As the heart of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is home to a diverse collection of creative artists, musicians, actors, writers, and artisans. With a history of collaboration, an ecology of acceptance, and a community of creativity, Nanaimo is a natural environment where culture thrives.

The Snuneymuxw First Nation settled in what would eventually become Nanaimo, and played a big role in the region becoming known as one of the biggest sources of coal on the west coast of North America. The Snuneymuxw people are working with the community to create a just foundation for future generations of First People, demonstrating their strength, perseverance, and endurance.

“I look forward to meeting you on Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) and sharing the stories of my Snuneymuxw people. You will learn about the importance of a number of sacred places and will gain a deeper understanding of our people’s way of life on the island.”

— David Bodaly


Shopping in Nanaimo gives you the best of all worlds, from major big-name retailers to funky one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques. Nanaimo boasts more than a dozen indoor and outdoor malls, including the largest shopping centre on Vancouver Island.

It’s for good reason that Nanaimo has been named the Island’s “shopping mecca.” Many of the major brand name retailers you know and love are located along the old Island Highway 19A in one of the city’s many fine quality shopping centres including: Port Place Shopping Centre, Country Club Centre, Nanaimo North Town Centre, and Woodgrove Centre, the largest shopping centre on Vancouver Island.

Downtown Nanaimo features three distinct shopping districts: The Arts District in the city core, the Old City Quarter up the hill, and the Waterfront District along the Harbourfront Walkway, each offering distinctive shops and services.


Strong Nations
Suite 1 – 1970 Island Diesel Way
Nanaimo, BC, Canada, V9S 5W8


Diversity is embraced and encouraged in the Harbour City, enabling high calibre creativity for all. Canadian music icons Diana Krall, David Gogo, and Allison Crowe were all born in Nanaimo, and have earned respect globally for their contributions to the world of bluegrass and jazz.

From indoor to outdoor venues, Nanaimo offers live music and theatre performances that helped it earn the title Cultural Capital of Canada.

Art, HIstory, & Culture BUsinesses

Yellow Point Cranberries
Fredrich’s Honey Farm & Shop
Nanaimo Museum
Kool & Child: Kool Toys & Teaching Tools!
Newfoundland to Nanaimo Canadian Gift & Souvenir Store
Pure Spa
The Bastion
Saysutshun Island (Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park)
Nanaimo Art Gallery
Serge & Sew
McLean’s Specialty Foods
Nanaimo Fringe Festival
Van Isle Soap Works
Woodgrove Centre
Tea Desire
Lobelia’s Lair Metaphysical Treasures
My Undies
North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre
Chemainus Theatre
The Jolda Gallery
Lohmann Gallery
Tracks Outdoor Adventures INC
Stephen Cole Fine Art
Newfoundland to Nanaimo
Vancouver Island Military Museum
Vancouver Island Symphony
Wildwood – Ecoforestry Institute Society
Nanaimo Concert Band
Yonder Wood Country Store
Old City Quarter Association
Flying Fish
Nanaimo North Town Centre
Saysutshun Island
Island Roots Farmers’ Market
Artzi Stuff
Cedar Farmers’ Market
Kleijn Nurseries and Garden Centre
78 Wharf Street Gallery
Kiyo Salon & Day Spa
The Port Theatre
The Shoppes at Gallery Row
Common Foundry
NYLA Fresh Thread
Nanaimo Downtown Farmers Market
Cayo Fashions
JoVic Pottery
Snip and Stitch
St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse
Cultured Coast