Nanaimo’s Bastion opens with a bang

NANAIMO – Empire Days celebrations on Saturday (May 17) feature firing of the cannon.

Nanaimo’s iconic Bastion will open with a bang on Saturday (May 17).

The firing of the cannon at noon during Empire Days marks the start of the Bastion’s summer season.

Building on last summer’s success, a visitor information kiosk will be located inside the Bastion until Labour Day weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The visitor information kiosk is the result of a partnership between the Nanaimo Museum and Tourism Nanaimo. Exhibits and artifacts from the Bastion’s 160-year history are located on the second and third floors with admission by donation.

Over the winter the cannons were refurbished, largely due to the efforts of museum volunteer Brian Roberts.  The cannons now have new paint and stain to help protect them from the weather.

“Taking care of the cannons and other artifacts is an important part of the museum’s work in the community,” said Aimee Greenaway, interpretation curator at the museum.  “We preserve artifacts because they help people connect to Nanaimo’s history.”

The cannon firing re-enactment ceremony takes place from 11:45 a.m. to noon daily.  On Thursdays and Saturdays in July and August, the cannon firing ceremony will feature Highland dance performances by youth from the Brigadoon Dance Academy.  These dance performances are a tribute to the Scottish families that immigrated to Nanaimo in the 1850s.

For more information, please visit www.nanaimomuseum.ca or call 250 753-1821.  The Bastion is located downtown on Front Street.

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