Friday, August 29, 2008



British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) announced its first quarter results today. Net earnings were $8.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2008 compared to $14.4 million during the first quarter in the previous year.

In the first quarter ended June 30, 2008, revenues increased 7.6 per cent to
$171.9 million with total expenses increasing 12.4 per cent to $163.5 million, compared to the first quarter last year. The increase in expenses was largely due to a $10.4 million increase in fuel expenses, as well as a $7.9 million increase in interest and amortization expenses reflecting BC Ferries’ ongoing significant investments in its fleet and other infrastructure.

During the quarter, BC Ferries invested $190.0 million in its capital assets. Capital expenditures included $171.8 million in new vessels, vessel upgrades and modifications; $8.3 million in marine structures; $7.5 million in terminal and building upgrades and equipment; and $2.4 million in computer hardware and software development.

“We are continuing our fleet renewal program with more than $145 million invested in new ships during the quarter,” said BC Ferries President and CEO, David L. Hahn. “In addition to ongoing construction on the Island Sky and Northern Expedition, the Coastal Inspiration entered service on the Duke Point – Tsawwassen run and the Coastal Celebration arrived in B.C. These are major milestones for BC Ferries and a significant component of our commitment to provide an outstanding travel experience for our customers.”

Although there has been some moderation recently in the price of fuel, BC Ferries continues to be concerned about the impact of fuel costs on customers’ travel decisions. The combination of the high price of motor vehicle fuel and recently implemented fuel surcharges could result in a decline in travel in the future. The company is implementing various measures to reduce its costs over the remainder of the fiscal year.

Full financial statements, including notes and Management’s Discussion & Analysis, are filed on SEDAR and will be available at

Editor's Comments: Are the new C Class ferries any more fuel hungry than the old fleet? Is the fuel consumed per passenger any different between the two types of vessels?


Thursday, August 28, 2008



This is the last long weekend, and in fact the last weekend before the children return to school on Tuesday so plan some family fun regardless of what the weatherman says.

For a list of things to do on Fri. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For a list of things to do on Sat. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For a list of things to do on Sun. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre

Prime Minister Harper Announces Government of Canada Will Extend Jurisdiction over Arctic Waters

The Government of Canada will extend its jurisdiction in the Arctic by doubling the range at which Canadian environmental laws and shipping regulations will be enforced, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today.

“Whether it is the thawing of the Northwest Passage or the suspected resource riches under the Arctic seabed, more and more countries are taking an interest in the waterways of the Canadian Arctic,” said the Prime Minister. “We will be sending a clear message to the world that our environmental standards and sovereignty are not up for debate -- if you are in Canada’s Arctic you will be playing by Canada’s rules.”

The Prime Minister announced that his government will be introducing changes to the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act as part of its fall legislative agenda. Currently the Act allows the Canadian Government to regulate all shipping in zones up to 100 nautical miles from the nearest Canadian land in order to guard against pollution of the region’s marine and coastal environments. Under the proposed new law, this jurisdiction will be extended to 200 nautical miles.

In addition the Prime Minister announced that his government will establish new regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 that will require mandatory reporting from all ships destined for Arctic waters within the same 200 nautical mile limit.

“As an environmental matter, as a security matter and as an economic matter we are making it perfectly clear that not only do we claim jurisdiction over the Canadian Arctic, we are also going to put the full resources of the Government of Canada behind enforcing that jurisdiction,” said the Prime Minister. “We are acting today to protect our environment, improve the security of our waterways and ensure that all Northern residents – and, in particular, the Inuit – have a strong say in the future of our Arctic for generations to come.”


Wednesday, August 27, 2008



What is Canstruction you might ask? It is a licenced competition whereby local designers, engineers and architects design and build unique structures from, you guessed it ..CANS!

The above photo is an example of some Canstruction taken at one of the other 80+ worldwide licenced events. Nanaimo is the first city on Vancouver Island to have such a licenced event.

Your entrance admission of two cans of food will entitle you to sample food from many of the participating restaurants and also enjoy some of the many fun and entertaining events planned for the afternoon.

So come out and help the hungry, sample some great food. listen to some good music and see what kind of CANSTRUCTION the local competitors have come up with.

The Cans Food Festival is in the Old City Quarter on Wesley Street this Saturday Aug. 30 from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.




Tuesday, August 26, 2008



The local media reports that this year 48 glass panels at the Port Theatre are being replaced at a cost of about $200,000. It is further reported that this is only half of the required replacements and an addtional 48 will be replaced next year. That cost is not reported.

Apparently concrete leaching from the buildings exterior is etching the glass panels and causing them to fail according to Ian Blackwood manager of parks maintenance and construction.

The orginal company which supplied the glass is no longer in business, however the glass was no longer under warranty.

It was not clear if the fault lies with the glass or the fact the leaching from the concrete is not being redirected away from the glass.




It is reported in the local media that the new Super C Class ferries operating out of Nanaimo have some are residents 'all shook up'.

A combination of exhaust noise and propeller vibrations are said to be moving pictures on the walls, rattling windows and even possibility causing cracks in windows and foundations.

Residents on White Eagle Terrace overlooking the ferry terminal are the people most concerned with the problems which never happened with the old ferries but just started when the new Super C Class ferry Coastal Renaissance came into service.

BC Ferries is trying to solve the problems but to date residents are still not satisfied with the result. BC Ferry Corp. has hired a structural engineer to evaluate residents concerns over structural damage to windows and foundations.




If you have a few hours to spare on Sept. 18 you can help with the Nanaimo homeless census.

Volunteers will meet at the St. Paul's Anglican church on Chapel St. at 8:30pm and return to the church for refreshments after the count.

Helpers will be asked to contact homeless people, fill out a questionnaire form and distribute a bag of goodies.

The project will require about 55 volunteers to travel Nanaimo streets and parks in teams to conduct the count.

For information you may contact Sharon Welch at 250-753-3777 or email to


Monday, August 25, 2008



On August 22, 2008 at approximately 4:00 p.m., Sidney North Saanich RCMP responded to a report of a man with a handgun in his vehicle at the Swartz Bay BC Ferry Terminal.

A call was received that a man was in his vehicle in the lineup for the ferry and was handling what appeared to be a handgun. Other ferry users saw the handgun, believed it to be a real gun and called police. Sidney North Saanich RCMP responded with multiple officers as this is public safety/officer safety issue. With help from BC Ferry users, the vehicle was identified, three men were questioned and a replica handgun/pellet gun was seized from the vehicle.

This pellet gun was not pointed at anyone but closely resembles a real semi automatic pistol. The three men were spoken to about the severity of their actions and the gun was taken in to police custody for destruction. No charges were laid.

Owners of replica firearms/pellet guns are reminded that these items pose a serious safety risk to themselves and others and to keep them put away in public places.

As can be seen from the picture at the top of this article, pellet guns are impossible to distinguish from the real thing just by looking.




As this long range forecast chart shows, Nanaimo is in for below temperatures for at least the next two weeks.

The white line indicates the average temperatures for this period and the yellow line indicates the forecast temperatures.

One short week ago Vancouver Island Exhibition goers, were baking in above normal temperatures under blue skies and now its's back to long sleeves and umbrellas.

Did I mention we don't get any real winter weather??



The Government of Canada helps open doors to higher education

It's getting easier to keep learning! Canadians interested in pursuing post-secondary education will now have access to more opportunities then ever, as details of the recent changes to student financial assistance were unveiled.

The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development announced the changes at Kitchener's Pathways to Education Program.

"Because of the changes our Government has introduced, the dream of a post secondary education will be open to every Canadian regardless of their level of income," said Minister Solberg. "What a tremendous opportunity for students and for their potential, and what a powerful advantage for Canada."

The changes in student financial assistance programs include a new up-front Canada Student Grant of $250 per month for students from low-income families and $100 per month from students from middle-income families; a new repayment plan to help students who are having difficulty paying back their student loans, as well as improved services for students to simplify the whole loan process; and greater support for students with permanent disabilities.

"We congratulate the Government of Canada for its wonderful new initiatives related to student financial assistance," said Pathways representative Ms. Cathy Brothers. "These initiatives will truly make a difference in the lives of our young people who are pursuing post-secondary education."

As part of the event, Pathways graduate Mr. Mohammed Shafique spoke about how these changes will help those in pursuit of post-secondary education. "The most daunting challenge we face is related to finances," said Mr. Shafique. "That is why programs that provide financial assistance for low-income students are so important. It opens up doors of opportunity that are otherwise closed to us."

These programs will be implemented for the 2009-2010 school year.

For more information on planning and saving for post-secondary education, including material on Budget 2008 initiatives, please visit


Friday, August 22, 2008


Public Health Agency of Canada / Agence de santé publique du Canada

PHAC Statement on a Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak

Released: August 20, 2008

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial and local health authorities in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to investigate an increase in cases of Listeriosis with the same genetic fingerprint (strain).

To date, there are 17 confirmed cases of the outbreak strain of Listeriosis in four provinces (13 in Ontario, two in BC, one in Saskatchewan and one in Quebec). One death in Ontario has been attributed to this strain.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with its partners to confirm the source of these infections. This includes gathering epidemiological information from ill individuals and assessing results of food testing. Ready-to-eat meat products are being investigated as a possible source. For information regarding recalled products, please see the CFIA website:

Listeria monocytogenes can be found in a variety of dairy products, vegetables, fish and meat products. The disease affects primarily older individuals, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. A person with listeriosis may experience fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. Deaths are uncommon, except in the very young, the very old, or people with weakened immune systems. People who believe they have experienced symptoms of illness are urged to contact their health care provider.

For further information on Listeria:




BC Parks is launching a program that will make it easy for every British Columbian to leave a legacy in their favourite provincial park during B.C.’s 150th anniversary.

“With the largest provincial parks system in Canada, there are many opportunities for individuals to contribute to their favourite parks,” said Environment Minister Barry Penner. “That’s why I’m inviting every British Columbian to consider supporting a provincial park through the new ‘Make Your Mark – For a BC Park’ program.”

Whether the public would like to sponsor a commemorative bench, picnic table or contribute to a tree-planting project in their local campground, the ‘Make Your Mark – For a BC Park’ program makes it easy. Interested sponsors can access all sponsorship opportunities, costs and other information through the BC Parks website by clicking on the ‘Make Your Mark – For a BC Park’ link.

“Visitors from around the world come to B.C. to spend time in our beautiful parks,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. “This innovative program allows British Columbians to welcome visitors to BC Parks in their own way.”

The B.C. government continues to make significant investments in the BC Parks system, including capital funding of about $83 million over the past four years to improve park facilities and acquire new lands. Since 2001, the provincial government has established 57 new parks, 129 conservancies, one ecological reserve and eight protected areas, and expanded almost 50 parks and six ecological reserves, protecting more than 1.8 million hectares. Today, 14.26 per cent (or more than 13.5 million hectares) of British Columbia is protected – more than any other province in Canada.

The ‘Make Your Mark – For a BC Park’ program is another way for British Columbians to personally take part and share in the benefits of the best park system in the world.

To learn more about this exciting new program, please visit For information about BC150, please visit




It is reported in the local daily that another case of the deadly C. difficile infection was reported yesterday at NRGH bringing to seven the total cases in the past week.

There has been a total of 57 cases identified in total and 3 deaths reported since April as a result of this infection which can colonize in the bowel and produce toxins if the patient is on antibiotics.

In an effort to control the outbreak experts from the BC Center for Disease Control will attend the hospital on Monday. It will not be known until testing is complete if this is the same aggressive strain which has killed 1400 people in Quebec since 2005.

It is reported that people commonly get the bug in hospitals where it can survive on surfaces for weeks.


Thursday, August 21, 2008



This is not an actual picture of the dog sought but is a picture of the breed. He is an Akbash dog which is quite a large breed weighing about 45 kilograms. The all white dog is suspected stolen by a German family traveling in a green Dodge camper van.

The van has a blue canoe on top and a for sale sign also visible making the vehicle rather distinct.

The drama apparently started in Oliver BC where the dog was stolen from the owner near the first of June. Tourist information centers have been on the lookout for the missing companion of his 89 year old owner.

The dog's name is Prince and his owner would dearly love to be reunited with his good friend.

If you spot van or dog call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.




It is reported that the $3.8 million tax bill for Harmac pulp mill has been paid to the city on Aug. 14.

The taxes were actually paid by the now bankrupt Pope and Talbot however the funds were not paid to the city until the recent deal with NFP was accepted.

It remains to be seen if this rate of taxation will apply to future assessments as the mill recently sold for $13.5 million dollars to NFP and there is a backup offer of $20 million even though the property has an assessed value exceeding $90 million.

It seems unreasonable that a property with a true market value of at most $20 million would be liable for a tax bill of $3.8 million.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008



The Nanaimo Meals on Wheels program needs volunteer drivers to help them deliver 2800 meals per month to people who need help.

Recipients are typically the elderly or the sick who would have trouble preparing their own meals. The service can help people stay in their own homes rather than having to go into an institution.

People can receive one hot meal and dessert every day Monday through Saturday and if a meal is needed for Sunday, two can be delivered on Saturday.

Quit often the meals on wheels driver is the only person to see some of these people on a daily basis and can alert help for them if it is needed.

For more information about this worthwhile program you can call 753-1300 or visit their website by using this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008



Police are seeking a woman driver of a light colored Mitsubishi Lancer GTS in connection with an incident on August 11 at the Parkway and Northfield Rd. intersection.

A woman who was walking her dog in the crosswalk missed being hit by the speeding driver, however her Pomeranian dog was not as fortunate.

Video from the Esso service station on Northfield Road showed a car similiar to this, however the licence number was not revealed.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the local RCMP.


CRA - English

The Canada Revenue Agency

warns Canadians of mail scam

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning taxpayers to beware of a recent scam where some Canadians are receiving a letter fraudulently identified as coming from the CRA and asking for personal information. The letter is not from the CRA. A PDF version of the letter is available on the CRA Web site at

The letter claims that there is “insufficient information” for the individual's tax return and that in order to receive any “claims,” they will have to update their records. The letter attaches a form specifically requesting the individual's personal information in writing, via fax or email, including information on bank accounts and passports. This letter is not from the CRA and Canadians should not provide their personal information to the sender.

All taxpayers should be vigilant when divulging any confidential information to third parties. The CRA has well established practices to protect the confidentiality of taxpayers' information.

The CRA has notified the proper law enforcement authorities of this scam.

For information about this and other similar scams, or to report deceptive telemarketing activity, visit, send an email to, or call 1-888-495-8501.


Monday, August 18, 2008


Blue skies and warm temperatures (some might say too warm) make for near record attendance at this years Vancouver Island Exhibition. This year was decidedly family oriented and had a strong focus on agriculture.

Of course no fair is complete without candy floss and Ferris wheels and the smell of hot dogs and onions!

This young fellow learned that milk does not really come from a carton at the local supermarket with some practical 'hands on' experience.

This fair would be great for city kids who think livestock consists of cats and dogs and the occasional hamster.

Great weather and great fair, the organizers deserve a round of applause. And so does the weatherman!



Despite solid economic growth and low unemployment rates, BC is home to a growing number of casual workers who struggle to achieve economic security, according to a new study by two University of Northern BC professors.

Improving the Economic Security of Casual Workers in BC, released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, looks at the troubling contradiction between BC’s booming economy and the precarious situation of workers who lack secure jobs. The study defines casual workers as employees who work without a contract or who have a contract lasting six months or less.

“Casual workers are caught in a double bind: low pay means they need to work more hours, taking on more work shifts. But irregular hours, shift work, short call-ins and minimal notice of scheduling are undermining their ability to balance work and family obligations,” says Fiona MacPhail, University of Northern BC Professor and study co-author. “Life is a scramble for casual workers, and recent provincial policy changes have made getting by even tougher.”

The authors examined Statistics Canada data and surveyed 160 casual workers from Vancouver and Prince George. Among their key findings:

  • The number of casual workers in BC increased by about 59,000 between 1997 and 2007. Casual workers as a percentage of all employed workers increased from 10 to 12 percent among women and from 9 to 10 per cent among men.
  • Casual workers experience a high degree of economic insecurity with respect to income, skills, employment, representation, and control of their time.
  • Women are more likely to be casual workers than men, and non-Canadian-born respondents reported lower levels of basic security than Canadian-born respondents, including difficulty accessing food, housing and health care.
  • Contrary to popular belief, most people do not choose casual work. About 80 per cent of survey respondents reported actively seeking permanent work.
  • Casual workers have been negatively affected by specific policy changes introduced in BC from 2001 onwards, including the reduction of the minimum wage to $6 for the first 500 hours of work and changes to the Labour Relations Code that make it harder to unionize.
  • While the rate of casual employment is dropping elsewhere in Canada, in BC it is growing.

Among the study’s recommendations:
  • Increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation;
  • Strengthen features of the Employment Standards Act (ESA) such as increasing the minimum shift (from two to four hours), posting work schedules, lengthening the notice before the start of the shift and providing termination notice;
  • Expand coverage of the ESA to include all unionized workers, independent contractors, and workers in all occupations, including agricultural workers and truck drivers; and
  • Enforce the ESA by eliminating the “self-help” kit and re-instituting direct monitoring and enforcement.

“BC is often promoted as ‘the best place to invest,’” says UNBC Professor and report –co-author Paul Bowles. “But if it is also going to be the ‘best place to work,’ the provincial government needs to rethink its approach.”

You can download the complete report by using this Nanaimo Info LINK.




Latest statistics released by CMHC show that while Nanaimo housing starts in July dropped to 67 units from the 74 started in June we are still slightly up from 2007 for the first seven months.

During this period last year 476 units were started whereas this year for the same period a total of 489 units are reported.

It is reported that on Vancouver Island nearly half of all housing starts are in the multiple family unit category. Since the numbers are so strong it is not expected they will increase dramatically.


Friday, August 15, 2008

The V.I.E.X Country Fair This Week

"Where Old and New Rendezvous"
August 15-16-17 2008

Not Bad Looking For 114 Years Old......

Since 1894, The Vancouver Island Exhibition has been a part of our growing community. From its' beginnings as a local weekend gathering, the VIEx has become one of Vancouver Island's premier annual events.

Each year, The Vancouver Island Exhibition Association is proud to welcome exhibitors and visitors to its' Country Fair. Our exhibitors are an important part of our Fair, adding colour, interest, education and entertainment. The 20,000 plus visitors are also an important component to our annual Fair, as they constitute the life-blood of continuance and without them, the Fair would not be possible.

The theme for 2008 is "Where Old and New Rendezvous".... recognizing the unique combination of the old time fair atmosphere with today's ever changing world. It also demonstrates how the Vancouver Island Exhibition is a place where our community gathers together, no matter if you are young or old. The VIEx is for the whole family.

For Events Schedule use this Nanaimo Info LINK.




With the weatherman predicting lots of sunshine and high temperatures this weekend the VIEX and the Blues Festival should draw large crowds. If you have been to these events, or large crowds are not your thing the lakes and beaches and parks should provide a welcome place to spend your time this weekend.

For a list of things to do on Fri. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For a list of things to do on Sat. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For a list of things to do on Sun. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.



Summertime Blues! 2008 will be held on
August 15, 16, 17, 23 and 24
on the Diana Krall Plaza in Downtown Nanaimo.

For the 2008 Blues Festival Schedule use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008



The local press is reporting that the owners of the Cable Bay development have put forward an offer of $20 million for the Harmac site, should the present deal fall through.

It is said that the offer by the Cable Bay developers is a defensive bid to insure that someone else can not buy the property should the present company be unable to complete their purchase agreement.

The developers do not like the possibility of someone turning the site into a garbage dump or some such thing as it would not enhance their development.

Spokesman for the new company owned by Harmac employees and three investors say they will be able to complete their end of the deal by the deadline of Aug. 29.

It is further reported that the startup of the mill will employ 210 of the previous 530 employees at the mill.

The successful operation of a viable mill would certainly best suit the employees and their families involved as well as the City of Nanaimo as these jobs would pay considerably better than the service sector which makes up a large part of the local economy.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Nanaimo RCMP lay First Degree Murder Charges

First degree murder charges laid
after discovery of body in water

Charges of first degree murder have been laid against 20 year old Stephen John BOSCH in connection with the discovery of a body in the waters off of Nanaimo on August 4.The victim has been identified as 40 year old Mark Hanly of Nanaimo. Mr Hanly was at the time of his death living on the streets of Nanaimo and had been for some time.

BOSCH was arrested in Parksville by Nanaimo RCMP in the early hours of August 7 and has been in custody since. A bail hearing was held last night at the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment at which time BOSCH was formally charged with first degree murder. He was remanded into custody and was transported to court this morning and will be making an appearance in Nanaimo Supreme court some time today.

With respect to the vessel reported on by local media, investigators have confirmed it is involved. Also a “significant event” took place onboard the vessel and forensic evidence was obtained by RCMP Forensic specialists.

The investigation is continuing and no further information will be released at this time.


Friday, August 08, 2008



If you are looking for something to do this weekend you don't need to waste money on gas by leaving Nanaimo.

A few suggestions and highlights would include the Nanaimo Downtown Farmers Market on Friday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, the firing of the cannon in Pioneer Plaza every day at noon, a visit to the Basition, see the new museum, check out the Art in the Park, then there is the Chowderfest and the Symphony in the Harbour to name a few things to do.

In addition there is always a visit to your favourite park or beach since the weather is so inviting these days. A stroll along the downtown waterfront is always interesting anytime of the year. Right now you can check out some of the visiting boats in the harbour.

For a list of things to do on Fri. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For a list of things to do on Sat. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For a list of things to do on Sun. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Watch The Bejing Opening Ceremonies on the BIG Screen

Your Big Screen TV is no Match for this One!

Team Nanaimo invites the public to view the Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies at the Olympic Live Site in downtown Nanaimo on Friday, August 8. The ceremonies will be aired from 7am to 9am on the big screen on the back of the Port Theatre. So head to work early on the morning of August 8th and join in the festivities. Coffee and treats will be available. Folks are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and wear their favourite country’s colors.

“We think this is an excellent way to catch the spirit of the games here in Nanaimo”, Camela Tang, Team Nanaimo Chair. “In a few short years it will be British Columbia’s time to shine and we wanted to remind folks of that.”

“Being part of something like this, surrounded by friends and neighbours really brings the pageantry of the Opening Ceremonies closer to home. This is what the ‘live site’ was intended for. I’m looking forward to checking out those events where Island athletes will be competing, too. That will be special.” Drew Cooper, Director of Pacific Sport Nanaimo.

Team Nanaimo is comprised of Nanaimo residents from an array of backgrounds and varied interests. The unifying belief of the team is each individual’s commitment to, and enthusiasm for, our community. They share a belief that the Games have the potential to impact the entire province of British Columbia positively. The team is committed to ensuring this impact is realized to its fullest potential. The group strives to welcome, explore, and nurture the possibilities presented to the community.

With 331 Canadian athletes participating in the Beijing Olympic Games we’ll have plenty of opportunity to cheer on our fellow Canadians. The City of Nanaimo will broadcast CBC coverage on the Olympic Live Site located in Diana Krall Plaza. Program times will vary, but generally there will be morning, afternoon and early evening coverage of the Olympic Games.



The Nanaimo Art Gallery is proud to present the exhibition Field Notes from July 18 th to August 24. This exhibition displays the work of three exceptional women artists whose work examines the complex relationships and dialogues that develop between humans and the natural world. These artists draw on personal experiences in natural sites to explore our changing roles and attitudes towards historical and contemporary landscapes.

For information call 250-740-6350 or view their website using this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Downtown Farmers Market

Farmer's Market Open
Fridays 10:00 am - 2:00pm

Check out local produce, arts and crafts at this downtown market located beside the Bastion in Pioneer Park.

There is always something new to see and if you want to get the best selection of fresh baked goods and produce you better come early!

The location makes a trip to this market worth the effort all by itself. Come before noon and witness the firing of the cannon!


Symphony in the Harbour


The 8th Annual Symphony in the Harbour takes place on Saturday August 9, 2008 at 6 p.m. in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park in downtown Nanaimo, rain or shine. VI Symphony will play in a variety of orchestral favourites. Bring your picnics, blankets or lawn chairs and enjoy this FREE community orchestra performance.
Be sure to visit the NoteworthyKids Musical Instrument Zoo Tent from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. and turn trash into treasure (musical instruments from recycled materials) and from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. try out a whole orchestra of instruments with musicians of the VI Symphony for a donation of a Twoonie ($2). Go to Symphony in the Harbour for more details.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Coastal Reanaisannce Out of Service

Propeller Problem Causes Delays

The local daily reported that the new BC Ferry the Coastal Renaissance encountered mechanical issues with the propeller on Tuesday afternoon causing a backlog at Departure Bay Terminal.

The Queen of Coquitlam, the Queen of Cowichan and the Queen of Oak Bay were brought into service to alleviate the backlog which by the 4:15 sailing was reduced to a one sailing wait.

A BC Ferry spokesman could give no estimate as to when the new ferry would be back in service.

Does anyone know how fuel efficient these new ferries are? Does anyone know if the noise and vibratian issues are being resolved to the satisfaction of residents living near the terminal?


Giant Hogweed Alert


Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a member of the parsley or carrot family, Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). As its name indicates it is characterized by its size and may grow to 15 to 20 feet in height. Except for size, it closely resembles cow parsnip, Heracleum lanatum, a plant native to Washington. It is further distinguished by a stout dark reddish-purple stem and spotted leaf stalks. Stalks and stem produce sturdy pustulate bristles. The stem and stalks are hollow, stems vary 2 to 4 inches in diameter. The compound leaves of giant hogweed may expand to five feet in breadth. Each leaflet is deeply incised. Giant hogweed is a perennial with tuberous root stalks, which form perennating buds each year. The inflorescence is a broad flat-topped umbel composed of many small white florets. Each inflorescence may attain a diameter of 2-1/2 feet. The florets produce large elliptic dry fruits marked with brown swollen resin canals up to 1 mm in diameter.

Impact on humans and the environment: The greatest concern from Hogweed is human health. The blister-like pustules on stems and stalks exude a clear watery sap that sensitizes skin to ultraviolet radiation. Affected areas are subject to severe burns that usually result in blistering and painful dermatitis. Blisters often result in purplish to blackened scars. Hogweed’s tenacious and invasive nature allows it to readily occupy and crowd out native vegetation. In riparian areas, it forms a dense canopy, out-competing native species and causing stream bank erosion.
Management techniques: If Hogweed is growing in a park or on a public right-of-way, please call the City of Nanaimo at 755-7515. If Hogweed is growing on private property, please adhere to the following precautions:

Use protective clothing, gloves and face visor or similar to undertake any cutting or removal of this species.

Clear above ground leaf and stem material by hand; remove ground material of roots and seeds.

Bio-control: Cattle and pigs are cited as possible bio-control agents. Both eat Hogweed without apparent harm.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nanaimo Beach Reports

Vancouver Island Health Authority
Monitors Local Beaches for Water Quality

Local popular swimming holes are monitored for water quality during the swimming season to ensure an enjoyable summer pastime.
According to the VIHA website:

Why monitor beaches?

Beaches are monitored to protect swimmers from illnesses that may be linked to unacceptable bacteria levels. Swimming in water with unacceptable bacteria levels can increase the risk of ear, nose and throat infection or stomach illnesses.

How often are beaches sampled?

Tier three: A beach is labeled tier three if many people swim there, there have been high bacterial counts in the past, and there may be sources of contamination are near the beach.

These beaches are sampled weekly during the swimming season.

Tier two: A tier two beach has a moderate number of people swimming at it, a history of occasional poor samples (i.e. one incident of high bacteria over several years) and little chance of contamination.

These beaches are sampled every two weeks during the swimming season.

Tier one: A tier one beach has few swimmers using it, a good sampling history, ( i.e. no incidences of high bacteria in the past) and no sources of contamination. They also have frequent water turn over due to tides, currents or water flow.

These beaches are not sampled unless an environmental health officer believes it is necessary to do so.

To check the current Beach Report use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Your Own Private Waterfront ... Almost

Everybody Left Nanaimo It Seems

The weather for the BC Day long weekend was terrific especially when you remember what we were getting last week!

It would seem from the traffic and the number of people at the beaches, that most people either left town or stayed inside!

While Departure Bay Beach was not deserted you certainly had your choice of where to sit.

It looks like the next while will also have lots of sunshine and warm temperatures. Enjoy it while it's here!


Friday, August 01, 2008


Saturday August 2
First Annual Artisans Day

The first annual Artisan Day on Newcastle Island will take place on August 2nd, 2008. This exciting day will include many local artisans, a salmon bbq, a dance performance, and a children's activity centre. We look forward to seeing you there on beautiful Newcastle Island!

For more information call 250-754-7893