Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Snowbirds - Packs Them In Downtown

The 45 minute airshow put on by Canadas' precision flying team likely produces more of a crowd downtown than any other summer event so far.

I was sure I would beat the traffic by heading downtown at 4:30 pm for the 6:00 pm show but it took me six lights to get over the Pearson bridge and even then Maffeo Sutton Park parking lot was full. There was no trouble parking downtown at the conference centre (might be another story when the new hotel snags all the parking...... Mayor and Council), but even then it too was filling up fast.

I scoped out a spot near the railing on Pioneer Plaza and at that time had pretty much the whole area to myself. Not for long, as the above photo shows.

After the show the traffic lights at Pearson bridge were being replaced by a couple of policemen who were directing traffic, something lights just can't do as well as real live people.

Long story short, going into downtown at 4:30 and leaving downtown at 7:00 reminded me a lot about what rush hour back in Toronto was all about, and reminded me why living here is a whole lot easier on the nerves.


Summer in Nanaimo - Gotta Luv It!

Happy Puffy Cloud Caps Mount Benson

This happy little cloud hanging on top of Mt. Benson wisely did not obscure the sun yesterday afternoon and perhaps brought a little welcome shade to some.

I think we are approaching some kind of record for the number of straight days without any rain, good news for sun worshipers but I suspect the forests and gardens would welcome a long refreshing drink.


Snowbirds In Nanaimo Today

Snowbirds Show In Nanaimo
Wed. July 31 - 6:00 PM Sharp
Downtown Inner Harbour

Anyplace downtown with a good view of the harbour will have a front row seat for the Snowbirds show taking place tonight starting promptly at 6:00 pm.

Maffeo Sutton Park will offer a great vantage point to watch their thrilling demonstrations of precision flying that makes them a real crowd pleaser everywhere.

The show tonight is to help raise funds for C.H.I.L.D. so if you have the opportunity to buy a ticket or t-shirt to help the cause, if you can, be sure to chip in. The show of course is free to watch.

I snapped the above picture from my back deck yesterday as they did their orientation fly over to get familiar with the airspace over Nanaimo.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Colliery Dams Discussions Update

Update: Progress on Colliery Dams Discussions

(Nanaimo BC, July 30, 2013) – Since reconvening the 30-day process to exhaust all possible options and considerations for the Middle and Lower Colliery Dams before awarding a tender for removal of both structures, the City of Nanaimo and the Snuneymuxw First Nation have been working closely together to make progress.

As part of that work, all parties, together with the facilitator, have met with officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Province’s Dam Safety Branch to ensure they are aware of the discussion process and seek their commitment to working together collaboratively as a high priority.

“I’m pleased to say that thanks to the intensity of our efforts with both DFO and the Dam Safety Branch we have secured their commitment,” said Snuneymuxw Chief Douglas White III. “We feel those discussions are opening up positive new pathways to viable solutions.”

“We are very delighted that officials from the Dam Safety Branch have indicated that they are prepared to work with us as we examine various mitigation solutions, should we all agree at the end of the process that the best short-term path forward is to leave both dams in place for the winter”, said Nanaimo City Mayor, John Ruttan. “Throughout our discussions, public safety has remained a priority for all parties; the need for a good mitigation solution is therefore critical”.

Both the City of Nanaimo and the Snuneymuxw First Nation are continuing to work actively on gathering additional technical information on all of the options for the dams before August 8, when the 30-day period ends. The City has instructed its staff and consultants to review and re-examine the various studies and reports, along with the underlying assumptions in them, to ensure that all considerations are exhausted.

As part of this work, standards that were used during the original cost estimates to rebuild both dams will be revisited.  These estimates – either for rebuilding or repair – were based on a “no maintenance” standard that would see the dams remain in good condition without need for repair following a catastrophic seismic event.  Such a standard is higher than what is required by the Dam Safety Branch, which demands only that the dams not fail.  To help inform the discussions, consultants are now comparing the potential costs and requirements of building to that standard.

Engagement with interested citizen groups continues to be identified as an important part of the process. Members of the public are invited to submit their views on the options for the dams to  before August 8th.  The facilitator will be reporting to the City of Nanaimo, the Snuneymuxw First Nation and various community groups on the information received.  Once briefed, all parties hope to be on a joint pathway concerning the future of the dams.


Nanaimo Summer Concert Series

Bowen Park Amphitheatre
Wed. July 31, 6:00 - 7:30 PM

The Notables
Formed early in 2009, this quartet from the Nanaimo Tidesmen Barbershop Chorus loves performing and having fun. They sing a range of barbershop music, including the old faithful standards and more modern music (in barbershop terms, anything that’s post 1960). As barbershoppers say, “Life’s a pitch and then you sing!”

 To View Poster Of All Concert Events Click Image


Bowen Road Farmers' Market Open Jly 31

Bowen Road Farmers' Market
 Open Wednesday

The Bowen Road Farmers' Market which is open every Wednesday from 4:00 - 6:30 pm is becoming a very popular spot for those seeking local produce, meats, bread, baking, cheese, preserves etc. etc.

Musicians add to the 'flavour' of the market which is truly a unique experience in Nanaimo offering a wide range of specialty products and quality food items.

There are many vendors offering locally grown produce that is as fresh as it can be, unless you grew it yourself. You will also find artisan bread, meat products, soaps, honey, organic bird seed (for your feathered friends) to name a few items.

So put a big circle on your calendar for Wednesday's from now through to October, and be sure to arrive early as some of the most popular vendors, simply sell out of product.

The market is located at Beban Park on the VIEX grounds ....... you can't miss it!


Secrets of Success - Checkwitch Poiron Architects

In 2011, the Canadian Institute of Planners bestowed the title of Greatest Street in Canada on Commercial Street, which is the location of the office of Checkwitch Poiron Architects Inc. David Poiron along with his partner Ben Checkwitch have established a name for themselves designing many buildings in Nanaimo, including a landmark building on the downtown waterfront and this week David shared with us, their secrets of success.

DNBIA: How long have you been in business?
David: I opened the office downtown March 18, 2002. I’ve been partners with Ben for year and a half. He is living in Vancouver now and working on a Vancouver based project.

DNBIA: What motivated you to open your business?
David: After I finished my schooling, I worked for four years doing my internship in Victoria, but an architect I had worked for previously in Nanaimo become ill and his wife asked me to come here to help. I am from Nanaimo originally and I thought why don’t I move home and start my own firm? I perhaps wasn’t quite ready for it, at 29, I had only become registered three months before, but I did it, and happily the architect recovered and is still practicing, and I just kept going from there.

DNBIA: What made you chose downtown as the place to open your business?
David: I grew up on Haliburton Street and went to John Barsby High School. When I came back to Nanaimo, it felt right being downtown. It was a natural for me; I didn’t want to go anywhere else.

DNBIA: Were there any challenges opening a business downtown?
David: Downtown had a lot of vacancy issues at that time. Many of the building owners weren’t interested in doing any renovations to their properties, so they didn’t want to rent to me. I went to visit anything with a “for lease” or “for rent” sign. When that didn’t work out, I just started walking into buildings and that is how I found this space. John Ruttan owns the building, and in exchange for my doing the renovation work, he reduced my rent for a period of time.

DNBIA: Did you have any difficulty bringing clients downtown at that time?
David: No, the only thing that has ever been an issue is the perception that there is no parking; I’m not sure if people just don’t see the signage? I sometimes give clients a dollar and show them where the parkade is right across the street.  I have no issues downtown what so ever, I grew up in this neighbourhood.

DNBIA: Tell us about buildings you have designed in Nanaimo.
David: Our major recent project was the Cruise Ship Terminal Building. The Nanaimo Port Authority decided to only ask local architects to design the building and we were one of the two firms that were shortlisted. Our competitor only had a branch office here; we won the day with our presentation, which surprised everyone on the selection committee because we were the small fish and they were the big fish.  The project went very, very quickly. We had to put every other project on the backburner and let our clients know that we had this opportunity. The building was designed within 3 months and built within a year. The great thing was that everyone involved – the client, contractors, trades, everyone – understood the deadlines and the importance to Nanaimo of keeping on schedule and everyone worked well together.
I was on the dock the day the first cruise ship came in, and I will never forget that day. One person came off the ship and said, “Wow, none of this was here a year ago.”  It validated all the effort and hard work we put into it.  We won a number of awards, one from Vancouver Island, one from BC, and two international awards for the building. It was a very good project for us; it has been our main claim to fame.


Snowbirds Coming To Nanaimo July 31, 2013

Snowbirds Fly For C.H.I.L.D.
Jly 31, 2013 Maffeo Sutton 6:00 PM

The RCAF Snowbirds will be performing over the Nanaimo Inner Harbour on July 31 for C.H.I.L.D. (Children with Intestinal and Liver Disorder).

The Snowbirds Demonstration Team (431 Squadron) is a Canadian icon comprised of serving members of the Canadian Forces. Their pilots and technicians work as a team bringing thrilling performances to the North American public. They demonstrate the high level of professionalism, teamwork, excellence, discipline and dedication inherent in the women and men of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Forces.

If you haven't seen the Snowbirds perform before be sure to put this event on your 'must-do' list, and if you have seen them before, you will have already put them on your list.


Early Fishers In Departure Bay

This photo taken last August captured two early morning fishers trying their luck in Departure Bay at first light.

It shouldn't be many more weeks before we could expect the salmon to return to both Departure Bay and the mouth of the Millstone River.

Just another reason why Nanaimo is the perfect place to call home ......... you can fish for salmon without having to own a boat.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Buskers - Victoria Style

Living Statues

While visiting my son and his family in Victoria two weekends ago we did the 'touristy' tour of their downtown waterfront. There was a buskers festival on and a huge show and shine which meant the area around the harbour was packed with wall to wall to wall people.

I know we proud Nanaimoites like to think we should be able to get some of the cruise ship traffic away from Victoria, but I really think we are deluding ourselves if we think we are in the same ball park as our friends in the provincial captiol.

The two living statues pictured above, stand stone-still until some good soul makes a contribution to their collection can, which miraculously brings the 'statues' to life. They are both most convincing and I hope they made a great hourly rate, as standing perfectly still under a glaring midday's' sun did not strike me as a very easy way to buy groceries.


Downtown Nanaimo Street Fair

Show and Shine On Victoria Cres.

A popular spot during the Bathtub Days Street Fair downtown was the olden, and not so olden cars on display on Victoria Cresent. While the show was a little lacking in numbers, the cars on display were all certainly 'head turners' in their own way.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

BC Economic Snapshot July 27, 2013

VANCOUVER, BC, Jul 27, 2013/ Troy Media/ – B.C. shoppers took a few more trips to the malls in May after taking an April breather pushing retail sales higher for the month. Estimated sales rose 0.4 per cent from April to a seasonally-adjusted $5.15 billion, lagging the national gain of 1.9 per cent.

While still down from March, this was the second highest monthly volume in over a year and recent activity suggests sales may finally be breaking out of the range-bound trend observed since early-2012. Despite this small flicker of momentum, the underlying retail performance remains tepid.

May sales were unchanged from a year ago and year-to-date sales were down 0.1 per cent from the first five months of 2012. Sales, excluding volatile and big-ticket items like vehicles and gasoline, were 0.5 per cent lower over the same period, driven by lower clothing and electronic/appliance sales. The larger pull back in more common purchases, despite gains in vehicle sales, is OF more concern since it better reflects the strength of underlying consumer demand.

However, the softening is not entirely surprising as consumer demand has stumbled on weak employment and population growth trends, high debt loads, low credit growth, and stagnant home prices. Additionally, a relaxation of duty-free allowances may have also led to increased leakage of sales to the U.S.

Current-dollar sales growth for full-year 2013 is forecast to reach a subdued 1 per cent. This will mark the slowest gain since 2009 and follows a 1.9 per cent increase in 2012.

Small Business
Small businesses in B.C. remained cautiously optimistic in July, according to the steady performance of the CFIB Business Barometer index (BBI). The BBI edged lower from June to 64.9, on a scale of 0 to 100, down 0.7 points but consistent with the range observed through 2013 and the national average.

A reading above 50 means the number of business owners expecting a stronger business performance over the next year outnumbers those expecting a weaker performance.
The stable and positive confidence reading is supportive of economic expansion but levels remain below the 10-year norm and consistent with a subdued pace of economic growth. This tempered outlook is not surprising given demand challenges resulting from a weak labour market and retail trends, as well as low housing activity. Economic growth in the province is expected to reach only 1.5 per cent this year.

On the upside, a higher proportion of businesses reported that the general state of business health was “good”, albeit the rate was lower than Alberta and Saskatchewan. More businesses may also be dipping their toes in the expansionary waters as an increased proportion of businesses have recently reported an intension to take on workers, which could provide a boost the provincial labour market.
| Central 1 Credit Union


Friday, July 26, 2013

Bathtub Parade & Fireworks 2013

Downtown Nanaimo Sat. Jly 27 - 10:30 am

Inner Harbour Sat. Jly 27 - 10:00 pm


Catch The Fun Downtown

Bathtub Days Street Fair
FREE Parking at Bastion St. Parkade

There is lots of reasons to head downtown this weekend. Commercial Street is closed to cars, as is Victoria Cres., turning the whole downtown into a pedestrian friendly mall.

There are merchants displaying something surely to catch everyones interest, and there is on-street dining from one end of Commercial Street to the other.

There is a show and shine on Victoria Cresent and lots of fun activities for the kids as well. So, there is no need to head out of town this weekend with so much happening right downtown.


Prepaid Credit Card Fees - a Ripoff?

Fees Can Swallow Card Balance

An article in todays Vancouver Sun draws attention to what can clearly be described as a consumer ripoff when it comes to prepaid credit cards.

Fees such as a $20 activation fee and $7.50/mo. maintenance fees can empty a card before the unsuspecting consumer knows about it. Apparently there are no limits to the fees the card issuers can charge so it is still a matter of caveat emptor (buyer beware) when it comes to purchasing one of these cards, often bought for convenience or given as a gift.

 RBC for example charges a $3.95 activation fee for their prepaid credit cards. While the Titanium prepaid Visa offered by Money Mart has a $20 activation fee, $7.50 monthly maintenance fee, $2.50 reload money fee, 50 - cent transaction fee, a statment fee and a $10 fee to cancel the card. There was a time you might have called these kinds of rates usury.

So if you really think a prepaid credit card is something to use or give, be sure to make yourself aware of just what those fees might be. Instead of a $50 prepaid card, it might still be a good idea to go to the bank and get a nice new, crisp $50 bill to include with your greeting card.


Tour de Rock Fundraiser at Thrifty Foods Nanaimo

Cobs of Corn - - - 10 for $1

All Thrifty Foods locations in Nanaimo – Port Place, Brooks Landing and Longwood Station – host Cobs for Cops, a Tour de Rock fundraiser on Saturday (July 27).

An armload of fresh corn on the cob – 10 ears for $1 – is available, as is a barbecue lunch by donation. All proceeds from corn and barbecue sales on Saturday go to the annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, which raises money for research into childhood cancer and Camp Goodtimes.

Tour de Rock riders Const. Marie Bourque and Const. Misty Dmytar will be at the Port Place Thrifty Foods location on Saturday, along with live music, to help celebrate the completion of that location’s renovations.


Bathtub Race Weekend 2013

47th Annual Bathtub Race This Sunday

As published on the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society website:
Nanaimo harbor was the scene of a bathtub race extravaganza at the first race in 1967. As the City of Nanaimo's "Centennial Event" that year, close to 200 tubbers (in every type of craft imaginable) entered the fun competition and amazingly, 47 completed the 36 mile course to Vancouver's Fisherman's Cove across the straits of Georgia.

Now the "Great RACE" finishes at Departure Bay in Nanaimo covering a very grueling course that leaves Nanaimo harbor circles Entrance Island and then up to and around Winchelsea Island and then back to Departure Bay in Nanaimo. 

In the early days it was indeed a challenge to just get past the starting line in the choppy confusion caused by an extra 785 small and large observation and escort boats in Nanaimo harbor. 

From the confusion of a first time bathtub race 40 years ago, the Nanaimo to Nanaimo "Great" INTERNATIONAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BATHTUB RACE & 4 day Nanaimo Marine Festival has evolved. Where once a select band of tubers were the highlight they now share the spotlight with many other land and water events which are interesting and often spectacular to watch.


Things Ya' Hear That Make Ya' Smile

What's A Post Tortoise?
An elderly farmer was in the Emergency Ward having stitches put in his hand,
due to an accident with a piece of machinery.

The doctor carrying out the procedure struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to Politicians and their role as our leaders.

The old farmer said, "Well, you know, most Politicians are 'Post Tortoises'.''

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him, what a 'Post Tortoise' was?

The old farmer said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a tortoise balanced on top, that's a ‘post tortoise’."

The old farmer, seeing the puzzled look on the doctor's face, continued to explain.

"You know he didn't get up there by himself,
he doesn't belong up there,
he doesn't know what to do while he's up there,
he's elevated beyond his ability to function, and
you just wonder what kind of dumbass put him up there to begin with."

The above bright spot was passed along by regular blog reader, Ron Stead. Ya' just gotta' love the droll wisdom in the above explanation. When you stop to think about it, it pretty much sums up the current state of affairs locally, provincially and federally, and globally.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Downtown Nanaimo Bathtub Days Street Fair

Friday July 26 & Saturday July 27
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
FREE PARKING - Bastion Street Parkade
(Fri., Sat. Sun. 24 hr. free parking) 

Show and Shine - Victoria Crescent and Commercial Street
Entertainment in Diana Krall Plaza:
9am - Marty Steele
10am - Unreality Magic
10:30am - Cirque Jeunesse En Equilibre
11am - Jeffrey Randal
12pm - Herbicidal Maniacs
2pm - Watermelon Eating Contest!
2:30pm - Cirque Jeunesse En Equilibre
3pm - Andrea Smith
4pm - Unreality Magic
6pm-8pm - outside Acme; Herbicidal Maniacs

Show and Shine - Victoria Crescent and Commercial Street
Entertainment in Diana Krall Plaza:
9am - The Owl and the Pussycat
10am - UnReality Magic
10:30 - Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society Parade
11:30 - Butts Giraud and Andre Kaufmann
1pm - Waiters Race!
2:30 - Nanaimo Bar Contest!

3pm - Herbicidal Maniacs
6pm-8pm - outside Acme; Manglewood


Plumbing Rough-in For Our New Outhouse

Private Contractors Rough-In Toilet

The other day while downtown I saw two different companies working on preparing the rough-in plumbing for our new $120,000, single hole outhouse, as I like to call it.

It is located on Wharf Street right by Diana Krall Plaza which I presume was the least costly spot to provide sewer, water and hydro hook-up for the spiffy new biffy your tax dollars purchased.

Your city council seems to think the only way to keep those late night bar filled bladders from being emptied in merchants doorways was to spring for this high priced outhouse.

Wanna bet, in a year or so this one will be declared so successful city council will spring for two or three more spotted around town.

Just another of those "only in Nanaimo" moments.


Popular Summertime Spot In Nanaimo

Westwood Lake Under Sunny Skies

A popular spot with Nanaimo residents wanting to beat the summer heat, or just enjoy it, is Westwood Lake.

It is one of the only, if not only, public swimming spots still employing lifeguards, as this picture clearly shows. The two white colored umbrellas are the lifeguard stations at the beach.

A resident population of Canada geese can bring some of there inherent problems, like having to watch where you step, and as the water warms up coliform counts sometimes becomes an issue. A small price to pay for sharing our delightful great outdoors, with the residents of the great outdoors.

VIHA monitors the water quality at popular swimming beaches and will post the area if bacteria levels warrant. You can check the current status by checking the Beach Reports by clicking here.


More BC Ferries Summer Sailings


VICTORIA – BC Ferries is adding even more sailings to accommodate summer travellers on its busiest routes starting Saturday, July 27.

For the month of August, extra sailings will be provided from Tsawwassen at 8 pm and from Swartz Bay at 10 pm on both Fridays and Sundays (except August 4) on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route. Starting this Saturday, there will also be extra service on Saturdays at 4 pm from Tsawwassen and 6 pm from Swartz Bay for the duration of the summer.

Extra sailings are scheduled on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as mid-week traffic volumes increase. Customers travelling to and from the mid-Vancouver Island region are reminded to consider sailing between Tsawwassen and Duke Point during busier weekend periods when the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route is at capacity.

For complete BC Ferry schedule information click HERE.


What's Wrong With This Picture?

Nanaimo Inner Harbour July 23

What's wrong with this picture you might ask. Well for one thing we are well into the first month of summer and this is the Marine Festival week, and this is the Nanaimo harbour, which in years past you might expect to be filled with vessels both commercial and pleasure.

I presume with the lack of an operating crane to load and unload their vessels, the commercial operators have simply found accommodation elsewhere. As for the lack of pleasure craft, well that is another matter altogether. Maybe it is just too early, or maybe the boating public is bypassing Nanaimo this year, but whatever the reason, our harbour is a mere shadow of what it used to be in years gone by.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nanaimo Weather Keeps Gettin' Better

Bathtub Race Weekend Weather - Wonderful!

The Sun gods are clearly smiling on the Marine Festival and Bathtub Race events in Nanaimo over the next four days.

Be sure to slather on the sunscreen, drink plenty of water and just enjoy another delightful example of what Nanaimo summers are all about. Lots of sunshine with a perfectly controlled temperature moderated by those balmy breezes provided by our seaside location.

Check out other articles on this site to find out all of the fun things to see and do in the Harbour City which is home to the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race. In it's 47th year!


BC Ferries To Construct Three New Vessels

Queen of Nanaimo Retiring - 2016
VICTORIA – The BC Ferries Commissioner has approved BC Ferries’ application to construct three new intermediate class vessels to replace the 48-year old Queen of Burnaby and the 49- year old Queen of Nanaimo. Both of these vessels are nearing the end of their service lives and are scheduled for retirement in 2016.

BC Ferries intends to build two vessels capable of carrying 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew to replace the Queen of Burnaby, which sails between Comox and Powell River and to replace the Queen of Nanaimo, which services the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route. A third vessel capable of carrying 125 vehicles and 600 passengers and crew will also be built to augment peak and shoulder season service on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route, plus provide refit relief for the other two new ships.

BC Ferries intends to pursue a design-build contract with a shipyard that will be selected through a formal procurement process. The Company will be issuing a Request for Pre- Qualification later this month. Canadian and international shipyards are invited to participate in this process. BC Ferries expects to award a contract for this project in January 2014. The two- 145 vehicle ferries are expected to be in service in 2016 and the 125-vehicle ferry is expected to enter service in 2017.

Among the key design elements yet to be finalized are those respecting liquefied natural gas (LNG). While BC Ferries intends to acquire LNG-fuelled vessels, further technical and financial analyses will be required before a final decision is made. These analyses very much depend on the responses to the Request for Proposals. While vessels fuelled with LNG are expected to have a higher initial capital costs than those fuelled with diesel, they are expected to have lower overall life cycle costs, which would have a positive impact on fares.


Bowen Road Farmers' Market Open July 24

Bowen Road Farmers' Market
 Open Wednesday

The Bowen Road Farmers' Market which is open every Wednesday from 4:00 - 6:30 pm is becoming a very popular spot for those seeking local produce, meats, bread, baking, cheese, preserves etc. etc.

Musicians add to the 'flavour' of the market which is truly a unique experience in Nanaimo offering a wide range of specialty products and quality food items.

There are many vendors offering locally grown produce that is as fresh as it can be, unless you grew it yourself. You will also find artisan bread, meat products, soaps, honey, organic bird seed (for your feathered friends) to name a few items.

So put a big circle on your calendar for Wednesday's from now through to October, and be sure to arrive early as some of the most popular vendors, simply sell out of product.

The market is located at Beban Park on the VIEX grounds ....... you can't miss it!


Nanaimo Noon Hour Cannon Firing

Cannon Firing Every Day at Noon

A long standing Nanaimo tradition is the noon hour firing of the cannon in Pioneer Plaza next to the historic Bastion.

The cannons were originally installed in the Bastion as a means of defending the harbour, capable of propelling a 6 lb. cannon ball over to Protection Island. The cannons were never actually needed to defend Nanaimo and were never fired for that purpose.

Local piper Bill Poppy keeps the tradition alive by faithfully attending at the cannon at noon, filling the air with the distinctive sounds of his bagpipe and shattering the calm precisely at noon as the cannon fires a styrofoam plug (rather than a 6 Lb. cannon ball).

If you haven't checked out the cannon firing in awhile, or a looking for a reason to take your guests downtown, this is an excellent reason to attend. While there, be sure to check out the restored Bastion next to the cannons.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nanaimo Bathtub Race 2013 Fireworks Display

Bathtub Race Fireworks Display
Nanaimo Harbour, Sat. July 27 - 10:00 pm

The Quality Foods "Festival of Lights & Music" fireworks display sponsored by your Quality Foods stores and the LNBS and simulcast of CKWV 102.3 the WAVE.

"Vancouver Island's Biggest Ever Fireworks Show"


Nanaimo 2013 Bathtub Week Highlights

2013 Marine Festival Highlights 
For Complete Details Click Image Above

Thursday July 25th
Official Cake Cutting at Quality Foods Northridge Plaza 10:30AM

Friday July 26th
  • Maffeo Sutton Park Marine Fesitval Events Open 9:00 am
  • Bathtub Days Street Fair Opens Downtown 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Marine Festival Food Fare  11:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • TIM HORTONS Marine Festival Entertainment Stage 1:30 am - 10:00 pm
  • Bavarian Garden Opens 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Saturday July 27th
  • Free Parking in Bastion Street Parkade 9:30am - 5:00pm
  • Maffeo Suitton Park Displays, Food and Events 9:00 am -
  • Bathtub Days Street Fair Downtown 9:00am - 5:00 pm
  • Sail Past On Wheels Parade 10:30 am
  • Aurora Fly Over 11:20 am - 11:45 am
  • Bavarian Garden Opens 12:00 noon - 7:00 pm
  • HMCS Nanaimo Open House 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm Cruise Ship Pier
  • TIM HORTONS Marine Festival Entertainment Stage 12:00 noon - 10:00 pm
  • SS Minnow Open House Nanaimo Boat Basin 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm
  • 'On Water" firefighting demonstration Newcastle Island Ferry Dock 1:00 pm
  • FIREWORKS "Quality Foods "Festival of Lights" Inner Harbour 10:00 pm

Sunday July 28th
  • Free Parking in Bastion Street Parkade 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Maffeo Sutton Park Displays, Food and Events 9:00 am -
  • 47th Annual Great International World Championship Bathtub Race 11:00 AM Sharp
  • Race Finish Line at Departure Bay Beach (about 1 hour after start)


Nanaimo Marine Festival Events Schedule

July 26 - 28, 2013
Marine Festival &
World Championship Bathtub Race


Councillor George Anderson Nanaimo

Councillor Anderson - A Stickler For Procedure?

After observing every meeting of this council since elected there is one observation about George Anderson that is a little troubling. It would seem that in addition to lowering the average age of council, he seems to think he has to single handedly enforce Roberts Rules as he sees them.

It would seem that the person chairing the meeting should be given the latitude to conduct the meeting as they see fit, and it doesn't necessarily put Mr. Anderson in the best light with him being the first to interrupt a speaker who is addressing council.

What Mr. Anderson seems to not understand, is that it is only a common courtesy of a city council to allow public delegations some latitude in their presentations to council, realizing that many are not seasoned parliamentarians with a firm grasp of proper parliamentary procedure.

Further, for the average person to even build up the courage to make a presentation to council should automatically cut them some slack, as the whole experience of addressing council is not a warm, fuzzy one. I speak from personal experience.

Mr. Anderson Needs To Let The Chair, Chair The Meeting

Mr. Anderson, who is usually pretty much silent on most matters, really needs to contain his urge to demonstrate his superior knowledge of Roberts Rules and take the lead from more seasoned Councillors who recognize respect and courtesy is a two way street.


The Downtown Hotel Deal - Good For Who?

Has Nothing To Do With Conferences

You have to wonder if it really was necessary to giveaway $10,000,000 by way of a tax holiday to get the 'hotel' deal downtown adjacent the conference centre.

The whole rationale behind the hotel tax exemption bylaw was to encourage a hotelier to build an upscale hotel adjacent the conference centre, which would then allow us to attract bigger and better conferences to our underused centre. This hotel would seem to not do that at all, and in fact is taking away up to 255 parking spaces from the conference centre to serve hotel 'guests'.

As this deal unfolds we are already beginning to see just how sharp and tough our city 'negotiator' Mr. Howatt and NEDC head Mr. Angus really are, and how they were able to give the SSS group pretty much everything they were likely asking for.

The first little deal has to do with the parking stalls at VICC which originally was going to see the hotel allowed to use 190 of them at a cost of $95/month, which is what the Casino is currently paying. Turns out they now want up to 255 and they want to pay for them at a rate of $3.17 per day that they are used...... not the same deal at all.

So, not only are they not providing parking in their own hotel, they will be taking up just about all the parking under the VICC to service their guests, who most likely will have nothing to do with the conference centre. So if we book a large conference and delegates want to drive to the event, where are they to park? Good question Mr. Howat, and Mr. Angus.

The other little change of plan, seems instead of 17 floors they want to build 20 floors instead, which also increases the number of units available for rent/sale.

The entire building 'could' be stratified, and 'all' of the suites 'could' be sold as condos, which may or may not be made available for rental. Of course right now we are being told the owners can only live in them 2 weeks a year, and have to make them available for rent, the rest of the time. But of course, I doubt if the city will have any real control over that, once we are that far down the road.

The other little eye raiser about this whole deal, is the fact the hotelier has only had to put up $100,000 to swing this whole deal, and has 18 months before actually having to have a foundation in the ground.

I am not really sure what the city negotiators were able to spare us from, but I suspect it will become apparent just how much of the farm we have given away over the fullness of time.


Third Annual Fringe Fest Aug. 13 - 25

Fringetastic Theatre Festival

Read about the upcoming festival shows by clicking the above image and be sure to stay tuned for more announcements still to come.

You can participate in this years event by:
  • Billeting a visiting artist
  • Performing on the free stage
  • Helping out for a few hours at the festival.