VIU students bring new plan to brighten downtown Nanaimo

By Spencer Sterritt
April 15, 2019 - 5:27pm

The plan to revitalize downtown Nanaimo and specifically Diana Krall plaza features a community garden and more art walls. ACE Nanaimo

NANAIMO — A fresh pair of eyes has brought new ideas about how to revitalize downtown Nanaimo.

A group of VIU graphic design students, known as ACE Nanaimo, developed a project to bring colour and events to the downtown.

In the presentation to Nanaimo council, they pinpointed more art walls, a community garden in Diana Krall Plaza and more visuals to guide tourists who visit during all seasons.

“Currently Diana Krall Plaza is full of potential but it's not quite living up to it,” student Nigel Neufeld said. “While we feel an art wall would definitely liven up the location, a community garden has the potential to turn the plaza into a hub.”

Included in their visual upgrades to the area was an app offering information about events and how to get to downtown.

The group said despite more things occuring in the downtown core, many people still don't realize events are happening and don't include them in their plans.

A lack of information was acknowledged on both sides of the table when Coun. Zeni Maartman asked if there is a visitor's centre for tourists in the conference centre.

“I think there might be, but the problem is we don't know,” student Sara Holmes said. “That speaks for itself, the fact we don't know about it or have visuals for people to see when they come into town.”

Coun. Eren Hemmens said it was refreshing to have bright ideas brought to the table about an ongoing concern.

“As Council, we're wrestling with these big issues of what to do with downtown, what to do with Diana Krall Plaza. We don't often get delegations saying 'What about this or what about that?' This is really exciting to have university students sharing with us their ideas for growing our city.”

The City currently offered Downtown Event Revitalization Funding, supporting events and initiatives to attract visitors.

 

 

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