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The Save On Foods Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival in partnership with the Crimson Coast Dance Society and their InFrinGing Dance Festival:Dancing In The Belly Of The Dragon provides a tremendous assortment of entertainment opportunities for you to enjoy. You will note a few indoor ticketed shows on the schedule which are performed off site and more information can be obtained here. 

Friday July 7, 2017

4:00 pm: Voo Doo Dave McGrath and Company  -  Entertainment Stage, African dance & drum performance. Check out Dave's TV interview here.

5:00 pm: Voo Doo Dave McGrath and Company -  Entertainment Stage VooDoo Dave and Friends Drum Circle (bring your drum, some provided)
8:00 pm:  Battery Opera TICKETED @ The White Room, #4 Church Street,

9:15 pm Candle Ceremony  -  Swy-a-Lana Lagoon

candle ceremony.jpgThe Candles of Courage Ceremony honours anyone who has been affected by cancer. A lone piper will lead a procession of dragon boating breast cancer survivors, each carrying a lit candle, to the edge of the Swy-a-lana lagoon where their candles will be placed in the water. Candles are for sale throughout the afternoon allowing EVERYONE to participate.

Saturday July 8, 2017

9:30 am: Ceremonial Cacao Dance workshop (Melissa Nobels) TICKETED

 11:00 am: Temple Dance Fusion Performance and Workshop Free

12:00 pm: Opening Ceremony - Swy-a-lana Lagoon

opening ceremony.jpgDuring a break in the racing on Saturday, paddlers and spectators will gather at NOON to witness  The Snuneymuxw First Nation's traditional First Nations' ceremony blessing the water, blessing the dragon boat and "dotting the eye". No photos are permitted during the ceremony due to the spiritual nature of the blessing.

1:00 pm: Sharing Dance Canada Project, Open Public Participation Flash Mob choreographed by Canada National Ballet

1:30 pm: Christina Kottori: Prayer Performance/ Temple Dance: Goddess Persephone/ Workshop: Zorba Dance! Mae famous by the 1964 film Zorba the Greek, this dance is a traditional Greek dance called Syrtaki.

2:30 pm:  Hip Hop

3:00 pm:  Hip Hop Workshop

Sunday July 9, 2017

10:00 am: Steve Elliot - Elvis Gospel Performance - Entertainment Stage

9:30 am: Dialogue: Culture as Commodity (Lynette Harper, Alvin Tolentino, Pichet Klunchun)  TICKETED @ VI Conference Centre

11:00 am: Contemporary Dance (Alvin Tolentino, Co. Erasga) TICKETED @  VI Conference Centre

Dairyland Carnation Ceremony - Noon - Swy-a-lana Lagoon

carnation ceremony crowd.jpgAfter the Survivors Challenge, where 4 survivor teams race and 4 survivor teams watch from the dock, the paddlers will walk under an arch of paddles to Swy-a-Lana Lagoon with a pink carnation in hand. The pink carnation ceremony has become a very meaningful ritual for paddlers and audience alike. After a few words about breast cancer awareness, the importance of celebrating the lives of survivors, of offering hope to those still battling the disease, and of honouring those who have tragically lost their battle with breast cancer, everyone present will raise their carnation in tribute before tossing the carnation into the water to celebrate survival and to remember those who did not survive. 

1:00 pm:  Kohn workshop with Pinchet 

2:00 pm: Samba Parade

3:30 pm: Capoeira Class - Maffeo Sutton Park - Axe Capoeira

5:00 pm: MerFOLK FLASHMOB- Maffeo Sutton Park 

4:00 pm: Panago Closing Ceremony - Awards Stage

Everyone gathers in the Longwood Brewery Beer Garden to celebrate the fastest in many categories and a great weekend of paddling. Below is the order in which the Awards will be presented:

PINS:  Bronze, Silver and Gold Pins for Final B Races. To be collected by the Team manager.

MEDALS:  Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals: Awarded to the winning Team with official photo.

  • Breast Cancer Challenge Race
  • Women's Final A: Silver, Gold, Jade, Diamond, Platinum categories
  • Mixed Final A: Gold, Jade, Diamond, Platinum categories

TROPHIES: Awarded to the winning Team with an official photograph.

  • The Bette Ainsworth Memorial - Breast Cancer Challenge Race - 1st Place
  • Top Finishing Women's¬†
  • The Lorri Marriott Memorial - Top Finishing LOCAL Women's Team
  • Top Finishing LOCAL Team
  • Top Finishing SENIORS - Both Fastest Senior Mixed & Senior Women's Team
  • The Alex Marriott - Top Finishing Team


  • Trophies:¬† Save On Foods, Mazzie Electric, Port of Nanaimo, Paradise Foods; Saputo (Dairyland), Longwood Brewery, Panago, Ezone Embroidery¬†
  • Medals: ¬†Ramsay Lampman Rhodes, Sloan's Heating Services; Lighthouse Bistro, Woodgrove Pines Clinic, Harewood Dental Clinic, Nanaimo's Health Shop/Womens Sense
  • Survivor Pins: Flying Fish ¬†

Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival Society: Box 575 STN A, Nanaimo, BC  V9R 5I5

Festival Location: July 7, 8 & 9, 2017,  Maffeo Sutton Park, 10 Comox Rd, Nanaimo, BC,

Privacy Statement: All personal information given by participants will only be used for administration and regular communication with respect to the festival and related programs and events. Your information will not be sold or given to anyone else with commercial intentions or otherwise.

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