Hockey fans peaceful in Harbour City

Nanaimo hockey fans proved to be well-behaved and respectful during the Vancouver Canucks' run through the Stanley Cup final.

Chelsea Orsi

Chelsea Orsi

Nanaimo hockey fans proved to be well-behaved and respectful during the Vancouver Canucks run through the Stanley Cup final.

The Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association and the city’s parks, recreation and culture department hosted all seven games of the final on the big screen television at Diana Krall Plaza, and Corry Hostetter, DNBIA general manager, said it went off without a hitch.

Even the Canucks’ Game 7 loss Wednesday to the Boston Bruins – which was followed by rioting in the streets of Vancouver – didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Harbour City residents.

“I can’t express how proud I am of the citizens of Nanaimo,” said Hostetter. “The energy was great down there. Even when the outcome of the game wasn’t what we wanted, the fans were so appreciative of having a place to come and celebrate together. We even had a lot of fans helping pick up garbage.”

Game 1 started with about 150 people taking in the broadcast, and the numbers grew by about 100 each game until there was more than 1,000 watching the Game 7.

“We had seven games in the plaza and there was not one incident,” said Hostetter. “All of us, we’re so moved by how excellent Nanaimo fans are.

“And when I got home and saw the news of what was happening in Vancouver, I was even more proud of our citizens.”

The Stanley Cup broadcasts were a kickoff to a summer season of events at the plaza and Hostetter said it has given the community a taste of how the city can come together and see downtown in a different light.

Other events include: the Greatest Street in Canada celebration Sunday (June 19) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; a multicultural festival June 24-25; Marine Street Festival in July; Skateboard Festival Aug. 6; and the Downtown Nanaimo Show and Shine Aug. 14.

“The hockey games came together very nicely because everybody pulled together so well,” said Hostetter. “If all the events go as well as this one, we’ll be very happy.”

For more on downtown events, please go to www.nanaimodowntown.com.