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Ursula Vaira Book Launch


The Nanaimo Museum has been fortunate enough to host a variety of unique events, receptions, literary and photography launches as well as guest lecturers over the years. Below is a comprehensive list of past events the Nanaimo museum has hosted to date. To learn more about current and coming events the museum is hosting Click HERE.


Exhibit Presentation - Stories of Nanaimo Characters, Con Men & Celebrities
Tuesday, April 19       Time: 1:30pm - 2:15pm

The Nanaimo Museum is hosting presentations on our Characters, Con Men & Celebrities feature exhibit. Visitors will join exhibit curator, Aimee Greenaway, to hear selected stories from the exhibit including details and characters that were edited out. Pre-registration is required and the cost is $5 per person.


Shipwrecked! Drop-in Kid's program
Saturday, April 2,  Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Part of Festival Nanaimo's PirateFEST downtown!

The museum is offering themed drop-in activities to tie in with Pirate Fest, happening downtown April 2nd. Take a treasure map scavenger hunt through the museum’s exhibits to find a cannon, sailing ship model, pirate’s coat and artifacts from real shipwrecks. Make pirate-themed crafts. Come dressed in your own pirate costume from home and check out all the fun downtown!

Spring Break Activities
March 14 - 24, Various Times

This year, School District 68 is having a two week spring break and the Nanaimo Museum is hosting family activities from March 14-24. There will be Family Discovery self-guided tours & new evening events along with our popular drop-in workshops.  Admission is by donation for all of our spring break programming. Children must be accompanied by a caregiver at all times. 

Night at the Museum: Tuesdays, March 15 & 22 5:30pm - 7:00pm.

Self-guided Family Discovery tours: Monday, March 14, Friday, March 18 and Monday March 21 10:00am - 4:00pm

Heritage Drop-in Programs: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 1pm - 4pm
Wednesday, March 16 Chinatown
Wednesday, March 17 Coal Miner
Wednesday, March 23 Space
Thursday, March 24 Vikings


Nanaimo Museum AGM
Tuesday, March 15              Time: 5:00pm - 6:15pm

The Nanaimo Museum will host is Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, March 15th. We've got refreshments, door prizes & we'll be giving guests a "sneak peek" at stories from the upcoming feature exhibit The Story Behind the Artifact. Members are encouraged to attend - voting at the AGM is one of your membership rights!

Family Day Heritage Activities
Monday, February 8       Time: 10:00pm - 1:00pm

To celebrate Family Day in BC, as well as February Heritage month, the Nanaimo Museum will be hosting drop-in heritage themed kids activities in the gallery. Admission is by donation, and caregivers must be present at all times. The museum will be open from 10-3 on Family Day.


Behind the Scenes Tours
Thursdays, November 12 & 19              Time: 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Ever wondered how the museum creates an exhibit?  This tour will take you behind the scenes with museum staff members to see our exhibit preparation area.  Learn how we select topics, design exhibits and select artifacts.


Lantern Tours
Fridays, October 16, 23, 30                  Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Back by popular demand!  Lantern tours cover the darker side of history at downtown locations including the site of the last public hanging, the scandalous story of the famous architect who designed the courthouse and a murderer who was hung on Gallows Point.  Pre-registration is required and the cost is $15 per person.


Brother XII Tour
Wednesdays, October 14, 21 & 28       Time: 6:30pm - 7:15pm

This downtown walking tour features Nanaimo’s most infamous resident.  Join the Nanaimo Museum as we separate fact from fiction about the life of Brother XII.  The tour stops at locations connected to Brother XII before and after he started a cult in Cedar-By-the-Sea in the late 1920s.  Artifacts connected with the Brother XII colony will be on exhibit in the museum.  Pre-registration is required and the cost is $10 per person.

My First Museum Visit
Tuesdays, September 29, October 27, November 24                                   Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm

Bring your preschool aged child or grandchild to visit the museum!  There are activities to keep small hands busy including Touch tours, I-Spy game and petroglyph rubbings.  This is a great way to introduce your child to the museum in a fun way.  The program is drop-in and caregivers must be present at all times.  Activities are geared towards children 3-4 years old but younger or older siblings are welcome.  Pre-registration is not required and cost is included in regular admission.


Feature Exhibit Opening Reception - A Terrible Beauty
Thursday, September 3rd Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Join us for the opening of our fall feature exhibit A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky in Dialogue with Emily Carr! Hosted in partnership with Nanaimo Art Gallery, the exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see the works of Emily Carr and Edward Burtynksky on public exhibition in Nanaimo. The opening event takes place on Thursday, September 3 from 5pm-7pm at the Nanaimo Museum. Light refreshments will be served.

Immediately following the opening for A Terrible Beauty, the Nanaimo Art Gallery will host an opening for their complimentary exhibit Silva, from 7pm - 9pm, which continues the theme of man's impact on his environment. More information about both the exhibit and the opening can be found at the Nanaimo Art Gallery Exhibit page.

Wellington Cemetery Tours
July 16th & August 20th, Time: 10:00am - 10:45am

The Wellington Cemetery is one of the city’s best kept secrets.  The history of the Wellington area and stories of families who lived and were buried there over 100 years ago are featured in the tour.  Tour cost is $10 and pre-registration is required. Please call 250-753-1821 or email program@nanaimomuseum.ca.


Ivan Sayers Fashion Presentations
Tuesdays, May 26th, June 9 & 16, 2015  - Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Fashion historian Ivan Sayers will give a presentation about the transformation of women's clothing before, during and after WW2. The presentations are part of the Nanaimo Museum's feature exhibit Rationing to Ravishing: The Transformation of Women's Fashions in the 40s & 50s. Ivan Sayers and Claus Jahnke are the guest co-curators of this exhibit, which draws on their extensive textile collection. Join us for Ivan's always popular presentations from 2:00pm - 4:00pm on May 26 & June 9. Cost is $10 (member discount available), and pre-registration is required. All attendees will be entered to win a door prize courtesy of exhibit sponsor Julia's Ladies Clothing. Please call or email us to register. 250-753-1821 or info@nanaimomuseum.ca

Extra dates: Jun 16 & August 11


Wilf Hatch Drawings - Artist on Site
Saturday, April 11th, 2015  - Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Local artist Wilf Hatch is well known for his photography, but has returned to his art school roots with a collection of recent graphite sketches & drawings. The pieces span various subjects, including buildings and places important to Nanaimo. Several of his works will be displayed in our community gallery for the months of April & May, and Wilf will be on-site April 11th from 1:00pm to
4:00pm to talk about his art.


Speaker Series #1 - Red Lights in Nanaimo
Wednesday, February 11th 2015 - Tim
e: 1:30pm

**Addtional Presentation added! - Wednesday April 1, 1:30pm**

This presentation for adults and seniors highlights Nanaimo’s red light district on Fraser Street from the 1890s-1920s. Red Lights features historical photos and maps of Fraser Street and includes the stories of women who lived on Fraser Street in the early 1900s, the perspectives of law enforcement and possible reasons why the district no longer exists.  The presentation is 45 minutes and the cost is $10, which includes admission to the Red Lights & Roulette feature exhibit.  Pre-registration is required.


Spring Break Drop in Programs (Ages 5-12)
March 23rd - March 27th, 2015  - Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Back by popular demand, we are offering drop-in programs for children ages 5-12 during spring break.  Admission is by donation and caregivers must be present for the duration of the program.  The activities are from 1pm-4pm and will take approximately one hour to complete.  Please check back in March for more details.

  •  Monday, March 23:  Blast from the Past
  • Tuesday, March 24: Coal Miner
  • Wednesday, March 25:  Sail Away
  • Thursday, March 26:  Chinatown
  • Friday, March 27:  Shipwrecked!


Speaker Series #2 - Dr. Alison Marshall Book Reading - Cultivating Connections
Wednesday, February 18th 2015  - Time: 3:30pm

In the late 1870s, thousands of Chinese men left coastal British Columbia and the western United States and headed east, and north. For these men, the Prairies were a land of opportunity: there, they could open shops, and potentially earn eanough money to marry. The result of almost a decade's research to build an archive and more than three hundred interviews, Cultivating Connections tells the stories of some of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada's Chinese settlers -- across the generations, between the genders, and through cultural difference.

Dr. Alison Marshall will give a reading from her book, and talk about her research & experiences in this field. Thank you to VIU’s Faculties of Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities for bringing Dr. Marshall to Nanaimo. Admission by donation.

For more information on Dr. Marshall and her work, please click HERE

Speaker Series #3 - WW1 Nanaimo
Wednesday, February 25th 2015  - Time: 1:00pm

During the centennial of World War I, Paige Fehr, VIU history student and Nanaimo Museum summer student, will be presenting on Nanaimo during the Great War.  The presentation will include historical photos and takes place Wednesday, Feb. 25 from 1:00-1:30. Admission is by donation.

Quill Pens & Ink Wells (Ages 5-12)
Every Saturday for February Heritage Month - Time: 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Heritage Week has expanded!  There will be a month of presentations and family activities.  Every Saturday in February families can participate in Quill Pens & Ink Wells from 12pm-3pm.  Write with a quill pen and play with historical toys.  Admission is by donation.


Under the Christmas Tree

Saturday, December 13th

12:00pm - 3:00pm

Include this event in your family Christmas traditions!  Make a Christmas tree ornament to take home, play with historic toys and check out the feature exhibit on toys.  Join storyteller Margaret Murphy from 12:30-1:15 for Christmas stories.  Admission is by donation.  For more information please call 250 753-1821


Lantern Tours

Wednesday October 8, 15, 22 & 29

6:30pm - 8:00pm

The museum is hosting Lantern Tours featuring stories of a grisly axe-murder from 145 years ago, public hangings, and reputed ghost sightings.  The Lantern Tour will take participants on a walk through downtown.  The group will stop outside various locations including the old provincial jail and hotels.  The tour meets at the Nanaimo Museum, the cost is $15 per person and pre-registration is required.

Bastion Tours

Thursdays and Saturdays in July & August at 12:00 (Excluding July 26) (after the cannon firing)

Watch the firing of the noon cannon and go on a guided tour of the Bastion.  Find out why the Bastion was built, the story behind the nearly 200 year old cannons and even ghostly experiences.  This tour is family friendly and takes 20 minutes.  Admission by donation.


Pioneer Cemetery Tours

Second and fourth Thursdays in July & August at 1:30 pm

Discover the stories buried in BC's third oldest cemetery.  Nanaimo's original cemetery dates back to the 1850s and is now a public park.  Stories of families, sailors and a casualty of the Crimean War in Russia paint a picture of life in Nanaimo over 160 years ago.  The cost is $10 per person, pre-registration required.  The tour is 45 minutes long.

Author Talk featuring Jan Peterson

Thursday, June 26th 2014  - Time: 3:00pm

The Nanaimo Museum invites you to join Nanaimo author Jan Peterson at the museum for coffee at 3pm on Thursday, June 26. Jan will talk about her research and writing and reveal her latest book, PORT ALBERNI: More than 
just a mill town. She will also talk about her well-known book A Place in Time: Nanaimo Chronicles and might also give a preview of another book she is 
researching about Nanaimo.

More Than Just a Mill Town documents Jan's years as a reporter for the Alberni Valley Times during the boom and bust decades of the 1980s and '90s. Jan has combined meticulous historical research with great photos, fascinating interviews, and her own personal reflections to create a rich portrait of a vibrant and resilient community during a tumultuous period in BC's history.

Nanaimo Chronicles - is a collection of vignettes that tell the story of the people and the city. It also chronicles the yearly events in the life of the community from the arrival of the pioneers to the turn of the twenty-first century. Simple questions are answered about the history of a street, park, or building in the old town. The history of the Port of Nanaimo is also documented. Proceeds from the book are donated to the Nanaimo Museum Endowment Fund.

Jan Peterson is a Nanaimo-based historian and author of ten previous books on Vancouver Island history. She was the recipient of a Jack Wasserman Award for Investigative Journalism for her work on social and environmental issues in the Alberni Valley during the 1980s.

For more information, please call 250-753-1821 or email info@nanaimomuseum.ca

Speaker Series - Passages to Canada Presentation
Thursday, June 12th 2014  - Time: 2:00pm

The Nanaimo Museum is hosting three guest speakers that will be sharing their stories of immigration to Canada.  The speakers are Moussa Magassa from Senegal, Samuel Ramos from El Salvador, and Jia Tsu Thompson from Asia are part of the Passages Canada program.  This presentation ties in with the museum's summer feature exhibit, Canada: Day 1, from the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax.  Admission to the Passages Canada presentation is by donation.  For more information please visit www.nanaimomuseum.ca or call 250 753-1821.

Speaker Biographies:  

Moussa Magassa

Moussa Magassa was born in Senegal and came to Canada in 2001. He has dedicated his career to creating environments built around mutual respect and inclusivity. He has worked for over 15 years in post-conflict peace building and human rights in Africa, Asia and Canada. As a Human Rights Education Advisor at the University of Victoria, he raises awareness among students, staff and others in the university community of human rights issues with the goal of increasing diversity and creating a far and inclusive environment.  Mr. Magassa is also involved with the Inter-Cultural Association of Great Victoria where he facilitates the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces program in order to support the integration of newcomers to Victoria. Mr. Magassa actively volunteers his time to various causes in Victoria. He is President of the La Société Francophone de Victioria, and advisor to the Victoria-Saanich Police Diversty Committee, and the National table of community cooperation in Francophone immigration. He is also a founding member of the Black Canadian Studies Association in Vancouver. Since 2003, he has been a speaker with Passages Canada.

Samuel Ramos

Samuel is currently a writer and editor working with organizations mandated to enrich the community. He holds a degree in English Literature from McMaster University and a graduate degree in Journalism from the University of King's College. He works with a community newspaper published in Canada's two official languages: English and French.  With a mandate of bridging the many cultures and ethnic communities in Metro Vancouver, the Source Newspaper focuses on promoting diversity and interculturalism.  He also works with other non-profits like the YWCA in promoting their vision of empowering women and helping build better futures for them and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.

Telling stories comes naturally to him, and Canada's history is an ever-developing one—a story worth telling and listening to.  Samuel is eager to encourage people of all ages to contribute, not only to the nourishment of their own tale, but to the betterment of Canadian society and a rich history.  Samuel has been a Passages Canada speaker since 2013. 

Jia Tsu (Chai Chu) Thompson
Jia Thompson arrived in Canada in 1966 with her husband who she had met in the U.S. They first lived in Halifax while her husband worked at Dalhousie University and Jia worked as a teacher in the field of genetics. She was very involved in community work: received the citizenship citation (model citizen) for Nova Scotia, founder of Visible Minority Women’s Coalition, Immigrant Women’s representation to the Geneva Conference. She also won a human rights case regarding employment discrimination that she faced at Dartmouth Academy. She was the owner of a well-known Chinese store and Tea House on Halifax’s Lower Water Street, the Mu Lan Chinese Cultural Centre. Jia now lives in Vancouver. 

Book Launch - Dark Moon Walking by R.J. McMillen


Saturday, May 10th 2014                                                                               Time: 2:00pm

"They have little in common. They don’t even like each other. But when a life hangs in the balance, these two men from very different cultures find their distinct knowledge and skills are the perfect mix.”

Dark Moon Walking, the first book in the Dan Connor Mystery series, is set on our beautiful west coast. It features ex-RCMP officer Dan Connor, who lost his wife to the job and who is trying to lose himself among the remote islands north of Port Hardy, and Kwakwaka’wakw Native, Walker, whom Dan arrested ten years before the start of the story, and who has returned to his
village to try and find his roots and learn the traditional ways of his people.

The book will be launched at the Nanaimo Museum on May 10th, 2014 at 2:00 pm. There will be a brief reading, followed by a question and answer period, and book signing. Drinks and snacks provided.


Naomi Wakan - Memoir Workshop
Saturday, April 26th 2014                                                                               Time: 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Have you Started your Memoirs Yet?

Naomi Beth Wakan, the inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo, has eventually got around to writing hers and would be delighted to discuss with you why you are procrastinating, what might be worth putting in (or throwing out), and how happy you will be when you have finished them. Naomi’s presentations are fun and encouraging.  She is the author of more than 50 books (her memoirs just out is Some Sort of Life) and is experienced in helping people look back into their past.  As she says, “Everyone counts for someone and is a star in their own life.” Admission is by donation. Please register by email (admin@nanaimomuseum.ca) or phone 250-753-1821 by
Thursday April 24th to reserve your spot.


Speaker Series #3 - Departure Bay in the 1880s
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014                                                                         Time: 3:00pm

Lynne Bowen, will be giving a presentation on life in Departure Bay during the 1880s.  Bowen's presentation will feature stories from her book Three Dollar Dreams including how the coal wharf changed the area and the luxury home built for James Dunsmuir's family.She will also give the audience a sneak peek into her experiences as a writer, including research for a book that was not published.  Lynne's presentation is on Wednesday, April 23 at 3:00 pm.  Pre-registration is not required, admission by donation.


Museum Society 50th Anniversary 1964 - 2014
April 2014                                                                                                  Various Times

The museum is hoping the community will join in the celebrations by sharing their memories and donating artifacts or photos that tell a story of
Nanaimo in 1964. Anniversary events are scheduled for April and the museum is hoping to reconnect with people who were involved in the early days of the Museum Society.

A display about Nanaimo in 1964 is also in the works. We are creating a
1964 collection to commemorate our city the year the museum society
started. We are asking the community to donate artifacts or photos from
1964 that tell a good Nanaimo story. The exhibit will be on display at the
museum in April. Artifact donation inquiries should be directed to David

Past and present community members who were involved with the society or
museum in its early years are encouraged to contact the museum. This is a
community museum and we would love to see our early members and volunteers again! Anyone connected with the museum around the time it opened is encouraged to contact Debbie Trueman at 250-753-1821.

Check back in March for updates on anniversary celebration activities like
select free admission days for seniors and families in April and social
media posts where people are encouraged to share their photos or memories of Nanaimo in 1964. 


Artist On Site - Wilf Hatch
Saturday, March 15th                                                                                 Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm

Local artist Wilf Hatch is well known for his photography, but has returned to his art school roots with a collection of recent graphite sketches & drawings. The pieces span various subjects, including buildings and places important to Nanaimo. Several of his works will be displayed in our community gallery for the month of March, and Wilf will be on-site March 15th from 10am to 5pm to talk about his art.

Spring Break Drop-in Activities 2014
Tuesday, March 17th to Friday March 21st                                                     Time: 1:00pm to 4:00pm

A family friendly week of drop-in activities will take place at the Nanaimo Museum during Spring Break Monday, March 17 to Friday, March 21 from 1 pm - 4 pm. The activities are designed for children ages 5-12 years to participate in on a drop-in basis.  Children must be supervised by a caregiver at all times during the activities.  Admission is by donation, including all spring break activities and a museum visit.

Monday, March 17 - Time Travel
  •    make a ball and cup toy
  •    use quill pens in the school exhibit
  •    play with old fashioned toys

Tuesday, March 18 - Coal Miner
  •    take a tour through the coal mine exhibit
  •    make a paper safety lamp
  •    touch real artifacts that coal miners used

Wednesday, March 19 - Dinosaurs
  •    make a dinosaur mask
  •    sift for dinosaur bones
  •    make fossils of dinosaur footprints

Thursday, March 20 - Sports History
  •    make an Olympic torch
  •    go on scavenger hunt with your family in the museum's Sports Hall of  
        Fame to learn about local athletes past and present
  •    make a soccer ball craft

Friday, March 21 - Shipwrecked!
  •    make a pirate flag
  •    follow the treasure map
  •    wear an eye patch

For more information please call 250 753-1821 or email program@nanaimomuseum.ca.


Speaker Series - The Private Journal of Captain G.H. Richards: The Vancouver Island Survey (1860-1862)
Wednesday, March 12th                                                                                 Time: 1:00pm

Most people in Nanaimo are familiar with Mt. Benson, Mt. Moriarty, Mudge Island, De Courcy Island, Bowen Island and Galiano Island.  What they may not know is that these and many other places were officially named by Captain George Henry Richards of the Royal Navy between 1857 and 1863.  Richards and his crew were nautical surveyors and were tasked with surveying and charting the waters around Vancouver Island.  A driven and meticulous man, Richards and his crew compiled 36 charts, the Vancouver Island Pilot, and surveyed thousands of miles of coastline in these few short years.  Based on details from Richards’ own journal, this presentation will consider Richards as surveyor, and his and his crews’ contribution to our local history.

Presenters: Linda Dorricott and Deidre Cullon, editors of The Private Journal of Captain G.H. Richards: The Vancouver Island Survey (1860-1862)

Speaker Series - The Land of Heart's Delight
Tuesday, March 4th                                                                                   Time: 1:30pm

Just how, and why, did Vancouver Island get onto the map? How was knowledge of our immediate geography acquired and recorded? Michael Layland will present a talk about his new book, The Land of Heart’s Delight; Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island. The book relates the stories behind some 130 maps of the island dating between 1593 and 1915 — before the arrival of Europeans through to the start of the First World War. The author will tell of his researches and what he discovered in the process. He will illustrate his talk with a few examples of maps included in the book. Copies of the book will be available for sale, and signed if requested.


Lynne Bowen Book Launch - Those Island People
Monday, February 17th                                                                                   Time: 3:00pm

In the thirty-three years that Lynne Bowen has been researching and writing Western Canadian history, she has met many fascinating people through documents and interviews. Not all of them have appeared in the six books she has written, but their stories are worth telling. Her new book,Those Island People, profiles twenty-five Vancouver Islanders: jailbirds. missionaries, bootleggers, lighthouse keepers, piano tuners, poker players and labour organizers. The Nanaimo Museum and Rocky Point Books, in cooperation with museums in Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Port Alberni, Salt Spring Island and Cumberland, will be releasing Those Island People in February 2014 as a Heritage Week project.


Lunar New Year
Saturday, January 25th                                                                                   Time: 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Celebrate Lunar New Year at the Nanaimo Museum and Vancouver Island Conference Centre!  The event features Chinese performances, cultural activities and the popular Lion Dance.  The event takes place on Saturday, January 25 from 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm. Family activities at the museum are from 12:00-3:00.  The Lion Dance will be performed in the museum at 1:00 pm by Jacky Li, a local martial arts and Lion Dance instructor.  Cultural performances will take place in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre from 1:30-3:30. The Year of the Horse celebration is hosted in partnership by the Nanaimo Museum, Chinese Cultural Society, Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society and new partners the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and Downtown Nanaimo BIA. Admission to Lunar New Year is by donation.


Under the Christmas Tree
Saturday, December 14th                                                                           Time: 1:00pm-4:00pm

Features Christmas stories with professional storyteller Margaret Murphy at 1pm.  After storytelling is over there are children’s activities and time to check out the feature exhibit on Toys. For more information visit www.nanaimomuseum.ca or email program@nanaimomuseum.ca


Lantern Tours   ***FULL
Fridays, October 18 & 25 and Wednesdays, October 23 & 30               Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm

EXTRA DATES ADDED: Tuesday, October 22nd & Monday, October 28th


The Nanaimo Museum is hosting a new Lantern Tour this October featuring stories of a grisly axe-murder from 145 years ago, public hangings, and reputed ghost sightings. The Lantern Tour will take participants on a walk through downtown, highlighting the history of the locations and archival photos to illustrate each tale.  Some of the stories, like Brother XII, are well-known locally but the stories of Peter Kakua and the Flying Dutchman are not.  Pre-registration is required. Please call 250-753-1821 for details.

For the full press release click HERE.

Dr. David Gray Arctic Presentation 
Tuesday, October 29th                                                                           
Time: 4:00pm-5:15pm

Join Dr. David Gray, curator of the Expedition: Arctic exhibit for a guided tour and presentation, including the journey of the ill-fated ship, Karluk, passing by Nanaimo on its way north in 1913.  Dr. Gray will also highlight his role in the Canadian Arctic Expedition research trip to Banks Island this past summer.  David Gray is an independent researcher, writer, and filmmaker, specializing in the areas of environment, parks, local history and arctic ecology.  Pre-registration is not required.  Admission is $5 at the door on a first come, first served basis.  For more information please visit www.nanaimomuseum.ca

More information on Dr. David Gray can be found HERE

Paula Wild Book Launch: The Cougar - Beautiful, Wild & Dangerous

Saturday, October 12                                                                               Time: 2:00pm-3:30pm

Vancouver Island is known not only for having the highest density of cougars, but also the most aggressive cougar population in North America. Join author Paula Wild as she gives a slideshow presentation, talk and book signing for her new book that explores our evolving relationship with this enigmatic animal: 'The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous' (Douglas & McIntyre). This event will take place at the Nanaimo Museum on Saturday, October 12. 

For more information on author Paula Wild and this book click HERE.

Expedition Arctic Feature Exhibit Tours

Thursdays, September 12 & 26, October 10 & 24 from 1:00am-1:30pm

Take a journey through the awe-inspiring story of Arctic exploration through the feature exhibit, Expedition Arctic 1913–1918.  This 30 minute gallery tour spotlights artifacts and archival photos connected to the 100 year old scientific expedition and Copper Inuit culture.  The cost of the tour is included in admission to the museum.  For more information visit our website at www.nanaimomuseum.ca or call (250) 753-1821.

Summer Bastion & Cannon Firings
Bastion Open Daily May 18 to September 2 from 10:00am-3:00pmStart your summer off with a bang!  Nanaimo’s historic 1853 Hudson’s Bay Company Bastion is open daily May 18 through Labour Day, September 2 from 10:00-3:00.  Step back in time with a walk through Nanaimo’s oldest heritage building and visit three floors of museum exhibits.  Visitor information is also available during Bastion operating hours.  Experience the cannon firing re-enactment ceremony from 11:45-12:00 daily.  On Thursdays and Saturdays in July and August only the cannon firing ceremony features Highland dance performances by youth from the Brigadoon Dance Academy.  These dance performances are a tribute to the Scottish families that immigrated to Nanaimo in the 1850s.  The Bastion is located on Front Street in downtown.  For more information call (250) 753-1821.


 Old City Walking Tours
Wednesday June 19 & Wednesday July 17 from 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Those beautiful heritage homes that you drive or walk past have remarkable stories to tell! The Nanaimo Museum will be presenting a walking tour on heritage homes in the “Old City” neighborhood near downtown.  The presentation will highlight several homes that are on the heritage registry and stories about the people who lived in or built them.  Archival photos from the Nanaimo Museum’s collection will show prominent homes that have been demolished.  The cost is $15 per person and pre-registration is required.  For more information visit our website at www.nanaimomuseum.ca or call (250) 753-1821.

Cemetery Tours
Tuesdays, July 9, & August 20: 1pm-2:30pm & 6pm-7:30pm

Discover the stories of people who shaped Nanaimo over the last 150 years on a guided cemetery tour.  The tour highlights unique local history including a prospector who struck it rich in the Klondike gold rush, victims of a tragic plane crash, and regular people who left their home countries all over the world in search of a better life in Nanaimo.  New on the tour for 2013 are people connected to the 100th anniversary of the coal miners’ strike riot in Extension, an explosive labour dispute that erupted into violence and divided communities in Extension and Ladysmith.  The cost is $15 per person and pre-registration is required.  For more information visit our website at www.nanaimomuseum.ca or call (250) 753-1821.

Cottage Tours
Wednesdays in July & August from 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Visit a 1890s coal miner’s house to see what life was like for a typical Nanaimo family.  This modest home is less than 500 square feet in size and may have had as many as eight family members living there!  The No. 19 steam locomotive will also open to the public and visitors can take an up-close look at one of the largest artifacts in the museum’s collection.  The cottage and locomotive are located in Piper Park, just a three minute walk from the Nanaimo Museum.  Tours are available by donation and on a drop-in basis.  For more information visit our website at www.nanaimomuseum.ca or call (250) 753-1821.

Only in Nanaimo Gallery Tours
Fridays in July & August from 1:00pm - 1:45pm

The international Bathtub Race and Nanaimo Bar are known all over the world, but many other things make Nanaimo a unique city!  This new gallery tour highlights artifacts with one-of-a-kind stories and includes artifacts from the museum’s collection that are rarely displayed.  The cost of the tour is included in admission to the museum.  For more information visit our website at www.nanaimomuseum.ca or call (250) 753-1821.

Art Deco Fashions - Presentation by Fashion Historian Ivan Sayers

Tuesday June 18 & Saturday June 29th, 2pm-4pm (Please Register)

The Art Deco movement had a profound influence on the world of fashion in the 1920s to 1930s. In the feature exhibit Art Deco Fashions, visitors to the Nanaimo Museum can view over 25 garments and accessories that beautifully represent the era’s trends of simplicity, cubism, and youthfulness. Beginning in Paris, the style quickly gained worldwide popularity, drawing inspiration from geometric shapes to evoke elegance and modernity. It was also influenced by an increased ability to travel world wide – bringing inspiration from faraway places such as Russia, Egypt, and Mexico. Pieces were selected from the collections of guest curators, Ivan Sayers and Claus Jahnke, the Nanaimo Museum and other private collections. The exhibit runs from May 9th to August 6th.

Join fashion historian Ivan Sayers for a lecture on Art Deco fashions, The Lost and Found:  Sex Appeal in Women’s Fashions 1920s and 1930s, on Tuesday June 18th & Saturday June 29th from 2-4pm.

Call 250-753-1821 or email program@nanaimomuseum.ca to register

Historic Nanaimo Photos - Silent Auction
Thursday June 6th, 2013
Auction Open 10:00am, Reception 6:00pm

The Nanaimo Museum's latest hallway display features prints of old 
Nanaimo photographs by artist Matt James. The digitally restored photos 
will be available for viewing 10am-5pm daily until the beginning of July.

These and other works will be available for purchase during a silent 
auction & reception on Thursday, June 6th. The reception runs from 6:00pm-8:00pm and the auction will be open all day from 10:00am to 8:00pm. A percentage of sales will be donated to local charities. 

As a hobby historian, Matt spends much of his time researching and 
selecting images from various collections including the Nanaimo Museum 
and Nanaimo Community Archives. The prints are meticulously restored and 
enhanced to create beautiful images of our city's history. 

Heritage Week
February 18-24, 2013                                                              
Presentation: Tues, February 19th - 1:00pm to 2:00pm                                                      or Thurs, February 21st - 6:30pm-7:30pm

Those beautiful heritage homes that you drive or walk past in Nanaimo have remarkable stories to tell!  The Nanaimo Museum will be hosting a presentation on heritage homes in the Old City neighborhood on the edge of downtown’s commercial district.  The presentation will include photos of homes on the heritage registry and stories about the people who have lived there.

This event ties in with the provincial heritage week theme, and will take place at the museum. The cost is $5 per person and pre-registration is required.  Group bookings are also available for 15 or more people. To register, or for more information, please call 250-753-1821 or email program@nanaimomuseum.ca.


Lunar New Year
February 9, 2013
1:00pm to 3:00pm

Many of you have enjoyed this event for over 15 years!  Lunar New Year will feature a Lion Dance and cultural performance from China, Korea, and Thailand.  The Nanaimo Museum is honored to host this annual event with the Chinese Cultural Society and the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society. Admission is by donation.


Yesteryear Christmas
December 15, 2012 
12:00pm to 4:00pm

 Experience an old fashioned family Christmas at the Nanaimo Museum featuring historical toys, crafts, and treats.  Children (and the young at heart) will enjoy playing with toys that were popular 100 years ago. Decorate traditional Christmas sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles for your own holiday treat, or make your own Christmas craft. 

Professional storyteller, Margaret Murphy, will be sharing the classic fairy tale The Elves and the Shoemaker about magic and bringing joy to others.  She will also be telling the Canadian tale, The Christmas Wish by Lynn Fels about a young girl’s very special gift from Santa.  Storytelling will take place from 1:00pm-1:40pm.


Double Book Launch
November 17, 2012 
1:00pm to 3:00pm

The Nanaimo Museum  is excited to host a joint book launch with authors Kate Braid & Marilyn Bowering. Journeywoman is Braid’s autobiographical account of her groundbreaking story of success in the male-dominated field of carpentry, at a time when women in trades were rare and discouraged. Bowering’s Soul Mouthis a collection of poetry that explores the story of childhood and the development of observation, sexuality, and spirituality through their connections to the animal world and nature. The launch will happen in the museum gallery and light refreshments will be served.


BC Writers Book Launch & Hallway Exhibit
Book Launch: November 24, 2012 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Hallway Exhibition: November 24, 2012 - January 31, 2013

 111 West Coast Literary Portraits by Barry Peterson and Blaise Enright features rare portraits of emerging, mid-career and well-known writers who have lived in B.C., accompanied by excerpts of their writing. Vancouver Island authors who have contributed to this book include Katherine Gordon, George Szanto, Joe Rosenblatt and Kim Goldberg.

 In 1998 Barry Peterson and Blaise Enright began photographing writers in black and white. They travelled the Coast and Gulf Islands for five years seeking the famous and infamous. They shot over 60 portraits in black and white of writers in their personal space, where they felt less inhibited, resulting in intimate portraits of B.C.’s best, most honoured, as well as emerging, literary talent.

 Light refreshments will be provided on November 24 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and the Nanaimo Museum will be selling copies of this fascinating book.


Cecile Jacobs Presentation
October 18, 2012 
1:30pm - 3:30pm

Artist Cecile Jacobs will give a tour and presentation of her work on October 18, 2012 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. A self-taught fibre-artist, Cecile explains her approach and the development of her unique artwork currently exhibited at the Nanaimo Museum ("Spirit of Life Exhibition").  She tries to inspire others to think 'outside the box' and to develop the confidence to create their own original work.

Tickets are $7.50 per person and members receive a 15% discount. Pre-registration is required - please phone 250-753-1821 or email admin@nanaimomuseum.ca  for more details.



Facebook Cannon Firing Draw
June 8, July 13, August 10, 2012

Ever want to fire a cannon? Here's your chance! We are holding a monthly giveaway of three gift certificates to Fire the Bastion Cannon this summer (one each for June, July and August). To enter the draw simply "Like" the Nanaimo Museum page on Facebook and you will be automatically be entered to win! Check out our coming events, gift-shop features, latest updates and more. For further details and to enter the draw visit www.facebook.com/NanaimoMuseum. Good Luck!


Meet an Astronaut - Video Chat with Major Jeremy Hansen
August 9, 2012                                                                                         Starting at 1:00 pm 

Meet Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen live on Video Chat! Major Hansen will give a presentation during our Rocket Lab program followed by a question and answer session. Don't miss your chance to talk to a real astronaut! 

Major Hansen is an experienced fighter pilot who trained with the Canadian Forces. His education in Science and his exemplary service record made him an ideal candidate for Astronaut Training at NASA, where he has been since 2009. For a full biography of Jeremy Hansen, click here to be directed to the Canadian Space Agency website.


Summer Splash - Bathtub Weekend
July 20 & 21, 2012                                                                                      10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Join the child-friendly fun of boats, bubbles and more at the Nanaimo Museum!  Race model boats in the pool or make your own to float on the water.  Visit the Bubble Station to create big bubbles or a clouds of tiny ones.  Design bubble wands that make uniquely shaped bubbles and create a bubble-head craft. We will be out on the street having a great time with the rest of our neighbours as commercial street will be closed to traffic that weekend. After all the excitement outside, come inside the museum to cool off in the air conditioning and check out our feature exhibit, “Snoopy Soars with NASA.”  Lots of fun for the whole family!


Book Launch: Alan Watson & Bob Hindmarch
Saturday July 14, 2012
1:00 pm

The Nanaimo Museum is excited to host the launch of author Alan Watson’s new book Catch On and Run With It: The Sporting Life and Times of Dr. Bob Hindmarch on Saturday July 14 at 1:00 pm.  Dr. Hindmarch is an important figure in UBC sports development and a talented athlete in multiple sports. Both Watson and Hindmarch will be at the launch for a short presentation and book signing.

1887 Mine Explosion Commemoration
May 3 to June 3, 2012

On May 3, 1887, Nanaimo was devastated by a mine explosion that claimed the lives of 150 men. It was the single largest loss of life in an industrial accident in Canada at the time. It shattered the lives of many families leaving 46 widows and 146 children without a father. From May 3 - June 3, the museum will commemorate the miners who lost their lives getting out the coal.

Urban Bird Tours
February 11, March 10, April 14, May 26, 2012
1:00 to 2:00 pm

One of the public programs for our feature exhibit Our Feathered Friends.

Kevin Storey, experienced Nanaimo Museum tour guide and local birder, will be taking visitors on an urban bird walk. The tours are a unique combination of birding and historical walking tour that will provide a glimpse into Nanaimo's past while sighting many urban and shoreline birds that reside downtown.

The tours take place on February 11, March 10, April 14, and May 26. The cost is $15 per person and pre-registration and payment is required. Space is limited so phone (250.753.1821) or drop into the museum ASAP to book your spot.

The tours depart from the Nanaimo Museum. Binoculars are recommended but not required.

Please contact Aimee Greenaway at program@nanaimomuseum.ca for more information.

Singer/Songwriter Gordon Carter in Concert
May 12, 2012
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

The Nanaimo Museum is hosting singer songwriter Gord Carter in the gallery on May 12, 2012 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Gord is a well-known resident of the Comox Valley, who sings annually at the Miner’s memorial event in Cumberland. He will be entertaining us with songs about coal-mining and various selections from his recently released second album Diary of a Coal Town which will be available for purchase at the event. Admission to the Museum is by donation during the concert. Hope to see you there!


Nature Photography Contest
February 3 to May 1, 2012

One of the public programs for our new feature exhibit Our Feathered Friends. Local nature lovers and photographers of all ability levels are encouraged to focus their cameras on nature and birds during the next few months.

For full contest details please check out our Nature Photography Contest Entry Form (PDF, 173KB). If you would like to submit a photo for the contest please print off this form, fill it out and submit it with your photo.

The contest is endorsed by the Harbour City Photography Club, who will be providing the judges. The contest is only open to amateur photographers.

Book Launch & Reading: Linda Dorricott and Dee Cullon
April 28, 2012                                                                                                  1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Join us for the launch of editors Linda Dorricott and Dee Cullon’s new book The Private Journal of Captain G.H. Richards: The Vancouver Island Survey (1860-1862)

 A rare personal glimpse into the history of Vancouver Island through the eyes of a sailor and surveyor who charted its entire coastline; this journal highlights many aspects of life on the Pacific coast – from First Nations’ encounters to the natural beauty of our island and beyond. With something for everyone, this book appeals to both academics and general readers alike.

 There will be a short talk & reading from the book, and light refreshments will be served.

Chinese Canadian Historical Society Book Reading                          Saturday April 14th, 2012                                                                           1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Join us here at the Museum on Saturday, April 14th as authors Rebeca Lau and Larry Wong give readings from their respective books Mami and Dim Sum Stories. The readings are presented by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society, and light refreshments will be served.

Jan Peterson Book Launch
March 31st, 2012

Jan Peterson has a new book Kilts on the Coast which will be available in late February. The book launch will be held on March 31, 2012 here at the Nanaimo Museum, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Jan will speak about her book and sign copies.

Black History Month Celebration - The Tree of Many Colours
February 2012

The Nanaimo African Heritage Society presents a month-long celebration of Black History. Visit the Nanaimo Museum to view the hallway exhibit on Black History - The Tree of Many Colours.

Join the Nanaimo African Heritage Society for An Evening of Art and Entertainment here at the museum on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm. Tickets are $10. Visit their website for details.

There are also several other events taking place in Nanaimo throughout the month - please visit their website for details.


Heritage Week
February 20 to 26, 2012

Heritage Week will be celebrated across Canada from February 20 to 26, 2012. This year’s theme is Energy in BC- A Powerful past, A Sustainable Future.

Join us in celebrating Heritage Week. We are hosting a Heritage Summit, holding our Literary Luminaries event and offering you a look at our revamped School Room and Harbour exhibits.

The revamped exhibits will be open and ready for your viewing. As a museum we are constantly reviewing our exhibits and collections in order to present our stories with fresh eyes.

The Heritage Summit is an annual event hosted by the City’s Heritage Commission in order to heighten heritage awareness in the community. It is also an opportunity for us to network with other local organizations interested in heritage issues. The event will be held Wednesday, February 22, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Museum. The event is open to the public and anyone who is interested is welcome to attend. Details about the feature presentation and round table discussion will be available closer to the date.


Literary Luminaries
Saturday, February 25, 2012
10:00 am - 1:00 pm

We are celebrating our ‘Literary Luminaries’ this year at Nanaimo Museum, with nine local authors who will talk about their work on Saturday February 25, 2012. The presentations are from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm. The museum will open at 9:40 am to allow visitors a chance to be seated before the event starts.

Our nine authors are: Richard Mackie, Marion Woodson, Naomi Wakan, Tom Roulstone, Kenn Joubert, Tom Paterson, Valerie Alia, Mary Ann Moore and Martyn Kinsella-Jones. 

Their wide ranging topics include books about the history of Nanaimo and Vancouver Island, poetry, historical fiction for adults and children, science fiction and aboriginal culture. The presentations will take place in the museum’s program room. The authors will be available at their tables in the museum’s gallery, throughout the event, to sign books and answer questions.


10:00-10:05    Welcome and Event Overview
10:05-10:20    Tom Paterson (BC History)
10:25-10:40    Linda Dorricott and Dee Cullon (History)
10:45-11:00    Kenn Joubert (Historical Fiction)
11:05-11:20    Valerie Alia (Media and First Nations Culture/Policy)
11:25-11:40    Mary Ann Moore (Poetry, Spiritual)
11:45-12:00    Martyn Kinsella-Jones (Science Fiction)
12:05-12:20    Tom Roulstone (Historical Fiction)
12:25-12:40    Richard Mackie (Vancouver Island History)
12:45-1:00      Naomi Wakan (Personal Essays and Poetry)

Marion Woodson will have a table at the event and will be available to sign books.


Lunar New Year Celebration
Saturday, January 21, 2012
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

In the year of the Dragon, Lunar New Year Celebrations will take place here at the Nanaimo Museum, with the Nanaimo Chinese Cultural Society and the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, on Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Everyone welcome - admission by donation.

1:00  Welcome, Introduction of Mayor
1:05  Mayor opens Lunar New Year
1:10  Introduction of MC
1:10  Lion Dance

1:20  Ah  (5 performers)
1:35  Traditional Indian Dance (1 performer)
1:50  Guzheng, Tail Ji, Calligraphy (3 performers)
2:05  Walking into Tibet (Chinese community group)
2:20  Chinese traditional drama – Peacock flying to South-east (12 performers)
2:35  Chorus-traditional Chinese songs (2 performers)
2:50  Traditional Chinese dance – TaoYao (8 performers) and the Closing Lion Dance
Ongoing Activities:
- Calligraphy
- Paper cutting
- Mahjongg
- Refreshments

The Lunar New Year is traditionally a family time. For Chinese families, the New Year lasts for 15 days starting with the second New Moon after the winter solstice. As part of the celebrations a religious ceremony is given in honour of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors.

The Chinese community invites everyone to join in the celebrations.

The Lunar calendar has a cycle of about 29.5 days and they insert an extra month in once every few years (seven years out of a cycle of 19). This is why the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year.

The Dragon is the mightiest of the signs in the Chinese Zodiac. Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They are driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They are passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion.

While Dragons frequently help others, rarely will they ask for help. Others are attracted to Dragons, especially their colorful personalities, but deep down, Dragons prefer to be alone. Perhaps that is because they are most successful when working alone. Dragons have tempers that can flare fast!

Downtown Nanaimo Christmas Schedule of Events 2011
Saturday, November 26 to Friday, December, 23, 2011

There are several exciting events taking place downtown this Christmas season. Please check out this PDF (101KB) for a detailed listing and happy holidays!


Old Fashioned Family Christmas
Saturday, December 10, 2011
11am - 4pm

Experience an old fashioned family Christmas at the Nanaimo Museum featuring Christmas carols, historical toys, crafts, storytelling, and treats.

Children (and the young at heart) will enjoy playing with toys that were popular 100 years ago and will make their own whirligig and paper doll to take home. Families can create felt stockings that make personalized Christmas tree ornaments. Decorate traditional Christmas sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles for your own holiday treat.

Santa will be in his workshop inside the museum’s lobby to hear Christmas wishes. Original Christmas storytelling by Anne Royle will take place at 11:30 am and 12:30 pm. Visitors will be encouraged to join in singing classic Christmas carols from 1 pm – 3 pm, led by vocalist Arvon Brunt.

Everyone welcome ­— admission by donation to the food bank.

Women's Fashions from WWI to the Roaring 20s
Saturday, November 19, 2011 
Saturday, November 26, 2011 
2pm to 4pm  |  Fee: $7.50

World War I was the most important political event to influence women’s roles in the 20th  century. As men went off to war, women entered the work force in large numbers and assumed responsibilities outside the home. With increased responsibilities came demands for more rights, the most important being the right to vote. This achievement influenced the ‘liberation’ of fashions for women. Skirts were lifted above the ground, corsets disappeared and loose, rather than fitted clothing, became the norm.

Ivan Sayers, Guest Curator and Fashion Historian, will lead a brief tour of the exhibition followed by discussion of the changes seen in women’s clothing during the war and the consequences in the 1920s.

Note: Due to limited availability, pre-registration is required (phone 250.753.1821). These tours are now sold out, sorry for any inconvenience.


Book Launch (2 authors) - Kim Clark and Madeline Sonik
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
2:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Tantalizing Fiction and Poignant Personal Essays.

Join two Vancouver Island authors as they celebrate the launch of their new books at the Nanaimo Museum on Tuesday, November 22 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Nanaimo’s Kim Clark will read from her feisty new short stories Attemptations and Victoria’s award-winning writer Madeline Sonik will read from her fascinating collection of personal essays, Afflictions and Departures. Admission is free.

Attemptations is a sizzling new collection of stories from Vancouver Island’s Kim Clark. All eleven stories - ranging from micro-fiction to near maxi-fiction - in Attemptations are peopled by women, often physically challenged women—funny, sexy, persevering, contemplative women.  These characters will snag you and hold you there ’til they’re good and done.

Kim Clark lives on Vancouver Island. Disease and desire, mothering and the mundane propel her ongoing journey between poetry and prose. Kim’s work can be found in Body Breakdowns (Anvil Press), the Malahat Review, and e-zines and other publications in Canada and the U.S.  She was a 2010 winner in the scratch Poetry and Fiction Contests and was short-listed in the Malahat Review 2010 Novella Contest. Kim holds a BA in Creative Writing from VIU.

Affliction & Departures are first-person experiential essays by writer and academic Madeline Sonik. Although Sonik explores some of the salient personal experiences of her young life, the essays in Afflictions & Departures are not traditional memoir. In addition to incidents and feelings recaptured from memory, Sonik seeks out connections between the microcosm of the daily events of her childhood and the social, historical and scientific trends of the time.

Madeline Sonik is a teacher, writer, and editor. Her work has been published extensively in journals, magazines, and academic anthologies. Her latest books include: Stone Sightings (poetry), Arms (a novel), Drying the Bones (stories), and Belinda and the Dustbunnys (children’s novel). She has an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Education, both from UBC. She is currently nominated for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and has also been the recipient of numerous awards, prizes, and fellowships for her writing. She currently teaches at the University of Victoria.


Remembrance Week Exhibit
Thursday, November 3 to Thursday, November 10, 2011
10am to 5pm

Honour Canada’s military veterans by visiting the Remembrance Week exhibit hosted by the Nanaimo Museum and the Vancouver Island Military Museum. The exhibit will run from Monday, Nov. 3 to Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Nanaimo Museum. Visitors will get a glimpse into the lives of the men and women who served our county through a display of local photos, uniforms, war medals, and war time artifacts.

The Remembrance week exhibit at the Nanaimo Museum commemorates the contributions of the Canadian service men and women who protected our rights and freedoms. The uniform of Captain Joseph Carpenter will be on display. He raised the Nanaimo Independent Company, with its hat badge being a replica of the Bastion. While he had served as a Captain in the army, he enlisted as a sapper in order to get overseas in the 1914-1918 war.

The exhibit will feature the war time experiences of regular people on Vancouver Island. It includes a gas mask designed for children and stored under school desks in preparation for bomb threats, to photos of Nanaimo’s military camp during World War II. Artifacts such as model aircraft and a model ship will be on display.

For more information, please call Aimee Greenaway at 250.753.1821.


Wonders of the Universe
Saturday, October 22, 2011
11am to 4pm

The Nanaimo Museum and the Nanaimo Astronomy Society proudly present ‘Wonders of the Universe’ on Saturday, October 22 from 11 am to 4 pm. Join us for a day of fun and learning with meteorite and telescope displays and a 3D multimedia display. There will be a presentation on astronomy at 1pm and during the day, book signing by local author Martyn Jones.

11am: Children's workshop (recommended for ages 8-12). The Nanaimo Museum is hosting a children's workshop. Each participant will assemble a take-home night sky projector that illuminates the major constellations in the northern and southern hemisphere, creating a starry night sky on the ceiling. The fee for this workshop is $25 per participant and space is limited, so pre-registration is recommended.

11am to 4pm: Book signing. Local author Martyn Jones will be in the lobby signing the first two books of his science fiction 'Stars Trilogy'.

1pm: Astronomy presentation. Garland Coulson will talk about ‘Telescope Buying Tips for Beginners’. If you are just starting out with stargazing you probably have a lot of questions about the kind of telescope and equipment to buy, including how much should you spend, what is the best telescope on a budget, and what type is best for youngsters. In this light, humor-filled presentation, Garland will recount his own misguided buying frenzy when he first started and show you how to get the right telescope at the right price for your needs.

2pm: Book reading and presentation. Martyn will talk about his books, The Sky Full of Stars and Falling through the Stars and give a 5-minute reading. He will make a presentation on ‘The Big What If,’ about the possibility of worlds similar to Earth that may be found within 50 light years of Earth.

Victorian Fashions 1837-1901
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 
2pm to 4pm  |  Fee: $7.50

The Victorian era was a time when vast fortunes were being made as a result of the industrial revolution. With increased wealth and new manufacturing opportunities developed through international trade, fashion became a more accessible indulgence for all women.

Ivan Sayers, Guest Curator and Fashion Historian, will describe the fashion extravagances of the 1840s-1860s when as much as 100 yards of fabric could be used to make one dress, to the enormous bustles of the 1870s-1880s when the backs of skirts had little relationship to a woman’s natural anatomy, to the popular balloon sleeves of the 1890s..

Note: Due to limited availability, pre-registration is required
(phone 250.753.1821).

Garage Sale at the Old Nanaimo Museum
Saturday, October 1 & 8, 2011
9am to 12pm
Location: 100 Cameron Road

Garage Sale at the Old Nanaimo Museum. No artifacts for sale, but a variety of other items to be discovered including books, storage equipment, mannequins, old display panels, miscellaneous wood pieces, and much more. Come on down and check it out.

Victorian Fashions 1837-1901
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
2pm to 4pm

The Victorian era was a time when vast fortunes were being made as a result of the industrial revolution. With increased wealth and new manufacturing opportunities developed through international trade, fashion became a more accessible indulgence for all women. Mr. Sayers will describe the fashion extravagances of the 1840s-1860s when as much as 1100 yards of fabric could be used to make one dress, to the enormous bustles of the 1870s-1880s when the backs of skirts had little relationship to a woman's natural anatomy, to the popular inflated balloon sleeves of the 1890s.

Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Saturday, September 17, 2011, 1 pm
This year marks the fourth round of inductees to the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place on September 17th at 1 pm. We would like to extend our thanks to the Sports Hall of Fame Committee and this year's selection panel for all their work. Our thanks also go to the community for their nominations. We still have many deserving individuals and teams who have not yet been nominated, so send in your nominations now, before the spring 2012 deadline.

Lynne Bowen Book Launch
Sunday, August 28, 2011
11 am to 4 pm

The Nanaimo Museum and Felice Cavallotti Lodge are excited to launch Lynne Bowen's new book "Whoever Gives us Bread." It will be a day of everything Italian. Come join us as we celebrate the rich heritage and history of the Italian communities in British Columbia.

   11:00 - Italian Fun and Games
                   - Tressette
                   - Cava Camiza
                   - Sausage Making
   12:00 - Selling Sausage

Seeds and Salts Theatre
Saturday, July 9, 2011
1:00 pm

This theatre group will be at the Nanaimo Museum performing four vignettes about historical events on Vancouver Island.

One play is about the ‘Chocolate Bar War’, which started in Ladysmith. Overnight, the price of chocolate bars went from 5 cents to 8 cents. The student’s strike lasted for 2 or 3 days but then fizzled out. What the students didn’t know, was that the Victoria paper picked up the story. Students there not only went on strike, they stormed the parliament building. The strike spread from the west to the east coast, with one Toronto newspaper even calling it a communist plot to rile the youth of Canada.

Parker Williams, Nanaimo Museum’s Founding Member, will speak afterwards about his part in organizing the Ladysmith strike.

Ursula Vaira Poetry
Saturday, June 11, 2011
2:30 pm

In her first book of poetry, Ursula Vaira captures the rugged and challenging beauty of the West Coast landscape in three poignant stories.

The first, told through a set of linked poems, describe her thirty-day, thousand-mile paddle from Hazelton to Victoria with skipper Roy Henry Vickers in the Coast Salish canoe Nunsulsailus (Many Hands). “Journeys ’97” was an RCMP-First Nations venture to raise addictions awareness and to allow for a personal apology to twenty-eight First Nations communities for their role in the legacy of the residential schools. As a Caucasian civilian, the only woman in the canoe, Vaira bears witness.

A heck of a wind/ bounces me into the mountains ... So begins the second poem, “Frog River,” the story of a woman’s stay in an isolated hunter’s cabin 80 miles north of Muncho Lake in the northern Rockies. She is not sure whether she has left her lover or just left him behind, whether love is more dangerous than anything she might encounter in the wilderness

"Last One to Get There,” the third and final journey in Vaira’s new collection, is a poem of place, of landscape and of westcoast imagery from a twenty-two-day kayaking journey that rounded Cape Scott and Cape Cook on Vancouver Island.

Lorna Crozier has called these poems “talismans of grace, beauty and healing.” In And See What Happens, Ursula Vaira writes the poetry of three transformative journeys in British Columbia’s wilderness.

Ursula Vaira launched Leaf Press in 2001  as a poetry chapbook press.  Since 2007 Leaf has been publishing trade poetery while continuing the chapbook tradition and the weekly 0n-line Monday Poem. Leaf has published many distinguished poets both from Vancouver Island and from other parts of Canada.  Ursula lives in Lantzville.

A Staged Reading of a New Comedy
Presented by Bill Miner
Thursday, May 26, 2011
7:30 pm

Don't miss the world premiere of this hilarious satirical comedy, which follows the antics, blunders and triumphs (but mostly blunders) of four charming though flawed Gulf Islanders. (not unlike ourselves) *Warning: Further plot description will ruin some of our best gags and may cause blindness.
Tickets $12 (Partial Proceeds to the Nanaimo Museum)

Discover South Wellington Speaker Series at the Nanaimo Museum

All presentations in the Nanaimo Museum are 2-4 pm.

April 9, 2011 South Wellington, Its History and Early Families,

Helen Tilley, South Wellington Historical Committee

April 16, 2011 Virtual Black Track Tour,

T.W. Paterson, historian and author. Join us to discover the story behind the trail of coal that linked the five mines of South Wellington to Nanaimo.

April 30, 2011 South Wellington,

Peter Culley, Writer and photographer. Treasures of South Wellington, Clare Singleton, Artist

May 7, 2011 Walking Tour of South Wellington (Not in the Museum)

In conjunction with the South Wellington School’s PAC annual plant sale, join the South Wellington Historical Committee for a walking tour of the community. Please pre-book with Nanaimo Museum (250.753.1821) for one of the tours at 10 am or 12 pm. The $10 fee will go to supporting South Wellington’s heritage. The tour starts at South Wellington School across from the Fire Hall at 1555 Morden Road. Refreshments will be available.

May 7, 2011 Saving Morden,

Friends of Morden Mine Morden Mine is a designated provincial Historic Park where some of the last physical remains of Nanaimo’s mining heritage can be seen. The society has been working with BC Parks to raise awareness of the site and develop a conservation plan for the surviving concrete head frame and tipple.

May 14, 2011 Spirit of South Wellington,

South Wellington and Area Community Association

Amazon River Show & Film
April 14, 7:30 to 9:00pm (doors open at 7:00)
Presented by Angus Adventures
Click here for all of the details of this event.

Literary Luminaries
Saturday, February 26, 2011
As part of National Heritage week at Nanaimo Museum we are once again hosting twelve local authors with a range of writing styles. They will speak about their work and be available for questions and book signings. They said how much they enjoyed the opportunity last year to learn about each others different writing styles and our visitors stayed to listen to all of them.
Works being presented this year include history, poetry, culture, children’s stories and books for young adults. The authors include Peggy Grigor, Carol Matthews, Mary Murphy, Joyce Yardley, Lyn Hancock, Emily Madill, Mary Palmer, Jan Peterson, Tom Roulstone, Ken Joubert, and Charles Reid.

Schedule of Readings   

Lunar New Year
Saturday, January 29, 2011
In partnership with Nanaimo Chinese Cultural Society and Vancouver Island Multi-cultural Society

Yesteryear Christmas at the Museum
Saturday, December 18, 2010
1p.m. to 3p.m. 
The public is invited to join the museum staff celebrate the holiday season with story-telling, carol singing, cookies, hot chocolate and festive crafts. 

For more information please call Bobbi Williamson at 250-753-1821

Veteran Frank Graves  
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The public is invited to join Veteran Frank Graves as he speaks to students about his post-war Peaces Keeping Mission in Cyprus.  Those attending the talk will have the opportunity to speak with Frank and handle some memorabilia.  This event coincides with the Nanaimo Museum and Vancouver Island Military Museum's presentation of the
Nanaimo Remembrance exhibit.

For more information please call Bobbi Williamson at 250-753-1821

Dr. Stephen Davies "the culture of the war letter"
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Dr. Stephen Davies, of VIU's History Department is the Project Director for the Canadian Letters and IMages Project.  He will speak about Veteran's stories and "the culture of the war letter", and how these letters provide a unique window into the past. This event coincides with the Nanaimo Museum and Vancouver Island Military Museum's presentation of the
Nanaimo Remembrance exhibit.

For more information please call Bobbi Williamson at 250-753-1821

Lynne Stonier-Newman Book Signing 
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Lynne will speak about her latest book about Peter O'Reilly, The Rise of A Reluctant Immigrant.  Peter O'Reilly helped to shape B.C. after immigrating to Canada from Ireland in 1859.  Chief gold commissioner for the Cariboo, Kootenays and Omineca, he became a powerful county court judge and a was appointed to Canada's B.C. Indian Reserve Lands commissioner - and many of his decisions continue to be challenged in the courts to this day.  For forty years, he travelled B.C.'s vast wilderness, spending only winters with Carolyn Trutch O'Reilly, his cherished wife, and sharing the dinner tables of Victoria's upper society.  O'Reilly's adventures and challenges illuminate the history of B.C.'s formative years. 
(www.touchwoodeditions.com) For more information contact Bobbi Williamson at the Nanaimo Museum 250.753.1821 or email program@nanaimomuseum.ca.

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