Nanaimo community rallies for Heritage Days 2017

By Spencer Sterritt
April 4, 2017 - 5:40pm Updated: April 4, 2017 - 6:17pm

Previous Heritage Days events have packed Nanaimo's downtown. Dale Schulz

NANAIMO — When it seemed Nanaimo's Heritage Days festival wasn't going to happen in 2017, local software developer Peter Urquhart knew he couldn't let the event fall by the wayside.

“This is a really nice, positive thing for the community to work together on,” he said, which is why he's leading a team of volunteers to host Heritage Days 2017 after last year's organizer declined.

Heritage Days, formally known as Empire Days until 2015, features a parade and numerous vendors filling downtown on Sunday, May 21.

When last year's organizer withdrew, Urquhart said everyone in the community scrambled to make sure the event would still go on. Now there's a core group of seven volunteers planning the festivities, backed by dozens of committed volunteers.

“The community is saying really clearly right now 'we want to be involved, we want to do stuff' and this is the perfect opportunity,” Urquhart said.

Given the short time frame to put together a full event, he admitted he hesitated before committing.

“This is really one of those things where there's no room to fail,” he said. “Once we started to actually get out there, that brought my comfort level up quite a bit and it cemented that we would be able to go forward with the event.”

At this point, roughly a month-and-a-half out from Heritage Days, Urquhart said there's still a lot to do but their preparations are well underway.

Within the next few weeks, he said to expect announcements to start rolling out.

More information can be found on their website and Facebook page


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