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Based on current advice the Society has regretfully cancelled the 2021 Save On Foods Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival as we are unable to ensure the safety of paddlers, vendors, sponsors and spectators both within provincial health and municipal guidelines.

We look forward to a successful Festival - Dragons Of The World - July 8-10,  2022.               Read the full letter here!

Best wishes to all and thank you for your understanding and your support.

Heiko Behn

Chair - Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival Society

Displaying an array of music and dance styles, the 21st annual InFrinGinG Dance Festival partners with the Save on Foods Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival to bring our community a variety of performances from across the world. The goal of this event is to allow artists to share a piece of their culture, whether authentically traditional or infused by their contemporary identities. For more information visit crimsoncoastdance.org/infringing

2022  entertainment will be updated as the information becomes available


Crimson Coast Dance Stage

5:30 pm-7:00 pm: A Celebration of African Dance -  song/drum with VooDoo Dave & Friends

Swy-a-Lana Lagoon  

8:30 pm: Lights of Courage Ceremony honours anyone who has been affected by cancer. A lone piper will lead a procession of dragon boating breast cancer survivors to the edge of the Swy-a-lana lagoon. Lights are for sale allowing EVERYONE to participate! 

The Lights of Courage Campaign benefiting the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society starts mid-June. Beautiful paper lanterns, with space on the lantern’s tail for a special message, can be purchased for a small donation of $2.00 at Ladysmith, Nanaimo and Parksville Save on Foods stores and the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society office.

Community members can also purchase lanterns at the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society tent at Maffeo Sutton Park during the Festival weekend. A Wall of Courage will be set up Friday night and will remain on site to hang your lanterns Festival weekend.


Crimson Coast Dance Stage

11:00 am - Noon:  TBD

Swy-a-Lana Lagoon 

12:00 pm: Opening Ceremony- during a break in the racing, paddlers and spectators will gather to witness the spiritual awakening of the dragons, the "dotting the eye" ceremony and the dragon boat parade on the lagoon. 


Crimson Coast Dance Stage  

9:45 am - 11:15 am: Elvis Gospel Performance - Vancouver based award winning Elvis Tribute Artist Steve Elliot 

Swy-a-Lana Lagoon  

12:00 pm: Carnation Ceremony  - After the Breast Cancer Survivors Challenge race 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 where everyone present will raise their carnation in honour of lives well lived and of lives interrupted by cancer.  Carnations are for sale by donation allowing EVERYONE to participate!

Crimson Coast Dance Stage 

11:30 am - noon: TBD

12:30 pm- 4:15 pm: TBD

Longwood Brewery Beer Garden  

4:00 pm: Panago Awards Ceremony - Sunday afternoon, the Awards tent will set up by the Longwood Brewery beer garden entrance to hand out medals. At 4:00 pm, the tent moves to the Longwood Brewery Beer Garden where everyone gathers to celebrate the fastest in many categories, a weekend of paddling fun and to grab a slice of fresh Panago pizza and a cold brew!  Awards line up here.

Swy-a-Lana Lagoon


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

Festival Location: July 8-10, 2022,  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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