Tourism Nanaimo leans into city’s ‘unconventional style’ in new campaign

Tourism Nanaimo leans into city's 'unconventional style' in new campaign
Tourism Nanaimo/handout image
Tourism Nanaimo’s new campaign will focus on things that make the city unique.

Tourism advertisements for B.C. typically lean into nature and outdoorsy aspects of the province as a draw to come, but a Nanaimo organization is focusing on another draw for the city.

Tourism Nanaimo has launched its new campaign “Nanaimo Normal” to highlight the “eclectic character and unconventional style” of the city.

“The main selling point for many B.C. cities is often the beautiful nature that surrounds them. With mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, Nanaimo’s no different,” says Carly Pereboom, executive director of Tourism Nanaimo.

“But there’s quite a bit that sets us apart. Things that might raise an eyebrow elsewhere–like racing motorized bathtubs in the harbour and outlandish street names like Twiggly Wiggly Road–are simply the norm in Nanaimo. Try to label this city or put it in a box, and we’ll climb right out.”

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The tourism group says the goal is to highlight the “one-of-a-kind people and experiences” including attractions like the Dinghy Dock Floating Pub and the Nanaimo Art Gallery.

“It’s an exciting time to be promoting Nanaimo. We’re seeing more and more young entrepreneurs and creators choosing to make Nanaimo their home, and contributing to a colourful and thriving culture,” says Pereboom.

“There’s been a steady reinvestment over the last two years in Nanaimo from restaurants, breweries, and some really cool boutique stores. There’s a community built on character and a being yourself attitude, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog believes this campaign is accurate and will resonate.

“Nanaimo has a long history of interesting characters, places and funny names and events whether it’s the bathtub races or silly boat races. We have an amazing museum, we’ve got a fascinating art gallery, a military museum which is unique in British Columbia,” said Krog.

As part of the new campaign, Tourism Nanaimo will launch a contest for locals to be featured and win $500 for a charity of their choice.

The contest will launch on May 21, and people will be asked to nominate locals who “embody the spirit and character of Nanaimo Normal–someone who is known in the community, unapologetically true to themselves, does good for Nanaimo and deserves to be recognized and celebrated for all they do.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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