Curbside collection is cancelled until Tuesday, Jan. 4

Dec. 31, 2021

For everyone’s safety while we face our current winter road conditions, all scheduled curbside garbage, recycling and organics collection is now cancelled until Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

With a change in the weather forecast for this weekend and efforts still underway to clear the roads of accumulated snow, all collection (including the previously rescheduled weekend collection) is cancelled for all routes.

Scheduled collection will resume on Tuesday, January 4, following the 2022 Collection Calendar.

To accommodate missed recycling collection, residents will be able to put extra recycling out on their next scheduled recycling collection day. Similarly, for missed garbage collection, residents will be able to put an extra bag of garbage out for pickup on their next scheduled garbage collection day (one extra bag per account).

Collection staff will be physically tossing extra garbage and recycling. When putting out extra garbage on your next garbage pickup day, please place garbage in a tied garbage bag one metre to the side or behind the black cart (not in front). An extra garbage bag can be any size as long as it would fit into your black cart. 

When putting out extra recyclables on your next recycling day, please place them in an easy-to-empty container or box that is the same size or smaller than your blue cart, and place this one metre behind or beside your blue cart when you take it to the curbside for pickup.

The City continues to monitor road conditions and will be updating the City website and the Nanaimo Recycles app (available on Google Play and the Apple App Store). https://www.nanaimo.ca/city-services/garbage-recycling/garbage

Strategic Link: Keeping our community safe is an important part of Livability and a responsibility of Governance Excellence.

KEY POINTS

* For safety, due to our current winter road conditions, all scheduled curbside garbage, recycling and organics collection is now cancelled until Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

* To accommodate missed recycling collection, residents will be able to put extra recycling out on their next scheduled recycling collection day. Similarly, for missed garbage collection, residents will be able to put an extra bag of garbage out for pickup on their next scheduled garbage collection day.

"As beautiful as this snowfall has been, it’s brought with it an abundance of inconvenience. Curbside collection is the latest challenge for our crews, and with slippery roads and the great potential for icy roads this weekend, well - no one wants a 25 ton truck sliding out of control on our streets. Thanks for your patience, Nanaimo!"

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

Extreme weather day use space opened December 26

Dec. 30, 2021 – On Monday, December 20, 2021, Council approved funding for the establishment and operation of a temporary daytime extreme cold weather space at Caledonia Park.  The Nanaimo 7-10 Club Society agreed to operate the day-use shelter and began operations on December 27, 2021.

The cold-weather space will operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., only on days when cold weather conditions are deemed severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable persons. The space has a capacity for up to 10 to 12 people.

In addition to the City-funded Caledonia extreme-weather space, the two other daytime warming centres have been established at 489 Wallace Street and 43 Commercial Street; operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association and Risebridge Midisland Culture Connection Society respectively, neither of which are funded by the City.

A winter overnight shelter opened on November 24, 2021 at St. Peter’s Church to provide 24 additional overnight shelter spaces from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. until March 31, 2022. The winter shelter is operated jointly by the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society and the Nanaimo Family Life Association. The year round Unitarian shelter (595 Townsite Road) and Salvation Army New Hope Centre (19 Nicol Street) also remain open for those requiring emergency shelter.

For more information on services and supports for Nanaimo’s vulnerable population, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/supportsandservices.

Strategic Link: Support the work and implement the recommendations of the Health and Housing Task Force to address the health and housing crisis in our community. Providing an extreme weather day-use space for people experiencing homelessness is recommended in the Health and Housing Action Plan (HHAP), Nanaimo Action Plan to End Homelessness, and the Climate Change Resilience Strategy.

KEY POINTS

* The cold weather day-use space will be open only on days when cold weather conditions are deemed severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable persons.

* Providing an extreme weather day-use space for people experiencing homelessness is recommended in the Health and Housing Action Plan (HHAP), Nanaimo Action Plan to End Homelessness, and the Climate Change Resilience Strategy

* The cold weather space will operate in the same park space as the free shower program, operated by the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo and funded by the City of Nanaimo.

* The space has been in operation from December 27 to 30, 2021 and is anticipated to continue operating during this current cold-weather period.

QUOTES

"I would like to extend my gratitude to the 7-10 Club Society and City staff for working quickly to establish this warming space over the holidays. On behalf of Council we are pleased to be able to work with the 7-10 Club to provide a safe warm space for people living unsheltered to go to during the cold weather."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

"Having a number of choices to shelter in extreme weather ensures more individuals the opportunity to utilize services in which they feel comfortable doing so"

  Gordon Fuller
  Executive Director
  Nanaimo 7 10 Club Society

QUICK FACTS

* Last winter, two full-time warming centres opened at 285 Prideaux Street and 489 Wallace Street, funded from the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home (RH) program’s COVID allocation. In 2020, the City funded an extreme weather day-use space from January 12-19 at 285 Prideaux Street, which was co-managed by the Salvation Army and the 7-10 Club.

* The building at 285 Prideaux Street, which previously hosted the 7-10 Breakfast Club and the January 2020 warming centre, has been leased to BC Housing to redevelop as supportive housing. As such, this building is no longer available for use as a temporary emergency warming centre.

* The 2020 Point in Time Homeless count found 433 people facing homelessness in Nanaimo; local service providers estimate the number is closer to 600.

* The extreme cold weather space had 12 unique users on opening day (December 27) and 18 users each on the 28th and 29th.

LINKS

City of Nanaimo- Services and Supports
https://cnan.ca/3HrastI

Social Support directory
https://cnan.ca/3qEpGV5

City acquires land for Loaves & Fishes food bank warehouse

211208 – The City of Nanaimo has acquired a property on East Wellington Road to support Loaves and Fishes’ goal of developing a new food distribution warehouse.  

Purchased by the City at a cost of $1,300,000, the property is currently a vacant lot and is being used by Loaves & Fishes as an outdoor storage for their Empties 4 Food program. Council will consider a 30-year lease of the property to Loaves and Fishes at their December 20, 2021 meeting.

Council meetings can be watched on Shaw Community Channel 4 and on the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/meetings.

Strategic Link: Livability: “We will proactively plan for Nanaimo’s growth and focus on community infrastructure to support an inclusive, healthy, safe and desirable place to live.”

KEY POINTS

* The City of Nanaimo has purchased 1861 East Wellington Road to enable Loaves & Fishes Community Food Bank to develop a food recovery warehouse.

* The warehouse will service citizens of Nanaimo as well as Vancouver Island.

* Loaves & Fishes are seeking a 30-year lease of the property from the City and plan to build a 25,000sq.ft. warehouse to expand the Food 4U Recovery Program.

* Loaves & Fishes has been operating out of their Central Warehouse at 210 Fry Street since 2014 which has become too small.

QUOTES

"Loaves and Fishes does excellent work in our community providing a much needed service to a growing segment of our society. Council was very supportive of the request from Loaves and Fishes to partner with them on this project."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

"We are incredibly grateful to the City of Nanaimo for purchasing the land for our much needed warehouse expansion. By investing in the Loaves and Fishes infrastructure we will be able to provide an increasing abundance of food for people in need throughout our community for years to come."

  Peter Sinclair
  Executive Director
  Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank

Temporary swimming schedules will continue

Swimming schedules at both the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Park Pool will continue to follow a modified schedule until further notice in an effort to accommodate as many patrons in the pools as possible while Beban Pool continues to undergo repairs. 

Despite several courses of action to fix, the latest attempt has been delayed largely due to the flooding being experienced throughout the province leading to transportation and freight delivery stops. In particular, a sealant that will be applied to the bottom half of the pool is not able to make it here with extensive road closures and the Province’s mandate of essential travel only.

The main tank at Beban Pool is closed, but the leisure pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna and teaching pool are open. The temporary schedule at Beban continues to accommodate the public for drop in swim sessions. In addition, the Beban Park weight room remains open.

Swimming lesson registration for the winter set that was scheduled for December 15 will now be delayed until 2022. Once a date for the full opening of Beban Park Pool is confirmed, a new date will be chosen and communicated to the community.

To see the latest schedule, please visit recreation.nanaimo.ca (drop in), and look for a holiday schedule that will be effect from December 18 until January 2.

* Beban Pool and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre will continue to follow modified swim schedule as Beban Pool's main tank is repaired. A holiday schedule will be in effect from December 18 to January 2.

* Winter swimming lesson registration will be delayed until early 2022.

"The modified swimming schedules at both Beban Park Pool and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre will continue to be in place while we wait for supplies to fix Beban Pool." said Mayor Leonard Krog. "Following the provincial mandate of essential travel and transport only is so important to allow other needed supplies to get to the communities that have been greatly impacted by the major storm systems over the last few weeks. Staff is working very hard to ensure that Beban Pool will be fully operational as soon as possible."

Upgrades to Harewood Centennial Playground

Visitors to the Harewood Centennial Playground will find various additions, thanks to a partnership between the City, Lions Club and Kal Tire's Replay Fund. Some project highlights include the addition of:

* 1,450 square metres of rubber surfacing (approximately 670 used tires were used)
* A wheelchair accessible all-inclusive Orbit play feature
* Four belt swings
* Two baby seat swings
* Two accessible seat swings

These playground enhancements will allow those with various diverse abilities to play at the playground. The budget for this project was $74,949 with $31,200 coming from Lions Club and a $5,000 grant through the Kal Tire's Replay Fund.

The Nanaimo Lions Club has been serving the Nanaimo area for more than 70 years. They have contributed to many community projects, including the Lions Pavilion in Maffeo Sutton Park, the Lions Great Bridge across the Millstone River and lacrosse boxes that all enhance Nanaimo's parks and open spaces

Kal Tire's Replay Fund enhances community facilities with safe, functional and lasting recycled rubber products. Rubber surfacing was added to the playground recycling approximately 670 tires.

Harewood Centennial Park is one of Nanaimo's biggest parks and is home to a playground, youth skate park, water park, sports fields, trails and the outdoor covered sports court.

"Harewood Centennial Park has seen many improvements over the last couple of years, including a new skateboard park, outdoor covered sports court and trail improvements,” said Mayor Leonard Krog. “These latest additions to the playground provide more play opportunities for citizens with diverse abilities and show what can be done when community partners work together."

Vaccinations to be mandatory for city employees

As of January 10, 2022, the City of Nanaimo will require all City employees and City contracted employees (i.e., contract instructors) to be fully vaccinated (two shots) against COVID-19 in order to protect the health and safety of municipal employees and the community.

Employees who fail to provide proof of vaccination will be given a further opportunity to do so from January 10 to February 6, 2022. During this period, employees will be able to continue to work so long as they participate in the City’s Rapid Testing Program. The City will cover the costs of the rapid testing for employees until February 6, 2022. 

Beginning February 7, 2022 employees without proof of vaccination will be required to continue to participate in the City’s Rapid Testing program and are responsible for associated costs (i.e. the cost of rapid testing kits, costs of testing personnel, external testing services). Test results will be considered valid for 72 hours from the time the test is completed.

Employees who have not provided proof of vaccination or do not participate in the City’s Rapid Testing Program will be placed on an immediate unpaid leave of absence. Employees will be permitted to return to work if they provide proof of vaccination or participate in the City’s Rapid Testing program. 

Jake Rudolph, CAO:  “The City of Nanaimo’s goal is to continue to ensure the greatest possible protection for the individual health of citizens and employees, while providing excellence in customer service and maintaining operational efficiency.”

Leonard Krog, Mayor: “Nanaimo City Council supports the Administration taking this step to ensure the protection of our employees as well as all the citizens we serve in Nanaimo.”

Register for winter with Parks, Recreation and Culture

221116 – The City of Nanaimo, Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture is offering recreation programs this winter season (December to March). Registration begins on Wednesday, November 24. Please note that swimming lesson registration will begin on Wednesday, Decemb­er 15.

Residents can find out about programs by:

* Viewing the online PDF version of the Winter Activity Guide 
* Searching programs by category, age or interest through the online registration system. 

Register online through recreation.nanaimo.ca (accounts should be set up in advance of registration date), by telephone at 250-756-5200 or in-person at Beban Park, Bowen Complex, Oliver Woods Community Centre and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. 

The City continues to follow and adjust to the latest Provincial Health Guidelines to keep participants healthy and safe from COVID-19. Participants will be contacted through email or phone if there are any cancellations or modifications to their registered programs. Should registration have to be delayed, the City will be communicating this information through a subsequent news release and through social media channels.

* Registration for winter programs will begin on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. Swimming lessons registration will begin on Wednesday, December 15.

* Citizens are able to view available programs online by viewing the Winter Activity Guide starting on Friday, November 19.

* Programs will continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols. Should further Provincial Health Orders require program changes, the City will follow up directly with those affected through email or telephone.

"Offering recreation programs and events to our citizens is an important way to keep everyone connected and active. I would encourage all members of our community to search out the many recreation opportunities available in Nanaimo. There is something for all ages and all abilities."
Leonard Krog, Mayor  
City of Nanaimo          

 

Nanaimo Public Works responds to atmospheric river event

Nanaimo Public Works has activated its Departmental Operations Centre to direct resources to priority areas quickly, or support requests from other communities.

Nanaimo has seen between 125 and 150 mm rain in the three days since the storm started on Friday. Since the beginning of November, almost 280 mm has fallen on Nanaimo. 

"Nanaimo is fortunate to have resilient infrastructure, allowing us to avoid the unfortunate circumstances we are seeing around the Province today," says Mayor Leonard Krog. " All the same, I encourage citizens to limit unnecessary travel and use caution in our forests or near streams. This is a good opportunity to ensure your emergency kit is replenished and ready to go."

Nanaimo is fortunate to have avoided the misfortunes of communities outside our borders, such as within the Regional District of Nanaimo at the lower Nanaimo River, or North Cowichan near Chemainus. Nor are there any reported mudslides impacting travel within our community. Nevertheless, the City advises taking precaution, with the ground saturated and the potential for winds to pick up this afternoon. Trees may be unstable and topple. Residents should be prepared for power outages and note that BC Hydro will be very busy responding.

There is some localized flooding and potential for road closures at the following locations:
- Bruce Avenue and Ninth Street - washout due to construction
- Szasz Drive - localized flooding possible
- Nanaimo Lakes Rd south of Mount Benson - localized flooding possible
- Lawlor Ave / Twelfth St - localized flooding possible
- Biggs Road; at Bridge at Millstone River and/or east of Deerwood Blvd
- Wakesiah Avenue at Catstream (north of Third St)
- Thirteenth St at Wexford Creek
- Pine Street near Catstream

* Residents can report any concerns to Public Works at 250-758-5222.

* Sand and empty sandbags are available at Public Works Operations Yard 2020 Labieux Rd. Please bring your own shovel.

* Keep away from fast flowing streams and rivers, as banks may be unstable.

* Use caution when in Nanaimo's parks - trees may be susceptible to toppling in high winds.



City reminds residents to prepare for storm season

The high temperatures and dry weather of this past summer are well behind us, and cold and rainy weather, icy roads and possibly snow is on its way. Now is a great time to start preparing for winter weather and storm conditions.

Around the Home

To help avoid flooding during heavy rain or melting snow, residents are asked to clear leaves and debris from catch basins at storm drains near their properties. In the event of snow, property owners or occupants are required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their properties within 24 hours, so that pedestrians have a safe place to walk and can stay clear of oncoming traffic. The City will clear sidewalks around parks, bridges, commuter trails and major City facilities as quickly as staff can get to them. Residents should also ensure they have supplies in the event of a major snow fall or power outage.

In Nanaimo's Parks

Please use caution in Nanaimo's parks during stormy weather. Trails, boardwalks, bridges, stairs and playground equipment can become slippery and hazardous when there is rain, snow and ice. They can be littered with debris and even tree branches during and after windstorms. After a rain storm or a snow melt, rivers can experience high flow conditions, so please exercise extreme caution when using trailways along riverbanks. To report any concerns or issues in Nanaimo's parks and trails, please call 250-756-5200 or email parksandrecreation@nanaimo.ca.

On the Roads

During a snowfall, the City's priority is to plow and maintain priority 1 routes, which are emergency routes and all major roads. Residential areas are typically plowed and maintained within 96 hours unless snow and icy conditions return plow crews back to priority 1 routes. Roads can become narrower as plows clear snow to the sides. To help, residents can park in their driveways, or on even sides of the road on even days, and on odd sides of the road on odd days. 

Drivers must slow down and leave extra clearance for snow plows, salt trucks and ice equipment. Drivers should not pass when equipment is operating. For all methods of commuting, be extra alert, aware, be seen and stay safe in any inclement weather.

To report a concern or make a suggestion regarding snow and ice control, please contact the City of Nanaimo Public Works department at 250-758-5222 or public.worksinfo@nanaimo.ca.

In the case of extreme storm weather that may warrant an emergency response, alerts will be sent out on the City's emergency alert system. Learn about Voyent Alert! and sign-up for emergency notifications at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/alerts

•  During the winter season, the City of Nanaimo focuses on maintaining good winter driving conditions in a priority order: Priority 1 routes - emergency routes and all major roads; Priority 2 routes - secondary roads; and Priority 3 routes - residential culs-de-sac and dead ends.

• When snow plows and salt trucks are operating, drivers must keep back a safe distance and may not pass. To help plows clear a wider path on roads, residents can park in their driveways, or on even sides of the road on even days, and odd sides of the road on odd days.

• Bylaw 5000, Section 22 (1) requires residents and businesses to clear sidewalks of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall or freeze. Residents can also help minimize flooding by keeping the catch basins in front of their homes free of leaves, debris, snow and ice (if it is safe to do so).

• When possible, residents are encouraged to stay home during times of heavy snow or icy roads.

"Winter has two sides to it - clean, crisp air and the beauty of an occasional, festive snowfall, versus harsh stormfronts with flooding rains and damaging winds," says Mahor Leonard Krog. "Our Public Works and Parks teams are ready to keep our roads safe and our parks accessible during this coming Jekyll-and-Hyde season, and we encourage everyone in Nanaimo to be ready for the worst while they enjoy the best of this time of year."


QUICK FACTS

• During an extreme weather event, stay informed by listening to your local radio stations, checking the City's website and social media sites for updates. Sign up for the City's emergency alert system at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/alerts

• Stewart Avenue, Brechin Road, the Nanaimo Parkway (Highway 19) and the old Island Highway (19A), Pearson Bridge south and Brechin Rd north are maintained by the BC Ministry of Transportation Infrastructure. Please report any concerns or issues to 1-877-215-6006 or email midisland@mainroad.ca.

 Nanaimo's Roads and Traffic Services is responsible for maintaining approximately 1,100 lane kms of paved streets.

• Salt is only effective at melting ice down to -6 degrees Celsius. Brine (liquid salt solution) is used to prevent icing as well as preventing snow and ice from bonding to the road surface.

Health Order increases vaccine checking at recreation facilities

The latest Provincial Health Order released on October 25, 2021 requires that increased vaccination checking occurs at City of Nanaimo recreation facilities starting Monday, November 1. Changes will be as follows:

* adults volunteering with children, assisting children or spectating at a child or youth program must show proof of vaccination regardless of the size of the group at all recreation facilities, including pools, arenas and weight rooms
* adults leading, volunteering or assisting children at outdoor events or programs must show proof of vaccination
* for arena programs with mixed ages (for example, Everyone Welcome Skates), all participants and spectators ages 12 and up must show proof of vaccination
* indoor capacity is now increased to 100 percent (same as pre-pandemic)

Parks, Recreation and Culture staff are reminding participants to bring their proof of vaccination as well as government-issued ID (driver's license, passport, BCID) and be prepared to show it for entry into programs and events. This is a change from what was previously required and is in effect on Monday, November 1.

Strategic Link: N/A

KEY POINTS

* The latest Provincial Health Order released on October 25 has enhanced proof of vaccination requirements for recreation programs and events.

* Enhanced proof of vaccination requirements begins on Monday, November 1.

"City of Nanaimo staff are following the latest Provincial Health Order for mandatory proof of vaccination. These measures are meant to keep participants and all residents safe from the effects of COVID-19."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

City seeks input on neighbourhood associations

October 25, 2021

As part of its major public policy review and development process, REIMAGINE NANAIMO, the City is reviewing how it works with neighbourhood associations and seeks input from them.

Over the past year, the City has engaged with local neighbourhood associations to determine how best to support and engage with these groups in the future. Key issues that have been identified during this ongoing discussion have focused on the organizational structure of the associations and the conditions under which they are supported by the City.

To build upon the input received so far from the neighbourhood associations, the City has prepared a short survey to gauge the public's perspective on these issues and to tell us how they would like to participate in neighbourhood matters that interest them. The public is invited to complete the survey via [Get Involved Nanaimo](www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca/neighbourhood-survey) by November 15, 2021.

Updating the City's relationship with local neighbourhood associations, and the conditions under which these groups are supported by the City, is consistent with the Governance Excellence and Livability goals of the City's Strategic Plan.

* As part of the REIMAGINE NANAIMO process, the City is reviewing how it works with neighbourhood associations.

* Over the past year, the City has engaged with local neighbourhood associations to determine how best to support and engage with these groups in the future. Key issues that have been identified during the ongoing discussions have been focused on the organizational structure of the associations and the conditions under which they are supported by the City.

* To build upon the input received so far from the neighbourhood associations, the City has prepared a short survey (5 minutes) to gauge the public's perspective on matters and to tell us how they would like to participate in neighbourhood issues that interest them.

"The City of Nanaimo has working relationships with local neighbourhood associations dating back more than three decades.  Overall these have been positive but it is clear that issues have arisen over the past few years with respect to how associations are organized and the level of support that the City is providing to them.  The purpose of this initiative is to review the organizational structure of the associations and the services and supports provided to the associations by the City, with an eye to ensuring the organizational integrity of the associations, and improving the City/association relationship going forward."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor

Review process for City’s 2022 budget under way

Preparations are under way for the City of Nanaimo's 2022-2026 Financial Plan. Residents will have a number of opportunities to review, ask questions and provide input leading up to a budget-focused eTown Hall on Monday, November 15. 

Council will begin reviewing draft budgets and project plans over the course of four Special Finance and Audit Committee meetings on October 29 and November 3, 5 and 10. All meetings are open to the public and will be held in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre's Shaw Auditorium. 

The eTown Hall will start at 7 p.m. during the Council Meeting and will run for one hour. If necessary, an additional 30 minutes will be allocated. Residents can participate in the eTown Hall on the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/etownhall, on Twitter using #NanaimoTH, in the eTown Hall event found on the City's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/cityofnanaimo), by calling calling 250-755-4521 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or in person during the meeting. In addition, a form has been added to a Budget Talks advertisements in the October 27 and November 3, 2021 editions of the Nanaimo News Bulletin, which residents can fill out and mail in to City Hall before November 8, 2021. 

New this year, residents have the opportunity to share their priorities for the 2022-2026 Financial Plan on the City's Get Involved site at www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca/budget. The survey will be open until November 14, 2021.

The draft plan and other related documents will be available to review at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/budgetinfo. Anyone wishing to watch the meetings but cannot attend, can view them on the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/meetings.

Strategic Link: Being transparent in the budgeting process and providing opportunities for public input contribute to the strategic priority of Governance Excellence.

KEY POINTS

* If needed, Council will continue deliberations at a meeting scheduled for November 19, 2021. Please check www.nanaimo.ca/meetings for up to date meeting information.

* Four Special Finance and Audit Committee meetings will be held on October 29 and November 3, 5 and 10 and a budget-focused eTown Hall will be held on November 15.

* Residents can share their priorities for the 2022-2026 Financial Plan on www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca/budget.

* The Draft Financial Plan is a starting point and may change as work progresses during the review process.

QUOTES

"Public input is vital to the budgeting process. Given that the City's budget is built largely on your tax dollars, Nanaimo, we hope that you will review the draft budget, join us at the e-Town Hall, and share your budgeting priorities with us on getinvolvednanaimo.ca."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

* In accordance with the Community Charter, municipalities must prepare a five-year financial plan each year. Municipal Councils must adopt each annual five-year financial plan before adopting of a property tax bylaw by May 15.

Budget Information

eTown Hall Meetings

Provide your priority for the 2022-2026 Financial Plan

Annual fall catch basin cleaning program under way

City of Nanaimo Public Works staff and contractors are cleaning the City's stormwater catch basins. 

Starting in the Duke Point area, crews will work their way north cleaning catch basins along major arterial roadways. Since this work involves large equipment, please approach with caution and obey traffic control person's directions. Work will take place for two weeks, wrapping up on November 5.

The catch basin cleaning program promotes the City's priorities of Governance Excellence and Environmental Responsibility through the regular maintenance and inspection of City assets and diverting pollutants from waterways.

* During the program storm sewer grates are pulled off and the catch basin is then cleaned out using a vacuum truck. The material is then separated from any water, dried and taken to a regeneration facility.

* Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are asked to watch for crews and traffic control personal on the roads, and be aware of missing grates near the work zone.

"Regular maintenance of stormwater infrastructure helps divert pollutants from waterways, and ensures rainwater can drain away quickly. Maintenance also supports the City's asset management goals by identifying any deficiencies that may need repairing.

Residents can help ensure good drainage by clearing leaves away from catchbasins and private drains."

  Bill Sims       
  General Manager, Engineering & Public Works   
  City of Nanaimo       

City issues call for members to Board of Variance

Applications open until November 17.

Residents interested in becoming more involved with local governance have the opportunity to apply to the Board of Variance. The City is recruiting three members for a three-year term. 

The Board of Variance is an independent body that can grant variances to relax zoning regulations, servicing requirements, and tree protection requirements; extend non-conforming uses; and, reconstruct non-conforming building.

The successful applicants for the Board of Variance will have a basic understanding of building and zoning regulations such as the City’s Zoning Bylaw and BC Building Code, as well as familiarity with interpreting architectural plans and documents. The Board of Variance cannot be members of an advisory planning commission, elected officials or employees of the local government that appoints them.

Interested residents can submit a completed application form to the Legislative Services Department by **3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 17, 2021** by:

* Mail: Legislative Services, 455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5J6
* Email: legislative.servicesoffice@nanaimo.ca

For more information about the Board of Variance including mandate, eligibility requirements, time commitments and how to apply please visit the City's website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/committees.

Strategic Link: Strategic Link: Supports Governance Excellence to facilitate decision making.

KEY POINTS

* The term of appointment to the Board of Variance three years.

* The deadline to submit an application is 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.


"The Board of Variance has an integral role as an independent, legislative body established to grant minor variances. I encourage interested residents to apply for the vacancies," Sheila Gurrie
  Director, Legislative Services

Board of Variance https://cnan.ca/2E9ZH24

City invites nominations for Culture & Heritage Awards

Deadline for nominations is Friday, October 29, (4:00 pm) 

The City of Nanaimo is seeking public nominations from the community for the 2022 Culture & Heritage Awards. The awards recognize outstanding organizations, groups and individuals in the arts, culture and heritage fields. 

This is the community's opportunity to recognize people and groups they believe have made a significant contribution to making Nanaimo a culturally vibrant city. There are five potential categories to nominate from, and recipients will be recognized at a special celebration at the Port Theatre in April 2022: 

  • EXCELLENCE IN CULTURE 
  • HONOUR IN CULTURE 
  • EMERGING CULTURAL LEADER (under 30 years of age) 
  • HONOUR IN HERITAGE 
  • JOHN THOMSON HERITAGE MEMORIAL 

New this year, nominations and support material can be submitted directly online via the City of Nanaimo website. For full details and the online application visit Culture and Heritage Awards Nomination Form. To learn about past award recipients and see video profiles, visit the City's Awards page. 

Strategic Link: The annual Culture & Heritage Award program aligns with the goals of the City of Nanaimo’s Strategic Plan and the Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo by: creating a vibrant culture of innovation, stewardship and partnership to encourage a diverse and healthy economy now and into the future; supporting arts and culture as an integral part of everyday life; and strengthening the creative sector by investing in organizations and people who animate our cultural spaces. 

Key Points 

  • The City of Nanaimo is currently seeking nominations from the community for the 2022 Culture and Heritage Awards. These awards recognize outstanding organizations, groups and individuals in the arts, culture and heritage fields.
  • This is your opportunity to recognize people and groups you believe have made a significant contribution to making Nanaimo a culturally vibrant city. 
  • The deadline to submit nominations is October 29, 2021 (4:00 pm). 

"Year after year, the City of Nanaimo’s Culture & Heritage Awards are an uplifting occasion and provide meaningful recognition of the exceptional talent and achievement in our community. I encourage community members to submit their nominations and we look forward to celebrating again in 2022." 

Leonard Krog, Mayor City of Nanaimo 

Nanaimo recognizes Homelessness Action Week

The first Homelessness Action Week began in 2006 in British Columbia as a way to raise awareness about the causes of homelessness and engage the public, governments and institutions around finding solutions. The 2020 Nanaimo Point-in-Time Homeless count found that a minimum of 433 people are living unhoused in Nanaimo, and it is estimated the number is far greater.

Homelessness is a serious concern; even a short period without housing has a substantial impact on mental and physical health. Nanaimo City Council has been working on a number of fronts over the past year to address the long-term housing and the daily needs of unhoused and vulnerable residents, including:

- Delivering 190 units of permanent supportive housing through a partnership with BC Housing, with the first building at 702 Nicol Street scheduled to be open next month. Samaritan Place at 702 Nicol Street will have space for 66 people (52 studio suites and 14 bridge to housing beds for women);
- Working with our partners from the Health and Housing Task Force to lay the groundwork for a new Systems Planning Organization that will better coordinate service provisions and funding;
- Ongoing advocacy with the Federal and Provincial governments to leverage additional resources and partnerships to both prevent and address the root causes of homelessness in our community;
- Applying for and receiving grants in partnership with other levels of government to build capacity to address homelessness;
- Providing over $90,000 in financial support to the Nanaimo Regional Rent Bank and $35,000 in Housing First subsidies, operated by the Nanaimo Regional John Howard Society;
- Providing a free weekday shower program at Caledonia Park, in partnership with the Unitarian Shelter;
- Sponsoring a temporary weekday breakfast meal program at the Salvation Army New Hope Centre; 
- Partnering to provide financial support for both an extreme heat cooling centre and an emergency warming centre; and,
- Providing $85,000 of social planning grants to local non-profits, many of whom serve unhoused residents.

Over 20 BC municipalities take part in Homelessness Action Week, which is held around the time of World Homelessness Day on October 10th.

Acknowledging Homelessness Action Week supports the Council Strategic Priority of Livability.

* October 10-17 is Homelessness Action Week, when many municipalities across BC raise awareness about the root causes and impacts of homelessness as well as highlighting solutions.

* The City of Nanaimo is working with our partners to address both the housing and the basic needs of our most vulnerable residents through a variety of grants, programs and services.

"This year Homelessness Action Week overlapped with Thanksgiving, and I am grateful for the service providers and volunteers in our community dedicating their time and resources towards this important issue. I am also proud that the City has been actively working with our provincial partners to create new opportunities for housing and hope for our most vulnerable residents."
 Leonard Krog
Mayor

Old backup

Cambie Park open for play

Cambie Park, at 390 Cambie Road in Harewood, now includes a playground, a half sport court and fencing. Park development was made possible by community volunteers and a number of generous donations, in-kind donations and volunteer labour through local businesses and community groups. They include:

* The Cambie Park Neighbourhood Association along with their friends and extended families
* H & W Country Grocer Ltd. (Chase River)
* Kinsmen Club of Nanaimo
* Rotary Club of Lantzville Society
* Rotary Club of Nanaimo
* Island West Coast Development
* Milner Group
* Members of Block Watch #43
* City of Nanaimo Grant of $25,000 through the Partners in Parks Program

Park planning was guided by community volunteers and championed by Cambie Road Block Watch Captain, Shirley Gremyachev.

Cambie Park was acquired by the City of Nanaimo as part of a subdivision application in 2011 and has been vacant since that time. In 2017, neighbours began planning improvements to Cambie Park through the City of Nanaimo’s Partners in Parks (PIP) program. PIP is a public participation program designed to bring the ideas and efforts of volunteers together with the City of Nanaimo’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Department in order to collaboratively develop and improve Nanaimo's parks and open spaces. 

Construction at Cambie Park began in October of 2019.

* Partners in Parks Program (PIP) is a public participation program designed to bring the ideas and efforts of volunteers together with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture in order to develop and improve our parks and open spaces.

* The improvement plan is neighbourhood initiated and driven. This project will not directly impact taxes and will not require maintenance by neighbours.

* Cambie Park's new amenities include a half sport court and playground equipment.

"The City of Nanaimo is grateful for the many dedicated volunteers and businesses that have donated their time and resources to improve Cambie Park, said Mayor Leonard Krog. "It is parks like these that bring neighbourhoods together. Cambie Park is another great example of how programs like the Partners in Parks Program help to create a more vibrant and livable community."

 Shirley Gremyachev of the Cambie Road Block Watch said she learned so much through this experience. "It is a first-time for me, and I have a whole new respect for what it takes to make such a park happen and how it benefits our children and families from such an act of service. I am truly grateful to all those that stepped up to support the creation of this park and especially the generous grant from the City of Nanaimo that encouraged our hearts that we could see this dream come true. A million thanks."

Creative contributions enrich dialogue

1125 - The City's public engagement campaign to create a vision for the next 20 years, the City of Nanaimo's Culture & Events team recently commissioned three new works of art: a poem by Youth Poet Laureate Valina Zanetti, a graphic illustration by Sebastian Abboud, and a song by Sonnet L’Abbé. All three of these new works are now highlighted online and attached to this press release.

Valina Zanetti, whose term as Nanaimo’s Youth Poet Laureate concludes at the end of 2020, wrote a poem called "The Change I Want to See." Zanetti is a recent high school graduate and is now in her first year of University. She imagines a future in Nanaimo for her children that includes a healthy environment with reduced emissions, an end to homelessness, and the elimination of racism and discrimination. She read her poem in person at a Governance and Priorities Committee of Council in early October.

Sebastian Abboud is a designer and illustrator based in Nanaimo who works on projects with clients internationally, is involved with the community locally, and inspires next generations of designers as an instructor at Vancouver Island University. In his signature graphic style, Abboud created a playful illustration called "Looking Forward." Of his design, Abboud says, “I chose to illustrate topics that I think the City should prioritize… including affordable housing, active transportation, education, arts and culture, and building strong and safe communities.” 

"Nazaneen: A Song for Nanaimo” was written by Sonnet L’Abbé. L’Abbé is a renowned poet who teaches creative writing at Vancouver Island University, so she could have written a poem, but, as she says, “the City initiative gave me the incentive to try songwriting, and to express how much the local music scene has meant to me.” L’Abbé was also the organizer of a Black Lives Matter rally in Nanaimo in June, and this, as well as lived experience as a mixed-race Black woman in Nanaimo, informs her song, and the perspective that she wanted to share with the broader community. The song is penned as a letter to her friend, Nazaneen, a black woman considering moving to Nanaimo with her sons for a job. L’Abbé provides an unvarnished viewpoint, truthfully highlighting the challenges, while also praising this place, and conveying the hopefulness she feels for the future, singing “Nanaimo is seeing itself different.” L’Abbé sung at the same early October meeting of Mayor and Council where Zanetti read her poem, and subsequently, performed it on stage at The Port Theatre for video-recording. The video, with closed captioning, is now available online.

After L’Abbé’s performance the Governance and Priorities Committee meeting, Councillor Don Bonner said, “I think that was a first.” “We should have more,” he added. “It takes a true artist to really see what a community is like and to be able to describe it to us.”

The commissions by Zanetti, Abboud and L’Abbé demonstrate how the City of Nanaimo is inviting insights and input from a range of diverse leaders who contribute to the cultural eco-system of the city. 

Julie Bevan, Manager of Culture & Events, who initiated this component of the City-wide engagement said, “We’re grateful to Valina, Sebastian and Sonnet for taking up our invitation to reflect on the themes around REIMAGINE NANAIMO and boldly share their perspective; these three works are thoughtful, provocative, and ultimately hope-filled visions about the kind of place they see Nanaimo becoming through planning and action.” 

On the project, Mayor Leonard Krog said “REIMAGINE NANAIMO is creating such a rich discussion in our community about how people experience the city, and about their priorities for the future here. These creative contributions demonstrate engagement and passion with the issues of our time, and they are a testament to how the City of Nanaimo is creating opportunities for people to participate and share their perspective in different ways.”   

Online surveys as part of REIMAGINE NANAIMO run until November 30th, 2020.  The City is also accepting entries into its Creative Community contest until November 30th and inviting residents to send in a collage, drawing, photo, or creative work in any medium about their vision for the future. Find details online at www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca.

'The Change I Want to See' by Valina Zanetti, 2020 
https://www.nanaimo.ca/NewsReleases/NR201127NanaimoIsSeeingItselfDifferentCreativeContributionsEnrichDialogue/Attachments/the-change-i-want-to-see-by-valina-zanetti.pdf

'Looking Forward' by Sebastian Abboud, 2020          
https://www.nanaimo.ca/NewsReleases/NR201127NanaimoIsSeeingItselfDifferentCreativeContributionsEnrichDialogue/Attachments/looking-forward-by-sebastian-abboud.pdf

Get Involved Nanaimo            
https://cnan.ca/3cus6Og

Creative Commissions for REIMAGINE NANAIMO      
https://cnan.ca/2V8ZFOv

Creative contributions enrich dialogue

1128 - The City's public engagement campaign to create a vision for the next 20 years, the City of Nanaimo's Culture & Events team recently commissioned three new works of art: a poem by Youth Poet Laureate Valina Zanetti, a graphic illustration by Sebastian Abboud, and a song by Sonnet L’Abbé. All three of these new works are now highlighted online and attached to this press release.

Valina Zanetti, whose term as Nanaimo’s Youth Poet Laureate concludes at the end of 2020, wrote a poem called "The Change I Want to See." Zanetti is a recent high school graduate and is now in her first year of University. She imagines a future in Nanaimo for her children that includes a healthy environment with reduced emissions, an end to homelessness, and the elimination of racism and discrimination. She read her poem in person at a Governance and Priorities Committee of Council in early October.

Sebastian Abboud is a designer and illustrator based in Nanaimo who works on projects with clients internationally, is involved with the community locally, and inspires next generations of designers as an instructor at Vancouver Island University. In his signature graphic style, Abboud created a playful illustration called "Looking Forward." Of his design, Abboud says, “I chose to illustrate topics that I think the City should prioritize… including affordable housing, active transportation, education, arts and culture, and building strong and safe communities.” 

"Nazaneen: A Song for Nanaimo” was written by Sonnet L’Abbé. L’Abbé is a renowned poet who teaches creative writing at Vancouver Island University, so she could have written a poem, but, as she says, “the City initiative gave me the incentive to try songwriting, and to express how much the local music scene has meant to me.” L’Abbé was also the organizer of a Black Lives Matter rally in Nanaimo in June, and this, as well as lived experience as a mixed-race Black woman in Nanaimo, informs her song, and the perspective that she wanted to share with the broader community. The song is penned as a letter to her friend, Nazaneen, a black woman considering moving to Nanaimo with her sons for a job. L’Abbé provides an unvarnished viewpoint, truthfully highlighting the challenges, while also praising this place, and conveying the hopefulness she feels for the future, singing “Nanaimo is seeing itself different.” L’Abbé sung at the same early October meeting of Mayor and Council where Zanetti read her poem, and subsequently, performed it on stage at The Port Theatre for video-recording. The video, with closed captioning, is now available online.

After L’Abbé’s performance the Governance and Priorities Committee meeting, Councillor Don Bonner said, “I think that was a first.” “We should have more,” he added. “It takes a true artist to really see what a community is like and to be able to describe it to us.”

The commissions by Zanetti, Abboud and L’Abbé demonstrate how the City of Nanaimo is inviting insights and input from a range of diverse leaders who contribute to the cultural eco-system of the city. 

Julie Bevan, Manager of Culture & Events, who initiated this component of the City-wide engagement said, “We’re grateful to Valina, Sebastian and Sonnet for taking up our invitation to reflect on the themes around REIMAGINE NANAIMO and boldly share their perspective; these three works are thoughtful, provocative, and ultimately hope-filled visions about the kind of place they see Nanaimo becoming through planning and action.” 

On the project, Mayor Leonard Krog said “REIMAGINE NANAIMO is creating such a rich discussion in our community about how people experience the city, and about their priorities for the future here. These creative contributions demonstrate engagement and passion with the issues of our time, and they are a testament to how the City of Nanaimo is creating opportunities for people to participate and share their perspective in different ways.”   

Online surveys as part of REIMAGINE NANAIMO run until November 30th, 2020.  The City is also accepting entries into its Creative Community contest until November 30th and inviting residents to send in a collage, drawing, photo, or creative work in any medium about their vision for the future. Find details online at www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca.

'The Change I Want to See' by Valina Zanetti, 2020 
https://www.nanaimo.ca/NewsReleases/NR201127NanaimoIsSeeingItselfDifferentCreativeContributionsEnrichDialogue/Attachments/the-change-i-want-to-see-by-valina-zanetti.pdf

'Looking Forward' by Sebastian Abboud, 2020          
https://www.nanaimo.ca/NewsReleases/NR201127NanaimoIsSeeingItselfDifferentCreativeContributionsEnrichDialogue/Attachments/looking-forward-by-sebastian-abboud.pdf

Get Involved Nanaimo            
https://cnan.ca/3cus6Og

Creative Commissions for REIMAGINE NANAIMO      
https://cnan.ca/2V8ZFOv

Register for winter programs with Parks, Recreation and Culture

The City of Nanaimo, Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture is offering recreation programs this upcoming winter season. Registration begins on Wednesday, December 2.

Programs available will be found in the same format as the fall season. The Fall and Winter Activity Guide was not produced this year, but residents can look for program offerings in the following ways:

* View the three web pages on the City of Nanaimo website for Winter 2021 Arena Activities, Winter 2021 Pool Activities and Winter 2021 Community Recreation found on the left side of the "Recreation and Parks" tab
* Click "Interested" on the three Facebook events pages (City of Nanaimo Local Government) for Arenas, Pools and Community Recreation
* View an online PDF version of the Winter Activity Guide
* Pick up a hard copy of our program guide at Bowen Park, Beban Park Social Centre and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre from our Facility Ambassadors starting on Monday, November 30 (for those that don't have online access)

Register online through recreation.nanaimo.ca (accounts should be set up in advance of registration date), by telephone at 250-756-5200 or in-person at Bowen Complex, Oliver Woods Community Centre and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. With limited capacity to have people gathered due to Provincial Health Orders, the City is encouraging residents to use the online platform as much as possible. If coming in or calling is an only option, the City is asking for everyone to be kind and patient as requests are processed.

The City is aware and is adjusting to the new Provincial Health Guidelines and will continue to monitor and action any required changes. Participants will be contacted through email or phone if there are any cancellations or modifications to their registered programs. Should registration have to be delayed, the City will be communicating this information through a subsequent news release and through social media channels.

Strategic Link: The City of Nanaimo is committed to the safety and well-being of its residents.

KEY POINTS

* Registration for winter programs will begin on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

* The City is encouraging citizens to use the online registration process as much as possible as a way to limit the number of people in facilities.

* Programs will continue follow COVID-19 protocols, including size limits for gatherings and expect participants to wear masks (except young children 12 and under and those with a medical condition or disability). Should further Provincial Health Orders require program changes, the City will follow up directly with those affected through email or telephone.

"Being active all year is an important factor in being and staying healthy, which is why we continue to pivot and follow Provincial Health Orders to keep everyone safe. We have a variety of programming options available for all ages and look forward to helping you and your family have a safe and active winter season," says Recreation and Culture Services directir Lynn Wark.

Eight recommendations to drive economic recovery 

1103 - The Mayor’s Task Force on Recovery and Resilience formally presented their report to Council at their November 2, 2020 meeting. 

During the six months since the task force was struck in response to the pandemic, its focus has been on City-wide recovery and resilience strategies developed by working in collaboration with other local public bodies, private institutions and community organizations.

The foundation of the final recommendations is based on Nanaimo citizens working together to build an even healthier and more connected community. As a result, the recommendations from the task force address a cross section of opportunities with a view to strengthening Nanaimo during and post-pandemic with six focus areas:

**Nanaimo BUILDS**: Nanaimo citizen-directed campaign to instill enthusiasm for the natural and built assets, opportunities for education, recreation, culture, businesses and the sense of the existing vibrant community and community support for those most vulnerable.

**Mayor’s Nanaimo Leaders Table**: 
* Immediately establish a Mayor’s Nanaimo Leaders Table to be informed by findings and recommendations from the various task forces and committees and other entities plans to create an aligned approach and collaborate on a multi-levels of government “ask for capital infrastructure” for Nanaimo.
* Establish a working group/youth council consisting of representatives from SD68, VIU, venture and technology incubators, youth services, cultural organizations and major employers to develop a plan to address youth (18-34 years) attraction and retention.
* Build collaboration among key entities. 

**Prioritize STRATEGIC Investing**: Create a process/criterion to prioritize the strategic investment recognizing Nanaimo as the Heart of the island “north of the Malahat” to develop the best means to improve the economic and social position of the City.

**Reconciliation & Anti-racism**: Publicly launch an anti-racism awareness program that promotes diversity and inclusivity and progress Reconciliation. 

**Prepare for Future “Event”**: Prioritize the emergency preparedness and resiliency measures with appropriate actions and access to funding necessary to address possible future events that trigger a state of emergency. 

**Support for Small Business**:  
* Work with the Small Business community to leverage lessons learned regarding economic resiliency strategies, which includes reviewing taxation and funding methods to reduce financial burdens. 
* Develop transportation and digital infrastructure strategy to help sustain small business.

Read the full report entitled “Building a Healthy and Connected Community” on the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/mayors-task-force.

City will test Voyent emergency alert system Oct. 27

BE PREPARED – for an emergency alert test coming from the city’s Voyent emergency notification system at 10:15 a.m. on October 27. The test It will go out by SMS text, phone call, email and as a notification through the app, depending on what type of messaging each individual has registered for. It’s one year since the city introduced the Voyent Alert system. To date, more than 10,000 citizens have signed on to the service, but the city would like to see more people signing up. In the event of an emergency, such as an earthquake, the system will be a vital way of alerting and updating the public. 

Voyent Alert! uses modern technology to be as flexible and customizable as possible. Notifications can be localized and sent to residents in an area as small as a city block, to any size of neighbourhood or to the entire City of Nanaimo. Users can register to receive alerts about as many different locations in Nanaimo as they want to, and by selecting optional GPS tracking, can receive alerts based on their current location within Nanaimo when the messages are pushed out. Please note: Voyent Alert! does not track and keep records of a subscriber's GPS location at any time accept to push out an alert.

If a critical incident notification is pushed out, the message will include need-to-know details, including a very brief overview of the incident and instructions if any action is required. Action instructions in extreme situations may include evacuation details, lock-down instructions, or avoid-the-area direction.

All residents and visitors to the City of Nanaimo are encouraged to look at the Voyent Alert! program and sign-up for free. It's a simple process and it's anonymous! Visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/alerts for more details, and download the Voyent Alert! app from GooglePlay or Apple's App Store.

City’s Culture staffer receives Above and Beyond award

The City of Nanaimo is pleased to announce that a member of Staff is the recipient of a 2020 Nanaimo Business Award. Manager of Culture & Events, Julie Bevan, is recognized for her work in a category called “Above & Beyond.” According to the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, who presents the annual program, the award is given to a person who “most exemplifies excellence in the performance of their service. Excellence is defined as being a role model for others, inspiring others to work collaboratively and creatively, and promoting a work environment that is respectful, collegial and highly supportive.” 

Now in its 20th year, the Nanaimo Business Awards were originally scheduled to take place in April; however, the program was adapted to be presented virtually from the Port Theatre. The Nanaimo Chamber engaged Steve Patterson, CBC show host and comedian to headline the September 18 show, and awards were announced in 21 categories. Winners were determined by vote. 

Julie Bevan was formerly the Executive Director at Nanaimo Art Gallery and left the position to take up a newly created role with the City in March of this year. She joined when organizational restructuring led the City’s cultural services section to move and form Parks, Recreation and Culture. 

Several other professionals have also joined the team this year, increasing its capacity to serve the community. Lynn Wark relocated from Campbell River for the role of Director, Recreation and Culture in March. She brings experience from the City of Campbell River where she played a lead role in cultural initiatives including a public art plan and heritage restorations. A new position focused on coordinating events in City venues was taken up by Michele Duerksen, who has previously worked in community recreation roles. Allison Collins, a curator, administrator, and writer who had been based in Vancouver, moved to Nanaimo for the position of Cultural Services Coordinator. Rebecca Buckler, who knows the Culture portfolio well, is continuing to provide administrative support and a high level of service to the individuals and organizations that participate in Culture services and programs.  

With these organizational shifts and an influx of talent, the Culture team is well positioned to provide leadership and support on arts and culture, nurture relationships, build new collaborations, and evolve City programs like public art and grant funding while advancing the strategic priorities of the City. Over the summer, the team liaised with local non-profits to help them creatively adapt their events and projects in the context of COVID-19, and were responsible for the installation of over 10 public art projects at locations downtown, as well as a program that brought live music to local senior's residences. 

This fall the Culture team remains outwardly focused, touring and meeting staff at City-owned culture facilities, launching new channels of communication including a newsletter called LOVE ARTS NANAIMO, administering three grant funding programs, and facilitating other public art projects, including a significant new installation at Beban pool. The team is also mapping out October focus groups on arts and culture as part of REIMAGINE NANAIMO, the results of which will inform updates to City plans and guide action.

Strategic Link: Recent changes support Livability and Economic Health by "supporting arts, culture and recreation as an integral part of everyday life" and "creating a vibrant culture of innovation, stewardship and partnership to encourage a diverse and healthy economy now and into the future."

KEY POINTS

* Julie Bevan, the City's Manager of Culture & Events, has been recognized for her work with a 2020 Nanaimo Business Award in the category "Above & Beyond."

* Bevan is one of several new professionals who have joined the City's Culture team since organizational restructuring. This influx of talent has enhanced the capacity of the Culture & Events team and the Parks, Recreation and Culture department.

* To better connect with and serve the community, the Culture & Events team is currently touring and meeting staff at City-owned culture facilities, attending community meetings and cultural events, launching new channels of communication and designing focus groups on arts and culture as part of REIMAGINE NANAIMO towards an update of City plans.

QUOTES

"I extend my heartiest congratulations to Ms. Bevan on this well-deserved recognition. It’s apparent to me that because of the character of our community, and it’s arts and culture, we’re able to retain top talent in Nanaimo and attract the best from other places. We are delighted to have an enhanced Culture department to contribute to the success of a great workforce at the City. I also congratulate every recipient of a 2020 Nanaimo Business Award."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

"I’m grateful to be part of a passionate and supportive community, and a circle of colleagues who are generous with their expertise and invested in positive change and impact through arts and culture. What I learned in my previous role about collaboration, leadership and love, translates directly into this work at the City. Already, we’ve realized a number of projects together, and we’re poised for big work, particularly as we undertake strategic conversations as part of REIMAGINE NANAIMO."

  Julie Bevan
  Manager, Culture & Events
  City of Nanaimo

"A strong culture program creates a sense of place, belonging, and community pride, and we're fortunate to have a team of leaders here in our department and a vibrant cultural community in Nanaimo. I'm impressed by what I've learned about Nanaimo already and looking forward to the work ahead."

  Lynn Wark
  Director, Recreation and Culture
  City of Nanaimo

LINKS

Read more about the Chamber's 2020 Nanaimo Business Award Recipients
https://cnan.ca/3l2mBdi

Follow Culture & Events on Instagram @Culture_Nanaimo
https://cnan.ca/2XTO6xh

Follow the City of Nanaimo on Facebook
https://cnan.ca/aAGx4a

Grant programs support culture, heritage and events

0911 – The City of Nanaimo is now accepting applications for funding assistance to support the 2021 activities of non-profit community organizations. Funds are available in three streams: 
– Culture and Heritage operating grant,
- Culture and heritage project grant
– Downtown event revitalization fund.

These funding opportunities provide support for a range of activities including arts and culture programs and events that generate social, cultural and economic impact, and contribute to vibrancy and quality of life for residents and visitors to Nanaimo. In 2020, over 45 local organizations received funds through these three grant streams. 

Guidelines, criteria and application forms are available online at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/grants or by contacting Culture & Events directly at 250-755-4483 or cultureandevents@nanaimo.ca

Applicants are encouraged to carefully review program eligibility requirements and ensure that they have completed all outstanding reporting on funds received in previous years. Members of the City’s Culture & Events team are available by phone and email to respond to questions in advance of the application deadline. 

Submissions are due on Monday, October 19, 2020. This year, for convenience, applications will be accepted by email.

Strategic Link: Grants administered through Culture & Events contribute to “Livability” by supporting arts and cultural activities and events as an integral part of everyday life in Nanaimo. These three funding streams align with the City’s “Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo 2014-2020” and provide both operating and project-based funds to support non-profit organizations, enabling them to leverage funding from other sources and deliver programs, services and events that contribute to community vitality.

* Non-profit organizations can apply for funding to assist with their 2021 operations, projects, or events.

* Applicants are encouraged to carefully review program eligibility requirements and ensure that they have completed all outstanding reporting on funds received in previous years.

* Deadline for applications is October 19, 2020.

"The projects, events and services that the City of Nanaimo supports through grant funds make this a great place to call home and positions Nanaimo as an attractive destination for newcomers and visitors. We are delighted to be able to help dedicated, creative non-profit organizations make a difference and make great things happen here." – Mayor  Leonard Krog

"We know how essential this funding is, and how non-profit community organizations stretch and leverage this investment from the City to create real impact, both locally and beyond Nanaimo. In terms of Culture & Events at the City, we play the role of funder, connector, convenor, and enabler, and recognize the value that diverse and independent non-profit organizations create for our communities." – Julie Bevan,  Manager, Culture & Events

CULTURE AND HERITAGE OPERATING GRANT
View guidelines and 2021 application form online
https://cnan.ca/2eZv1FV

CULTURE AND HERITAGE PROJECT GRANT
View guidelines and 2021 application form online
https://cnan.ca/2eZnxCM

DOWNTOWN EVENT REVITALIZATION GRANT
View guidelines and 2021 application form online
https://cnan.ca/2jOHpYt

Some recreation programs restarting this month

0904 – Some swimming, skating, drop-in sports, weight room workouts and pottery sessions are restarting with City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Culture this month. All sessions must be pre-registered and pre-paid up to 72 hours in advance. This new system in place will limit participants to comply with the Provincial Mass Gathering Order and give adequate time between sessions for staff to clean and sanitize the facility. 

There are three ways to pre-register:

* Online: visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/PRC-Registration and choose the appropriate drop-in activity. Clients will need to create an account, and payment is done through Visa or Mastercard. This is the preferred method as it is the most efficient.

* Telephone: call 250-756-5200 and book using a Visa or Mastercard.

* In Person: stop in at Oliver Woods Community Centre, Bowen Park Complex or Nanaimo Aquatic Centre to book with a front desk clerk using cash, Visa or Mastercard.

Schedules (in PDF format) for pre-registered drop-in sessions at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, Nanaimo Ice Centre, Oliver Woods Community Centre and the Bowen Park Pottery Studio are available online at recreation.nanaimo.ca (click on Drop-in Schedules). If a session is full, it will not show as available to book when looking or trying to book online.

* Swimming sessions at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre consists of 50 metre leisure and lengths, family and aquafit.

* Skating sessions happen at Nanaimo Ice Centre and Cliff NcNabb Arena and consist of Everyone Welcome, Parent & Tot, Adult Leisure, Adult Scrub, Senior Scrub, Senior Scrub Plus and Stick 'n' Puck. 

* Oliver Woods Community Centre will offer gymnasium sessions for badminton and pickleball.

* Bowen Park's Pottery Studio will also be open.

In person registration is available at the following facilities once they open to the public during the following times:

* Oliver Woods Community Centre (opens Sep 9): Monday to Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm (closed 12-1 pm) and Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 am-2:30 pm.

* Bowen Park Complex (opens Sep 10): Monday to Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm (closed 12-1 pm).

* Nanaimo Aquatic Centre (opens Sep 10): Monday to Friday, 6:30 am-7 pm (closed 2:30-3:30 pm) and Saturday and Sunday, 8 am-8 pm (closed 12-12:30 pm). 

Schedules are subject to change. For more information on Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Culture programs, visit www.nanaimo.ca/recreation-parks.

Strategic Link: Providing recreation opportunities for members of the community makes Nanaimo a more livable City.

KEY POINTS

* Sessions are available for pre-registration up to 72 hours in advance through the website (recreation.nanaimo.ca), telephone (250-756-5200) or in person at Bowen Complex, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre or Oliver Woods Community Centre once these facilities open. Pre-registration is required.

* Schedules (in PDF format) can be found online at recreation.nanaimo.ca and by clicking on "Drop-In Schedules".

Reimagining Nanaimo over the next decade

REIMAGINE NANAIMO sets out to do just as it says; to reimagine our city and how it will change, grow and move forward over the next ten years and beyond. 

As part of this new process, the City is inviting creative participation from our great community. This is a chance to express your vision for Nanaimo's future in a range of visual media. Love to draw and paint? Have a dream for our city that is best expressed through dance or a colourful design, a collage or digital illustration? We want to see it!

Each week for the next six weeks, we will post a new challenge on [getinvolvednanaimo.ca](https://www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca/). These creative challenges will be related to key topics that shape who we are, such as how we work and how our economy will thrive, how we will move and get around, and what our future neighbourhoods may look like. This week’s challenge relates to staying green and adaptation: Share your ideas for making Nanaimo greener or reducing the impacts of climate change!

Drawings, photos, paintings, digital illustrations, collages and short videos are all welcome. This project is all about creative exploration, idea generation, critical thinking, conversation and fun. Submit on your own or work together and have some family fun with it! People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to create and send us the result.

Selected submissions will be shared on the City’s online platforms. At the end of the contest, one name will be drawn from all the entries and will win a $500 gift card to your choice of ONE of: a local electronics store OR a local bike shop OR a local grocery store.

Along with the launch of the contest, the City of Nanaimo has released a series of videos led by our Mayor and Council to help inspire your creativity and participation. Begin your video journey and find contest and submission details at [getinvolvednanaimo.ca](https://www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca/). We’re excited to see your creative ideas and grateful for your help as we all REIMAGINE NANAIMO.

Strategic Link: REIMAGINE NANAIMO is a Council-driven engagement process that will ultimately contribute to new collective community master plans that will strategically guide our City into the future.

KEY POINTS

* The REIMAGINE NANAIMO Creative Community Contest is asking everyone to share their creative thoughts for Nanaimo’s future. Each week, we’ll post a new challenge and ask for your creative responses in a visual media of your choice.

* Need some creative inspiration? Nanaimo's Mayor and Council introduce REIMAGINE NANAIMO in a series of new videos. Follow your interests through a video journey that begins at getinvolvednanaimo.ca.

QUOTES

"This is a creative opportunity to shape how we grow and who we become as we move through the next ten years of development and beyond. We are a culturally rich community, and from our Snuneymuxw friends and neighbours, to the individuals and families that have made their way here over the many years - we are Nanaimo! So tap into your creativity, share and inspire as we REIMAGINE NANAIMO together."

  Ian Thorpe
  Acting Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

"This is one way our team is opening up opportunities for broad participation in this significant City planning process. Creativity and art-making involves reflection, dreaming, experimentation and problem solving. Art is its own form of communication and encourages seeing fresh perspectives and new angles. We hope people take up this challenge, submit their creative responses and participate in this conversation to inform our future."

  Julie Bevan
  Manager of Culture & Events
  City of Nanaimo

QUICK FACTS

* REIMAGINE NANAIMO has so far included surveys, pop-up activities, in-person and online conversations as the City gathers input and information on a range of key topics that help shape our city. Many of these engagement opportunities can be found at getinvolvednanaimo.ca

getinvolvednanaimo.ca is the home for REIMAGINE NANAIMO. Visit the website for details or contact us at reimagine@nanaimo.ca or by phone at 250.755.4464 to learn more.

City re-organizes popular summer concert series

0725 - The City of Nanaimo has partnered with five local seniors residences, offering live performances of music from now until August of 2020. Understanding the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both the elderly population who have had their mobility limited and on local musicians whose livelihood has been impacted by venue closures and cancellations, the City’s Culture & Events team initiated this special program for 2020. The intention of this series is to serve audiences where they are, support local musicians and create uplifting and memorable experiences.  

In past years, the City has organized the popular Summer Concerts in the Parks series at the Bowen Park Amphitheatre and Maffeo Sutton Park, attracting audiences of over 300 people. This summer, the concerts have been re-imagined to be delivered safely. Performances will be offered to small audiences of less than 50 people and held outdoors in the parking lots of the five participating senior’s residences with measures in place for physical distancing to keep everyone safe. 

The series of concerts kicked off on July 22 with a performance by musicians from Vancouver Island Symphony at Origin at Longwood. The August lineup includes renowned roots artist, Gerry Barnum, at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence, TerraZetto at Kiwanis Village, and pop/folk singer-songwriter, Trevor Price, at Nanaimo Seniors Village. The last concert of the series features Geoff and Trish Horrocks from the Nanaimo Fiddle Society who are the 2020 City of Nanaimo Honour in Culture award recipients. Concerts are by invite-only for residents, but a videographer will document the shows so that clips can be shared online with larger audiences.

“Our team seized this as an opportunity to create new partnerships, to collaborate with organizations like the Vancouver Island Symphony and to support musicians by hiring them and by connecting them with audiences," said Julie Bevan, Manager of Culture & Events, "We know that seniors have traditionally been a core audience for the City’s Concerts in the Park, and we thought it would be meaningful to take music to their doorsteps this year.”

To view highlights of the summer concert series and other initiatives to build community through arts and culture, follow us on Instagram: @culture_nanaimo. A video of the performances will also be shared on the City's Facebook page and website.

Updated Council meeting processes change for COVID-19

At their meeting on July 13, 2020, Council endorsed recommendations to continue to facilitate public participation in Council and committee meetings, while following the rules of public health requirements. Effective July 20, 2020, a number of measures will be in place for all open Council and Committee meetings in response to a ministerial order regarding public access and participation in local government decision making. 

Delegation requests by members of the public for related or unrelated Council or committee matters, as outlined in Council’s Procedure Bylaw, will be permitted. To make sure that physical distancing can be maintained, members of the public who are not registered delegations will not be permitted to attend meetings in person (other than public hearings). Public hearings will be livestreamed on the City website; all Council and Council-related committee meetings will be livestreamed, recorded and made available on the City website. Question Period will continue to be suspended during this order. 

To view agendas, minutes, the livestream of a meeting in progress and recordings of past meetings visit www.nanaimo.ca/meetings.

Strategic Link: Ensuring access for public participation in Council's decision-making process supports a priority of providing good governance.

KEY POINTS

* Public hearings will be livestreamed on the City website; all Council and Council-related committee meetings will be live-streamed and recorded on the City's website. Members of the public are asked to observe meetings virtually and not attend in person.

* Electronic conferencing software, such as Zoom, will continue to be utilized by members of Council and committees to allow for participation without attending in person.

* Registered delegations regarding topics unrelated to agenda items, as outlined in the Procedure Bylaw, will now be permitted.

* Question period will continue to be suspended during the duration of this order being in effect.

QUOTES

"As local governments transition towards more normal operations, new policies and procedures are being developed to support elected officials, local government staff and the public. Permitting pre-registered delegations for topics unrelated to Council's agenda items encourages enhanced public participation in a safe and thoughtful way."

  Sheila Gurrie
  Director, Legislative Services
  City of Nanaimo

QUICK FACTS

* Ministerial Order No. M192, issued on June 17, 2020 which supersedes Ministerial Order Nos. M083 and M139 require local governments to make "best efforts" to allow the public to participate and understand local government decision making in a way that is meaningful for them, while abiding by any of the public health requirements or recommendations made under the Public Health Act.

LINKS

Meetings, Documents and Videos
https://cnan.ca/2JdL9NH

Council's Meeting Schedule
https://cnan.ca/3h993dV

Staff Report: Ministerial Order M192 – Open Meetings During State of Emergency
https://cnan.ca/3fHivos

City releases COVID-19 Recovery Plan

Nanaimo City Council approved the COVID-19 Recovery Plan on July 13. The plan, which aligns with the Province of BC’s Restart Plan, will provide a path forward for resumption of City operations in a safe and economically viable way.  

The plan outlines four progressive steps that the City will take toward a gradual, safe and measured reopening of municipal facilities and resumption of City services and programs that have been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated as needed and will likely change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, as the Province updates BC’s Restart Plan and as the Provincial Health Officer makes announcements for reopening other sectors of the economy or relaxing restrictions currently in place.

The COVID-19 Recovery Plan is attached to the online version of this news release and can be found at www.nanaimo.ca/COVID19.

  • The City of Nanaimo's COVID-19 Recovery Plan is a multi-step approach to resumption of City services and reopening of City facilities impacted by the pandemic. Through each step, the health and safety of residents and City staff will be the primary focus, while balancing the needs of the community and City Council with running a safe and effcient operation.
  • The plan addresses the financial impacts from COVID-19 on the City's budget and the 2020-2024 Financial Plan.
  • The plan is guided by the following principles: protection of health, economic recovery, community priorities, resource availability and health, well-being and productivity.
  • Plans were also announced at the July 13 meeting regarding the phased reopening of City arenas. Find more information on these plans by clicking on the July 13 Council meeting link in the online version of this news release.

"As we move forward, the plan will serve as the road map to our new reality. By taking a measured approach to reopening, we are positioning ourselves for a strong recovery, building resiliency and ensuring the safety of residents and City staff," says CAO Jake Rudolph.

City of Nanaimo COVID-19 Recovery Plan    
https://www.nanaimo.ca/NewsReleases/NR200714CityOfNanaimoReleasesCOVID19RecoveryPlan/Attachments/city-of-nanaimo-covid-19-recovery-plan.pdf

City of Nanaimo's Response to COVID-19     
https://cnan.ca/2TJeffM

Humanity in Art collaborates with poet Tina Biello

0702 – Commissioned by the City of Nanaimo, artist team Lys Glassford and Lauren Semple of Humanity in Art have collaborated with poet Tina Biello to create a new artwork for downtown Nanaimo, called ‘One Song Staircase.’ Painting is underway and will be completed in the first few days of July. 

Humanity in Art are known for painting and facilitating mural projects locally, and for their interest in urban rehabilitation. They were invited by the City of Nanaimo in early 2020 to create a small-scale artistic intervention into public space downtown. Reflecting on their core purpose as artists, and on the new reality of the COVID-19 health emergency and community efforts to flatten the curve, Glassford and Semple developed a relevant, vibrant new art project that responds to our current moment. 

The staircase between Wharf Street and the rear of Diana Krall Plaza was identified by Humanity in Art as an ideal location for their attention; they describe it as an “unloved and under-utilized urban space located in the heart of Nanaimo’s Arts District.” The site itself is a place of transition and connection—Glassford and Semple point to the fact their work will be nestled between the plaza and The Port Theatre, and the Nanaimo Centre for the Arts building where organizations including Nanaimo Art Gallery, Crimson Coast Dance, and Vancouver Island Symphony have their home base.  

Glassford and Semple invited Tina Biello, who served as Nanaimo’s Poet Laureate from 2017 to 2020, to create a new poem as the basis for their artwork. Called ‘One Song,’ Biello’s poem opens with the words “our mother / sent us all for a time out / stay home, be still.” Glassford and Semple say the poem “perfectly expresses the interconnectedness that exists and grows in the spaces created by our community’s distance during the pandemic.”  

Humanity in Art translates Biello’s poem into space; soundwaves from an audio recording of Semple reading the poem aloud are featured as part of the design. Abstract shapes, line and colour are playfully introduced on and around the stairway in a way that evokes movement, sound, and the idea of travelling through space and time in parallel.  

“Artistic interventions like ‘One Song Staircase,’ help us see and experience familiar spaces with new eyes and a fresh perspective,” says Julie Bevan, Manager of Culture & Events, “this responsive, collaborative project gives physical presence and acknowledgement to what we’ve collectively been experiencing in different ways over the last months. Lauren and Lys approached this work with a lot of thoughtfulness and heart."

The artwork is intended to remain in place for the year. Images of the work and the process of installation will be shared via the City of Nanaimo’s @Culture_Nanaimo Instagram channel. 

ARTIST BIO:  Nanaimo based street artists, Humanity in Art (Lys Glassford and Lauren Semple), have been rehabilitating the blank walls of the central island for the past several years, driven by their passion for big art, urban rehabilitation, and community. In 2018, Humanity in Community, the foundation created by Glassford and Semple, tackled the vacant A&B Sound building and transformed it into an Urban Art Gallery. They received special recognition from the City of Nanaimo at the 2019 Culture and Heritage Awards for that project. In summer 2020, Humanity in Community will launch Hub City Walls, commissioning three local artists to create murals for City-owned walls downtown.

Follow @Culture_Nanaimo on Instagram
https://cnan.ca/2XTO6xh

Fire Rescue applauds Protection Island FireSmart efforts 

Protection Island has increased its resiliency against wildfires after a week-long FireSmart event. The Protection Island FireSmart Board along with residents of Protection Island worked together to apply FireSmart principles to homes and properties on the island community.

Efforts to reduce the risk of wildfires spreading on Protection Island included clearing dry brush and debris from around houses and other buildings. In total, approximately 75 tonnes of potential wildfire fuel such as invasive species and large wood debris were cleared. A wood chipper and crew spent three days converting approximately 35 tonnes of the cleared debris into usable chips, which homeowners will use on their properties for various projects. 

Funding for this event was provided by the City of Nanaimo through the Community Resiliency Investment Fund. A number of resources including videos, landscaping guides and a FireSmart home manual can be found on FireSmart BC's website, www.firesmartbc.ca.

Strategic Link: Strengthening our community resiliency through partnerships between community groups and local government supports the goals of good governance and livability.

* This is the first FireSmart Event organized by the Protection Island FireSmart Board

* This inaugural event is in addition to the continuing ongoing work completed annually in Protection Island parks by Parks maintenance staff.

* Nanaimo Fire Rescue supports FireSmart community champions to assist them in establishing FireSmart programs in their neighbourhoods.

* The City of Nanaimo has been recognized as a FireSmart community.

Annual water quality testing in Departure Bay taking place

Each year, from May through September, the City of Nanaimo monitors the water quality in Departure Bay to make sure the water is clean for beachgoers and wildlife. Staff from the public works department, with assistance from the Nanaimo Port Authority, take water samples from various locations in and around the bay as well as from the waterways that feed into the bay. The samples are then tested by a lab for fecal coliforms. If the level of fecal coliforms exceeds Federal health guidelines, it will force a beach closure. 

To help keep the bay water clean and the beach open, pet owners are reminded to take their dogs to other designated dog parks and off-leash areas. With shore birds and other naturally occuring wildlife in the bay daily, adding pets to the mix could elevate the levels of fecal coliforms. The City of Nanaimo has a bylaw in place that states dogs are not to be on beaches or in the water between the beginning of May and the end of September each year. This bylaw is in place for all of Nanaimo’s lakes, streams and waterfront swimming spots, except for those designated as off-leash areas. 

For more information on coliform testing in Departure Bay, watch the video attached to the online version of this news release or on the City's YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/rvbuYxdPH2s.

* The City of Nanaimo's wastewater section monitors coliform levels in Departure Bay to ensure that the beach can remain open during peak season, May 1 - September 30 each year.

* Each week, 26 samples are taken from Departure Bay and the surrounding and contributing waterways to ensure Coliform levels remain within Federal health guidelines.

* Animal feces that wash into Departure Bay, or even that enter into a contributing creek, drainage ditch or storm sewer system can potentially raise coliform and E.coli levels in the water and may cause a beach closure.

Great B.C. ShakeOut shakes Nanaimo October 21

NEWS RELEASE
Distributed October 14,

Ready... set... drop, cover and hold on October 21.

On that date, at 10:21 a.m., residents and businesses are asked to 'drop, cover and hold on' to practise their safety protocols and prepare for a potential earthquake.

Should an earthquake happen, responding quickly and confidently can keep you safe. As written on www.shakeoutbc.ca, the steps to follow if the ground starts shaking are as follows:

* DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)

* Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and 

* HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

If there isn't a table or desk nearby, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to use COVID-19 safety protocols when participating in the drill. The ShakeOut drill will be aired on 102.3 the Wave and 106.9 the Wolf.

The Great BC ShakeOut is part of the International ShakeOut Day, which takes place on the third Thursday of every October. It's more than just practising the drop, cover and hold on response. It's about awareness, knowing the implications an earthquake may have, and knowing how to keep yourself and your family safe. Residents and businesses are encouraged to be ready by participating, even if the day and time may need to be different.

Strategic Link: Encouraging participation in the Great BC ShakeOut supports a safer and more livable community.

KEY POINTS

* Drop, cover and hold-on. The official Great BC ShakeOut takes place on October 21, 2021 at 10:21 a.m.

* Residents and businesses are encouraged to take the opportunity to review earthquake/emergency plans and refresh emergency kits.

QUOTE

"While COVID-19 continues to be front and center, other emergencies such as earthquakes can happen at any time and it's worth being prepared. Take the time with your family, your classmates or fellow workers to join us as we safely practice the world's largest earthquake drill and 'drop, cover and hold on' at 10:21 a.m. on October 21."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

QUICK FACTS

* According to the Government of Canada's Natural Resources page, plate pressure is building and a massive offshore subduction earthquake is expected in the future.

* International ShakeOut Day happens on the third Thursday of every October.

The Great BC ShakeOut
https://cnan.ca/3lD0NrK

Personal Preparedness
https://cnan.ca/2H0xqLx

City seeks feedback on Westwood Lake improvements

Take the survey and provide feedback

The City of Nanaimo is seeking feedback on draft improvement ideas for the First Beach and the Westwood Road entrance at Westwood Lake Park.

The initial improvement ideas focus on the area formerly occupied by a caretaker house, as well as the main park entrance off Westwood Road, first parking lot and First Beach. Elements in the site plans are interchangeable and are intended to explore what amenities the public would like to see at this popular park. 

The initial draft improvement ideas include the following:

* Expansion and additional amenities at First Beach
* Improved universal access features, including washroom (new or renovated), trails, and beach and water access
* Increased parking capacity, including additional accessible parking stalls
* Improved traffic navigation, including improved entranceways and exits
* Improved pedestrian circulation and safety improvements
* Site furnishings that can be enjoyed by all users
* Additional picnic and special event areas
* New playground
* Improved flow for boat launching
* Improvements to trail navigation at entrance area, including an accessible trail network
* Storm water management considerations to capture and filter storm water, including pervious paving options to improve site ecology
* Additional shade trees
* Enhancement of natural areas through new plantings in excess of any removals and vegetation retention
* Bike wash facility
* Consideration for lifeguarding facilities and emergency access

Westwood Lake Park was specifically brought up through engagement with several community organizations through Phase 1 of the ReImagine Nanaimo initiative with a keen interest in the park and surrounding areas.  As part of the Reimagine Nanaimo process, the City of Nanaimo is reimagining key public spaces to make them more healthy, connected, empowered, ecological and enabled. 

Project information and amenity ideas are available for viewing, as well as a survey, at www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca/westwood. The survey closes on October 31.

Strategic Link: Proactively planning for Nanaimo's growth and focusing on community infrastructure supports an inclusive, healthy, safe and desirable place to live as identified in the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.

KEY POINTS

* The City is seeking feedback on draft improvement options for Westwood Lake Park for the First Beach and Westwood Road entrance.

* Two site plans for possible amenity improvements, as well as a survey for public feedback is available at www.getinvolvednanaimo/westwood.

* Westwood Lake Park was identified during Phase 1 of ReImagine as a key area of interest for improvements through the public engagement process.

"Westwood Lake Park is one of the most popular parks in Nanaimo and is used extensively everyday throughout the year. Through this community engagement process, we hope to find out what the public would like to see to further enhance the amenities found at Westwood Lake."

   Mayor Leonard Krog

Nanaimo drought level remains unchanged

The Province of BC has declared Drought Level 5 for Eastern Vancouver Island - its highest level, reflecting extremely dry conditions. The City of Nanaimo will remain at Stage 3 Water Restrictions until October 1, 2021. Nanaimo currently has an adequate amount of surface water stored in the reservoirs in the Nanaimo River Watershed to sustain the community's needs throughout this drought, including necessary environmental flows. Water conservation efforts are always essential to ensure this supply continues to be available for fire protection and future daily needs. 

The City of Nanaimo continues to encourage conservative use of water at all times; this helps avoid further elevation of restrictions.

Under Nanaimo's current Stage 3 Watering Restrictions, even and odd day watering days based on address number are in place, for a maximum of two hours of sprinkling between 7-10 AM or 7-10 PM. Residents are encouraged to go further and voluntarily reduce all non-essential outdoor water use, including curtailing lawn watering and refraining from washing cars or outdoor surfaces. 

Thank you to all residents for continuing to do your part to conserve our water and ensure our resilience to drought.

Strategic Link: Watering restrictions support a community that is environmentally responsible.

KEY POINTS

* The City of Nanaimo is at Stage 3 Water Restrictions until October 1, 2021. There is still adequate water in our watershed to continue supplying the City and to meet potential fire-fighting demand.

* Under Nanaimo's current Stage 3 Watering Restrictions, even and odd day watering days based on address number are in place, for a maximum of two hours of sprinkling between 7-10 AM or 7-10 PM. Residents are encouraged to go further and voluntarily reduce all non-essential outdoor water use.

"Water. We turn the tap and it flows, clean, pure and plentiful. The incredible supply of water in our watershed is one more reason that Nanaimo is one of the greatest places to be. If we stay the course of our stage 3 restrictions, then we'll have enough water to go the distance, quench our thirst, and fight potential fires, even in this summer's record-breaking heat."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor

Reuse Rendezvous returns Aug. 14-15

Reuse Rendezvous, Nanaimo’s longest running reuse event, is back! This annual event, held August 14 and 15, is designed to keep useful items from going to waste by providing Nanaimo households an opportunity to give old household items a new lease on life.

Residents can participate by taking unwanted toys, sporting goods, furniture, books, bikes and other items to the curb so that others can take and reuse them. 

Please mark items set out for others to take with a "FREE" tag. Items set out should not block sidewalks and bike lanes, and make sure to remove any leftover items by August 16.

Participants of Reuse Rendezvous are asked to stay safe when searching for bargains: slow down, watch for children, park carefully and obey traffic signs and speed limits.

Strategic Link: By encouraging reuse of household goods and keeping waste out of the landfill, Reuse Rendezvous supports Council's priority to protect and enhance Nanaimo’s natural environment.

KEY POINTS

* Households – Find a match for your unwanted goods by marking them with a “FREE” tag and putting them at the curb in front of your home on the weekend of August 14 and 15, 2021.

* Bargain Lovers – Join in by searching the city for marked free items you can take home and reuse. Good used furniture, tools, clothing, sporting goods and toys are just some of the great finds you could discover. Please remember to take only items you can use!

* Respect public and private property: do not block sidewalks or bike paths, and please remove any leftover items from your curb by Monday, August 16.


Zero Waste Events Information
                                        
https://cnan.ca/3jXdbjx

BC Hydro crews updating streetlights in Nanaimo

BC Hydro is replacing old, inefficient high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights with newer light-emitting diodes (LED).

In Nanaimo, there are both City-owned and BC Hydro-owned streetlights, which are leased to the City of Nanaimo. The City began upgrading its lights to LED in 2018, while the majority of streetlights on BC Hydro poles remained the older HPS style. From August until the end of 2021, BC Hydro crews will be updating 4,276 streetlights within Nanaimo's neighbourhoods.

LED lighting comes in a variety of colour temperatures and brightnesses. BC Hydro will be working closely with the City to match the colour, brightness and spread of each current light, as well as to make adjustments that are appropriate in each neighbourhood location, considering both safety and the flooding of light towards homes.

For more information on BC Hydro's street light replacement program, visit [bchydro.com](bchydro.com). Questions for BC Hydro regarding the project can be sent to LightingSupport@bchydro.com.

Strategic Link: Supporting BC Hydro's LED upgrade initiative also supports Council's strategic plan, and to be an efficient and environmentally-responsible City.

* BC Hydro's LED street-lighting upgrades will take place from the beginning of August 2021 until the end of the year.

* More than 4000 lights within Nanaimo's neighbourhoods will be upgraded during this project.

QUOTES

"The best LED lighting will really go unnoticed; not too bright, not too dark, not too warm and not too cool. If Goldilocks can walk our neighbourhood streets on a winter's evening and doesn't question the lighting, then along with BC Hydro, we got it right."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor

"These new street lights will help improve public safety in the community by increasing the visibility of sidewalks and roads at night, as well as help reduce light pollution. LEDs also last longer and require less maintenance."

  Scott Petrie
  Program Manager, LED Street Lighting
  BC Hydro

* The City of Nanaimo leases lights from BC Hydro for neighbourhoods that were originally designed without an expectation of modern street light design. Many of these neighbourhoods began as rural streets and grown and evolved to urban environments.

* Leased lights are mounted on already existing BC Hydro power poles. The lease-light system does not meet current design standards, and does not in all cases provide even lighting along streets, but it does provide crucial light for neighbourhood safety where possible.

* There are some LED lights that were upgraded and installed on BC Hydro poles prior to this project, and those lights will be reassessed before the project is complete at the end of the year.

LED Streetlight Conversion (City of Nanaimo project page)
https://cnan.ca/3ybbi9w

BC Hydro Street light replacement project information and FAQ
https://cnan.ca/3BV1zGR

Busier roads put roadside workers at greater risk in Nanaimo

Increased traffic on roads due to summer travel and the province's reopening creates an increased risk for roadside workers in Nanaimo.

“Roadside work is a dangerous job,” says Louise Yako, program director for Road Safety at Work and spokesperson for the 11thannual province-wide Cone Zone awareness campaign. “With regional travel restrictions lifted and more activity on roads, we all need to do our part when driving to make sure roadside workers make it home to their family at the end of their shift without injury.”  

Between 2011 and 2020, 12 roadside workers were killed and 207 were injured resulting in time loss in B.C. Last year, 23 workers were injured because of being hit by a motor vehicle. 

“One of the greatest risks to a roadside worker in Nanaimo is a motor vehicle being driven through their workplace,” says Yako. “Dangerous behaviour like speeding and distracted driving puts workers at risk – and drivers too.”

Roadside worksites involve hundreds of activities, not just road construction, she points out. “Anyone who works alongside or on roads in close proximity to traffic is considered a roadside worker.” This includes municipal workers, landscapers, flag people, tow truck drivers, road maintenance crews, telecommunications and utility workers, and emergency and enforcement personnel. “And each one of them is someone’s parent, friend, neighbour, and work colleague,” Yako says.

The awareness campaign encourages people to practise safe driving behaviour in Cone Zones, which are work areas set up to alert drivers that roadside workers are on site. Cone Zones help protect workers and drivers from injury or death and often use distinctive orange cones – but not always. “Some areas can’t set up cones due to operational needs,” Yako explains. In those cases, reflective triangles and signage are used if possible.

So what should drivers do when approaching a Cone Zone?

“Slow down and leave your phone alone,” says Yako. “Pay attention to temporary road signs, traffic cones, and directions given by traffic control persons.” 

Tickets for driving infractions in Cone Zones can be costly:

  • Using an electronic device while driving ($368)
  • Speeding ($196 and up)
  • Disobeying a flag person ($196)
    Disobeying a traffic control device ($121)

The province’s “Slow Down, Move Over” law spells out legal responsibilities for drivers when vehicles with red, blue, or amber flashing lights – tow trucks, fire, police, ambulance – are present. The law requires drivers to slow to 70 km/h if the posted speed limit is greater than 80 km/h. If the posted speed is less than 80 km/h, drivers need to slow to 40 km/h. Drivers should always be prepared move over and increase the space between their vehicle and the work zone, if it’s safe to do so.

Roadside worker safety is a shared responsibility. Employers are required by law to ensure the health and safety of their workers and contractors along B.C.’s roads and highways, including providing job specific training, equipment, supervision and resources. Workers can increase their safety by following safe work procedures (including work zone set up and take down) and reporting unsafe work conditions to their supervisor.

The Cone Zone campaign runs through the end of August, supported by the Work Zone Safety Alliance. For more information and resources visit www.ConeZoneBC.com.

QUICK FACTS

The construction and transportation sectors have the greatest percentage of roadside incidents in B.C., according to WorkSafeBC statistics for 2011-2020.

Construction trades account for 51% of all roadside injury claims, with traffic control persons (flaggers) accounting for almost three-quarters (70%) of them.

Transport workers (e.g., truck drivers, bus drivers, tow operators) have the second highest number of claims, accounting for 23% of all claims.

Service jobs (such as police, fire, and security guards) account for 5%; garbage and public works account for 7%; and landscapers account for 5%.

About the Work Zone Safety Alliance

The Cone Zone campaign is a joint provincial initiative supported by organizations committed to improving the safety of roadside workers. They are Ambulance Paramedics of B.C., Automotive Retailers Association, BCAA, BC Construction Safety Alliance, BC Flagging Association, BC Hydro, BC Landscape and Nursery Association, BC Municipal Safety Association, BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, BC Road Safe, CoreCode Safety and Compliance, Government of BC, IBEW Local 258, Insurance Corporation of BC, K&K Consulting, Justice Institute of British Columbia, LiUNA Local 1611, Mainroad Group, Metro Traffic Management, RCMP, Road Safety at Work, SafetyDriven, TELUS, The Universal Group, Vancouver Island Construction Association,and WorkSafeBC. 

About Road Safety at Work

Road Safety at Work is a WorkSafeBC-funded initiative managed by the Justice Institute of BC aimed at eliminating work-related motor vehicle crashes, deaths, and injuries in B.C. Road Safety at Work offers free online resources and courses — as well as workshops, webinars, and consulting services — to help organizations plan, implement, and monitor effective road safety programs.

Fletcher promoted, named RCMP commander

Supt. Lisa Fletcher
New commanding officer for Nanaimo

The City of Nanaimo is pleased to announce that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has promoted Inspector Lisa Fletcher from Acting Nanaimo Detachment Commander to Superintendent, Nanaimo Detachment Commander.

This is a full circle moment for Fletcher who was first sworn into the RCMP at the Nanaimo Detachment in 1992. As a result, Fletcher brings twenty-nine years of experience and has served in four different detachments (Nanaimo, Surrey, Langley, and Chilliwack), as well as working in the Provincial and National Headquarters. Operationally this past year, as the only Commissioned Officer in Nanaimo, Fletcher, in her role as the Acting Detachment Commander, led the detachment through the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining full operational capacity and addressing detachment concerns. Fletcher also conducted a comprehensive organizational review to identify deficiencies and opportunities for improvements. The outcome of the review was priority alignment, active pursuit of collaboration opportunities with other levels of governments and agencies, and implementation of innovative solutions geared to the changing policing needs of Nanaimo. 

Enhancing the livability of the community as an even safer place for all Nanaimo citizens is a significant priority for Fletcher and the detachment. During her time as Acting Detachment Commander, Fletcher reassigned resources to enhance Nanaimo RCMP’s stakeholder engagement with a focus on building trust and impact in the City where many RCMP Members and support staff, including Superintendent, Fletcher call home.

* Lisa Fletcher grew up in Ladysmith and graduated from UBC with a degree in psychology. Fletcher also attended McGill University and completed her French Language training.

* In 1992, Fletcher was sworn into the RCMP at the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment. Fletcher was first posted to the Chilliwack Detachment and worked in a variety of operational uniform policing roles including Road Supervisor in the Surrey Detachment, in 2003.

* In 2014, Fletcher was promoted to the Commissioned Officer rank, which resulted in her relocating to Ottawa before returning to an operational role as the Second Officer in Nanaimo, in 2017.

* In 2020, Fletcher was appointed Acting Detachment Commander of the Nanaimo RCMP, which is the largest detachment on Vancouver Island.

QUOTES

"Nanaimo City Council is delighted that Lisa Fletcher has been appointed to Superintendent, Nanaimo Detachment Commander. With our City’s complex policing needs and the growing mental health and addictions crisis, Council looks forward to working with and supporting Superintendent Fletcher as she leads the detachment in her new role."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo 

"During her term as Acting Detachment Commander, Superintendent Fletcher was part of our senior management team and the Council-Led Health and Housing Task Force, where she consistently demonstrated leadership and provided solutions to our City’s complex social and policing needs. I look forward to working with Superintendent Fletcher and having her permanently be part of the City’s senior management team."

  Jake Rudolph
  Chief Administrative Officer
  City of Nanaimo 

"Growing up in this community, my professional background, and raising my family here has prepared me for this challenging and exciting role. As the RCMP continues to work on important national initiatives, I am also working to shift policing resources to address the rising and complex social and mental health matters our Members attend every day. I am confident that working with Nanaimo City Council and collaborating with the Ministries of Health, Mental Health and Addictions, Public Safety and other ministries will enhance the livability in this wonderful City."

  Lisa Fletcher
  Superintendent, Nanaimo Detachment Commander
  Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) 

Residents asked to conserve on watering to maintain supply

Following the Provincial announcement that Vancouver Island is experiencing a Level Four drought, the City of Nanaimo is moving watering restrictions to Stage Three. Effective Monday, July 12, property owners are encouraged to voluntarily reduce the amount of outdoor watering. Permitted watering times are between 7- 10 a.m. or 7 -10 p.m. for no more than two hours total allocated per day. The same watering schedule as Stage 2 will be maintained, even days for even numbered houses and on odd days for odd numbered houses.

On July 9, 2021, the Province announced that the East Vancouver Island Basin is at Drought Level 4. At this level, adverse impacts on people or ecosystems are likely. Impacts on fish have been observed due to very high water temperatures combined with low flow conditions and water conservation is being urged across the region to help reduce the risk of significant impacts on the environment and other water users.

Some tips to reduce outdoor water use include:

* Reduce the lawn irrigation on your property by decreasing sprinkler run times, cutting back on the number of watering days and refraining from sprinkling certain lawn areas. Lawns naturally go dormant in the summer months and return with fall rains. One hour of watering per week is all a lawn needs to stay healthy.
* Avoid washing vehicles or boats unnecessarily, unless for safety reasons.
* Sweep outdoor surfaces with a broom rather than using a hose or power washing.
* Retrofit leaking or inefficient irrigation systems.
* Add mulch/topsoil to aid in landscape water retention so you can decrease sprinkler run times.

The City of Nanaimo’s water supply at Jump Lake is currently 95 per cent full. Summertime draw-down started approximately one month earlier than previous years. However, given the storage level and corresponding the level of consumption at this time the City does not foresee the need for more severe restrictions. Nanaimo staff continue to monitor reservoir levels and consumption very closely, to ensure a consistent level of supply well into the fall.

For more information on watering restrictions with the City of Nanaimo and other ways residents and businesses can reduce use, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/watering. For information on regional watering restrictions (including City of Nanaimo), visit www.teamwatersmart.ca.

Strategic Link: Watering restrictions support a community that is environmentally responsible.

KEY POINTS

* Stage 3 watering restrictions requests further voluntary reductions prior to implementing a ban, enabling residents to choose where they cut back – the focus is on lawns, and providing an opportunity to defer a comprehensive ban.

* The increased watering restriction level supports the Province's call for voluntary water use reduction, and helps to ensure the City's water supply will remain in good shape for the duration of the summer.

* Hand-watering with a shut-off nozzle and drip irrigation are exempt from watering restrictions. Watering restrictions do not apply to vegetable gardens but please be careful with water use.

QUOTES

"Water conservation is key to ensuring sufficient water is available for emergency fire supply, essential community needs and the ecosystem. Water is critical to our health and vital to our community, let’s all help protect our most precious natural resource."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

"While our reservoirs capturing upper elevation snow melt and precipitation provide a resilient water supply for the City, the record-breaking heatwave has now spurred us into summer drought conditions. Residents and businesses are encouraged to reduce outdoor watering to help maintain supply throughout the summer."

  Mike Squire
  Manager, Water Resources
  Engineering & Public Works

Recreation equipment share, swap and trade event

The City of Nanaimo Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture has partnered with Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools and Island Health for the "Shed Your Threads" campaign. Aiming to reduce leisure barriers through access to appropriate gear, Shred Your Threads will be held on Friday, July 9 from 12-4 pm in the Bowen Park Auditorium.

Organizers of this event are hoping to level the playing field for youth by sharing, swapping and trading athletic clothes, shoes, jackets, recreation and sporting equipment. The invitation is for community members to drop off their used but in still good condition recreation equipment allowing children and youth to participate in the upcoming fall sports season.

Not only does this foster youth sports participation, it also reduces environmental impact by reusing, recycling and reducing equipment in the landfill or having it collect dust in the garage.

Shed Your Threads proposes a change from a consumer model of "take, make and dispose" to a more collaborative and sustainable model in which sharing, swapping and repairing can give used items a new purpose.

Links to the Livability and Environmental Responsibility themes, by supporting recreation as an integral part of everyday life and taking a leadership role in adapting the way we live, work, recreate and move.

* The event takes place on Friday, July 9, 2021, 12-4 pm in Bowen Park Auditorium.

* This is a recreation equipment share, swap and trade event.

* Shred Your Threads aids in helping all youth in our community have access to recreation equipment.

"Shred Your Threads has so many benefits. It gives youth the chance to participate in recreation activities with appropriate equipment, gives new life to things already produced, reduces the environmental impact and promotes the value of sharing in our community."

  Leonard Krog           
  Mayor           
  City of Nanaimo

Westwood Lake lifeguards on duty starting June 29

Lifeguards will be back on duty at Westwood Lake Park daily from 12 pm to 6 pm starting June 29 until September 5, including Canada Day, BC Day and Labour Day (weather permitting). 

City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Culture Department also says  besides daily lifeguarding at Westwood Lake, staff will also  lead registered camps, including Junior Lifeguard Summer Camp, Mermaid Camp and Survivor Camp for ages 8 to 12. Swimming lessons will also take place between July 6 and September 2. Check the City of Nanaimo's online Activity Guide or call 250-756-5200 for information on these programs and others being offered at other locations.

* Lifeguards will be on duty at Westwood Lake daily from 12 pm to 6 pm starting June 29 until September 5, including Canada Day, BC Day and Labour Day.

* Swimming lessons are available in Westwood Lake from July 6 to September 2. There are three sessions to choose from and take place twice a week.

"Nothing says summer in Nanaimo like swimming in Westwood Lake," said Mayor Leonard Krog. "It's great to have the lifeguards back this year after not being able to last year due to the pandemic. It's just another sign that life is getting back to normal in Nanaimo as more recreation opportunities return."

Secure waste to protect bears and other wildlife

BEAR WHEELS GARBAGE - To protect bears and other wildlife, the City of Nanaimo, Regional District of Nanaimo, and the Central Island Zone of the BC Conservation Officer Service are urging all residents to stop placing their carts out the night before collection day. Carts should be properly secured on residential property for all non-collection days.

Leaving garbage and organic waste unsecured is a safety threat to both bears and humans. Garbage lures bears, and is the attractant for half of the bear-related problem calls made to the BC Conservation Officer Service. Other attractants include bird seed, fruit trees, pet food and livestock. Once a bear becomes food-conditioned to garbage and other attractants, they associate people with food, and lose their fear of people. Every year in our province, hundreds of bears are destroyed due to human-wildlife conflicts. 

Prevention is key to keeping bears and other wildlife safe. Follow these guidelines, especially if you live within or nearby bear-frequented areas:

Keep carts secured on non-collection days:

* Do not set your carts out the night before your collection day.
* Place your carts out at the curb between 5:00-8:00 AM on the morning of your scheduled collection day.
* Remove your carts from the curb after they have been collected.
* Store carts in a secured location such as a garage or shed, especially if you live on the outer city limits, in a rural neighbourhood, near a park or in any location that may be close to a wildlife habitat.

Reduce odours in your carts:

* Wrap smelly food in newspaper and freeze until collection day.
* Use vinegar and/or baking soda to naturally eliminate odours.
* Periodically rinse carts with soapy water.

Placing carts out the night before collection day goes against local waste collection bylaws and provincial regulations. Under the BC Wildlife Act, a person leaving attractants accessible to dangerous wildlife may be subject to a $230 fine(s) issued by the BC Conservation Officer Service. In areas frequented by bears, setting carts out the night before collection is considered an offence. Our local Conservation Officers remind us the public is legally responsible to secure their attractants, and not place garbage and compost carts out the night before collection.

When dealing with problem wildlife, early intervention is best. The sooner the BC Conservation Officer Service is made aware of a bear in a neighbourhood, the more likely that there can be a positive outcome for the neighbourhood and the bear. If you observe dangerous wildlife in your neighbourhood, please call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network. For more educational resources, visit the www.WildSafeBC.com website.

**Key Points**

* Never put your carts out prior to the morning of collection. Setting carts out the night before collection day violates both local government bylaws and the BC Wildlife Act, and can result in a fine.
* Keeping waste carts secure on non-collection days is key to preventing human-bear conflicts.
* Everyone has a responsibility to remove or secure attractants to prevent bears from becoming food conditioned.

"The sooner the BC Conservation Officer Service knows about a bear in an area, the quicker action can be taken to secure attractants and prevent the bear from becoming food-conditioned. Too often people wait until the bear’s behaviour has escalated to the level of being a public safety risk, usually ending with the bear needing to be euthanized." – Caitlin Bickford, Conservation Officer, West Coast Region Conservation Officer Service, BC Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy*

"It’s natural to think that a bear in our streets could pose a danger to us, our families, and our pets, but in the case of wildlife, that danger plays out both ways. If a bear recognizes our compost and garbage as an easy food source, chances are it will be put down. That’s a scenario where nobody wins, so let’s work together and keep our garbage secure and odour free." – Mayor Leonard Krog.

“Protecting the natural environment, including wildlife, is a priority for the Regional District of Nanaimo. We encourage residents to adopt these best practices so that together, we can minimize the negative interactions and impact we have on bears and other wildlife in our region.” – Tyler Brown, Chair, Regional District of Nanaimo*

**Quick Facts**

* Every year in our province, hundreds of bears are destroyed due to human-wildlife conflicts.
* Garbage and compost is the attractant in over 60% of problem bear reports to the BC Conservation Officer Service.
* Black bears have a keen sense of smell, and can detect food from over one kilometre away.

LINKS

City of Nanaimo: Wildlife & Waste webpage
Practice responsible waste management to keep wildlife and the environment safe.
https://cnan.ca/3zaJnYm

RDN: Wildlife & Waste webpage
https://cnan.ca/34HQR6T

WildSafe BC - WARP Mapping Page
Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) enables the public to view reports of wildlife in BC.
https://cnan.ca/3ik6JVh

Landmark signage installed at Maffeo Sutton Park

0429 - Downtown Nanaimo is the heart of the city, providing a variety of retail shops, a range of housing opportunities, professional offices and services, and the majority of cultural attractions in the city. Council has identified downtown as an area of priority attention through it’s Strategic Plan.

At a recent Governance and Priorities Committee meeting, Nanaimo City Council was provided with an update on a number of public realm improvements and environmental beautification projects that have been completed, or will be completed, in the coming weeks. The goal of the improvements is to enhance the look and feel of downtown Nanaimo, the City's spectacular walkway, and Maffeo Sutton Park. They included:

* Selection of temporary outdoor public art
* New wayfinding signage for Commercial Street and the Old City Quarter
* Expansion of the downtown patio program
* Renewed decorative lighting on Wesley Street 
* Refreshed crosswalk paint lines on Commercial Street and Front Street
* Creation of an inaugural mural program for owners with blank walls 
* Maffeo Sutton Playground Upgrades - Phase 1 Complete.
* Continuation of the Street Banner Design Program. The theme ,Nanaimo 2121: One Hundred Years Forward.
* Artistic interventions such as the One Song Staircase. 
* Installations and updates of water fountains as well as public washrooms
Nanaimo citizens visiting the Swy’ A’ Lana Lagoon area can now enjoy the breathtaking views of our waterfront next to a new landmark downtown attraction sign that spells out the City's name. The letters will be 5 feet high and about 35 feet long. The colourful "O" can mean different things to different people. For example, the different colours in the “O” represents the diversity of the 100,000 plus voices who have shaped and continue to shape our spectacular City. It also represents an inclusive Nanaimo, full of opportunity for generations to come.

"Through the City's engagement activities, we heard from the public that investing in public realm improvements and beautification is important to Nanaimo citizens. In 2019, Staff began working on many of the improvements and beautification work Council approved, however, the pandemic put a pause on some things. I am thrilled to see the progress being made on the initiatives and the smiling eyes through the masks as the public explore and experience our spectacular City." – Leonard Krog, Mayor.

Nanaimo celebrates 2021 Youth Week

0429 - The City of Nanaimo is pleased to present the 2021 Youth Week celebrations. Activities are planned from May 1 to May 7, all with the intent of celebrating youth in Nanaimo. 

Highlights include a Fun Fitness class, a "Star Wars" themed evening, A Video and Board Game Cafe, a hike to Sugarloaf Mountain, as well as dodgeball and skating sessions. A full schedule of events can be found on the YOUth Nanaimo Facebook page and on the City of Nanaimo website, www.nanaimo.ca.

Strategic Link: Youth Week supports the Livability pillar of the City of Nanaimo's strategic plan. The events provide recreational opportunities to young people while also helping to engage and connect youth in Nanaimo.

* Youth Week events are geared to youth between the ages of 11 and 18 years.

* There are 12 events scheduled over seven days from May 1-7, 2021.

* All events require pre-registration through Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Culture and follow the lastest Provincial Health Guidelines to keep everyone safe.

QUOTES

"The youth are our future! Youth Week is a great chance to celebrate the young people in our community with all their energy, enthusiasm and the many great ideas they bring forward to make our City a better place," says Mayor Leonard Krog.

* BC Youth Week is a provincial celebration of youth held annually during the first week of May. It is a week of fun filled interaction and a celebration intended to build a strong connection between youth and their communities. This event is intended to highlight the interests, accomplishments, and diversity of youth across the province.

Youth Week https://www.nanaimo.ca/NewsReleases/NR210429NanaimoCelebrates2021YouthWeek/Attachments/youth-week-2021.pdf

Link to Youth 2021 Information on the City website https://cnan.ca/330P648

City remembers miners lost in 1884 disaster

File photo

Flags at City  facilities will be lowered to half mast on Monday, May 3 to mark the anniversary of the coal mining disaster of 1887 that took 150 lives. 

The explosions of the No. 1 Esplanade Mine are known as the worst mining disaster in British Columbia's history and second worst in Canada (the mining disaster of 1914 in Hillcrest, Alberta killed 189 miners). A jury blamed the explosion on the firing of an unprepared and badly planted charge that ignited accumulated gas fuelled by coal dust.

"We are remembering and honouring the 150 lives that were tragically lost in our community. Those who died were our hard working pioneers who left loving families behind, but we have never forgotten," said Mayor Leonard Krog.

* On May 3, 1887, shortly before 6 pm, two explosions occurred in the No. 1 Esplanade Mine.

* If you would like to learn more Nanaimo's coal mining history and the tragic accident, please visit the award winning, walk through coal mine exhibit at our local Nanaimo Museum.

Nanaimo Museum Coal Mine Exhibit
https://cnan.ca/2R5JGSL

Heritage Walks Through Time
Self-guided heritage tour brochures
https://cnan.ca/2R8N9Qc

Next week is emergency preparedness week

0429 - Being prepared is important and something the whole family can do. As Emergency Preparedness Week approaches, the City of Nanaimo is encouraging residents to prepare for an emergency by making a kit, drafting up a plan and signing up for the City's Voyent Alert! Emergency Notification System. 

Natural disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and the impact of whatever emergency we might face - whether natural or human-induced
By taking a few simple steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies – anytime, anywhere. It is important to:

* Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
* Make a plan – It will help you and your family know what to do
* Get an emergency kit – During an emergency, we will all need some basic supplies. We may need to get by without power or tap water. 

From May 2 to May 8, the City of Nanaimo encourages residents to take concrete actions to be better prepared. Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way to help people cope better - both during and after a major disaster. It can make a world of difference.

For more information about how you can prepare for emergencies and to make a kit, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/emergencykit or the Province of BC website www.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc.

Strategic Link: Providing information and resources for residents to be prepared for an emergency supports a livable community.

* Emergency Preparedness Week is a national event co-ordinated by Public Safety Canada.

* The City of Nanaimo is encouraging residents to make a kit during this week or check their kits if you already have one.

* Emergency Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything! Know the risks in the community and prepare for emergencies.

* Voyent Alert! can send emergency information a variety of ways. Residents can choose to receive a push notifications through the Voyent Alert! smartphone app, an email, text or a phone call are also options should there be a local emergency impacting City of Nanaimo residents. Visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/alerts to learn more and sign up.

"As citizens we have to work together and support the collective response to COVID-19 and reduce the risks found in our community," says Mayor Leonard Krog.  "We realize now more than ever how important it is to prepare for the unexpected. Many City of Nanaimo residents have started to build an emergency kit and there is no time like today to complete it.  A few simple actions will help you build upon all of the hard work you already have in place”."

Personal Preparedness
https://cnan.ca/2H0xqLx

Emergency Call Alert System
https://cnan.ca/2JL8KYw

Registration begins for parks, recreation and culture

0416 - The City of Nanaimo, Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture is offering recreation programs and activities for the upcoming summer season. This includes summer daycamps held at a variety of locations throughout the community, adult outdoor courses, swimming and skating lessons. In addition, there will be plenty of free activities to participate in, including the Playground Program, the Golden Bucket Search and swimming at Westwood Lake Park with lifeguards on duty.

Registration for programs begins on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.

Residents can look for summer program offerings in the following ways:

* View an online PDF of the Summer Activity Guide starting on Friday, April 30, 2021
* Pick up a hard copy of our program guide at Bowen Park, Beban Park Social Centre, Oliver Woods Community Centre and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre starting on Monday, May 3 (for those who do not have online access)
* Visit recreation.nanaimo.ca and choose "Register for a Program" to search programs by various categories and key words (for the best user experience, please choose Chrome as the browser)

Register online through recreation.nanaimo.ca (accounts should be set up in advance of registration date), by telephone at 250-756-5200 or in-person at Bowen Complex, Oliver Woods Community Centre and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. With limited capacity to have people gathered due to Provincial Health Orders, the City is encouraging residents to use the online platform as much as possible. If coming in or calling is an only option, the City is asking for everyone to be kind and patient as requests are processed.

The City is aware of and is following the latest Provincial Health Guidelines and will continue to monitor and action any required changes. Participants will be contacted through email or phone if there are any cancellations or modifications to their registered programs.

KEY POINTS

* Registration for summer programs, including daycamps will begin on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.

* The City encourages citizens to use the online registration process as much as possible as a way to limit the number of people in facilities.

* Programs will continue to follow the latest COVID-19 Provincial Health Guidelines. Should further Provincial Health Orders require program changes, the City will follow up directly with those affected through email or telephone.

"Parks, Recreation and Culture and summer go hand in hand. I invite you to take part in a variety of summer registered programs, as well as the many free community activities, including the popular Playground Program, 
and Search for the Golden Bucket Challenge. All programs follow the latest Provincial Health protocols to keep everyone safe and healthy while participating."

  Leonard Krog           
  Mayor           
  City of Nanaimo       

May is Invasive Plant Month in Nanaimo

Click on image to enlarge

Nanaimo residents take part in a variety of work parties as part of Invasive Plant Month and to bring invasive plants to one of two drop zones to protect parks and natural spaces from being overtaken by invasive plants.

"Invasive plants are non-native plants that cause environmental harm to our ecosystems by out-competing our native plants for space, nutrients and sunlight,” says Mayor Leonard Krog. “They can lessen the diversity of our ecosystems and destabilize them, increasing further invasion of non-native plants. Join the community for some organized invasive plant work parties with Parks, Recreation and Culture to help keep our parks and open spaces free of invasive plants."

Invasive plants have the potential to negatively impact local ecosystems. Plants, such as English Ivy, Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry, are well established in Nanaimo. Others, such as Knotweed and Giant Hogweed are spreading. 

Work parties will focus on the removal of Broom, Daphne and Ivy at various locations, including Pipers Lagoon Park, Neck Point Park, Linley Gyro Park, Lotus Pinatus Park, Sugarloaf Mountain and Bowen Park. Also, residents who remove invasive plants from their own property can bring them to the two Drop Zones for safe disposal. 

All work parties will follow the latest COVID-19 protocols by working in small groups, physically distanced and wearing masks.

If you are able to participate in any of the work parties, you can register through the City website or call 250-756-5200.

Invasive species control falls under Environmental Responsibility, one the four Pillars of Sustainability in the City's Strategic Plan.

Residents can drop off invasive plants they have removed from their property at the Drop Zones located at Linley Gyro Park on Saturday, May 1 and at Bowen Park (off Wall Street) on Saturday, May 29. Both Drop Zones are open from 10 am to 2 pm.

Online program registration for Work Parties      

City, VIU sign understanding to work together

0419 - Nanaimo City Council and Vancouver Island University (VIU), announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") between the City of Nanaimo and VIU.  

Under the terms of the MOU, the City and VIU, will work together to:

* Establish a framework for collaboration between the two organizations;
* Adopt a cooperative approach to working together for the mutual benefit of the City and VIU, the students and broader community;
* Pursue areas of common strategic interest; 
* Actively participate in joint initiatives, projects and activities; and, 
* Identify and address common areas of concern that may emerge during the life of the MOU. 

An Executive Committee will also be established consisting of the senior leadership team from both the City and VIU. The MOU is effective as of Monday, April 19, 2021 until December 31, 2023. 

QUOTES

"Nanaimo is fortunate to have a university that offers programs ranging from graduate and undergraduate degrees to vocational and trades diplomas and certificates, as well as continuing education programs in health, education, sciences, arts, business, trades, leadership, leisure, community planning, education and so much more. Tapping into this wealth of knowledge and innovation can benefit the community and position the City for a brighter future." 

**Leonard Krog, Mayor, City of Nanaimo** 

"I’m excited to expand on the already strong relationship VIU has with the City of Nanaimo to share ideas and collaborate on projects to aid in our economic and social recovery. We are a university built by and for the community, and partnerships like this one are woven into the fabric of everything we do. I look forward to broadening the number of initiatives we collaborate on to address the social, economic and environmental challenges of our region."

**Dr. Deborah Saucier, President and Vice-Chancellor, VIU**

City surveying on rental housing and short-term rentals

The City is seeking feedback from residents and property owners on proposed bylaw changes affecting the use of homes as short-term rentals. The City is also providing an opportunity for renters and landlords to share their experience finding and maintaining homes for rent.  

Housing Affordability was among the top three concerns for community members who participated in the first phase of engagement for the City's REIMAGINE NANAIMO strategic policy review completed in January 2021. Consistent with recognizing this concern, the surveys are part of ongoing implementation of the City’s 2018 Affordable Housing Strategy recommendations and the recently completed 2021 Health and Housing Action Plan. Both these documents support ensuring accessible and affordable market rentals for Nanaimo residents.  

The Affordable Housing Strategy specifically provides direction to address short-term rentals (STRs) that include the use of online accommodation platforms. The purpose of the review is to ensure that: potential negative impacts of short-term rentals (STRs) on long-term rental housing supply are managed; STR accommodation operators are good neighbours; and that there is equity relating to regulation and licensing among STR operators and other accommodation businesses including hotels and motels. The intent of the review is to find the right balance that protects affordable housing and neighbourhoods while still providing opportunities to support the economy and allow a range of short and long-term accommodation within the City. 

The proposed bylaw changes have been drafted based on feedback received from prior community engagement conducted in 2019. The proposed changes include; allowing short-term rentals in all zones; allowing short-term rental of an entire home provided the short-term rental operator lives in the home the majority of the year; requiring a business license for short-term rental accommodation and providing an explanatory guide and operator declaration form for short-term rental operator requirements.  In addition to the opportunity to provide feedback to the proposed bylaw changes affecting short-term rentals, the City is also conducting surveys to understand existing rental needs, challenges and opportunities in Nanaimo from the perspective of both renters as well as landlords and property managers.  

The surveys are available online on the City’s public engagement website [Get Involved Nanaimo](https://www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca/reimagine-nanaimo) until May 10, 2021. Hard copies will be provided to known market rental apartment buildings and can also be provided upon request.

KEY POINTS

* The City of Nanaimo is seeking feedback on draft changes to zoning and business bylaws related to regulating the short-term rental of homes. This feedback will be provided to Council along with the recommended bylaw changes.

* The City also wants to provide renters and landlords an opportunity to share their experience finding and maintaining rental housing. This feedback will be used to inform City staff and Council of the challenges and opportunities related to rental housing in Nanaimo.

* Homelessness and Housing Affordability were among the top two concerns heard from community members who participated in the first phase of engagement for the City's REIMAGINE NANAIMO strategic policy review.

* The surveys will be open until May 10, 2021 and can be submitted online through getinvolvednanaimo.ca or via hard copy.

"I encourage all residents to complete the surveys, which will help the City protect rental housing and advance the goals of the City's Affordable Housing Strategy and the Health and Housing Action Plan," said Mayor Leonard Krog.

Three long-serving Public Works employees recognized

At Nanaimo's Council meeting on March 29, , Mayor Krog and Council joined Chris Anderson, President of the Public Works Association of BC, in recognizing three staff for outstanding service.

Angela Mowatt received PWABC's 2020 Dedicated Service Award for a Public Works employee who demonstrates exemplary service when performing their day-to-day responsibilities. Angela's knowledge, dedication, and calm, friendly demeanour make her the go-to resource for staff and residents. Each day, Angela is there for her coworkers and the residents of Nanaimo and she is truly the heart of the Department.

Ritchie Fulla received PWABC's 2020 Outstanding Public Works Employee Award for going above and beyond day-to-day responsiblities, demonstrating exemplary care and concern for colleagues, community and the industry. During Ritchie's 45-year career serving the residents of Nanaimo, Ritchie could often be found leading group tours of the City's watershed and water treatment facilities for elementary school classes, university students, staff, and members of the public. 

John Elliot received PWABC's 2020 Manager of the Year Award for exemplifying the spirit and professionalism of Public Works and the Public Works Association. John is deliberate in developing personal relationships with the public, showing empathy and helping residents impacted by adversity at any time, day or night. His personal approach enhances the City's reputation with the public and results in improvements to Nanaimo's work programs, making life better for all. John is also looking to the next generation of Public Works professionals.

The Public Works Association of BC represents individuals working for municipalities, utility companies and engineering consulting firms, in every community throughout BC and Yukon. PWABC members are dedicated to improving the quality of life for citizens.

Three of Nanaimo's Public Works staff were recognized with awards from their colleagues across British Columbia. Together, Angela Mowatt, John Elliot and Ritchie Fulla have over 110 years of service to their community.

"These three outstanding, long-serving public servants are the best of the best and bring honour to themselves and our City, which they serve with dedication and energy. The City is so proud of them and so grateful for their service to all of us," said Mayor Leonard Krog.

Public safety initiatives expanded in Nanaimo

0323 - The safety and well-being of Nanaimo citizens is a priority for Nanaimo City Council and the Nanaimo RCMP. 

## Situation Table Progress ##
Last month, Nanaimo Council directed staff to work with the Nanaimo RCMP to implement a provincially-funded Situation Table in the City of Nanaimo.
Situation Tables, bring together front line staff from the public safety, health, and social services sectors to identify vulnerable peoples in an effort to connect them with services they need in a coordinated and efficient way. And, the concept of Situation Tables aligns well with the work of Council's Health and Housing Task Force and the recommend actions of the Health and Housing Action Plan (HHAP) including supporting an Integrated Coordinated Access (ICA) model.  

In past two years, the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment has been experiencing a significant increase in “Check Well Being” calls and calls for service in which individuals are experiencing a mental health crisis. For example, in 2020, Nanaimo RCMP responded to 2,220 Check Well Being calls and an additional 2,442 mental health related calls. The Situation Table, (along with a well-developed ICA system), will create common languages, tools and processes across the public safety, health and social service sector and help individuals access the services they need.
As the details of the Situation Table are being worked out, Constable Joshua Waltman, Nanaimo RCMP’s first appointed Medical Health Liaison Officer (MHLO), will continue to building relationships with partner agencies. Since he started with the Detachment in November of 2020, Constable Waltman has meet with Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Psychiatric Emergency Services (NRGH PEP), the Island Health Community Outreach (COR) team, and Probation Services. He has also attended calls for service jointly with 150+ separate clients to help find responses that are more effective and reduce emergency call volume.

## Community Safety Audit ##
The Nanaimo RCMP in partnership with the City of Nanaimo and 4th year criminology students  from Vancouver Island University started conducting [Safety Audits](https://bit.ly/3w1ka11) in selected neighbourhoods throughout Nanaimo.  For some residents in Nanaimo, there is an increased feeling of fear that comes with an increase in crime activity. Over time, this has shown to undermine the safety and security of our communities and weakens the cohesiveness of neighbourhoods. The goal of the Safety Audits project is to will work in partnership with selected neighbourhoods to find ways to reduce opportunities for crime and incorporate relevant crime prevention programming. Six neighbourhoods have been selected and the surveys are expected to commence in early April 2021. 

“I am pleased to see the enhanced public safety measures being rolled out by Nanaimo RCMP and Community Policing, with the help and support of the Province and many community partners, that continue to make Nanaimo an attractive place to call home.”  - Leonard Krog, Mayor, City of Nanaimo 

“The situation table will improve the informal process that our new Mental Health Liaison Officer has been working hard to develop with our many partners. By formalizing this process, we hope to better improve our collective service delivery to the most vulnerable in our community. “ - Inspector Lisa Fletcher, A/Officer in Charge, Nanaimo RCMP

Report to Council - Situation Table Update
https://cnan.ca/3sgwvfm

Mounties want to hear from you about crime in your neighbourhoods
https://cnan.ca/2PqjiSM

City looking for someone to serve on airport commission

Nanaimo City Council is currently recruiting one representative to sit on the Nanaimo Airport Commission Board of Directors.  The current term is three years with the option to extend twice for a total of nine years. 

In order to support the Nanaimo Airport with their development goals, the ideal candidate will have Civil Engineering and/or Land Development experience.  Knowledge of airports and airlines is desirable but not essential. The representative must meet the eligibility requirements as described in the Nanaimo Airport Commission bylaws.

For more information about the role of the City representative on the Nanaimo Airport Commission including the mandate, eligibility requirements, time commitments, responsibilities, and remuneration please visit the City’s website at www.nanaimo.ca under Your Government/Boards and Commissions.

Interested applicants must submit a completed application form to the Legislative Services Department by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Mail/Hand:  Legislative Services, 455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J6 

Email:  Legislative.Servicesoffice@nanaimo.ca

Front Street to have Complete Streets makeover

New two-way protected cycle lanes a first for Nanaimo

Starting this month, Front Street will begin its transformation to a modern street that will increase the comfort and safety for people who walk, bike, take transit and drive along Nanaimo's downtown waterfront. Approved by Council in 2020, the project is a continuation of the City of Nanaimo's commitment to Complete Streets and will connect cyclists between Maffeo Sutton Park and the recently completed waterfront walkway at 1 Port Drive.

The project includes reduction of vehicle travel lanes from four to two (one lane in each direction), creation of Nanaimo's first two-way protected cycle lane and installation of improved transit stops. Pedestrian crossings will be enhanced, including a new elevated crosswalk near the Nanaimo Law Courts and a new crosswalk near the temporary transit exchange. The project will also include improvements that will provide overall traffic calming along Front Street.

The Government of Canada contributed $605,000 to the project through the Federal Gas Tax program, which is administered in British Columbia by the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

Work is expected to start in March and will be completed before Summer 2021. For more information, visit the detailed project web page at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/FrontStreet

Strategic Link: Environmental Responsibility, Livability, Excellence in Governance

KEY POINTS

* The Front Street cycle lanes are one of the short-term cycling priorities identified in the Nanaimo Downtown Mobility Hub Project.

* Complete Streets are designed for everyone - pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation users and motorists - by increasing the safety and comfort for people who walk, bike, take transit and drive.

* Commuters can expect delays during construction and are encouraged to plan their commute accordingly, and use alternate routes whenever possible.

"By utilizing Federal monies, this necessary improvement to Front Street provides a great opportunity to add to Nanaimo's active transportation network with a two-way cycle track. This project is a great example of saving dollars by doing a number of improvements in one go," said Mayor Leonard Krog.

Applications open for city poet laurieate

The City of Nanaimo invites applications for the position of Poet Laureate. Nanaimo’s next Poet Laureate will be appointed by City Council for a two-year term and will serve as a literary ambassador for the City, charged with creating and presenting poetic works and engaging activities for the benefit of our community. 

Past City of Nanaimo Poet Laureates include Naomi Beth Wakan (2014-2017), and Tina Biello (2017-2020). Youth Poet Laureate Valina Zanetti completed her term in February 2021. All three Poets made impactful and memorable contributions during their terms, bringing their unique voices to the role. 

Nanaimo’s next Poet Laureate will have a track record of engagement with the literary community and will bring their own artistic objectives, experiences and networks to this dynamic civic role. Over the course of their term, they will collaborate with City staff, and with other community partners, producing and sharing work with diverse audiences. 

Poets are invited to review the complete guidelines including eligibility requirements and details on how to apply on the City’s website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/poetry.

The deadline to submit applications is April 30, 2021 by midnight.

Strategic Link: The Poet Laureate program aligns with the goals of the City of Nanaimo’s Strategic Plan and the Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo by creating a vibrant culture of innovation, stewardship and partnership to encourage a diverse and healthy economy now and into the future; supporting arts and culture as an integral part of everyday life; and strengthening the creative sector by investing in organizations and people. who animate our cultural spaces.

KEY POINTS

* The City of Nanaimo invites applications for the position of Poet Laureate. Nanaimo’s next Poet Laureate will be appointed by Council to serve a two-year term and will serve as a literary ambassador for the City, charged with creating and presenting poetic works and engaging activities for the benefit of our community.

* Poets are invited to review the complete guidelines including eligibility requirements and detail on how to apply on the City’s website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/poetry, or attached to this news release.

* The deadline to submit applications is April 30, 2021 by midnight.

QUOTES

"The arts play an essential role in our community and since the Poet Laureate position was established, we have all been entertained, inspired, challenged and brought together in different ways through poetry. We look forward to how the next Poet Laureate will take up this role."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

"In preparing this call to poets, we consulted with members of the literary community who are enthusiastic about the special role of the Poet Laureate and its potential. We’re looking forward to receiving applications from Nanaimo poets and learning about the dreams and directions they have in mind for activating this role, and we look forward to collaborating to help them realize projects."

  Julie Bevan
  Manager, Culture & Events
  City of Nanaimo

Relative affordability and remote-working trends paint good outlook for Nanaimo

2021 State of the Economy report is a snapshot
of Nanaimo’s future-ready economy


The City of Nanaimo has just released its second expanded edition of the State of the Economy report, and while the impact of the pandemic has been uneven across different sectors of the economy, statistics show that Nanaimo is performing well on most economic indicators. 

The report outlines our economy by analyzing the make-up of Nanaimo, from population to demographics and development to infrastructure. Data, analysis and insights on Nanaimo's current economic and business conditions show that Nanaimo's growth rate is outpacing Vancouver Island, BC and even Canada's averages.

Nanaimo's Gross Domestic Product is $4.3 billion (2019). Nanaimo surpassed the 100,000 residents milestone in 2020; the City's population has grown by 22% (over 18,000 people) since 2011. Growth also reflects greater ethnic diversity in the population.

Despite a downward trend in housing starts in 2020, building permits were strong at $243.1 million (the second highest total in Nanaimo's history). The price of an average single family detached home increased by 9.7% and sales volumes were up in every category of housing. 

Despite a 4% increase in units supplied, the average rental vacancy rate dropped to 1%. Additionally, there is huge demand for affordable independent senior living spaces.

6,281 businesses are licensed in the City of Nanaimo, for a total increase of 7% in the last decade. In 2020, the largest growth in business licenses occurred in the Professional/Scientific/Technical Service sector, while the largest drop was in the Accommodation/Food Services and Retail sectors.  

The greatest number of jobs continue to be provided by the Healthcare/Social Assistance and Retail sectors, followed by Construction and Accommodation/Food services.

These are just a few of the facts that show Nanaimo's growing and desirable economy. Read the full State of Nanaimo's Economy report for a much more detailed look.

* Nanaimo's State of the Economy report outlines our economy by analyzing the make-up of Nanaimo, from population to demographics and development to infrastructure.

* Data, analysis and insights on Nanaimo's current economic and business conditions show that Nanaimo's growth rate is outpacing Vancouver Island, BC and even Canada's averages.

* Contributing greatly to our economic strength is Nanaimo's population growth. Nanaimo surpassed the 100,000 residents milestone in 2020. The City's population has grown by 22% (over 18,000 people) since 2011.

"These statistics reflect so well on Nanaimo. I say it all the time - our city is an incredible place to live, work and play. And now we’re 100,000 residents strong and growing! That’s going to look great on our population sign," said Mayor Leonard Krog
  

Annual water main flushing program begins March 2

The City of Nanaimo's Engineering and Public Works Department will begin its annual water main flushing program on Tuesday (March 2). While this program is under way, short periods of low pressure and discoloured water may be expected. Any discolouration in water residents may experience during the flushing program is temporary and not a health hazard.

For more information about the water main flushing program and a neighbourhood flushing schedule, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/waterflushing.

* City crews will flush water supply mains from the South Fork dam to the water treatment plant. On each street, clean drinking water is flushed at a high velocity through water mains to ensure that all piping is refreshed and any minor sediment within the pipes is removed.

* Residents are asked to minimize their water consumption if a change in water appearance is noticed. To clear water lines, residents are advised to turn on a cold water tap until the water runs clear. Any discolouration in water residents may experience during the flushing program is temporary and not a health hazard.

* Anyone with a weakened immune system should reference information on Island Health’s website.

"Water main flushing will begin in the Harewood neighbourhood and move north through the City. We expect the program to move along quickly due to no sediment entering the system thanks to the City's water treatment plant," said David Myles, Manager of Utilities.     

 

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.

KEY POINTS

* 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.

QUOTES

"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.

KEY POINTS

* 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.