Vancouver Island University hosts open house

NANAIMO – Families can bake a pizza or view a 200-pound sturgeon during the university's open house this month.

Nanaimo residents can view a 200-pound  sturgeon, operate a mini-excavator or explore the region’s fossils during Vancouver Island University’s open house.

The university is opening up virtually every corner of its Nanaimo campus on Oct.18 as it seeks to build relationships with the local community and showcase its programs.

Residents of all ages are invited to ask questions about courses and activities or join in on events like free public lectures, extreme science demonstrations and concerts.

“We’re inviting the community to come and experience the VIU spirit,” said Dan Hurley, executive director of university relations. “While most people know about VIU for its wide variety of outstanding educational programs, our open house is a chance for the community to learn about the huge range of other programs, resources and activities that are open to everyone.”

During the open house, there will be something for everyone, Hurley said.

Families can explore the university’s Museum of Natural History or drop by the International Centre for Sturgeon Studies to view a 200-pound prehistoric fish.

Music lovers can enjoy the free ‘On Stage Friday’ student jazz concerts in the Malaspina Theatre while others can visit the trades area to bake a mini pizza, get a feather hair extension or test their basketball skills using a mini excavator and a free-standing hoop.

For those who are interesting in registering for academic programs, the university’s advising centre and registration centre staff will be on hand to provide information about admission and registration. They will also be available to speak to anyone thinking about career options.

Cake and refreshments will be provided in the welcome centre. Visitors can also enjoy tea and bannock in the Aboriginal Gathering Place.

The open house takes place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Please see the website at for a full schedule and specific times for all events.