International Women's Day Nanaimo

Two Local Women Establish the Nanaimo Sisterhood Fund

The Nanaimo Sisterhood Fund was established in 2020 by Courtenay Ndiaye and Anu Mayer to support and empower local women and girls.

This important fund will respond to the current needs of the women and girls in our community. This year, the Nanaimo Sisterhood Fund focus will be post-secondary education for young women. Bursaries will be provided young women in need in our community  The Nanaimo Sisterhood Fund aims to provide bursaries to women in need.

These bursaries will provide an opportunity for young women to access quality education and will help empower the recipients, knowing other women are behind them and believe in them.

Click here to make a gift to the Nanaimo Sisterhood Fund

Neighbourhood Small Grants Info Session

Do you have an idea for a project that will help connect and engage residents in your neighbourhood? Join us on March 7th to learn how you can apply for a Neighbourhood Small Grant, or how you can become involved with your community’s Neighbourhood Small Grants Committee. Refreshments will be available!

  • When: Saturday, March 7th, 2-5p.m.
  • Where: St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall , 100 Chapel Street, Nanaimo

If you plan to attend, please RSVP at [email protected], or on our Facebook event page:

Neighbourhood Small Grants are grants of $50-$500 for projects that help build community and strengthen connections where people live. In 2020, The Nanaimo Foundation will be providing Neighbourhood Small Grants in the communities of Harewood, Lantzville, Ladysmith, and Gabriola Island.  For commonly-asked questions about Neighbourhood Small Grants and Grant Committees, see

2019 Nanaimo Vital Signs Report

Nanaimo’s Vital Signs report presents valuable information on where our community currently stands and how our community is trending across a wide range of local issues. This comprehensive report compiles the most recent local data and research, allowing us to understand the current well-being of our community and identify opportunities for action. As the community foundation of Nanaimo, we are proud to provide this valuable tool to our community as a resource for our residents, businesses, local government, and community stakeholders.

The 2019 Nanaimo Vital Signs report will be released on November 7th. Find the full details here:

The 9th Annual Garrett Paquette Seafood Extravaganza with Aaron Pritchett

Saturday, November 9th at 5:30 pm

Vancouver Island Conference Centre

101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo, BC


Tickets $125

$150 – after September 30th

$75 tax receipt emailed immediately with ticket purchase


Table of 8 – $1000

$1200 – after September 30th

$500 tax receipt emailed immediately with table purchase


Click here to purchase tickets


The MOMO Seafood Extravaganza is held each year in honour of Garrett Paquette—carrying on Garrett’s legacy of generosity. Garrett lived his life with humble kindness towards all those around him, be they best friends or someone who just needed a friend.

When Garrett passed away suddenly on November 11, 2011 at the far-too-young age of 30, he was passionately raising funds for Movember, an annual fundraiser that raises money and awareness for men’s healthy, specifically prostate cancer. His father, Roger Paquette, decided to carry on the torch for his son. The Garrett Paquette campaign raised $115,000, making it the largest Movember fundraiser in the world.

Now an annual flagship event in Nanaimo, the Garrett Paquette MOMO Seafood Extravaganza has raised more than $500,000. After a few years of raising funds for Movember, Roger Paquette decided this tribute to his son should focus on supporting local needs in our Nanaimo community.

A special fund at the Nanaimo Foundation provides much needed support to remove plastic waste from our waters

Thanks to a gift from the Stanley de Vos fund held at the Nanaimo Foundation, the Rugged Coast Research Society is one step closer to expanding its efforts in marine plastic removal and marine debris mapping.

The Rugged Coast team (RCRS) is comprised of marine industry professionals, marine biologists and entrepreneurs who share a passion for marine ecology and marine recreation. RCRS has been mapping plastic debris accumulation along the BC Coast since 2017. Marine plastic debris has been found in all locations, however, several locations contain significantly greater concentrations and are therefore priority areas for clean-up.

“The Rugged Coast Research Society’s efforts in marine debris mapping helps us to understand where plastic waste is coming from that results in our local waters,” says Renny Talbot, founder of the Rugged Coast Research Society. “This enables us to more effectively take action in the appropriate direction to minimize the plastics that are ending up in the ocean around Vancouver Island.”

The Stanley de Vos Fund has committed to matching all donations to the Rugged Coast Research Society up to a total of $15,500.

The Stanley de Vos Fund was established at the Nanaimo Foundation in 2014. This fund has supported a range of local needs including the 7-10 Club, Nanaimo Area Land Trust, and the Nanaimo Art Gallery. Each year the Stanley de Vos Fund selects local projects to support from their fund.

“As with each one of our donor advised funds, the Stanley de Vos Fund began with a donation and a vision to support our community in variety of ways.” says Laurie Bienert, executive director of the Nanaimo Foundation. “Over the last five years, this fund has grown with annual donations from the fund founders and investment income allowing it to make interesting and impactful grants in our community.”

Grants of up to $15,000 for youth

The Nanaimo Foundation is providing grants of up to $15,000 to youth for projects that address local priorities—made possible by the RBC Future Launch Community Challenge.

By coming forward with their bold ideas, participating youth will gain experience, skills, relationships, and learning opportunities to help prepare them for the communities, workplaces, and priorities of the future. To be considered eligible, youth, aged 15-29, will partner with local charitable organizations and lead the creation, design, and/or implementation of the projects that respond to an urgent local need in our community. From food security, to the environment, to health, young people know what our community needs to thrive. Now they have an opportunity to apply for funding to put those ideas into action.

Details on this opportunity can be found here:

In the spring of 2020, the Nanaimo Foundation will also be hosting a ‘Vital Conversation’ bringing together youth and community members to talk about local priorities. Interest in participating in this community dialogue can be directed towards Laurie Bienert at [email protected].

Tools for Building Your Planned Giving Program

On behalf of the Vancouver Island chapter of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, please join us on September 18, 2019 at the Nanaimo Golf Club, for a presentation on:

Untapped Potential: Tools for Building Your Planned Giving Program

Presented by:

Sara Neely, Director of Philanthropic Services, Victoria Foundation

Natasha Benn, Manager of Philanthropic Services, Victoria Foundation

In this session, you will learn how to develop, manage and build your legacy program. Sara and Natasha will discuss various types of planned gifts, how to receive and administer bequests, donor stewardship and recognition, tracking and reporting activities and expectancies, and marketing a planned giving program. They will also touch on policy areas that are important to address in today’s fundraising environment and practical applications of gift acceptance policies. There will also be time to share best practices.

To learn more, and to register, please register here.  Cost: $25 for CAGP members / $40 for Non members

(Includes canapes and one complimentary beverage)




Neighbourhood Small Grants

The Nanaimo Foundation has launched a Neighbourhood Small Grants program in the Harewood community and we are looking for residents to get involved.

Neighbourhood Small Grants are grants from $50 to $500 to support projects designed to unite Harewood residents through the sharing of stories, skills, and knowledge. These grants are awarded to individuals, rather than to charitable organizations. Projects can be anything from block parties, to potlucks, art making, storytelling, neighbourhood walks or cleanups, invasive plant removal, scavenger hunts, clothing or book swaps and much more.

We are seeking volunteers for the Neighbourhood Small Grants Committee. The committee will be comprised of neighbours living in the Harewood area who review the Neighbourhood Small Grants applications and make decisions about which ones are funded.

Click here for more information and the application details.

Building Community Philanthropy with the Nanaimo Foundation

Executive Director Laurie Bienert and Foundation Chair George Hanson recently sat down with Coast Connections host Elizabeth Heinz to discuss the Nanaimo Foundation’s work within the community.

For over 36 years the Nanaimo Foundation has been connecting donors with causes, celebrating health, vibrancy, and resiliency in Nanaimo. Check out their interview for more on the Nanaimo Foundation’s ongoing work to make meaningful and lasting impacts in our community.