Odai Sirri, event manager, left, and Nelson Hill, organizer, are steering a course for the 2015 Nanaimo Boat Show.

Odai Sirri, event manager, left, and Nelson Hill, organizer, are steering a course for the 2015 Nanaimo Boat Show.

Nanaimo boat show relaunches at Waterfront marina

NANAIMO – Waterfront Suites and Marina has brought a boat show back to the Harbour City. It begins Friday (March 27).

Nanaimo’s boat show is set to relaunch this week with new organizers at the helm.

Waterfront Suites and Marina is bringing back Nanaimo’s boat show on March 27-29 with what organizers say will be a family-friendly and festive event.

It’s the first time Nanaimo has hosted marine exhibitors and enthusiasts since 2013 when past organizers – the Nanaimo Port Authority – ended an eight-year run of the Floating Boat and Marine Trade Show over issues from money-making to a pending agreement with Pacific Northwest Marina Group.

Odai Sirri, director of operations for the Waterfront Suites and Marina, said exhibitors and participants at other boat shows have been asking what happened to the Nanaimo event “because they loved it so much.”

“You only hear that so many times before you realize, OK, we’ve got to bring this show back, whatever it takes,” said Sirri, who saw exhibitor space nearly sell out shortly after announcing the show’s revival.

The three-day Nanaimo Boat Show happens at the new marina on Newcastle Channel, with more than 40 exhibitors and a range of boats, as well as music, food and face-painting for kids. Carnival tents in the property parking lot will make it a rain-or-shine event.

Organizer Nelson Hill plans to bring in boat show staples and new additions, including entertainment.

“We’re trying to make it more of a festival feel at this boat show which is a bit different. Bringing in music and bringing in food and beverage and local craft beers is something that is actually new to boat shows,” he said. “It’s kind of about time that a boat show matures to more than just boats for sale.”

It’s also just the beginning for the boat show, with organizers already planning a bigger event next year, according to Sirri.

Day passes are $8 and $10 for the weekend. Children under 12 are free. Proceeds will support the John Howard Society of Nanaimo. For tickets, or more information, please see www.nanaimoboatshow.com.

Nanaimo News Bulletin