Peter Joyes demonstrates bubble-making kits he was selling Thursday on opening night of the Commercial Street Night Market. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo’s summer night market makes its return

Commercial Street Night Market holds opening night downtown

Nanaimo had been waiting a long time for the night market to come back to the downtown, and it showed – thousands crowded Commercial Street on Thursday on opening night.

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, organizers of the event, said there were more than 130 vendors, double what there were on opening night last year.

Kim Smythe, chamber CEO, said in a press release that the idea for the market came from a Bathtub Days street fair a couple of years ago.

“It was so successful that I imagined if we did this event over and over throughout the summer we could bring life back to our city centre. And that would lead to success for our businesses and a happier, prouder, healthier community,” said Smythe.

Every Thursday from 5-9 p.m. until the end of August, Commercial Street will be closed to vehicle traffic and the whole length of the street will become a pedestrian mall with artisan vendors, entertainers, places to buy food and drink, and more.

Family activities will include bouncy castles, face painting, wall-climbing and more, and a self-guided art walk through downtown’s galleries and shops will highlight local arts and culture, notes the press release. For more, visit

EDITORIAL: Make it out to the night market this summer

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