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Since early 2020 the paddling community has put aside Dragon Boat practice and racing. Many had hoped that the pandemic would be short-lived but, unfortunately, this has not been the case. Our lives have been reshaped, and it continues to be precarious as we travel these uncharted waters due to the unknown and continuing COVID-19 limitations.

With the arrival of 2021 we see some distant hope of normality with the invention of several vaccines. However the supply chain and the medical world has yet to catch up and health authorities believe it will be late fall and beyond before everyone in BC gets their injections. And we are cautioned that social distancing may still have to continue for some time thereafter.

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 ask you to fondly remember the excitement and fun that the paddlers and the community have brought to Maffeo Sutton Park since 2003. Recall the decorated tents (and teams), the race marshals shouting to assemble the teams, the low tides in Lane 1, the food and merchandise, the tribute to both cancer survivors and the carnation ceremony honouring those who sadly are no longer with us,  and the music and refreshments in the beer garden area.

Thank you for your loyal¬†and valued support. We are starting to plan for our 2022 festival at Maffeo Sutton Park on July 8,9,10 with a theme of ‚ÄúDragons Of The World‚ÄĚ which will allow for a lot of creativity.

We wish you continued health and happiness focusing on looking after yourselves and each other, and we will see you next year!

Paddles Up!

Be safe. Be kind. Be strong.

Heiko Behn

Chair - Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival Society

This area will be updated once we put together the 2022 Festival details. 

Registration and race management will be handled by Fairway Gorge Paddling Club . Race registration and payment will be accepted through an online system. Rosters will be requested closer to the event date. Save money for team costume contest, team tent decorations contest  or beer by registering early! The Festival is a fund-raiser for breast cancer research & support and relies on a myriad of sources, including registration fees, to meet its financial goals.

Team managers please click here to register. (link will be live for 2021 registration Dec of 2020)

  • LOCAL TEAM: All of Vancouver Island
  • VISITING TEAM:¬†continental North America - transit by air or ship required to attend
  • OUT OF PROVINCE TEAMS: Receive Early Bird pricing whenever the team registers.
  • JUNIOR TEAMS: 50% discount off current fee
  • INTERNATIONAL TEAMS (outside of continental North America): ¬†Fees waived

Early Bird - up to and including April 15, 2020

 includes GST    

   Local Team


   Visiting Team


Regular - after April 15, 2020


  Local Team


  Visiting Team


Crew registration payment must be made before registration in this event is confirmed. Please bring a record of your registration information to check-in in the event of technical difficulties. Team are registered on a first come, first served basis; if registration fills, your team will be wait-listed. Questions? Contact registration(at)fgpaddle.com


NEW: Register in the Spare Paddler Pool for the Festival and help out a team.  Find out more here.  For those teams who are interested in adding spare paddlers to your roster, simply ask at the Registration Tent when you come to register, check-in, and pick up your wristbands. Fairway Gorge Race Management We will do our best to match your team with our volunteer paddlers.  

Registration packages can be picked up from the Registration Table:

  • Inside Paddler's Village -¬†
  • Outside Paddler's Village entrance¬† -¬†
  • Registration is open for one hour only on Saturday so please plan accordingly.

Race packages include most of the information on the website, race schedule and wristbands. One representative from each team must pick up a race package and check in.

Wristbands to be worn by all racers-THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL. No wristband = no racing and no admittance to Paddler Village.

The 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 40 x 40 tent for marshalling.  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.


A 25% administration fee will be applied for all team withdrawals. The final date to withdrawal is xxx. There will be no refunds of any type after xxx.


The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival Society has teamed up with Vancouver Island University to provide our visiting teams with great accommodations at very reasonable rates! For just $50.00/night paddlers can stay in VIU residences. Not only is this a great price in comfortable accommodations but your whole team can stay there as well!  Click here to find out more and book a room!

Looking for a Nanaimo hotel that is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo, is close to the picturesque Nanaimo Harbour and is within walking distance of Maffeo Sutton Park? There are quite a few! Here is a short - but not complete - list:

Best Western   Coast Bastion   Painted Turtle  More Nanaimo hotels

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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