Tim Doyle appointed as new Nanaimo Fire Chief

Fire Chief Tim Doyle

02/17 – After a search that drew dozens of applications from across the country, the City of Nanaimo is pleased to announce that it has selected Deputy Chief Tim Doyle as its new Fire Chief.

Acting Fire Chief Doyle has been with Nanaimo Fire Rescue for the last 20 years, serving as Assistant Chief (2014-2017) until his appointment to Deputy Chief in 2017. 

During his time with Nanaimo Fire Service, Acting Fire Chief Tim Doyle has been integral in the operations and administration of the Fire Department, including overseeing the construction of the new Fire Station No. 1, recruitment, training, the [Vancouver Island Emergency Response Academy (VIERA), and leading emergency operations. 

Having built a reputation as an effective leader, collaborator and educator, Acting Fire Chief Doyle's deep expertise in public safety will be invaluable to the community as he leads Nanaimo Fire Rescue in this exciting new chapter.

Strategic Link: Taking responsibility to be excellent in municipal public safety and governance.


* Acting Fire Chief Tim Doyle has been with Nanaimo Fire Rescue for 20 years and has been the Acting Fire Chief since January 1, 2021.

* Acting Fire Chief Doyle will assume his role as Fire Chief for the City of Nanaimo effective February 22, 2021.


"The City is thrilled to welcome Tim Doyle, as Nanaimo Fire Rescue's new Fire Chief. Fire Chief Doyle has a deep understanding of public safety and his leadership will continue to help build on the already incredible efforts of Nanaimo Fire Rescue."

  Jake Rudolph
  Chief Administrative Officer
  City of Nanaimo

"The fire department is made up of people wanting to help people in their time of need, including our non-emergency staff.  As such, it is an honour to be entrusted with the responsibility of representing the City of Nanaimo Fire Department and supporting the community during emergencies. As the new Fire Chief, I see it as a privilege to lead this courageous team of women and men by doing what I can to help support their health and wellness and making sure they get home safely to their loved ones."

  Tim Doyle
  Fire Chief
  Nanaimo Fire Rescue

Rent Bank opens in Nanaimo and Regional Districtc

Nanaimo's now has a rent bank which was launched which was launched late in January. 

A rent bank is a short-term or temporary homelessness prevention tool that helps to provide housing stability for low- to moderate-income renters who are unable to pay rent or utilities due to episodes or emergencies that compromise their ability to pay. 

The rent is supported by the City and BC Rent Bank and operated by the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society. Establishing a rent bank is one of the goals of the City's Affordable Housing Strategy. 

Council allocated $90,603 last July from Housing Legacy Reserve funds to the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society to operate a temporary local rent bank as a pilot project. An additional $43,000 and in-kind support was also awarded from BC Rent Bank to support the project, including supporting funding for those living in the Region outside of the City.  Additional funding has also been provided from United Way, through the Reaching Home program.

A rent bank provides financial assistance in repayable loans, to households at risk of eviction for reasons such as non-payment of rent or utilities. Most individuals who receive a rent bank loan do not qualify for traditional loans from banks, due to a poor credit score, unstable work, and/or not having collateral to guarantee the loan. 

The goal of rent bank loans is to ensure households are able to stay in their homes during a time of temporary crisis. In addition to providing loans, rent banks also provide support for renters who need other supports to help them maintain their housing.  

The rent bank will be available to residents of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo. Apply online at https://bcrentbank.ca/apply/ or to contact the John Howard Society at 250-754-1266.

First phase of Reimagine Nanaimo is complete

The first phase of Council's REIMAGINE NANAIMO project is complete and preparations are under way for the second phase of this coordinated update of the City's key planning documents. This project includes updating the Official Community Plan and Climate Action Plan; updates to the Parks, Recreation and Culture Plan and Water Supply Strategic Plan; and creating a new Active Transportation Plan. Public engagement for Phase 1 (Gathering Ideas) of REIMAGINE NANAIMO launched in July 2020 and concluded at the end of November 2020. Input from the first phase will be used to shape the scenarios developed as part of Phase 2 (Exploring Options).

In spite of the challenges posed by the global pandemic, the process resulted in the largest response to date of any City engagement campaign. Engagement opportunities included everything from pop-up information booths in City parks and local shopping centres to over a hundred stakeholder meetings/workshops with community groups and organizations. It also included the City's online public engagement platform, [Get Involved Nanaimo](www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca), which featured REIMAGINE NANAIMO's project information page and seven online questionnaires (one general Ideas Questionnaire and six shorter topic-specific questionnaires) resulting in nearly 5,500 completed questionnaires. The project also included a statistically valid mail-out survey. 

One of the incentives to complete a questionnaire or statistical survey was the opportunity to enter a draw for a $500 gift card (2); a $100 gift card (6); or a one-month bus pass (6). All prize winners have been contacted and received their prize. For a full list of winners, please visit www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca. One individual donated their $500 gift card to Loaves and Fishes, while another winner of a bus pass donated it to the Haven Society. 

The final $500 gift card prize was for the Creative Community Contest, which was also chosen by a random draw. The winning entry, The Dream Park, depicts an imagined park with fun for all ages. Congratulations to all the prize winners! Visit www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca for the full Phase 1 Public Engagement Summary and details on public engagement for Phase 2 of the project.

Family Day activities with Parks, Recreation and Culture


The Nanaimo Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture has planned Family Day activities to keep Nanaimo families busy during the upcoming long weekend. Supported by the Province of British Columbia, the following free family-friendly events will take place over the Family Day holiday weekend:

* STORYWALK® "My Friends and Me": February 11-15 at Oliver Woods Playground - This event is brought to the community in partnership with PacficCARE. PacificCARE will be doing random drop-ins to give away family resource back packs.
* ROCK YOUR WEEKEND: February 13-15 - Paint a rock to share with the community. Place your rocks at your favourite park or trail entrance sign. Share a picture of your rock by tagging Parks, Recreation and Culture on Instagram (@nanaimoparksandrec) and using #rockparksandrec to be entered into a draw for one of three $50 Parks, Recreation and Culture gift cards.
* "Then & Now" Scavenger Hunt: February 15 - Find one of six hidden prize tickets throughout the City based on photo clues. Determine the present-day location by looking at old photos of the location. Photo clues for the "Then & Now" Scavenger Hunt will be posted on Instagram (@nanaimoparksandrec) and website on Saturday, February 13, and tickets will be hidden on the morning of Monday, February 15. (One prize per family. There are six tickets available; one at each location.)
* FREE SKATING SESSIONS: February 15 at Nanaimo Ice Centre - 10-11 am (Parent and Tot), 11:30 am-12:30 pm (Everyone Welcome), 1-2 pm (Everyone Welcome). These sessions must be booked up to 72 hours in advance by calling 250-756-5200 or registering online as per Provincial Health Guidelines. Only 40 skaters per session.

More information on the activities can be found at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/family-day-2021.

Strategic Link: Providing free and low cost recreation activities supports a livable community.


* These events are free thanks to support from the Province of British Columbia.

* Registration for skating sessions is available up to 72 hours in advance by calling 250-756-5200 or online.
"We are excited to bring these free Family Day weekend activities to the community that will get families participating in activities together while still following COVID-19 Provincial Health Orders. We are grateful to the Province of British Columbia for their financial support."

  Grace Bell     
  Recreation Co-ordinator       
  City of Nanaimo        

Feb. 4, 2021

Winter Wellness Challenge Feb. 8 to March 19

The City's Parks, Recreation and Culture and New Balance Nanaimo bring the “Walk On” Winter Wellness Challenge to the community. It will take participants on a walking journey from Nanaimo to Victoria and beyond. The challenge will take place from February 8 to March 19, 2021.

Here are the steps in participate:

* Track steps each day or distance walked by using a tracking device or app of your choice (Fitbit, smartphone, smartwatch, pedometer, computer or a mobile app such as mapmywalk).
* Input step data each day into the form on the online at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/walk-on-challenge; a Step/Km Converter can be found on the page.
* Each Friday, weekly progress from participants will be collected and tallied.
* Each Monday, participant totals will be shared on our Results Board on the website (a great way to challenge your co-workers and friends).

Participants can join this challenge at any time between February 8 and March 13. By doing so, walkers have a chance to win some great prizes. Each week, a name will be drawn for prizes from New Balance Nanaimo and Parks, Recreation and Culture. Prizes are based on participation rather than total distance walked. The more times walkers input their data, the more ballots are entered for a chance to win weekly and the grand prize draw.

Intake now open for the City's 2021 Resilience Grant

The City is accepting applications for a special, one-time Resilience Grant, which supports arts and culture activity in 2021. The grant is administered through Culture and Events. 

This grant opportunity is specially designed to respond to the emerging needs of Nanaimo’s arts and culture community with flexible, rapid one-time funding. Offering awards in the range of $1,000 to $5,000, the program is intended to help recipients navigate changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, while supporting local initiatives that contribute to the stability of the arts and culture ecosystem, help with community resiliency, create public value, and take advantage of emerging opportunities. 

"This rapid-response grant program has been specially designed for Nanaimo’s arts and culture community in 2021", said Mayor Leonard Krog. "It’s intended to contribute to community resiliency by supporting vibrancy and innovation in the sector. The City is listening and we are responding to our community's needs, and this grant represents one of the ways we’re working to ensure that arts and culture is an integral part of every day life in Nanaimo."

Individual artists, collectives and non-profit organizations with an arts and culture mandate are eligible to apply. Full details about eligible activities, costs and funding priorities are contained in the program guidelines. 

Guidelines, criteria and application forms are available online (www.nanaimo.ca/culture-environment/grants), attached to this news release, or by contacting the Culture & Events office directly. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2021 at midnight. Please reference application package for more information.

* The Resilience Grant offers one-time funding in the range of $1,000 to $5,000 to Nanaimo-based individual artists, organizations or collectives with an arts or culture mandate.

* The program is designed to promote new, one-time programs, events, or initiatives taking place in 2021, and organizational activities designed to adapt or respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* The deadline for applications is March 1, 2021 at midnight.