BookFest is a wonderful fun-filled day for children and adults alike. This festival happens on the first Saturday in May, at the Harbourfront Library, and the Conference Centre in downtown Nanaimo. Great authors and illustrators from across Canada come here to inspire the child in all of us.

Ukulele Festival

The Nanaimo Ukulele Festival supports the growing interest in Ukulele in Nanaimo. What started as a one-day event, has grown into a yearly celebration attended by people from across Vancouver Island and BC. It has been said that the ukulele, the funnest instrument, makes for the most fun music festival. Come find out for yourself.

Vancouver Island Exhibition Kids Zone

The third weekend in August, we bring out our button maker, and encourage children to make their very own one-of-a-kind buttons to wear with pride while walking around the exhibition grounds. This year we will also have live painting and a graffiti station for teenagers.

Nanaimo Pride Festival

The fabulous "Nanaimo Pride Parade", has been growing each year. It takes place in June when the sunshine is out. Everyone welcome! The painted rainbows, crossing 4 cross walks downtown, represent Nanaimo's pride in this celebration. This event is designed to connect folks, regardless of gender identification, sexuality, age or race. Feel the love, and come out to meet some of the awesome people in your community.

Kid's Conference

On the last weekend of January, we introduce children to the pleasures creating, collaborating with friends, and spontaneous ideas. This year we will be having a drawing station.

Art Around Town


Participate in "The Art Around Town" program, get your art into the community. This allows people who might never set foot in a gallery to experience visual art. Art is displayed at the Conference Centre and the Port Theatre. A fresh and interesting way to engage in our urban life. 




Vancouver Island Short Film Festival

An annual event each February, the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is one of the island's premier events in the world of film. Local talent is promoted, along side contributors from around the world. Stimulating, intriguing, imaginative, funny, unusual and amazing films will be showcased. For more information visit

Islands Short Fiction Contest

Now in its 14th year, the Islands Short Fiction Contest welcomes entries from writers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf islands. There are three categories: Adult, Youth, and Junior. All levels of experience welcome. There are over $2200 in prizes, plus an opportunity to get published and present your work to an appreciative audience. Contest opens each year in January, judging to be held in April, with a Gala event celebrations at the end of April. For more details visit

Festival of Banners

For over 30 years, professional artists and amateur painters have come together each spring to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind, works of art in the form of street banners. These colourful, hand-painted banners are installed on special lamp posts and on important streets around Nanaimo for the public to enjoy from May to October. 

Children's Book Festival

BookFest is an enjoyable and entertaining day for children and adults alike. Renowned authors and illustrators come from across Canada to present their work, tell stories about their creations and live, and inspire youth through literature and art


"Nanaimo Arts Council acknowledges with gratitude and thanks  that we are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation."

We acknowledge the financial assistance from

the Province of British Columbia.


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Contact Us

P.O. Box 401 Stn A

Nanaimo, BC V9R 5L3