Nanaimo Heritage Days events have proponents, potential participants and financial backing, but those elements must be organized to have the event ready for the Victoria Day long weekend.
Following the demise of Empire Days, Morgan Carey, president and CEO of Real Estate Webmaster, Jerry Hong, city councilor and owner of the Queens Hotel, and other parties entered into a joint venture with Snuneymuxw First Nation in early March to create Heritage Days. Carey guaranteed $50,000 in financing for a parade and fireworks display.
The consortium hired Angie Barnard as coordinator to compile sponsorship packages to be presented to potential sponsors and parade participants.
“We’re evolving as a community and we have the backing of the business community, first and foremost, to create something that’s very exciting for people – and their main mandate is community spirit and pride of place downtown,” Bernard said.
Hong said the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association committed some money. Interest in supporting the event has come from the Young Professionals of Nanaimo, Rotarian clubs and other organizations.
Corry Hostetter, DNBIA executive director, confirmed the association has committed $1,500 in cash to Heritage Days, plus staff time and in-kind donations.
Hong said the Heritage Days consortium will likely release a formal announcement, complete with sponsorship packages, parade entry forms, volunteer signup sheets and other documents during the first week of April.