To our Summertime Blues Festival community and Nanaimo Blues tribe:

We are extremely proud and happy with the growth both the Nanaimo Blues Society and Summertime Blues Festival has achieved in the last several years and you all have contributed to making that happen. We were especially looking forward to Summertime Blues Festival 2020 because Mayor Krog proclaimed August 9th to 16th 2020 to be “Blues Week” in Nanaimo.

It is with deepest regret we must cancel Summertime Blues Festival 2020 & 2021 due to the pandemic and the restrictions and procedures put in place by Regional, Provincial, and National governments and health authorities. After consultation with Mayor Krog, B.C. Provincial and Regional authorities, our Member of Parliament Paul Manly, international music industry contacts, and festival representatives across Canada we feel this is the appropriate decision for the health and safety of our guests including ticket holders, volunteers, and performers.

This is a situation that we never expected to be in but we are already working on the logistics of necessary changes.

Regarding ticket refunds and other alternatives. We hope to offer three options:

  1. Ticket refunds
  2. Conversion of ticket purchase to donation to Nanaimo Blues Society
  3. Tickets to be honoured for the 2022 Summertime Blues Festival

An email will go out soon to everyone who has purchased tickets. Please wait for this communication before contacting us regarding your preference.

Our annual fundraiser for the Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank is an integral part of Summertime Blues Festival each year. We will be looking into alternative ways to support the Food Bank in 2021 and we encourage each of you to support your local food bank at this difficult time.

We were excited about working with our local business community, hospitality and tourism industry, and the City of Nanaimo to make the first ever “Blues Week” in Nanaimo a successful and memorable event for all involved. We still are hopeful that creative ways to celebrate the Proclamation and work together for the benefit of all can be found.

Blues fans are known to be resilient, innovative, and fierce, and the Nanaimo Blues tribe is no exception! We are exploring unique ways of keeping the connection between artists and community alive.  Now more than ever, we remain dedicated to the support and development of music and musicians locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

At this time, we would like to acknowledge the ongoing support of our grantors, sponsors, community partners, music industry representatives, Nanaimo business community, musicians, festival vendors,  volunteers, and government representatives. You are all a huge part of making Summertime Blues Festival a success and we look forward to working together in the future.

We look forward to Summertime Blues Festival returning in 2022 to bring live music to Maffeo Sutton Park on the waterfront in beautiful downtown Nanaimo! We will all need the warmth, connection, healing and sense of community that we gain from gathering with our NBS tribe! And dancing, there will be dancing!

We will be providing news, updates, and more information as the situation evolves. Please follow us on social media, watch your inbox for emails, check our website, and be sure to read our monthly NBS newsletter from Editor Mike Hogan. (sign up for it at

Thank you and “Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Hopeful”,

Nanaimo Blues Society Board of Directors:

  • Grant Payne President & Artistic Director
  • Doug Fetherston Vice President
  • Darlene Kelt Treasurer
  • Leni Baliban Secretary
  • Cindy Popcorn Volunteer Co-Ordinator
  • Brian Whitty
  • Nick Dokter
  • Jacquie Moisin
  • Laura Masur
  • Diana Lilley
  • Kathleen Nicholls

**************** President’s personal message ******************

To all our artists: I’m so sorry to have to make this decision which adds to what has already been a devastating year for you all. I look forward to future opportunities to have you perform in Nanaimo and in the meantime we will be looking at creative ways to support your work.

To our Blues tribe: I personally am heartbroken that we won’t be able to bring the festival to you this summer. I always love to see your reactions to the artists I book for you. This will only make me want to bring you the best I can do for you in 2021.

I would like to thank Nanaimo’s Mayor Leonard Krog for his help and leadership through this troubled time.

  • Grant Payne
  • President
  • Nanaimo Blues Society