo’s long-awaited Core Services Review has officially arrived on our desks. The Review is a promise kept by this Council, and I’d like to thank everyone involved for helping make this such a positive experience.

    (Read the full report here.)

    As the report shows, Nanaimo is well positioned and shows favourably with similar-sized communities in the province. Now the hard work really begins, as staff and council delve into the 245 pages of observations and suggestions put together by Western Management Consultants in association with TCI Management Consultants.

    Overall, we are very pleased with the Review. Staff and council has been intricately involved in the process over the past few months, providing information and observations of drafts of the report, and I know as you take the time to read through the report, you will recognize many key staff opinions and ideas. It really is a team effort, and I’m very proud of how our City team has worked so well together to get us to this point. I can’t say enough about how well staff and CUPE have taken on this task. As I look through the final report, I am pleased to see recommendations we can implement effectively and fairly quickly. I recognize several key areas that emphasize centralizing operations, standardizing procedures, and taking advantage of new technology to get some of our systems and programs more automated, resulting in cost savings for taxpayers.

    So what are the next steps?

    The report is divided into Council and Administrative actions. As CAO, I will be meeting with senior staff to put together an action implementation strategy to carry out the desires of Council. We have promised that this strategy will include the participation of a variety of stakeholders, including the union. I will be sharing my thoughts with you in this Blog as CAO on a wide range of the Review’s contents, so stay tuned.

     

    Tracy Samra, CAO

  • Active Life: Hiking opportunities abound in parks and on trails in Nanaimo

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    by Ross Collicutt | May 08, 2016

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff. 

    In Nanaimo, if somebody tells you to “take a hike,” I suggest you take them literally.

    After living in this beautiful city for more than 20 years now, I am still amazed at the many hiking opportunities found all around us. Here are a couple of hiking areas that I strongly suggest you check out as the days continue to get longer and warmer:

    Linley Valley Park

    LinleyValley

    This is quickly becoming one of Nanaimo’s most popular hiking destinations. This 149-hectare park is centrally located in the Hammond Bay area.

    The network of trails within the park will take you through various landscapes from forested trails to valleys, fields and rocky knolls.

    The city-managed portion of the parkland includes groomed trails and maintained boardwalks.

    There are several entrance points into the park, including Burma Road, Rock City Road, Rutherford Road and Linley Road.

    Cable Bay Trail

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    Not only is this park a year-round dog off-leash park, but its trails wind down to the oceanfront, giving pristine views of Gabriola Island and back toward Nanaimo harbour.

    The forested trail is fewer than two kilometres with some steep sections.

    The views waiting you at the end of the trail are well worth the effort.

    Parking is found at the end of Nicola Road.

    Biggs Park/Jack Point

    jackpoint

    If you want a breathtaking view of the Nanaimo River Estuary, downtown Nanaimo, Protection Island and Gabriola Island, you don’t want to miss visiting this area.

    Popular for wildlife viewing, you just may experiencE&Nbsp;sea lions, seals and even harbour porpoises frequenting the waters. Most of this 13-hectare park is natural and undeveloped with a trail leading from Biggs Park to Jack Point. The trail is mostly chips, but there are some stairs and boardwalks over the bluffs.

    The loop from the parking lot to the tip of Jack Point is 2.5 kilometres. To find this park, go toward the Duke Point ferry terminal. The address is 501 Duke Point Highway.

    There are so many more gems in Nanaimo just waiting to be discovered by you. For more options, pick up a copy of our Explore Our Parks and Trails brochure or visit our website at www.nanaimo.ca.

    Whatever you do, don’t forget the camera and remember: it’s OK to brag about your surroundings to all of your friends and family in other parts of the world.

    Related Links:

    Nanaimo Parks Search

    Linley Valley Park

    Cable Bay Trail

    Jack Point and Biggs Park

  • Invasive Plant Month: Caring for Nanaimo's Natural Heritage

    Hogweed1
    by Ross Collicutt | May 06, 2016

    May is Invasive Plant Awareness Month in Nanaimo. This is the fourth year the City has held this month to bring awareness of the effects of invasive plants in Nanaimo's parks. 

    Invasive plants can negatively impact the natural diversity of an area. Plants such as Scotch broom can have a devastating effect where it spreads. Brought to BC from Scotland as a garden ornamental, Scotch Broom has become an aggressive and damaging invasive plant. In the areas it spreads to it lowers plant and wildlife diversity and is a potential wildfire hazard.

    broom

    Some invasive plants, like Giant Hogweed, are toxic to humans and animals. If its sap gets on the skin it can burn it when exposed to the sunlight.

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    We are fortunate live in such a naturally beautiful place and have access to many parks and trails. So, what can you do so everyone can continue to enjoy Nanaimo's natural areas?

    Sign up for one of the work parties happening during Invasive Plant Awareness Month. Or, start your own invasive plant clean up group through our Partners in Parks program. Neighbourhoods, school clubs and other community groups work together under this program to remove invasive plants and restore areas affected by invasive plants in Nanaimo's parks back to their natural state. 

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    Links:

    Invasive Plant Awareness Month Poster

    Sign up for a work party

    Partners in Parks (PIP) program

    Invasive Plants

  • Active Life: Exercise buddies take the 'work' out of lunchtime workouts

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    by Ross Collicutt | Apr 22, 2016

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff. 

    I get to work with the most amazing people.

    Not only are they helpful in my work efforts, they are very supportive in my workout regime.

    Every lunch hour, I have co-workers who are committed to spending the lunch hour with me in our attempts to get and stay fit.

    It is so entrenched in us after all of these years that we go whatever the weather, and we even book the time into our calendars to further commit ourselves.

    In addition to our daily lunch-hour workouts, some of us have taken on the Squat Circuit Challenge where in four weeks we will work up to 400 squats.

    We are not only benefiting physically from this extra fitness push but are enjoying the camaraderie with each other as we fulfil our daily commitment.

    It made me think of how much easier exercise is when you have somebody join you and encourage you.

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    Here are a few reasons to work out with a partner:

    You will be more committed –

    On those days when I don’t feel like exercising, I know that somebody is counting on me, and it motivates me to follow through.

    The interesting part is that I may not feel like going initially, but I can’t think of one time where I regretted going.

    A lunchtime workout is like my reset switch, and it always makes for a more productive afternoon.

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    You will have more fun –

    Let’s face it, working out can seem like a chore at times.

    I have found, however, that being with a friend takes the “work” out of my workout.

    I always end up laughing a lot and the time goes by so fast.

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    You will work harder –

    I find that when I exercise with others, the intensity is higher than when I am on my own.

    One key tip to consider is to pick a workout partner whose abilities are in the same ballpark as yours. If you are on the same level, you can push each other.

    Odds are you will both want to quit around the same time, but you’ll go a little longer if your friend is still at it.

    This season, take a moment and exercise with a buddy. You will both benefit greatly.

    For more on parks, programs or special events, please visit www.nanaimo.ca

     or call 250-756-5200.


  • Water Matters: Opening Nanaimo's Water Treatment Plant

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    by Ross Collicutt | Apr 14, 2016

    Nanaimo is fortunate to have a robust, high quality supply of drinking water and we now protect its quality to a degree that exceeds health standards thanks to our new water treatment plant. Last week, Mayor and Council and City staff offcially opened the plant with the help of Councillor Chris Good and Elder James Johnny of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, MP Joyce Murray and members of the public. 

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    After leaving Jump Lake reservoir and the South Fork Dam, Nanaimo's drinking water then flows through twin pipelines to the new water treatment plant.

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    Once it enters the plant, there are many steps it has to take to ensure your drinking water is of the highest standard. Raw, untreated water passes through coarse and fine screens to eliminate large debris. There is an optional step called coagulation and flocculation that is able to help the filters remove dissolved organic matter, if any is detected. Water is siphoned by gravity through primary membrane filters. The primary membranes are backwashed occasionally, and the backwash is pumped and flows through a set of secondary membrane filters. This ensures maximum water efficiency.

    From the membrane tanks, filtered water flows to a storage tank (called a clearwell), receiving a small dose of chlorine along the way. Fully treated water is then held in the clearwell, before being sent to eight reservoirs located throughout the City. The reservoirs around the City hold the water for when you need it, when it works its way through a series of pipes to your tap.

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    This state of the art plant features two stages of filtration which recover more than 99% of the water that passes through it. The plant's membranes, designed by GE Water and Process Technology, filter the water that passes through them to 0.1 micron. That's one ten-millionth of a metre which is smaller than most bacteria! And, thanks to Nanaimo's topography, the plant is gravity-fed which is estimated to save tens of thousands of dollars per year in electricity costs.

    Staff regularly test the water to ensure high safety standards.

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    This $72.5 million facility was made possible thanks to contributions of over $36 million from the Building Canada Fund, Federal Gas Tax Fund and BC Hydro's energy incentives program.

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    Related Links:

    Water Treatment Plant construction progress

    Water Matters: The Start of a Journey

    Water Matters: The South Fork Dam

  • Kin Pool Piping Project

    kinpool
    by Ross Collicutt | Mar 31, 2016

    The Kin Pool in Bowen Park recently underwent some work on the piping system. The original pool circulation piping was at the end of its life and needed to be replaced. Starting in February, crews worked to dig up the piping and replace it with new piping.

    The original piping was made up of ACM (Asbestos containing materials) and had to be properly removed and disposed of.  Then the new piping made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) was installed and pressure tested for leaks. Once that was complete, grounding cables were installed - these help to ground any lightning strikes that may occur - and cement was poured. Crews were lucky to have some dry days to get this project completed in time to prep the pool for the upcoming Nanaimo White Rapids swim season. 

    Check out pictures of the project below.

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    removal of asbestos pipes

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    Related Links:

    Kin Pool Information

    Soak Up Some Fun in the Sun at Kin Pool

    Bowen Park Information

     

  • Departure Bay Walkway Improvements - Update

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    by Ross Collicutt | Mar 23, 2016

    Since the original post about this project, concrete work for the new walkway and access ramps has been completed. New walkway lights, handrails and street furniture are in the process of being installed and the asphalt restoration is scheduled for later this month. Construction is anticipated to be completed in early April. The walkway and parking remain closed until the contractor has completed all works. Please watch for construction barricades. 

    Below are some photos and an aerial video showing the project's progress.

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    Related Links:

    Departure Bay Walkway Improvements

    Project Information

  • Signs of Springtime in Nanaimo

    Beaver (2)
    by Ross Collicutt | Mar 16, 2016

    Along with cherry blossoms and daffodils in bloom, there are other signals that spring is arriving in Nanaimo. 

    For instance, Canada's national animal, the beaver is right in the middle of mating season. Kits will be born between the end of April and June. Also, two-year old beavers are starting to leave their family lodges to strike out on their own around this time of year.

    Beaver (2)

    There are many benefits beavers provide to ecosystems, such as beaver dams can provide habitat for other wildlife. They also can act as a flood management tool by storing and slowly releasing water - this helps to maintain flow in dry periods which keeps fish in the creek alive.

    Recently the pond located in Linley Valley Drive Park was the scene of one or more busy beavers as they chewed a number of young alder trees as can be seen in the picture below.

    Trees

    Beaver dams in urban areas can cause flood damage. If you have concerns about a beaver setting up house in your neighbourhood, please call Public Works at 250-758-5222. 

    Sourced from Pacific Streamkeepers Federation.

    American Beaver photo by Steve from washington, dc, usa (American Beaver) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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