Mar. 29, 2017

Port Authority plays major role in supporting the community

The following is taken from the Nanaimo Port Authority Spring 2016 Newsletter.

By Merv Unger


The Nanaimo Port Authority has a proud and enviable record of supporting our community, in the past year (2015) alone investing in grants and services totaling more than $85,000. We look at it as our social license based on the return to the community. This has been an ongoing commitment with past boards of directors and current board members.

You don’t have to look very far to see the front and centre projects that have been created with the support of the Port over the years. Many are legacy projects . The Port Theatre and the Port of Nanaimo Centre conference centre in downtown Nanaimo are the icons. The list is impressive, with numerous projects that are more or less behind the scenes.

Just in the past year, the Port has taken a lead role in projects that benefit our citizens. Our board of directors has been innovative in many aspects of that support. One that stands out is our support of the Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Food Bank when it needed to expand its operations and move into larger premises. Their appeal for support led our board to devise a longer-term solution for them. Directors approved a $50,000 commitment to fund the Food Bank’s mortgage over a five-year term.

It’s not only the big projects, sometimes organizations need smaller impetus to get them over a particular challenge. For instance, The Port is making a heavy commitment to education in the Central Vancouver Island area. I am proud to report that total contributions reached nearly $50,000 in the past year.

The Port contributes to the Vancouver Island University Foundation’s

Annual Scholarships with $5,000 to Fisheries and Aquaculture and the motorcycle and marine technician programs, with a focus on First Nations students.

The Port Authority also supports other student interests, including funding $2,000 toward the Judy Fraser music program at Vancouver Island University.

Community events are the main beneficiaries of Port grants, such as:

• United Way kickoff $2000,

• Nanaimo Museum Summer Bastion Program $3,000,

• Nanaimo Child Development Centre Silly Boat Regatta $2,500.

• Nanaimo Art Gallery Festival of Banners $2,000

• Vancouver Island Symphony Children’s Choirs $2,500

• Nanaimo Hospital Foundation Dragonboat Festival $2,500

• Nanaimo Ladysmith Schools Foundation Scholarship $1,000

• Snuneymuxw First Nations Native Sons Basketball Tournament $500

• Nanaimo Boathouse Society Paddlefun FEST $500

• Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre Celebration of Success $3,000

• Young Professionals of Nanaimo Sport Challenge to raise funds for SFN Library/Learning Centre via BC Write to Read Project $750

• Gabriola Arts Council Capital Campaign – Building Renovations and improving accessibility to the Centre $1,000

The Port also provides numerous in-kind services that benefit the community, to the tune of $37,200. That includes events like the Silly Boat Regatta, Dragonboat Festival, Marine Festival and bathtub races, Paddlefest, Yacht Club sailpast, Heritage Day and the Van Isle 360 yacht race.