Nanaimo Heritage Festival 2020

Dear Nanaimo Heritage Festival 2020 goers:

In consideration of the evolving circumstances taking place in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, please note that we are cancelling the Nanaimo Heritage Festival for 2020.
From what we are seeing, all indicators are pointing towards the likelihood that the mid-end of May will still be of concern in regards to the corona virus, and with the festival being full of interactive activities and having such a large amount of participation – social distancing is nonviable in its operation.
As well, in relation to the event itself – when we considered the thousands of festival and parade participants, food and merchandise vendors, and others that may be making their plans for that time – we felt it would be unfair to delay the decision any further being that the festival date is now only two months away.
In the end, safety tops the chart and we’re going to play it safe. We’re all in this together, and it’s up to each of us individually to work hard towards ensuring that we don’t contribute further towards the challenges we are facing.
Moving forward, once the COVID-19 virus is under control, we look forward to starting the planning for 2021’s Nanaimo Heritage Festival!
In the meantime, we strongly urge everyone to please follow the recommendations provided by the health authorities; to stay home when you can, maintain social distancing when you do need to go out, wash your hands thoroughly and often.
Thank you for your support and understanding,
– The Nanaimo Heritage Festival Team

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Nanaimo Heritage Festival History

The earliest known record of the Nanaimo May long weekend celebrations (previously named “Empire Days”) was on May 25th, 1863 and can be found in the May 30th, 1863 edition of the British Colonist newspaper. Nanaimo boasts the oldest annual continuous community celebrations of the May long weekend without a break in Commonwealth, which unless proven otherwise, remains undisputed to this day!

In 2015, the name changed from “Empire Days” to “Nanaimo Heritage Days” in recognition and respect of the strong desire for our community to be truly inclusive and honor the roots of its diversity.

The event was reinvented as a celebration of Nanaimo and all the cultures, heritages, and histories that come together within the city. To strengthen this new direction, local business and volunteers stepped up and committed to ensuring its success during the years of 2015 and 2016.

In 2017, Nanaimo Heritage Days changed hands to proceed forth as a 100% community organized and volunteer based non-profit event.

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