Culture and patriotic colours are part of the fun planned for Nanaimo’s Canada Day celebrations. Luna Rivas Rowe, left front, Keiran Evans, of Vibe Dance Studio; Nanaimo parks and rec event staff Grace Bell, second row, left, Alexa Wilson, Lauren Madsen, Joel Meir and Ashley Rowe with, third row left, Susanna Gently, of Nanaimo Aloha Hula and flamenco dancers Heather Sandison, Laurie Farrell and Orianna Garcia are just some of the people preparing to bring fun, colour and culture to Nanaimo’s Canada Day celebrations at Maffeo Sutton Park. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo invited for city’s Canada Day celebrations at the park

Music, cake, dancers, roving entertainers and zipline will be part of the fun Monday, July 1

Red and white will be the dress code to help celebrate Canada Day at Maffeo Sutton Park.

July 1 festivities happen Monday at the park starting at 11 a.m. with the celebration of flags that kicks off a day of live music, performances, family activities and cake.

Live entertainment by Aunti Bobbi, Wunderbread, Twin Kennedy and La Familia happen on the main stage, plus there will be lots of activity on the cultural community stage with performances by Snuneymuxw Dance Group, Bolly X Fitness, Vibe Dance Studio, the Ballroom Dance Society, Chinese dancers and more.

“The Latin American Society is going to be bringing their dancers, as well,” said Ashley Rowe, city recreation coordinator. “Bolly X will be doing some Bollywood fitness … the Thai community is going to be doing a Thai dance as well.”

There will be roving entertainers too, free bouncy castles, interactive community booths, face painting, henna tattoos, Columbia Bakery has donated a big Canada Day cake and people can fly across Sway’A’Lana Lagoon on the zipline. Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog will kick off the celebrations.

“Mayor Krog has agreed to zipline across for our opening celebration of flags event, which is super great. He’s a super good sport,” Rowe said.

Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue will be at the fishing pier offering vessel tours, Coastal Water Store will be on site to refill everyone’s reusable water bottles and Airhouse is bringing its brand of fun to the party.

“They’re bringing some mats and slack line to do some activities with kids,” said Grace Bell, city recreation coordinator.

People with disabilities will be given priority parking at Maffeo Sutton Park, but all other parking can be found at parkades and parking lots downtown with free parking available at the Bastion Street, Harbourfront and Vancouver Island Conference Centre parkades and the parking lot at the corner of Wallace and Wentworth streets. On-street metered parking will be free with a two-hour limit too, but since it will be a busy day, the city is asking people to use public transit, walk, bike or carpool to Canada Day downtown celebrations.

For a schedule of events and entertainment and parking map, visit For the Facebook event page, click here.
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