You’ve got plenty of options for enjoying a relaxing and entertaining time on the mid-Island during the month of March. Festival Nanaimo feaures more than 40 events, from music and food to dance and more. Courtesy Tourism Nanaimo

You’ve got plenty of options for enjoying a relaxing and entertaining time on the mid-Island during the month of March. Festival Nanaimo feaures more than 40 events, from music and food to dance and more. Courtesy Tourism Nanaimo

March (or drive) into the Harbour City this month!

From Festival Nanaimo’s 40-plus events to waterfront sights and sounds, mid-Island city has it all

If you’re looking to switch up your entertainment and activity calendar this month, a trip north up Highway 1 to the Harbour City offers great opportunities to cross some things off your Island bucket list.

Whether you’re a fan of live music, a wee dram of whisky, dancing, culinary options or more reflective pursuits, the sixth annual Festival Nanaimo offers 40-plus events to choose from in March – including eight signature events with a wide variety of interests. Less than two hours’ drive away from Victoria, this historic, vibrant and colourful waterfront city is closer than you might think, says festival producer Margot Holmes.

“We welcome visitors to come and see Nanaimo in a different way,” she says. “It’s a perfect chance to stay overnight, see a show, enjoy downtown cafés, walk along the waterfront and more.”

From Festival to freestyling it, there’s many ways to experience Nanaimo:

  • Music at the Port and more – Choose from the Vancouver Island Symphony’s Iconic Beethoven concert (March 14) or Happy Hour! SoundBites (March 19) shows, and the magic of Ken Lavigne’s 3 Knights With a Tenor show (March 26). Or bring back the big hair and dress in your favourite spandex and leg warmers for the Back to the 80’s Dance Party (March 21) at Beban Park Social Centre.
  • A wee dram and live theatre – If you’ve got a cultured palate, there’s the always-popular Wee Tipple Party – Nanaimo’s Whisk(e)y Festival at the Grand Hotel. And if theatre is your passion, experience the Canadian premiere of Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein (March 8) or the hilarious Arts Club Theatre production of Kim’s Convenience (March 25) on stage at the Port Theatre.
  • Peruse the produce – The first three Wednesdays of the month (noon to 4 p.m.), the Island Roots Winter Market lands in the Centennial Building at Beban Park. Browse through a selection of farm-grown produce, fresh-baked goods and handmade products for a taste of the mid-Island.
  • Plan a mid-week getaway – Some events on the Festival Nanaimo calendar happen mid-week, from Tibetan Gong Meditation to concerts and plays, giving you even more reason to book a night or two’s accommodation at a great rate.
  • Don’t forget the Nanaimo Bars – Not only is this ubiquitous dessert a treat in its original form, you can find its flavours infusing everything from tea and soap to beer and martinis. Try a search for the most interesting application!

You can find a full cross-section of March activities at festivalnanaimo.com, and stay up to date on the Festival Facebook page.

DanceFestivalFood and DrinkLive musicLive theatre

 

The harbourfront walkway in Nanaimo offers great views of seaplanes and boats of all sizes coming and going. Courtesy Tourism Nanaimo

The harbourfront walkway in Nanaimo offers great views of seaplanes and boats of all sizes coming and going. Courtesy Tourism Nanaimo

Just Posted

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

Police monitor protesters at a blockade in the Fairy Creek area of southwestern Vancouver Island on Wednesday, June 9. (Facebook photo)
8 old-growth logging protesters arrested in Fairy Creek watershed Friday

A total of 214 people have been arrested as of June 11

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read