• Hints of Spring in Nanaimo

    by Ross Collicutt | Mar 11, 2016

    As with migrating birds and warmer weather, there are more signs of spring in Nanaimo. Blooms can be seen all around the city like cherry blossoms, crocuses, daffodils and Fawn lilies. Another sign of spring can be found in Nanaimo's wetlands. 


    Fawn lilies in Pipers Lagoon Park

    Have you ever noticed an oily sheen on the water in a wetland, such as Buttertubs Marsh? This is a common, but very interesting, wetland phenomenon that signals productivity is ramping up in the wetland. The oily sheen is caused by anaerobic bacteria (anaerobic means living without air) releasing methane and a small percentage of the released methane (that didn't evaporate) being converted into a larger hydrocarbon. There isn't much difference between these naturally produced compounds and other hydrocarbons like gasoline which is why the oily sheen on the water surface looks like spilled gas or oil.

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    Oily sheen on water surface in Buttertubs Marsh Park

    Other causes of the oil sheen on the water in a marsh could be from a plant releasing oil, or oil released from decaying matter.

    Wetlands are very productive ecosystems and because of that, there is a constant cycle of life occurring in them.


  • Active Life: Activity guide offers new programs for variety of skill levels

    by Ross Collicutt | Mar 10, 2016

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in thE&Nbsp;Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff. 

    As I write this, the sun is shining, and I see the first traces of blossoms on the cherry trees that surround me.

    What a great time of year. Do you know what else is great about this time of year? The release of the City of Nanaimo’s Spring and Summer Activity Guide.

    Here are a few new programs you may want to consider participating in this season:

    Junior river stewards (ages 6-12) – Become a nature steward by exploring the Millstone River ecosystem and learning about the plants and animals that live there.


    Youth band (ages 11-18) – Discover the joy of playing music where you can try a variety of instruments before choosing one. You will then continue learning to read and play music with others in the band.

    Zentangle – Try this new and creative patterned drawing class where you will complete unique pieces of art while enjoying the meditative quality that this art form has to offer.

    Baking bread (The Basics) – Learn some traditional techniques of yeasted bread making by hand and then take home your creations to share with others.

    Gentle ballet – It’s never too late to learn the basics of ballet. This graceful class is focused on gentle stretching, musicality and barre work.

    Edible landscaping – Love to garden? Get some great ideas on how to integrate vegetables, fruits, herbs and edible flowers into your landscape.

    Butts and guts – Join us for an energetic muscle-toning class that will target the abs and glutes. It’s great for all levels of fitness.

    Creating positive posture – Find out how to improve your posture and how better posture improves self-confidence and provides many overall physical benefits.

    Intro to dragon boat racing – Discover what dragon boat racing and training is all about. Learn paddling techniques, calls and the thrill of working together as a team to race.

    Yoga hike – Explore Nanaimo’s beautiful trails while combining trail walking and yoga breaks. A great way to clear the mind and release stress.

    For more information on these courses or other program ideas, please pick up the new City of Nanaimo Spring and Summer Activity Guide or view it on our website at www.nanaimo.ca.

  • Departure Bay Walkway Improvements

    by Ross Collicutt | Mar 01, 2016

    You may have noticed work being done on the walkway in Departure Bay. Since the fall of 2015, crews have been working to improve accessibility and ensure safe and pleasant use of this recreation area. The project includes:

    • levelling the grade along the seawall walkway,
    • installing new pedestrian access ramps,
    • installing new streetlights and walkway lights,
    • improving parking and
    • replacement of an old storm drain on Loat Street

    Since work started,

    • the underground work on Loat Street has been completed;
    • all the old street lights have been removed and installation of the new lights is underway; and
    • concrete work is nearing completion as all the new stairs and retaining walls have been completed. 

    The concrete walkway and ramps will be completed once the streetlight bases and conduit have been installed. 

    Below are some photos of the project's progress. 









    Construction is scheduled to be complete later this spring. Portions of the walkway and parking remain closed so please make sure to watch for construction barricades. For more information on this project and some history of the area, visit the project webpage on the City website.


  • Picture a Park: Pipers Lagoon Park

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 24, 2016

    Pipers Lagoon Park is another of Nanaimo's popular waterfront parks. Located in the Hammond Bay area, this picturesque 8 hectare (20 acres) park features scenic twisting trails and breathtaking ocean vistas. 


    There is a main trail that loops around the park. It is predominately flat with a few hilly sections and rocky headlands where you can put your scrambling skills to the test as you make your way over it. 



    boardwalk (2)

    trail (2)

    If you want to avoid the scrambling section of the trail, you can take a lower trail but make sure you time it right as it's only accessible during low tide. 



    While you explore Pipers Lagoon, you will encounter a beautiful and interesting landscape including dramatic, gnarly Garry Oak meadows, distinctive rock formations sculpted by the crashing waves and serene, driftwood-laden pebble beaches.




    Piper's Lagoon is a great spot to do some birdwatching. It is really neat to see seagulls break open shells on the rocks along the shore. Some other birds you may observe here includE&Nbsp;sandpipers, horned grebes, loons, kingfishers, oyster catchers and great blue herons.  

    Other activities that park users partake in include beachcombing, kite flying and even building forts out of the abundance of driftwood lining the shores.




    Take a Moment...to find a park or trail near you by using the Nanaimo Parks Search on the City website.


  • (Re)Focus on Nanaimo's Heritage: From Bank to Beans

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 19, 2016

    On the corner of Wallace and Albert sits a well-known downtown landmark. Built in 1912, this classic Free Renaissance-style building originally housed the Merchant's Bank of Canada and was designed by famed architect, Francis Rattenbury. 


    As can be seen in the blended picture above, the building's exterior originally featured a combination of a banded brick base and quoining that framed the edges, windows and entrances. A later coat of stucco may have covered these features but some of the details, including the prominent cornices typical of this style, are still noticeable. 


    There may have been some changes to the facade but the eclectic elegance can still be seen inside and out. In recent years, the building has become what has been described as Nanaimo's answer to Central Perk (the iconic coffee shop on the TV show, Friends), the Vault Cafe. 


    To learn more about this and other buildings that are quintessentially Nanaimo, search the Heritage Register on the City website. 

    Follow the Culture & Heritage Department on Instagram.

    Subscribe to Culture & Heritage eNews.

  • Active Life: Spring signals new activity guide

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 12, 2016

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

    The signs of spring in Nanaimo are starting to show. The days are getting longer and photos of daffodils in full bloom have been taken and tweeted across the country. An even bigger clue that the season is about to change is the release of the City of Nanaimo, Parks, Recreation and Environment Spring and Summer Activity Guide at the end of February. 

    The process of producing the Activity Guide takes several months of planning and organizing. Program proposals are adjudicated, program space is allocated, instructors are hired, community events are planned and all the information is compiled into the booklet that we proudly produce twice a year.


    It is very rewarding to be able to work on a project that allows the City of Nanaimo to offer a wide range of programs, special events and community information. Like with previous editions, the Spring and Summer Activity Guide is continuing to encourage you to “Take a Moment” to play, to learn, to experience, to discover and to move.

    • PLAY – we offer hundreds of programs to encourage play, including a wide range of either registered or drop-in sports. We invite you to participate no matter what your level, and we work hard to create an inclusive environment.
    • LEARN – because learning is a life-long endeavour, we offer you the chance to learn new skills in many different avenues from the arts and music to sports and fitness.
    • EXPERIENCE – we work hard to create top quality programs and events that will give you positive experiences and have you coming back for more. 
    • DISCOVER – we love helping you discover a new talent or hobby. It’s never too late to try something new.
    • MOVE – forget about “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Movement is the new medicine. With sitting classified as the “new smoking”, we encourage you to move. Join in on a fitness class, go for a swim or skate, or take a walk through one of Nanaimo’s beautiful parks. 

    The Spring and Summer Activity Guide will be available on Saturday, February 27 at our recreation centres, local grocery stores, malls and libraries. Please “Take a Moment” to pick it up and participate in the many recreation opportunities that are found within its pages.

    For more information, please visit our website at www.nanaimo.ca or call us at 250.756.5200.

  • Picture a Park: Richard's Marsh Park

    boardwalk (3)
    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 03, 2016

    Located in the Cinnabar Valley neighbourhood in south Nanaimo, Richard's Marsh Park is an excellent place to enjoy a bit of nature. Featuring a trail and boardwalk with interpretive signage, this serene spot is also an active marsh. It's a great place to birdwatch and view life within a marsh. 

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    boardwalk (3)


    Marshes are amongst the most productive ecosystems. As part of a larger watershed, they can reduce the damage caused by floods by slowing and storing flood water. They recharge groundwater supplies and moderate stream flow which is very important during times of drought. Marshes are also natural water filtration systems filtering excess nutrients from surface runoff. With these high levels of nutrients they are able to sustain diverse plant communities which, in turn, support a wide variety of wildlife. 


    When in Richard's Marsh listen and watch all the activity from the wildlife - especially the birds. You would never know you were in an urban setting. You may even spot a great blue heron, virginia rail,  beaver or pacific tree frog. Other wildlife that call this place home include red tailed hawks, piliated woodpeckers, mallard ducks, little brown bats, river otters, long-toed salamanders and voles. Some plants that can be found in Richard's Marsh Park include cattails, reed canary grass, salmonberry, oceanspray, western hemlocks and sword ferns. 


    World Wetlands Day is held every February 2 marking the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971. The day is meant to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands. About 6% of the Earth's surface is covered by wetlands. The total area covered by marshes has severly decreased due to human development. This loss has lead to severe flooding in some areas, slope instability and habitat loss. However, this has lead to the understanding of how important marshes and wetlands are. More wetlands are being conserved, restored and even created to replace the ones lost. 

    Take a Moment...to birdwatch. Use the Nanaimo Parks Search to find a great birdwatching park near you along with directions on how to get there.

  • Family Fun for Family Day

    gym (2)
    by Ross Collicutt | Jan 29, 2016

    The Family Day long weekend is fast approaching! If you are looking to stick around home, the City of Nanaimo has some activities suited for the whole family. On Sunday, February 7 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Oliver Woods Community Centre will host the 4th annual Family Play Day. This year's theme is "Super Hero" and everyone is encouraged to dress up as their favourite super hero.

    gym (2)

    A Family Pass for Family Play Day is $12 for a family of 5 or $3 per person, children 2 years and under are free. Activities include a super hero training centre, gym games and activities for kids of all ages, storytelling and interactive puppet shows, lego land, superhero crafts, bouncy castle, face painting and balloon animals. Also, the winners of the Family Fun Challenge will be announced during Family Play Day. Have you taken the Family Fun Challenge yet? Pick up your Challenge form at any City recreation centre to start. The Family Fun Prize Pack consists of $500 worth of family-friendly games, activities and a 3-month Family RecPass!


    On Family Day itself, Monday, February 8, Nanaimo Ice Centre and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre will be open for special skating and swimming events.

    Over at the Aquatic Centre you can enjoy:

    • Everyone Welcome Swim from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

    The Ice Centre will host

    • Everyone Welcome Skates from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm and 1:45 pm to 3:15 pm,
    • Family/Child Stick 'n' Puck from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm and 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm, and
    • Parent and Tot Skate from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm.

    Check the City's Public Schedules page for more info. 

    You can also take the family to one of Nanaimo's many parks to play, explore and learn! Use the Nanaimo Parks Search to find a park a near you.

    familyday (2)
  • (Re)Focus on Nanaimo's Heritage: From Service Station to Pizza Joint

    by Ross Collicutt | Jan 25, 2016

    Nanaimo's great heritage can be spotted throughout the city. And we can certainly see it as we make our way past buildings that have been here since we were a burgeoning coal town. They may change over time but these symbols of yesterday continue to be part of who we are as a community today.

    One such building is the old Willard Service Station. Built around 1910, this commercial building located on the corner of Wallace and Fitzwilliam marks the east entrance to what is now known as the Old City Quarter.


    The building has had several tenants over the years including the original Willard Service Station, a fish and chips restaurant, tire and battery shop, Nanaimo's first radio station (CFDC) and it even featured apartments behind the Fitzwilliam storefront. Since 1991, New York Style Pizza has called this place home. 


    It has also been known as an outdoor art gallery since the mid-1990's. The exterior west wall is used to showcase local art.

    To learn more about this and other buildings that are quintessentially Nanaimo, visit the Heritage Registry on the City website. 

  • Burn It Smart This Winter

    by Ross Collicutt | Jan 21, 2016

    This time of year is wet and chilly and there's nothing nicer than cozying up next to a roaring fire. When it comes to wood burning stoves or fireplaces, there are some things you can do to ensure you are "burning smart" and cutting down on the amount of smoke coming out of your chimney. Burning smart improves air quality which is good for the environment and our lung health.


    Here are a few things you can do to Burn it Smart:

    • Burn dry, seasoned hardwood. 
    • Store cut wood somewhere sheltered from the rain and snow.
    • Start your fire using kindling then add larger pieces of wood as needed.
    • Don't let your fire smolder.
    • Never burn garbage, plastics, cardboard or Styrofoam.
    • Don't burn wood from beaches or that has been pressure-treated or painted.
    • Have your woodstove inspected and cleaned at least once per year.
    • Keep your stove pipe and chimney clean.
    • Upgrade to a high-efficiency woodstove, fireplace or insert that is certified as CSA B-415 or US EPA certified.

    These tips and more can be found on the BC Lung Association website.

    Starting January 22, you may be eligible to receive a $250 rebate from the City of Nanaimo when you change out your old woodstove or fireplace insert with a new one. For more information check out the Woodstove Changeout Program page on the City website. 

  • Active Life: Slowing down offers opportunity to learn

    leaves (2)
    by Ross Collicutt | Jan 18, 2016

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in thE&Nbsp;Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    Happy New Year! We hope you all had a fun and safe holiday season.

    For the last year, the Department of Parks and Recreation has been using the tagline “Take a Moment” to encourage residents to take a bit of time now and then and do something you truly enjoy.

    I have been thinking a lot about how I can “take a moment” with the start of the new year, and here are a few things I plan to do.

    leaves (2)


    Be less distracted  –  Love it or hate it, technology, in many cases, has created our desire to be in the know at all times. We always seem to be “plugged in.”

    My plan this year is to put my phone down more, watch less TV and be more present so that I can enjoy the moments that are right in front of me.

    Reduce and simplify – No matter what stage of life you are at – single, parent of a young family or retired, there doesn’t ever seem to be enough time in the day. We all have so many things we need to get done.

    My plan this year is to do an inventory of those tasks so that I can take more moments to enjoy more of the things I like to do as opposed to the things I have to do. For example, does it matter if the dishes don’t get done right away when I can instead jump on the trampoline with my kids?


    Slow down – I’ve often described my everyday life as always being on the run and in a hurry.

    My plan this year is to slow down and take a  moment when possible to fully appreciate the things that really matter.

    In the long run, I am confident I will be more effective in my tasks.

    “Taking a moment” is different for everyone, but for me it is going for more walks, reading more good books, meeting up with friends for those overdue visits, planning and participating in more family activities, keeping myself healthy and trying new things with the hope of acquiring new skills and hobbies.

    For more ideas, please visit our website at www.nanaimo.ca or check out our Fall and Winter Activity Guide.

  • Search a City Facility

    by Ross Collicutt | Jan 14, 2016

    Where can I pay my taxes? Renew my business licence? Get information on a recreation program? Host a wedding reception? 

    CityHall      NIC

    Ever find yourself needing information on what facilities the City has to offer and where they are located? Look no further!

    oliverwoods  SARC

    Introducing the Nanaimo Facility Search tool. Found on the City website, you can search City facilities and find out things like:

    • Location,
    • Amenities offered, 
    • Activities to participate in,
    • Rentals available,
    • Services offered, and
    • Contact information.

    You can search by keyword, facilities, map or activity. The Nanaimo Facility Search tool can be found: www.nanaimo.ca/facilities


  • Take Care on Nanaimo's Roads This Winter

    by Ross Collicutt | Jan 14, 2016

    With shorter daylight hours at this time of year, it is especially important for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to take extra care when on Nanaimo's roads. The dark and wet conditions make it harder to see and be seen.


    Here are some tips to make the roads safer this season:

    Drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists especially near intersections and transit stops where there may be pedestrians not using crosswalks. When turning at an intersection, scan the crosswalk to ensure pedestrians are not crossing. When turning right, check you rear and side mirror to make sure there isn't a cyclist coming up beside you. And, before opening a car door, check for oncoming cyclists.

    Cyclists should make sure they can be seen. Wear reflective clothing and have reflective gear on your bike. Make sure to watch out for pedestrians.

    As with cyclists, pedestrians should make sure they can be seen. Always look both ways and take extra caution before crossing the street. At this time of year, it is especially hard for drivers to see you so wear reflective clothing, a reflective band or use a flashlight. Ensure drivers can see you and focus your full attention when crossing the road - never make the assumption a driver has seen you. Try to cross the road only at controlled intersections and crosswalks. When walking on a road without a sidewalk, walk facing traffic. 

    Let's make sure we can see each other on the roads this winter.


  • Restoring Nanaimo's Natural Heritage: Neck Point Park

    by Ross Collicutt | Jan 08, 2016

    Nanaimo has an abundance of natural beauty. We are fortunate to live in a place where natural areas can be found not far from our doorsteps. In an effort to maintain the natural diversity of our parks and natural areas, City staff and volunteers are working on a number of restoration projects in Nanaimo.

    Recently, Neck Point Park has been the recipient of such work. As part of an bigger native plant restoration project, fifty Alder and six Nootka rose were planted at the beginning of January. In the picture below, you can see where each tree has been planted by the orange flagging tape.

    In late December, crews removed a large patch of blackberry on the way to Keel Cove. 


    If you see a sign like the one pictured below, it means City staff are working on a restoration project. Please use care in this area so you don't disturb the work that's been done. 


    Want to help make a difference in Nanaimo's parks and natural spaces? Sign up for the Partners in Parks program. Through this program, Nanaimo's parks benefit from volunteers and City staff working together to improve and maintain them. There are many projects to participate in such as helping to fundraise and build a playground, removing invasive plants and restoration projects like the Neck Point Park one mentioned above. 

    Looking to explore Nanaimo's parks and trails? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search on the City website.

  • New Year, New Ways to Get Active

    by Ross Collicutt | Jan 04, 2016

    Happy New Year! As you settle back into routine after all the holiday get-togethers, you may find yourself looking to become more active or to find a new exercise regime.

    We have a variety of programs for all ages and abilities designed to help you find ways to be more active and have fun at the same time!

    Gain Strength: Looking to get toned and gain strength? Try our new Gym Circuit class where you will move through a weight room circuit. This class will help you plan your workouts and increase the intensity safely. 


    Stay Balanced: Looking for a good physical and mindful workout? Try our new YogaFit class. This class suitable for everyone blends balance, strength, flexibility and power in a fitness format. 

    yoga (2)


    Take Up a Sport: While it might be too wet or cold outside for a lot of people, we offer plenty of indoor sporting opportunities including badminton, pickleballfencing, hockey and floor hockey. We have a new Sports Sampler class for special needs that gives the basic skills to play sports like pickleball, basketball and indoor soccer.



    Get in the Water: Try one of our drop-in aquafit classes designed that cater to different fitness needs. Or, try swimming lengths. This is a great low-impact activity.



    Get on the Ice: Never been skating or want to refresh your skills? We have a variety of skating lessons both private and as part of our RecSkate program to help get your footing right.



    Go For a Walk: Walking is one of the best forms of exercise we can do. If you are thinking about getting walking or want to get back into walking, our Trailblazers - Light class is perfect for you!


    Dance: How about trying a dance style that is new to you? We offer a variety of dance classes including a new one called, Aloha Hula. in this class you will learn the basic steps of Kaholo, Hela, Kawelu and Uwehe.


    Perform: Know someone between the ages of 11 and 14 years old who has potential star power? We have a Musical Theatre class that will bring out the star in them!


    Get Outside: Take a moment to enjoy Nanaimo's natural beauty by exploring one of our many parks and trails


    Check out the Fall and Winter Activity Guide for more ways to stay active in 2016 and stay tuned for the Spring and Summer Activity Guide coming out in March!

  • Salmon Run in Bowen Park

    by Ross Collicutt | Dec 24, 2015

    The Millstone River in Bowen Park has recently seen some action in the form of Coho salmon swimming upstream. As of December 22, 126 Coho have been spotted.


    The salmon are recorded on a motion capture camera maintained by students in the Resource Management and Protection department at Vancouver Island University (VIU). This is a typical count for a non-peak year with the next peak year expected to be 2016. Coho live three years and the last peak run was in 2013 with 250 spotted moving upstream. In 2010, close to 450 Coho swam up the Millstone. 


    It isn't easy to spot Coho moving upstream as they tend to hide during the day and run up the river at night. They also don't typically have as large of run sizes as other salmon species like the famous Sockeye run in the Adams river where during peak years you can see salmon in the millions. The Coho run usually lasts from October through December. 


    Cutthroat and steelhead can also be spotted in the Millstone.


    The side-channel in Bowen Park was built in 2007 to provide fish new spawning and juvenile rearing habitat and access above Deadman Falls along with the opportunity to migrate and spawn in the upper watershed and tributaries in the Brannen Lake area. The fish camera has been in operation since 2009. 


    Bowen Park

    Nanaimo Parks Search

  • This Christmas, Watch the Birds

    by Ross Collicutt | Dec 21, 2015

    Every year around Christmas time, citizen scientists in North America head outside and count birds. This annual census is called the Christmas Bird Count. It was started by the Audubon Society in 1900 and has since spread to Canada where Bird Studies Canada coordinates the Christmas Bird Counts for Canada.


    Chestnut-backed Chickadee

    It is used as a means to collect bird population data for wildlife conservation studies. It is also a great way to get outside and enjoy Nanaimo's natural environment and learn about the neat and interesting birds that live among us. Some parks that are great for bird watching include Buttertubs Marsh, Richard's Marsh, Jack Point and Biggs and Chase River Estuary or you can do your part just by counting the birds in your backyard. 


    Common Yellowthroat

    This year's Christmas Bird Count for Nanaimo is being held on Sunday, December 27. For more information and to sign up please contact Rhys Harrison at rhysharrison@shaw.ca. 

    Bird Studies Canada - Christmas Bird Count

    Audubon Society - Christmas Bird Count

    Nanaimo Parks known for wildlife viewing

  • Never Miss a Garbage Day Again

    by Ross Collicutt | Dec 17, 2015

    Have you ever forgotten to take your garbage and recycling to the curb on your pick up day? With the Garbage Calendar on the City website, you will never miss one again!

    When you subscribe to the calendar, you will be emailed a reminder the day before your collection day. You can also have reminders set on your computer, tablet or smart phone calendar.

    It's pretty easy to use:

    Find the Garbage Calendars page on the City website then enter your address and click on the search button to find your route. 


    Once your address comes up, you can view or print your route calendar or subscribe to receive notifications via email or in a calendar on your computer, tablet or smart phone. 


    Garbage Calendar

    What Goes in Your Garbage and Recycling?

  • Active Life: Holidays are a chance to reconnect through family activities

    by Ross Collicutt | Dec 14, 2015

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

    I’m so glad that the holiday season occurs when the days are darker and often stormy. Not only does it give me something to look forward to, but the holidays reconnect us with family, friends and our community.

    It’s a particularly busy season with the City of Nanaimo’s Parks, Recreation and Environment department. To help you get the most of your holiday season and for ways to connect with your community, here are some things happening this month. We’d love to see you there.

    Special holiday programs – If you have an elementary school child, your child should soon be receiving our ‘Winter Wonders’ flyer full of holiday programs and special events to keep you and your family active during the Christmas break. If you don’t get one, check out our website under the ‘What’s New’ tab for a copy. It includes a two-for-one public admission coupon.


    Winter Wonderland – From Dec. 26-30, Frank Crane Arena will be transformed into a winter carnival theme with public skating sessions costing only $1 (some are even free).This is a great activity for the whole family. Come and see why this annual event has become so popular with the community.

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    Finale 2015 – The city’s biggest and best family New Year’s Eve party takes place at Beban Park with a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll theme. We will have two countdowns – one at 8 p.m. and another at 10 p.m. Tickets are only $32 for a family of five or $10 individually. Enjoy an evening of live entertainment with The Big Mess, Ian Johnstone and The Purple Pirate, as well as roving entertainment happening throughout the evening. You can swim, skate, make crafts, get your face painted, have your picture taken in our photo booth and much more. I can’t think of a better way to bring in 2016 with the entire family.

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    Still looking for that perfect gift? How about a Parks, Recreation and Environment gift card? They can be used for program registrations, drop-in admissions, facility rentals and more. They come in denominations of $20, $50 or $100 and are reloadable. This holiday season, buy a gift card of $20 or more for your chance to win a $50 gift card. Contest ends Dec. 24.


    From all of us here at Parks, Recreation and Environment, we wish you and your family the best of the holiday season and a happy, active, healthy new year.

    Active Life Article in Nanaimo News Bulletin

    Parks, Recreation and Environment

  • Picture a Park: Beban Park

    by Ross Collicutt | Dec 04, 2015

    If you had to say the Hub City had a "hub" for sporting and recreation, it would have to be Beban Park. This 52 hectare (128 acres) park located off Bowen Road is Nanaimo's largest City-owned recreation campus.


    The park is named after the Beban family who lived and farmed there in from the 1930s-1950s. Beban house was the home of the Beban's for over 20 years. A local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club currently resides in Beban House.

     bebanhouse bebanhousecolour

    The park features a wide variety of recreation amenities.

    In the Beban Park complex you will find Frank Crane and Cliff McNabb arena, a pool, leisure pool, teaching pool, weight room and a social centre.




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    Altrusa park playground, a Participark and a dog off-leash park are located on the grounds of Beban Park. As are two artificial turf fields that can be accessed off dorman road and the Gyro Youth Sports Fields.

    Moving through the park, you will find the agriplex, barns and stables that are the main features of the Vancouver Island Exhibition (VIEX) held every year in the summer. A petting farm maintained by the 4-H Club is held in this area every summer. This area also features an equestrian centre.

    Other amenities include a lawn bowling green, golf course and driving range, tennis courts, pickleball courts (as a one-year pilot program), community gardens, the Lions sports pavilion and a BMX track.






    We recently updated the Beban Park Master Plan to fit changing community needs for the park over the next 20 years. Implementation of this plan will depend on community partnerships and will be completed in many phases over the long term. 

    Beban Park

    Beban Park Master Plan

    Beban Park Map

    Nanaimo Parks Search

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