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Paddler's Village

Save on Foods Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival (NDBF) provides a secure Paddler's Village; a home-away-from-home during the Festival weekend for all registered paddlers. The race marshaling tent is located in the centre of the Paddler’s Village.

Wristbands must be worn on the wrist by all registered paddlers - THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL. No wristband = No entry to the Paddler’s Village=No racing. Take care of your wristband! There is security positioned at the entrance of the Paddler’s Village all weekend and they will need to see your wristband. It is your key for admittance. And be nice to the volunteers. 

Paddlers Village is a very busy and very full space. Imagine a gated community with 65+ 10 x 10  tents housing 1500+ paddlers and their chairs, tables, food etc. And in the middle is a 20 x 20 marshalling tent. There are teams with physical challenges/mobility issues so there are wheelchairs and walkers to throw in the mix.

Only paddlers (and chaperones of junior teams) are allowed in the Paddler's Village. We suggest you make arrangements to meet spouses/significant others outside of the entrance.


One 10’ X 10’ tent is provided for each registered team. The NDBF Race Registrar assigns each tent with a number and each team with their tent number. No changes are permitted - your tent number is your address for the weekend. We are frequently asked if a team can erect a second tent in front of the tent provided by the NDBF. The short answer is NO. The Paddler’s Village space is limited and safety and insurance concerns prevent the addition of any extra structures not provided by NDBF.

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2022 theme: Dragons of the World. From Asia to Europe, South America to Africa—and even the United States—stories about dragons pervade mythology. Some of these dragons are said to bring luck, while others feast on humans; some protect water, while others steal it. In a few of these stories, dragons can even talk. Here are dragon tales from across the globe.

Registered teams are encouraged to decorate their team tent and outfit their team to compete in more than a dragon boat race. The team costume/decorations must be related to the theme  Teams are responsible for their costumes/decoration; remember you can spare the expense without harming the group enthusiasm and creativity!

TEAM TENT DECORATING CONTEST -  judging Saturday afternoon in the Paddler's Village and winner will be announce later that afternoon. Our panel of judges will score team tent masterpieces on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest) in the following categories: Creativity-10; Attention to Theme – 10; Originality – 10. One winning team will receive a Canadian Tire cooler of Longwood Brewery beverages and an extra team tent next year.  An honorable mention may be awarded at the judges’ discretion.  

TEAM COSTUME CONTEST  - judging during Saturday's Paddler's Party. Our panel of judges score teams on an equal weighted scale between all criteria - Theme; Costumes; Choreography; Stage Presence; Song Selection; Good bump Factor. One winning team will receive free entry to next year‘s SOFNDB festival. The judging and selection of  the winning team will happen after dinner. An honorable mention may be awarded at the judges’ discretion. There is a radio button on the Paddler's Party electronic invite where your team can register for the Team Costume contest. 


At the entrance/exit fence to the Paddler's Village you will find a large white board with:

  • Race Manger’s instructions, Crew Marshall’s instructions, Race grids, results and advancements, Registered teams and their team tent number, Steering Pool and “Spares” List


  • Smoking and/or pets are not allowed within the Paddler's Village (service guide dogs for the disabled or visually impaired ARE permitted). Please note that the City of Nanaimo has designated ALL parks a smoke free zone.
  • Protect your belongings; NBDF is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • For security and liability, non-registered people WILL NOT be permitted in the Paddlers Village. The Paddler’s Village is an adult only environment (except for Junior teams and their chaperones). If you are travelling with children please make prior arrangements for their supervision outside of the Paddler’s Village.


Julie Romanyshyn of Garden Gate Holistics sets up a  "Wellness Tent"  in the Paddlers Village offering chair massages to the paddlers. All sessions are by donation, with the donated money going to Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. Ease tension in tired muscles, calm mood; promote focus and increase your performance!

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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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