Commercial Street Night Market returns June 23

The popular Commercial Street Night Market is back after a two years due to the pandemic. A lot of planning and development has gone into the event.

“We’re excited that the Commercial Street Night Market will open June 23 for another 11 Thursdays,” says Kim Smythe, Chamber CEO. “Popular artisan vendors, food trucks, street entertainers, and all the attractions that drew thousands downtown during the event’s run will all be back. We look forward to welcoming thousands,” he added. 

The 11-week event series runs on Thursdays from June 23 to September 1 from 5-9 pm. Road closures and parking alternatives will be in effect. “We’re looking into public transit offering park and ride, and we’re organizing a bike parking compound for those who wish to leave their cars at home.” added Smythe. “We’re nearly in a sold-out position for vendors, and with about ten food trucks we’ll offer plenty of diversity in food choices. We’re also expanding to three entertainment stages and a kids and family zone.”

“Everyone is so eager to return to our old sense of normal, reviving the Commercial Street Night Market, helping other local summer festivals and events succeed, and getting a networking and social connections back will be the real signs that life has returned to where we last left off,” stated CEO Smythe. “That’s what everyone really wants – but at their own speed.”

Interested vendors, food truck operators and entertainers can contact the Chamber of Commerce for more information on how they can take their place downtown this summer at . “We’ll have three stages operating every Thursday night as well as some weekend entertainment spots to fill at our Corner Concerts. We want to provide as wide a variety of entertainment as possible to appeal to all tastes,” says Smythe.

Snuneymuxw & Chamber of Commerce to sign MOU

An agreement three years in the making will be signed between Snuneymuxw First Nation and the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce at a ceremony April 22 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. The MOU officially recognizes formal adoption of the principles of UNDRIP by the Chamber, and a commitment to working enthusiastically towards economic reconciliation with First Nations, especially Snuneymuxw, in the mid-Island area.

“I am thankful that Snuneymuxw First Nation and the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce are partnering to promote an economy that is inclusive of First Nation peoples and supports Indigenous entrepreneurship.  For centuries the Canadian economy was designed to purposefully exclude First Nation peoples from trade and commerce and prevent participation in the wealth and resources of our territories.  Inherently, this promotes oppression, inequity and injustice.  So, I welcome this MOU with the Chamber, a collaboration that works to recognize First Nations’ economic and traditional principles and provide support that welcomes Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs. Economic reconciliation in this way will help to rebuild an economy that is inclusive and fair to everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity.” according to a statement released by SFN Chief Mike Wyse and Council.  

“We have arrived at the starting point for building a new, shared economic vision for the future. Prior to the pandemic, Chamber board members worked hard to develop the framework for this. Chamber Director and SFN Councillor Erralyn Joseph was key to defining the SFN perspective in the MOU”, stated Kim Smythe, Chamber CEO & President. “We’re proud and honoured to have First Nations perspective on our Board and in our business community and look forward to identifying and expanding Indigenous participation in our local economy.”

Chief Mike Wyse of Snuneymuxw First Nations will lead the signing. Witnessing the event will be noted leaders from government, business and the broader community including MP Lisa-Marie Barron and many Island MLAs. Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation Ravi Kahlon will deliver a keynote address with an introduction by Minister Sheila Malcolmson.

A traditional Coast Salish welcome will be offered by “Footprints of the Wolf”, an SFN family performance group who will celebrate through drumming and song. The event is part of the Chamber’s Monthly Networking Luncheon series and is open to the public. Register online at

The event was planned to also recognize BC’s “Vision for Tomorrow” -- a plan for the province’s economic future…

Monthly chamber luncheon delayed to Feb. 11

Nanaimo Community Hospice and the Canadian Home Builders' Association Vancouver Island are the featured guests for the next Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon which has been delayed to February 11. They will provide a sneak peak at the 2022 Dream Home being built in the Foothills in Lantzville by Momentum Design Build. 

Kerriann Coady – CEO of Canadian Homebuilders Association Vancouver Island (CHBA VI), and Project Manager of NCHS Dream Home Lottery. CHBA VI represents more than 170 member firms across Vancouver island and is the voice of the residential construction industry. Their mission is to support the industry's ability to meet the aspirations of Canadians for housing affordability, quality and choice.  

Paige Karczynski – Executive Director, Nanaimo Community Hospice Society – Nanaimo Hospice is a pillar in the Nanaimo community actively advocating for a future where every person and their loved ones can access the finest standards of hospice palliative care at end of life in a timely manner with compassion, comfort and dignity. 


First Nations storytellers add to Downtown celebrations

211206 – Organizers of Downtown Nanaimo’s holiday activities happily announced the addition of two afternoons of Indigenous storytelling and one of puppet shows over the next two weekends. 

Geraldine Manson, Snuneymuxw Elder and Knowledge Keeper Dave Bodaly will provide several shows on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11 & 12 at Literacy Nanaimo, 19 Commercial Street. Geraldine will take the stage at 2 pm each day, with Dave taking a show at 1 & 3 pm on Saturday and 1 pm on Sunday. Registration:

Geraldine has served her First Nations community as an elected Council member and worked for her community since 1980. She gives credit for he cultural wisdom and education her Elders, present and passed. Dave is a Snuneymuxw Knowledge Keeper, photographer, harvester, tour guide, genealogist, and weaver! Dave says that sharing culture with youth is part of his journey. He encourages all youth to connect with many cultures to explore and expand their creativity.

On Saturday, December 18, families can enjoy “A Penny A Sketch” performance of a holiday puppet show at Literacy Nanaimo as well. Shows are at 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Storytelling and puppet show performances are free, but you must pre-register to guarantee your seats. Covid protocols are in place and masks are mandatory.


Just across the street, Santa’s Gingerbread Village offers a chance for families to visit with Santa, safely distanced at pre-registered times on Saturdays and Sundays until December 19. While waiting for their appointment with Santa, children can also engage in some craft activities in the Village. ‘Corner Concerts’ at Diana Krall Plaza happen at the same time.

Registration for Santa visits:

For more information, contact: HEATHER FISK 250-713-1124