City extends cold weather sheltering and supports

With temperatures dropping due to arctic outflow beginning Saturday night, the City of Nanaimo is assisting people in need of warming services. The City will provide funds for existing organizations to extend their hours of service. City staff and RCMP members will be on the street increasing coverage of wellness checks and providing warming supplies.

Additional service hours are as follows: 7-10 Club Society (at St. Paul’s Anglican Church on Chapel Street) will be open from 7 am to 7 pm during cold on Monday, Jan. 30 and Tuesday, Jan. 31, and can assist 30 to 40 people at one time. Open Monday to Friday. Regular warming hours are 10 am to 7 pm.

Unitarian Shelter offers 27 overnight shelter beds and during extreme cold, offers daytime warming centre services to their shelter guests only.

Risebridge, in response to the cold, will operate from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm on Sunday, Jan. 29 and Monday, Jan. 30. Regular warming hours are 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm every day.

The City of Nanaimo provides funding to 7-10 Club and Risebridge for daytime warming centres for people experiencing homelessness, and to the Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter to assist overnight guests with daytime service as needed. Funding comes from a Union of BC Municipalities ‘Strengthening Communities’ Services program grant to the City to support daytime cold and hot extreme weather service.

The following services are also available:

Salvation Army has 35 overnight shelter beds and daytime access only for existing shelter guests. Samaritan Place has added five additional beds during extreme cold in addition to its existing 14 beds. St Peter’s Winter Shelter now has 34 beds open 8 pm to 7:30 am.

In addition, the City’s Community Safety Officers (CSO) will be working extended hours. A team of CSOs will be on and performing wellness checks until 2:30 am, with the next shift starting at 4 am. CSOs have been handing out warming supplies, cold weather clothing and hot drinks as needed. RCMP members are also performing wellness checks, offering assistance and coordinating response with CSOs.

Visit for a full list of drop-in and indoor meal services.

Link to Strategic Plan: Providing warming opportunities contributes to a livable community for all.

Craig Evans named Patron of the City

Craig Evans accepts the award from Mayor Leonard Krog


Nanaimo City Council is pleased to honour Craig Evans with a Patron of the City award to recognize his exceptional service to the community for more than three decades. A resident of Nanaimo since the 1970s,  Evans has been a passionate advocate for community food systems, the environment and local organic farms.

With enthusiastic dedication to local, sustainable food production, Mr. Evans is credited as the founder of the Nanaimo Community Gardens in 1987, the Nanaimo Foodshare Society in 1997 and the VIU Farmers Market in 2013. He also co-founded the Growing Opportunities Farm Community Co-op in 2009 and the Farmship Growers Cooperative in 2013.

Over the years, Mr. Evans has been a strong advocate on a number of environmental initiatives. In 1978, he founded the Nanaimo Recycling Society and is credited for starting and organizing curbside pickups for the entire city. At the time, this recycling operation was Canada’s largest recycling operation west of Kitchener, Ontario. In 1999, he was awarded the Environmental Achievement Award from the City of Nanaimo for his work in promoting recycling and community gardening.

His advocacy efforts halted plans for a proposed ferrochromium plant at Jack Point and a BRINI waste incinerator in 1991. From 2013-2015, Mr. Evans was a Director for the Colliery Dams Preservation Society which successfully sought to protect and preserve Colliery Dam Park.

In 2000, Mr. Evans began working at Vancouver Island University as a Worksite Trainer for the Employment and Life Skills Training Program. He currently works in the Work Essential Skills Training (WEST) Program, mentoring students with diverse abilities and securing them work training sites.

The service that Mr. Evans has provided his community for more than three decades has inspired many and will have a lasting impact for years to come. The City is grateful for his dedication to the environment and the people of Nanaimo and is pleased to bestow him with the honour of Patron of the City.

Link to Strategic Plan: Environmental Responsibility and Livability: Craig Evans has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to protecting our environment and ensuring a livable future for future generations.

Key Points

  • The Patron of the City award recognizes outstanding achievement and selfless volunteerism.
  • A certificate was presented to Mr. Evans during a private ceremony on Jan. 4, 2023.
  • Mr. Evans will be honoured at a special ceremony during a future Council meeting.

"I have known Craig for nearly 40 years. He is modest, kind and compassionate and is indeed a worthy recipient for this award and an outstanding example of what real citizenship is about." said Mayor Leonard Krog. "We are at our best when we are “doing for others” and he has done that his whole life. Our City is a better place because of all he has done, particularly for those who have faced real challenges."

Pool schedules changing on January 8

Updated pool schedules for Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Park Pool take effect on Sunday, January 8, 2023 so the City of Nanaimo is asking patrons to look at the schedule prior to coming to participate in public swimming or aquafit classes.

City of Nanaimo staff is actively trying to rebuild pool service levels back to their pre-pandemic levels. Due to staff shortages and increased demand from both the public and user groups, this is proving to be a challenge.

Nanaimo is among other communities dealing with this issue. The ongoing staffing shortages are causing many swimming pools around the nation to shorten operation hours and, in some cases, cancel sessions and programs completely. For safety reasons, staffing must be at certain levels in order to offer programs and public swimming.

There are many reasons for a shortage of lifeguards. The first is that lifeguard certification classes were suspended in the early stages of the pandemic that prevented new lifeguards from being trained and prevented those who already held certification from renewing it. Second, when pools were closed, many lifeguards found other jobs and ultimately chose not to come back to work in the pools. Staffing these empty positions has been slow going.

There are shortages in practically every sector - from convenience stores to restaurants and even the local community swimming pools.

To combat this, the City of Nanaimo has been recruiting staff through a variety of means - from advertising, attending career fairs and by offering training opportunities within Nanaimo pools.

A challenging situation for all involved, the City of Nanaimo is asking patrons to be patient and kind as this rebuilding and recruitment is under way.

Updated schedules can be found online in the Winter 2023 Activity Guide or by going to the "Register for a Program" area of the website. Users click on "Drop-in" and then choose the activity for the latest information.

Last minute changes due to weather or staff shortages are posted as soon as possible on the City of Nanaimo website ( page) and on the City Facebook page

Link to Strategic Plan: The City of Nanaimo is committed to the livability of its citizens.

Key Points

  • Staffing shortages and increased demand in Nanaimo pools is causing lower than expected service levels post pandemic.
  • Active recruitment is underway to attract new lifeguards to Nanaimo through advertising, career fairs and training opportunities.
  • New schedules for Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Pool are starting Sunday, January 8 and have been recently updated on the City of Nanaimo website and on the online 2023 Winter Activity Guide.


"We ask that patrons to the pools be patient as the City works hard to recruit staff in order to increase pool services. This is an issue facing many other communities across the country."

Leonard Krog


City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • Training opportunities for lifeguards are ongoing, and those interested are invited to go to the Lifesaving Society's website on how to become a lifeguard.
  • New pool schedules will start on Sunday, January 8.
  • To apply for employment with the City of Nanaimo, please visit



City will open cold weather
shelter tonight at Beban Park


The Vancouver Island Chief Medical Officer has identified that limited capacity in existing shelters in Nanaimo during the current cold weather constitutes a hazard to human health and has called up the City to assist.

In response, the City of Nanaimo is creating a warming place at Beban social centre tonight from 6 pm to 8 am to help meet the need for shelter during the current cold weather.

The City thanks the organizations, their staff, boards and volunteers of existing shelters and warming centres for their efforts to help those in need.

Current shelter and warming services in Nanaimo include:

  • Risebridge is open 24 hours to offer warming centre services during extreme cold. With the current staffing model they can assist 50 individuals at a time, seven days per week. (Regular warming hours are 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm).
  • 7-10 Club Society (at St. Paul’s Anglican Church) operates from 7 am to 7 pm during extreme cold and can assist 30 to 40 people at one time. Open Monday to Friday. Regular warming hours are 10 am to 7 pm.
  • Unitarian Shelter offers 27 overnight shelter beds and during extreme cold offers daytime warming centre services to their shelter guests only.
  • Salvation Army has 35 overnight shelter beds and daytime access only for existing shelter guests.
  • Samaritan Place has added five additional beds during extreme cold in addition to their existing 14 beds.
  • St Peter’s Winter Shelter now has 36 beds open 8 pm to 7:30 am.

A full list of drop in and indoor meal services can be found on the Services and Supports page at


City's Provisional Budget
focuses on public safety

22/12/20 – Public safety emerged as City Council's top priority as they moved the 2023-27 Provisional Budget through three readings on Dec. 19.

Tax increases will pay for more firefighters, more civilian and police staff for Nanaimo RCMP, and full year funding for community safety officers. Council agreed to hire 20 new fire fighters in 2023 and 20 more by 2025 to address their growing workload and meet the needs of a growing region.

For a typical home, the municipal share of their tax bill will increase by 7.3 per cent. The calculation is based on one per cent for the asset management fund and a general increase of 6.3 per cent that includes a 3.6 per cent increase for public safety.

The decision to raise funds for asset management supports the 20-year plan adopted in 2017 to ensure the city has funds to maintain critical infrastructure and meet the demands of a growing community.

The general property tax increase of 6.3 per cent provides for public safety enhancements, day-to-day operations, projects and contributions to reserve funds.

User rates for sewer, water and sanitation are set at a level that covers the cost of providing those services, including maintenance and capital projects. User Fee rates will increase as follows: sanitary sewer four per cent; water five per cent and sanitation fees 2.3 per cent.

In the new year, finance staff verify estimates against confirmed revenues and expenditures to create a final budget that is presented to Council for approval in May. For more information on the City's budget visit

Link to Strategic Plan: The 2023-27 draft financial plan supports livability by hiring additional staff in public safety roles, including police, fire rescue and community safety officers.

Key Points

  • In May, City Council adopted the Downtown Safety Action Plan with 12 Community Safety Officers (CSO). Working 6:30 am to 1:30 am everyday, CSOs prevent conflict and provide a welcoming, secure presence. Two full-time Clean Teams remove debris and garbage downtown. With CSOs at work in the downtown, Bylaw officers and RCMP can focus their efforts on the whole City.
  • Nanaimo Fire Rescue answers more service calls per member than compared peer departments. To protect our growing community and support fire fighters, City Council voted to hire 20 new fire fighters this year plus 20 more in 2025, and agreed to purchase the equipment they need to do their work.

  • Police service will be bolstered by adding four civilian staff and three sworn members to Nanaimo’s RCMP detachment in 2023, and seven sworn and civilian staff to perform administrative duties in the coming three years. Beginning in 2020, the City committed to adding three RCMP members per year to reach a total of 15 new members.

  • Budget numbers are based on estimates and will be finalized in the new year when revenues and expenditures are finalized. The projected tax increase is on the municipal share only. The City also collects taxes on behalf of other agencies, such as school board, hospital, Vancouver Island Regional Library and the Nanaimo Regional District. These bodies set their own budgets.


"Nanaimo is growing, and attracting more investment, more residents and more visitors. We live in a beautiful place that more and more people have discovered is a great place to live. Investing in public safety is a necessary part of serving and supporting our community."

Leonard Krog


Community invited to "Activate 2023"

New Year's Day event at Beban Park


The City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Culture Department is launching into 2023 with its first-ever New Year's Day event at Beban Park on January 1 from 12-5 pm. The community is invited to start the new year by actively participating in a variety of activities. These include:

  • Swimming at Beban Pool
  • Skating at Frank Crane Arena (Family Skating) and Cliff McNabb Arena (Stick 'n' Puck)
  • A StoryWalk on ice
  • Arts and crafts
  • Sports
  • Bouncy castles
  • Roaming entertainment
  • A food truck and concession will be on site.

Tickets are available on the day of the event or in advance at Beban Park Pool office. Tickets are only $10 or purchase a "festive five" pack for $35, and tickets would make great stocking stuffers.

Visit the City website for more information or call the office of Parks, Recreation and Culture at 250-756-5200.

Key Points

Activate is the City of Nanaimo's first ever New Year's Day event held on Sunday, January 1, 12-5 pm at Beban Park.

Tickets are available at the event or in advance at Beban Park Pool. They are $10 each of purchase a "festive five" pack for only $35.

The City gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia for this Activate event.

"Start the year off right by participating in Activate 2023. There is something for everyone at this first ever New Year's Day Event with Parks, Recreation and Culture. We are grateful for the support of the Province of British Columbia for providing financial assistance helping to bring this event to the community. I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2023."

Leonard Krog
Mayor, City of Nanaimo