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20 Year Anniversary

From Dream to Reality

By September 3, 2018March 14th, 2019No Comments

The Port Theatre is a dynamic cultural facility that demonstrates a commitment to excellence; plays a leadership role in the artistic life of Central Vancouver Island; contributes significantly to the economic diversification of the region; is an integral part of the national touring network and continues to be a source of pride for the City of Nanaimo and surrounding communities. We’ve built a reputation of distinction and customer service across Canada amongst artists, promoters and patrons.

We’re acknowledged as innovators in our industry with highly skilled, knowledgeable and professional technical and administrative staff who cultivate memorable experiences for all who come through our doors.

Thanks for sharing our journey. Let’s take a look at our milestones:


  • The dream is born and volunteers spend 20 years building grassroots community support


  • City of Nanaimo allocates the building site for the venue


  • Fundraising / friendraising campaign launched and building design begins


  • $4.5 million raised through community and corporate donations
  • $8.6 million awarded by Canada/BC Infrastructure Grant


  • Construction begins on the 800 seat Port Theatre
  • Regional District of Nanaimo Referendum passed in 5 electoral areas to support the venue


  • Port Theatre Society transfers ownership of the building to the City of Nanaimo
  • The non-profit Port Theatre Society and City management team to operate the venue
  • Sept 9th  our region’s professional Community Performing Arts Centre opens


  • Economic impact study by NEDC shows $6 – $8 million of annual community impact

1998 – 2018

  • 200 – 300 events per year with 60% community based usage

1998 – 2018

  • $1.6 million in capital upgrades to theatrical equipment and building
  • Over 180,000 of community volunteers hours
  • Over 2 million patrons and participants… over $36 million in ticket sales

Next Dream

  • the completion of the Performing Arts Centre
  • A second performance space ( 250 seats) and rehearsal / creative spaces