On June 20th, 1953, a small group of men and women with an interest in the city’s history met at St. Paul’s Parish Hall to discuss forming a local history society. It was agreed by all attending that they would form the Nanaimo Section of the BC Historical Association, now the Nanaimo Historical Society.

Over the years, the society collected, recorded, and shared its findings with the community. Early members chose or were assigned subjects to research. From these beginnings a mass of written or recorded stories, documents and photographs were brought together and formed the basis of much of the early research undertaken about the city.

The Society’s involvement in the community has been extensive. Members have always been aware of the need to collect the past and present for the benefit of future generations. The Society has also been influential in supporting the development of the Nanaimo Museum, the Nanaimo Community Archives, and the Nanaimo Heritage Advisory Council. Members have also assisted with the creation of several publications relating to Nanaimo’s history. The monthly lecture series, open to the public for over 60 years, has introduced many residents and visitors to our very diverse heritage.

As the community has evolved so has the historical society. The society recognizes that over the 4,000 years people have lived in the Nanaimo area, many communities have contributed to the development of our present city. We invite you to join us in researching and developing projects that record and celebrate our long and diverse history.

Photos courtesy of Nanaimo Historical Society and Nanaimo Community Archives.

We acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw people from whom Nanaimo takes its name.