Festival Nanaimo was a multi-dimensional community festival that took place from 2015-2020 during the month of March in Nanaimo. Created by Margot Holmes to show how arts and culture could drive tourism to Nanaimo, the Festival was about exploring Nanaimo, through a variety of activities that include great music, comedy, performance art, visual art, culinary art with whisk(e)y, bacon & bevy tastings, Hops & Hounds, Nanaimo Bars, Spring Break activities and finishing with an Annual PirateFest Family FunDay. Each year the Festival built on events from the year before presenting between 60-80 activities to do in Nanaimo in March each year.
Featured Signature Event Artists included: Six Guitars, Royal Wood, Tiller’s Folly, Joelle Rabu in Tonight…Piaf, , Rant Maggie Rant, Derina Harvey Band, Lion Bear Fox, David Gogo, Tafelmusik, The Celtic Tenors, De Danan, Glenn Miller Orchestra Big Band, Kiran Ahluwalia Barrage 8, Alex Cuba, Ann Mortifee, Rick Scott, Pavlo, John McDermott and the Vancouver Island Symphony.
Signature Festival Partners included The Port Theatre, Vancouver Island Symphony, Crimson Coast Dance, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Museum, Vancouver Island Library – Nanaimo Branch, Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, Nanaimo Hospitality Association, Nanaimo Airport and Tourism Nanaimo. When the pandemic hit in March 2020: the 6th Annual FESTIVAL Nanaimo was in full swing.