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City activity guide a labour of love

By Hannah King

Last week was a big week here at the parks, recreation and culture department. The latest activity guide was released.

Have you ever bought somebody a great gift and are so excited to have them open it you are bursting to tell them all about it?

Well, that’s what it’s like around here in February and August each year just before the guides come out. Can you imagine having to keep quiet about all the great new programs listed inside?

Program planning begins a year in advance for the team of recreation coordinators. This involves reviewing program proposals and feedback from participants about courses. They also consider emerging trends such as backyard farming or the latest fitness craze.

Once they have a program in mind, they have to secure a qualified instructor, find a suitable facility, make the necessary bookings for equipment and/or transportation, and ensure support staff is in place.

The team that puts the guide together is also charged with another huge task. They take all the information provided by the recreation coordinators and facility managers and make sure it is presented in a manner that makes sense and is as accurate as possible.

Distribution of the guide is another key piece of the puzzle. In total, 38,000 copies of the guide are printed each season. We distribute the guides to 32,000 homes and the remainder is distributed at the facilities and through community partners. We also maintain an online version at

On registration day the hard work falls to the front-end staff – the friendly clerks and cashiers you speak to on the phone or in person at the counters. Last week, 3,263 program registrations were processed. That is exciting as it is an indicator of how excited people are to take part in the programs we offer.

We hope you’ll take a few minutes to browse the guide and be inspired join us for a course, visit a park or enjoy an event.

Hannah King is a marketing and communication specialist with Nanaimo parks, recreation and culture.



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