Friday, September 28, 2007



With the frame work and roof complete the new convention centre moves into the 'closing in' phase of construction.
This is when the outside of the building will have it's final layer put on, in this case brick and mortar. Also the doors and windows will soon be installed, so that the inside is protected from the elements.
When a new building is being framed up, it always seem to appear to be moving along quickly, but when the closing in and finishing stage begins, it looks as if the progress has really slowed down.
Of course, it hasn't slowed down, it is just that the work being done now doesn't appear as spectacular as watching beams and girders rising into the air.


Thursday, September 27, 2007



A monster crane towers above the concrete giants in downtown Nanaimo. On the site of the old Malaspina Hotel, the new condominiums are getting ready to add the next 10 floors.
The crane will be used to lift concrete slabs and other building materials to the top of the existing structure.
If you are in the area, be sure to take a look, but be sure to look waaaaay up!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Enquiry BC

Enquiry BC's call centre, which opened in July 1991, is one of the province's busiest call centres, having answered more than 1 million enquiries over the past year. The centre provides the following services to all British Columbia residents, on behalf of provincial government ministries, Crown corporations and public agencies:

* basic provincial government information;
* assistance in identifying the program or person that the caller needs to speak to;
* government program or government employee phone / facsimile numbers or addresses;
* assistance in identifying the level of government responsible for a program or services; and
* toll-free transfer for callers who would otherwise incur a cost for obtaining information from or conducting business with the provincial government.

Enquiry BC is also responsible for policy and guidelines regarding provincial government listings in the Province of British Columbia Blue Page listings in all thirty-six public telephone directories in the province.

The Enquiry BC program is the front line in providing open, accessible government to all British Columbians.

Hours of operation for Enquiry BC are 7:30 AM to 5 PM PST -- Monday through Friday.

In Victoria call: 387-6121
In Vancouver call: 604 660-2421
Elsewhere in BC call: 1 800 663-7867
Outside British Columbia: 604 660-2421
Email address

Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD)

In Vancouver call: 604 775-0303
Elsewhere in BC call: 1 800 661-8773


Tuesday, September 25, 2007



The following is the cruise ship schedule for vessels visiting Nanaimo this fall.

Large Cruise Vessels (2000+ visitors)
The Mercury visits on the following dates: Sept. 25, 26 & 27. October 2,7,9,14,16,21,23,28 & 30th.
This vessel will anchor and visitors will ride a tender to dock "B".

Small Cruise Vessls (up to 105 visitors)
These vessels are scheduled to visit on Sept. 25 and Oct. 2,9 & 16.
These vessels dock at the Visiting Vessel Pier.

If you are the hospitable sort, why not take a few hours and drop down and greet our guests and make them feel welcome.




After years and years of supplying mariners with fuel, Esso has decided to close the pumps supplying gas to boaters.
The stations owner speculates the cost of cleaning up a possible fuel spill is a factor behind the decision.
This leaves the boating public with the Petro Canada fueling dock in the harbour as their only alternative in Nanaimo. Of course you can expect long line ups at peak times.
I don't know if it would do any good to contact Esso and make your concerns known if you are affected by this decision, but it could be worth a try.
In times past, owners of this station used to supply regular fishing and weather reports on the local radio station. The dock also supplies airplane fuel and diesel for the moment.


Monday, September 24, 2007



Nanaimo put on some of it's best weather on Sunday to make visitors from the cruise ship Mercury feel most welcome.
Visitors could enjoy our waterfront with it's many little shops and coffee shops, the crafters market, a visit to the Bastion, witness the noon cannon firing or take advantage of the shuttle bus to the old city quarter.
Of course with the delightful weather many visitors simply enjoyed taking in the sites, going wherever their feet led them.
Several other ships are due next week, let's hope the weather continues to oblige, and if you feel so inclined stop down to the waterfront area, and extend some hospitality to our guests.


Friday, September 21, 2007



NANAIMO – The Ministry of Environment is advising the public to use extra caution when using the Nanaimo River for recreation, due to increased water flows starting Sept. 24, 2007 to allow fish access through the rapids into the Nanaimo Lakes spawning areas.

Anyone using the river later in the fall season – especially boaters and swimmers – should be aware of the increased water flows and use extra caution when using the river because increased flows can combine with storms to create strong currents and undertows.

Pope and Talbot may be releasing water from its Fourth Lake reservoir, increasing flows from 2.83 to 7.1 cubic metres per second (100 to 250 cubic feet per second). The City of Nanaimo may be releasing water from its Jump Lake reservoir, increasing flows from 1.42 to approximately 2.83 cubic metres per second (50 to 100 cubic feet per second).

Water release dates depend on the number of fish entering the river and river flows resulting from rain. Present river flows are above average for this time of year. Nanaimo Hatchery staff are constantly monitoring fish movements in the river by conducting fish-count swims. If required, an additional release of water may occur early in October.

These fall pulse releases of water have been taking place for more than 20 years and are the result of a joint agreement between several agencies including: the Snuneymuxw First Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pope and Talbot Harmac Division, the City of Nanaimo, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and the Nanaimo River Hatchery.



Snuneymuxw First Nation, City of Nanaimo
and Nanaimo Port Authority
Celebrate Historic Land Transfer
The Snuneymuxw First Nation, City of Nanaimo and Nanaimo Port Authority today celebrated a historic land transfer agreement in a traditional Hul’qumi’num witnessing ceremony.
Gathering with invited guests on the old Foundry site adjacent to Maffeo Sutton and Swy-a-Lana Lagoon Parks, Snuneymuxw Chief Viola Wyse, Nanaimo Mayor Gary Korpan, and Port Authority Chair Ross Fraser described the events leading up to the transfer of lands on the former Foundry Site to the ownership of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Chief Viola Wyse, speaking on behalf of Snuneymuxw, said “We thank the Port Authority, the City and all others who helped us reach this important and historic agreement. This agreement honours the Douglas Treaty by which our Nation’s right to retain ownership of existing villages and designated surrounding lands is maintained forever.”

Gary Korpan, Mayor of Nanaimo added “Today is the culmination of years of cooperation among our local agencies showing that we can achieve more for our peoples working together. This historic return of traditional lands to Snuneymuxw First Nation is an example that senior governments should follow.”

Port Board Chair Ross Fraser commented, "This specific action represents an important milestone for Snuneymuxw, and the Port is pleased and proud to have played a key role in helping Snuneymuxw to move forward to a new level of participation in our community.
Taken together, Lot 100 and Lot 50 give Snuneymuxw a site in the heart of downtown, next to popular Swy-a-Lana Lagoon Park." Fraser noted that Swy-a Lana had been developed by the Port as a gift to the community many years ago.
Today’s celebration included the presentation of a ceremonial transfer document by Mayor Gary Korpan and Port Chair Ross Fraser to Chief Viola Wyse.
The three leaders also participated in the planting of a ceremonial cedar tree which will be incorporated into the future development of the Foundry site. Chief Wyse concluded by saying “We know that the Foundry site was a village dating back at least 1500 years, and was settled permanently. Since ancient times, Snuneymuxw people have lived here, raised families here, and were buried here.”


Thursday, September 20, 2007


Short film festival looking

for island’s best talent

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is looking for local filmmakers.

Filmmakers have until December 1st to enter the third annual Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, a showcase of original films by local filmmakers. Last year’s festival was a huge success, with a sold out crowd enjoying seventeen incredible short films.

“Things went incredibly well,” said Johnny Blakeborough, VISFF co-coordinator. “We expected a lot of support for the festival in our second year, but things went even better than expected. Some of the filmmakers said it was the best short film festival they had ever been to, not only for the great audience turnout, but for the quality of the short films. This year, we are holding back-to-back screenings of the films to compensate for the huge turnout last year. We want to make sure as many people as possible have the opportunity to see Vancouver Island’s brightest film talents.”

The VISFF will hold film screenings on January 18 and 19, 2008, at the Malaspina University-College theatre in Nanaimo. While the festival is taking part in Nanaimo, filmmakers from all across Vancouver Island are encouraged to enter and showcase their work.

“Our goal is to be as inclusive and as fun as possible,” said Blakeborough. “This festival is for people who love to make movies and love to watch movies. We’re accepting old films that people have made, even if they have been collecting dust for a few years. If anyone has a short film they’ve made and want to enter it, they can. Everyone has a chance to take part.”

Entries came from all across Vancouver Island in 2007, from Campbell River, Courtenay and Comox to Qualicum, Nanaimo and Victoria. While entry is not limited to Vancouver Island residents, the focus will always be on Vancouver Island filmmakers.

Deadline for entries into the festival is December 1, 2007, with the shorts screenings taking place on January 18 and 19. Tickets to the festival will be available in January at the Nanaimo Arts Council Gallery in Rutherford Mall, Nanaimo, as well as other locations yet to be announced.

The festival will include two screenings of the 15-20 selected films, an intermission, food, music, an awards ceremony at the second screening for best films and prizes for winning filmmakers. Last year’s prizes included $500 for best film and $250 for awards in other categories. This year’s awards promise to be even bigger than last year, with actual amounts to be announced in the coming months.

All types of short films (comedy, documentary, animation, etc.) will again be accepted for consideration into the festival. Films can be up to 10 minutes long including credits. The festival will not accept films longer than ten minutes, no exceptions. Films previously submitted to the festival will not be considered.

Submissions must be on Mini-DV, DVD or VHS and labeled with the film title, running time and contact information (name, email and phone number.) Mini-DV is preferred. Entrants may enter more than one short film, as long as each film includes a separate entry form with entry fee and is on a separate Mini-DV, DVD or VHS tape. Mail or drop off entries to the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival c/o the Nanaimo Arts Council at #259, 4750 Rutherford Road, Nanaimo, BC, V9T 4K6, by December 1, 2007.

Information on the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, entry forms and festival guidelines are available at The Nanaimo Arts Council is organizing the festival as part of its mandate to support and promote all of the arts in our region.

For more information, contact


Wednesday, September 19, 2007


The exterior graphic designs have been unveiled for two more “Super C-class” vessels that will sail here from Europe to join the BC Ferries fleet next year.
Like the first ship in the series – “Coastal Renaissance”, the second and third ships – “Coastal Inspiration” and “Coastal Celebration” will also feature giant photographs of winter sports and British Columbia scenes to serve as massive invitations to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

BC Ferries has been collaborating with VANOC and 3M Canada to design and create the giant decals, the largest marine application of printed graphics ever undertaken. All of the decals were produced in Vancouver and will be applied at the shipyard in Flensburg, Germany.

“Each of these three ships will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people on the way home, providing us with a once in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase both B.C. and the 2010 Winter Games,” said BC Ferries” President and CEO, David L. Hahn. “The promotional stops we’re planning for the ships will go a long way toward introducing B.C. to those who do not know us yet, and reintroducing us to tourists who have visited us in the past and are considering visiting us again in 2010.”
The giant images on the “Coastal Inspiration” include:

• Russ Howard in action during the preliminary round of the Men's curling between Canada and Sweden during Day 4 of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
• Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park - a 14-km finger of land that juts out into the Pacific Ocean on the west coast of Vancouver Island, northwest of Kyuquot

• Mercedes Nicoll of Canada competing in the Women’s Snowboard Half Pipe Qualifying on Day 3 of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games.
• Kootenay National Park - one of 41 national parks in Canada and represents the south-western region of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

The third vessel “Coastal Celebration” will feature graphics of:

• Kim St-Pierre, Charline Labonte and Sarah Vaillancourt of Canada celebrating after their 4-1 victory over Sweden during the final of the women's ice hockey on Day 10 of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
• Clayoquot Sound - literally at the end of the road, the popular village of Tofino on Vancouver Island, has become a favoured destination for Northwest and European travellers alike.

• Samuel Edney of Canada competing in his final run in the Mens Luge Single Final on Day 2 of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games.

• Redfern Lake – located in northern B.C., about 8 km long and 1 km wide, is glacier-fed and surrounded by a narrow band of boreal forest, talus slope, alpine meadow, and rugged peaks with small glaciers.

The two newest vessels will be completed in coming months and in service on the B.C. coast by the summer of 2008. All three of the new “Super C-class” ships will be the largest double-ended ferries in the world, measuring 160 metres in length, with capacity for 1,650 passengers and 370 vehicles.

The first vessel “Coastal Renaissance” is due to sail from Flensburg, Germany in the next few weeks and head for British Columbia via the Panama Canal. The next two will be completed and delivered by summer of 2008. The journey home for the third vessel, “Coastal Celebration” will include promotional stops in London, Los Angeles, and Seattle to raise awareness for the 2010 Winter Games and to promote British Columbia as a tourism destination.

To mark the completion of the first ship, a celebratory barbeque for 3,000 guests will be held on September 21st at the Flensburg, Germany shipyard where all three vessels are being built. The event will be attended by Hon. David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics and Hon. Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation, Province of British Columbia.

The menu will feature B.C. products and creations by well-known Vancouver Chefs John Bishop, and Denise Sparrow. Among the menu items are Salmon Candy, Bison Burger on a Bannock Bun with Black Currant Chutney, Blueberry/Apple Crumble with Soapberry Whip, local beer and BC Ferries’ Famous Clam Chowder.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007



The City of Nanaimo now has the ability to notify residents by phone in the case of an emergency. If you remember last November there was a 'boil water' notification which many people were not aware of through regular media coverage. This new system would call all residents on a phone list, advising them of a future emergency, and would tell residents what they should do.

It will only work for you however, if you are registered with their database. Your information will be kept private and will not be shard with anyone else.

To get more information and to register yourself for this valuable service visit the website by clicking here.



Simple Treatments For Backache

by: M.Leonard Alexander

Cold Treatment

Cold packs helps with bruises and swelling. For the first 48 hours after back symptoms start, apply a cold pack (or bag of ice) to the painful area. Lie on your back with your knees bent, and put the cold pack under your lower back. Do this for 5-10 minutes at a time, several times a day.

Heat Treatment

Heat increases blood flow, which helps in healing. However, do not use heat on a back strain until 48 or more hours after back symptoms start. Use cold treatment first (see "Cold Treatment" above). If used sooner, heat can make the pain and swelling worse. Use a moist heating pad, a hot-water bottle, hot compresses, a hot tub, hot baths, or hot showers. Use heat for 10 minutes at a time. Do this several times a day. Be careful not to burn yourself.

Braces or Corsets

Braces and corsets support your back and keep you from moving it too much. They do what strong back muscles do, but they won't make your back stronger.

Spinal Manipulation

This treatment, done by a professional such as chiropractor or physical therapist, uses the hands to apply force to "adjust" the spine. This can be helpful for some people in the first month of low back symptoms.

Check with your doctor about spinal manipulations.

About The Author

M.Leonard Alexander - For more info please visit


Thursday, September 13, 2007



Call for confidential services and speak to a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - with translation services available in over 130 languages.

BC Nurseline:

Telephone 1-866-215-4700
Vancouver: (604) 215-4700

Deaf and hearing-impaired
toll-free province-wide: 1-866-TTY-4700

Puts you in touch with a Registered Nurse who will answer your questions about:

  • symptoms
  • health concerns
  • recommended course of action
  • when to see a health professional
  • further health resources

This is a 24 hour line.



BC Ferries is offering a late night sailing from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay on Saturday, September 15 at 11:30 p.m. to enable BC Lions football fans from Vancouver Island to return home after the game on the same day.
Late night sailings will also be offered on Saturday, October 20 and Saturday, November 3 departing from Tsawwassen at 11:30 p.m. bound for Duke Point to coincide with BC Lions games.
These sailings are not limited to sports fans. Anyone can take advantage of the late night sailings.
Reservations are encouraged to ensure a space on these sailings and can be made online at or by calling 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779).


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Over 3500 athletes will be competing in this years annual BC Seniors Games.
Opening ceremonies will be held at Rotary Bowl, which is behind Nanaimo District Secondary School on Wakesiah Ave.

The ceremony will be from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, for more information and a schedule of events visit their website by clicking here.


Saturday, September 08, 2007


You will find contact information for over 160 different things to do in Nanaimo, from Air Cadets to Windsurfing.
Just a few of the interesting contacts you will find are, air cadets, art galleries, baseball, birdwatching, bowling, boy scouts, ceramics, chess club, computer club, Clipper's Hockey, 4x4 club, 4-H club, fish and game club, flying club, football nanaimo, girl guides, gymnastics, hang gliding, horse riding, kayaking, kennel club, service clubs and many more.
If you can't find what you are looking for, drop an email to and I will do my best to find the information.
To view 'Things To Do in Nanaimo' click here.


Friday, September 07, 2007



The run of pink salmon in Nanaimo's Departure Bay offers anglers a chance to test their skills.
When this picture was taken, about 1:00pm, you could see the occasional fish break the surface, so the fish are surely there. Of course getting them to take your lure is another story, and why the sport is called 'fishing' and not 'catching'.
Whatever lure you choose, from flies to stingers to whatever else you fancy probably has a good chance of catching supper.
Remember you do need a licence to fish and while the fish are in the Bay they are in salt water, but once in the river, you need to use barbless hooks.
Check with your favourite tackle shop for details if you are uncertain.
The weather promises to be great this weekend, and the fish are there, so grab your rod and try your luck at Departure Bay.


Thursday, September 06, 2007



If you are looking for a pleasant way to spend several hours, or a full day, a trip to Newcastle Island fits the bill.
An adult return shuttle trip aboard the Harbour Ferry is $8.00 , and worth every penny. Be sure to have your camera ready.
The island is pleasantly uncrowded but not without amenities. There is a concession where you can grab a great bowl of clam chowder, or a burger if that is more to your liking.
Bring good walking shoes as you will want to explore the many well kept trails to the site of old coal mines, fish salting plants and sandstone quarry.
An excellent day trip, right in our own back yard. The ferry leaves from Maffeo-Sutton Park from the wharf near the Frank Ney statue.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007



Most extensive CoastSaver promotion ever will be offered throughout month of September

BC Ferries is offering its popular CoastSaver fares on select routes and dates from September 4 through September 23. These value-priced sailings will be extended to 21 of BC Ferries’ 25 routes, including several for the very first time, making this the largest CoastSaver promotion yet.
From Swartz Bay to Sointula, customers are invited to sail and save all month long with special CoastSaver fares. These special value sailings offer travellers savings of either $1.50 or $5.00 per adult and either $5.00 or $15.00 per vehicle, depending on the route travelled.
On the Tsawwassen – Duke Point (Nanaimo) route, as well as all Southern Gulf Island and Northern Gulf Island routes, savings are available on all sailings from September 4 through September 23. In fact, commercial customers can save 35 per cent while travelling between Tsawwassen and Duke Point on each and every sailing during this three-week period.
In addition, reduced fares apply to all sailings on Saturday, September 8, 15 and 22 on the following routes:
• Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
• Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
• Horseshoe Bay – Langdale
• Earls Cove – Saltery Bay
• Powell River – Comox
CoastSavers apply to many fare types, so whether you are walking onto the ferry as a foot passenger or driving a large commercial vehicle, customers can realize big savings when sailing with BC Ferries in September.
The September CoastSaver fares will be available on all of BC Ferries’ routes with the exception of the Port Hardy – Prince Rupert, Prince Rupert – Queen Charlotte Islands, Alliford Bay – Skidegate and Port Hardy – Bella Coola routes.
For full details on CoastSaver sailing schedules and fares, visit


Monday, September 03, 2007


“Coastal Inspiration”


VICTORIA – The hull and superstructure of BC Ferries’ Coastal Inspiration was officially launched at a special ceremony today in Flensburg, Germany. The ship is the second in a series of three new vessels being built at FSG Shipyards, and is expected to be completed in early 2008.

“This day marks another giant step forward in our fleet renewal program,” said David L. Hahn, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “The Super C-class vessels are going to offer our customers a whole new west coast travel experience. It will be second to none. Coastal Inspiration, along with her two sister ships, will significantly enhance our capacity as we prepare for the growth in coastal transportation including the tourism surge of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is an exciting period for the Super C-class project. Next week, the keel of the third Super C-class vessel, Coastal Celebration will be laid in Germany, and during the third week of September, the first vessel, Coastal Renaissance will set sail for British Columbia.

The Super C-class vessels will be the largest double-ended ferries in the world. Each will carry 370 vehicles and 1650 passengers. Passengers will find more space, more comfortable seating and better viewing areas on the two passenger decks of these ships than on any other passenger ferries. They will also enjoy enhanced food and retail services.

All three vessels will be in service by summer of 2008, improving the travel experience on all three Lower Mainland – Vancouver Island routes. The first vessel, Coastal Renaissance will provide service between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay. The second vessel, Coastal Inspiration, will serve on the Duke Point – Tsawwassen route and finally Coastal Celebration, the third ship will carry customers between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen.




It only seems like yesterday that the kids were out of school for another summer. But on Tuesday Sept. 4 the kids are officially back in school for another year. A few parents may be breathing a sigh of relief and some kids may prefer to continue their holidays. But I bet most kids will be happy to get back to their favourite teachers and reunited with their friends.
School in district #68 gets underway on Sept. 4 at 11:00am with dismissal set for 12 noon. Gotta break the students and teachers back in gently!
There are some exceptions to the start times which you can check out at the School District website by clicking here.

For information about back to school for Sept. 2010 use this Nanaimo Info LINK.