Nanaimo Festival & Events 2018

July 24, 2018

We are more than just a place to live, but a place to have fun. Find out how Nanaimoites make a good time, and walk alongside the locals as they put together an array of unique and authentic experiences to celebrate what makes this corner of the world awesome!


The Story

Nanaimo harbour fireworks

It all started in 1967 when former mayor of Nanaimo, Frank Ney, famously donned a pirate costume, raised his sword, and launched Nanaimo’s first annual Bathtub Race. “Tubbers” and visitors from around the world have been coming to Nanaimo for more than 40 years to take part in this now world famous festival and race.

The Bathtub Races are just one of the many festivals and events in Nanaimo. We host a number of exciting events showcasing everything from wine & food festivals to the Diwali Festival of Lights and the Nanaimo Pumpkin Festival.

Come on down to the water’s edge with Marine Fest – a collection of events in our harbour including our world-famous Bathtub Races.

Let the music move you in Maffeo Sutton Park with the Summertime Blues Festival, or in Diana Krall Plaza and around town with the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival.

Craft beer and music make the perfect pair with Nanaimo’s Longwoodstock, an all-day music fest.

Celebrate hometown heroes when our Senior B Lacrosse Team host the 2018 President’s Cup or watch the country’s best vie for a spot in the world qualifiers as Nanaimo hosts the Red Bull World Pump Track Championship Canadian Qualifier this August.

Come fall and winter, you’ll love the many opportunities to buy local when you visit Gabriola’s Thanksgiving Studio Tour, Cedar Yellow Point’s Artisan Tour and our Island famous Kris Kringle Holiday Craft Market.


Top to bottom, photos by

Hannah Smith,

Mike Anderson,

Tourism Nanaimo

Schedule of Events

June 5 – 9

Nanaimo Pride Festival
Various Locations

June 9

5K Foam Festival
Arbutus Meadows Nanoose

June 18

Happy Turkey Night / Blossom Festival
Yellow Point Cranberries

June 21-August 30

Commercial Street Night Market
Commercial Street, Downtown

June 21

National Aboriginal Day Celebrations
Maffeo Sutton Park

June 22-23

Vancouver Island Chamber Music Festival
St. Paul’s Anglican Church & Harbour City Theatre

June 23

Party in the Park
Beban Park Sports Fields

June 23

Show & Shine Motorcycle Show
Beban Park Sports Fields

July 1

Canada Day Celebrations
Maffeo Sutton Park

July 5-8

InFrinGinG Dance Festival
Maffeo Sutton Park

July 6-8

Dragon Boat Festival
Maffeo Sutton Park

July 15

Silly Boat Regatta
Maffeo Sutton Park

July 20-22

Bathtub Festival
Maffeo Sutton Park and Downtown

August 4

Red Bull Pump Track World Championship, Canadian Qualifier
Stevie Smith Bike Park

August 9-18

Nanaimo Fringe Festival
Various Locations

August 16-19

CULTIVATE: Performing Arts Festival
The Gabriola Commons, Gabriola Island

August 17-19

Vancouver Island Exhibition
Beban Park Exhibition Grounds

August 23-26

Summertime Blues Festival
Maffeo Sutton Park

August 26-September 2

2018 Canadian Lacrosse Association Presidents’ Cup
Frank Crane Arena

September 15-16

M-CON Gaming Convention
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

September 15-16

Nanaimo TeenFest And Exhibition
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

September 21-23

Nanaimo International Jazz Festival
Downtown Nanaimo

September 22

Longwood Brewery

October 6-8

Gabriola Thanksgiving Studio Tour
Gabriola Island

October 19

Bite of Nanaimo
Beban Park Auditorium

October 27

Nanaimo Wine Festival
The Grand Hotel

October 27-28

Kippers’ Van Island War Gaming Events
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

November 1-4

Canadian Federation of Artists Fine Art Show
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

November 13-19

Canadian Cue Sports Association Pool Tournament
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

November 15-18

Kris Kringle Craft Market
Beban Park

November 22-25

Cedar Yellow Point Artisans Country Tour
Cedar, Yellow Point

November – December

Gingerbread Village
Vancouver Island Conference Centre


Vancouver Island Market
Nanaimo North Town Centre

With so many unique and awesome experiences to be had, the many festivals and events hosted in this city are just one more reason Nanaimo is the place to be, any time of the year. And with so many events to choose from, there’s something just for you. Make a vacation of it by pairing events with other ways to enjoy Nanaimo. For more information on things to do in Nanaimo, visit out “What to Do” page at

Coming from out of town? Check out how to get here and where to stay.

For up-to-date event information, visit


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