The NMA Big Band kicks things off at Diana Krall Plaza as the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival gets underway. (JOSEF JACOBSON/The News Bulletin)

This is just the start for new jazz festival

The Nanaimo International Jazz Festival is filling to the Harbour City this weekend (Sept. 15-17)

The inaugural jazz festival is all about getting the sweet sounds of jazz flowing around Nanaimo. Then, in the years to come, organizers will look at turning up the volume.

The Nanaimo International Jazz Festival is now underway in the Harbour City this weekend (Sept. 15-17) and organizers are excited about the weekend. There are nine events planned, five of them free and four of them ticketed.

Andrew Homzy, president of the festival association, said he had a vision for the festival almost from the first day he moved to Nanaimo in 2009, and always believed the downtown was the perfect location.

“The topography of the town is so charming,” he said. “It reminds me of a little European town with the crooked little main street and the waterfront.”

There’s been a jazz community in Nanaimo for a long time, he said, but he didn’t think there were enough opportunities for musicians to be heard.

“Despite all the tremendous education and the talent that has come out of Nanaimo, there really isn’t a home for jazz and that’s one of the goals of the association…” said Homzy. “We want to celebrate and provide an opportunity for the mid Island.”

He said organizers and sponsors recognize that starting a festival from scratch might take some time and they’re committed to put in their best efforts in 2017 with the anticipation that the event will grow over the years to come.They’ve planned an inaugural event that they think will start to create that momentum. There are shows at the Port Theatre, dance and jam events at the Best Western Dorchester Hotel, and a parade, mardi gras party and free outdoor shows around the downtown.

For a schedule of events, visit

Just Posted

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates talk environment, economy and governance

First all-candidates’ meeting was held Thursday at the Beban Park social centre

Nanaimo elementary school students get Earth Week visit from ocean scientist

Class invites ocean ecologist to speak to Fairview students about protecting oceans

Crews called to bush fires at Nanaimo’s Barsby Park

Nanaimo Fire Rescue attacked the fires from both sides of the Millstone River on Thursday night

Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibition aims to bridge generations

‘Across the Table’ features work that highlights artistic and cultural family connections

Dover Bay high school principal named an assistant superintendent

Don Balcombe, Dover Bay Secondary principal, to assume assistant super role effective August

Crews called to bush fires at Nanaimo’s Barsby Park

Nanaimo Fire Rescue attacked the fires from both sides of the Millstone River on Thursday night

Beefs & Bouquets, April 25

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Editorial: Byelection riding boundaries are simpler this time

Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection will be held May 6 to choose a new MP for the riding

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Most Read