A proposal that would allow the Vancouver Island Exhibition to move from Nanaimo to Nanoose Bay has cleared another hurdle after receiving support from the Regional District of Nanaimo board.
At their March 22 board meeting, RDN directors followed an electoral area services committee recommendation, unanimously voting to back the Agricultural Land Commission non-farm use application that could see the summer fair moving up the highway to Arbutus Meadows Farm.
While there were no dissenting votes, Leanne Salter, RDN Coombs-Errington area director, expressed concern that the potential move may negatively impact the Coombs fall fair, which she said receives money from businesses in the Parksville-Qualicum area.
Salter wondered if VIEX would seek money from the same sources and Stephen Kass, VIEX president, said his group respects the efforts of Coombs fall fair organizers.
“We have no intentions on trying to step on their toes with their sponsors and their funding that they receive,” Kass said at the meeting. “We will continue to look for sponsorship and funding with Nanaimo and other areas, but will … not trample on their toes with their current sponsors.”
With RDN support, the application will now be forwarded to the ALC. Should the commission give approval, the RDN would need to issue either a re-zoning or temporary-use permit.
This year’s VIEX is scheduled to take place at Beban Park in Nanaimo from Aug. 26-28.