By Kim Smythe
Here’s what we know — with twists and turns, surges and waves we’re heading into a full season of further pandemic surprises, pronouncements, and, likely – some disappointments. But, reflecting back on our summer, you couldn’t help but notice that Downtown Nanaimo experienced residents and visitors very busy “rediscovering” one of their favourite neighbourhoods. Downtown Nanaimo’s 50+ restaurants have been filled nearly to capacity and personal shopping is peaking, according to widespread reports.
Downtown Nanaimo hosted a handful of fun events and initiatives this summer. Summertime “Corner Concerts” saw thirty-six different performers on downtown corners during lunch hours this summer – hosted by the new Downtown Nanaimo Business Association. There were traditional strummers and singers, and a ukulele-playing mermaid, a cellist, solo accapella singers, a juggler, a DJ, piano-man Marty Steele (a Night Market mainstay) and the father-son duo of Marty Shepherd on horn and Kyle on vox and beat box.
The Old City Quarter also presented their “Summer Sounds” events during August with great success. Nanaimo Parks, Recreation & Culture heavily promoted a fine series of summer concerts in our parks – some on the edge of Downtown Nanaimo. Moving forward, we’ve got a lot to celebrate downtown now, and in the coming months.
“WinterFest” is the name of the next major event being planned now for downtown (focused on Diana Krall Plaza this November and December), a possible launch point for the redesign and ‘re-animation’ of this Plaza to better meet the community’s desires for that space. These initiatives are just the beginning of what’s to come in rediscovering what a Downtown Nanaimo Business Association plans to offer. It’s an exciting time for the heart of the harbour city — join us and enjoy!
Don’t forget the City of Nanaimo’s Re-Imagine campaign (nanaimo.ca) invites input to community planning and there’s lots to comment on. You can also connect to downtown at our new web site — www.downtownnanaimo.ca — let us know what you’d like to see downtown!