Activity Groups

Click a particular activity from the list below or scroll down.  

This page does not show every NHCS Activity - information on activities is added or updated as more information comes in from participants.
If you are a member of NHCS and would like to see your group featured here, please email your write-up and photos.

 Do you have a special skill you would like to share with Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors Members? 
Please fill out the form HERE and contact Michele at 250-755-7501. 

Accordion Band       Badminton        Ballroom Dance         Beginners Bridge       Bowen Park Swing Band      Bowen Senior Songsters    

 Bowen Wanderers      Carpet Bowling        Crafty Workers        Cribbage     Darts        Embroidery    

   French      Friday Crochet Group        Friday Evening Bridge      Harbour City Singers   Mixed Painting - Advanced 
  Quilting Group      Snooker    Stained Glass       Table Tennis      Tai Chi     Thursday Evening Dances    

  Thursday Special Events     Woodcarving Group    

 Seniors Wellness Park at Oliver Woods

For maps to the LOCATIONS for the activities, check here.
For the detailed monthly SCHEDULE, see here.
And the City of Nanaimo  has a series of Virtual Tours of Nanaimo facilities, including Bowen Complex and Oliver Woods Centre - see them  HERE.

Accordion Band

The Accordion Band meets every Tuesday  1PM - 3:30PM for practice.  Place...Harewood Activity Center (HAC)  

For those who have an interest in playing and enjoying Accordion music.  Some experience in playing an accordion would be beneficial.

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Play is offered all year long; on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 to 3:30 pm, with some time variation in the summers. Sessions are now held in the Oliver Woods Recreational Facility on Oliver Road in North Nanaimo. You can come and observe the club in action (an observation area is on the second floor and overlooks the Gym).

Nanaimo seniors who are experienced in badminton can pay the NHCS membership fee and join at any time. You can come any of the scheduled times, and play for as long as you wish. Rackets and birds are available for your use. Although most players own their own rackets, badminton birds are supplied for all. We charge 25c a day when we get low on, and must buy, additional birds.

If participants are looking for beginner badminton lessons please call 250-756-5200 or look in the Parks, Recreation and Environment Activity Guide at

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Ballroom Dance

Tuesdays  10:00am-12pm at Bowen Complex

Join us for a fun filled two hours of ballroom dancing. Rumba, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango, Cha Cha, Jive, Waltz, we do them all. Once you are a member of the Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors there is no charge for the Tuesday dances. We also hold a monthly Tea Dance usually on the fourth Sunday of the month. And we play only strict tempo music.

As well as the dances we hold periodic workshops prior to the dances on ballroom line dances and sequence dances like the Emmerdale Waltz. Come and practice your best steps at these dances which have been ongoing for some 35 years.

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Beginners Bridge

Bowen Complex on Thursday in Games Room 1 from 9:30am-12:00pm

This is an on-going, year-round, play-and-learn opportunity with interactive coaching. It is not a set of structured bridge lessons. Many of our members have been playing here for some years so there is a wide range of ability and experience in the group.

We play Standard American 5 Card Majors, Contract Bridge, and use some 6 or so basic conventions. We require that everyone use the same basic set of parameters with regard to opening bids, responses, invoking conventions etc.

It is an ideal situation for people who haven't played for years and want to refresh their skills.

Beginners are welcomed and fitted into the flow of the group. They are provided with coaching while they play. The more experienced players are supportive of new learners and it makes for a great learning environment. It is mandatory that beginners have good card sense and have played other card games like whist or "kitchen bridge."

This is not Duplicate Bridge.

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Bowen Park Swing Band

This group is made up of brass and woodwind instruments, with a typical rhythm section. They play each Monday from 1:00 –2:30 p.m at Bowen Park in Activity Room 1 and at different seniors’ facilities - due to this there are limited openings for musicians.

 Please call Bob Davies for more information 250-754-6097. or see this poster

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Bowen Senior Songsters

The Bowen Senior Songsters is a happy mixed choir that for many years has visited and sung at Nanaimo retirement homes during the fall, winter and spring. Nearly all practices and performances take place on Friday afternoons, usually between 2 and 4 pm. The repertoire is light and breezy, focusing on popular melodies from the past and near present. If you like to sing for fun, enjoy the company of other happy choristers, enjoy community service, and can do without the rigours of a strict performance choir - you should give us a try. Contact Charles McCluskie at (250) 754-7061.

Please note: the songsters practice for 5 weeks in September and January and then perform in the community. Board meetings first Friday of every month from 2-3pm and are followed by a practice. Practices are from 3-4:30pm.

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Bowen Wanderers

The Bowen Wanderers are a diverse group of seniors who meet to enjoy fresh air, exercise and congenial company each Thursday morning. Trails are scouted out ahead of time by our leader Mark and listed monthly in the NHCS Newsletter with the relevant meeting place. Locations are between Ladysmith and Qualicum.  Car pooling is encouraged. We walk all year but weather sometimes necessitates a change of destination to avoid flooded trails, icy paths or poor road conditions. If you are not sure if you are a stroller or a walker then  a "pub lunch" day often involves a shorter walk and is a good introduction to fellow Wanderers. Mark's philosophy is that "participants have the ability to talk and walk at the same time". With suitable footwear and dressed appropriately for the season you will have a pleasant day out exploring and making friends so don't be shy  - come and join us.

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Carpet Bowling

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the Bowen Complex Auditorium (check Program Schedule for times)

Join us for a social morning or afternoon of carpet bowling. It is a fairly easy game to learn, especially if you have been a Lawn Bowler. We have a number of experienced bowlers who are happy to help beginners to enjoy the game. Being an indoor game we are able to play year round without worrying about the weather. Assistance is given to those who may have mobility or sight challenges; if you want to try we will help you. Two games are played in teams of ("pairs" and "triples") with a short break in between for a cup of tea and cookies.

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(Submitted by Gary Brownhill)
Every Tuesday 1:00pm-4:00pm in Bowen Park Activity Room #1

Our cribbage group is a social function as well as an afternoon of cards. We play eight games and players move from table to table after each game.

 Two dollars is collected from each player for the afternoon and after play is finished, this money is given out in prizes for scores achieved. We break after the fourth game, for coffee. If you would enjoy an afternoon of fun and pleasant social interaction, please come and join us.

A basic knowledge of the game will be helpful.

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Meets Friday at Bowen Complex in Activity Room #3 from 12pm-1:45pm

This is a fun, informal, social group. Beginners are welcome, even if you have never thrown a dart before.

You will not be judged on your aim. There are a couple of sets of darts available for new-comers to use to try out the sport.

If you decide to stay with the group, you will require your own set of darts.

We play by general Dart League rules, play in assigned teams which change every week, depending on the turnout of members. The agility/mobility requirements are minimal; however you must be able to throw your darts a distance of 7' to 9-1/4'', and a height of 5'8" with enough force to make them penetrate the dart board from that distance.

Very basic math skills are also required. There have been several players, who have started in our group, and have gone on to compete in our local Dart Leagues.

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Bowen, Thursday 12-4pm

This is an informal stitching group with varying degrees of activity that does needlework of all kinds.  For example Brazilian stitching, Three dimensional stitching, cross stitch, or any other type of stitching. 

Instruction is available for those who are beginners.

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Mondays from 9 to 11.30 am, with André Letain

There are actually two French classes running consecutively, with students usually attending both.

From 9:00 am to 10:05 am is Introductory French – vocabulary, grammar, etc. Then a coffee break till around 10:25 am and then from 10:25 am till 11:30 a.m. is French conversation – the class may also read about current events in French in this second part of the morning.

The level of both courses depends on what is best for the majority of those attending.

Both classes are somewhat informal and André tries to satisfy everyone as far as possible.

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Crafty Workers

The “Crafty Workers” are meeting again at Bowen Park Centre and are looking for new members. We are inviting anyone who likes to do crafts in a social setting - knitting, beading, or any other. We have some very competent knitters that are willing to teach and help out with your projects. Drop in and check us out on Wednesdays from 1PM – 3 PM and there are some good pics of the group's work on this site's photo page.

Records show that the Bowen Crafty Workers have been an active group since 1998, and for several years before that although no written records exist for those years.  There has been a very solid and extremely dedicated, small core of workers, who have persevered over the years to encourage and maintain interest in the group’s activities.  Each member possesses special talents which they share with other members and they all work together to create, and ultimately sell or donate to a special cause, delightful and unique items for use in the home, for babies, for young children, and for adults.  Over the years the group has produced endless toques, afghans, sweaters, tea cosies, aprons, socks, gift bags, bottle bags, and many more carefully and lovingly crafted items, too numerous to mention here.

The Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors Crafty Workers (Bowen Seniors Crafty Workers) have consistently interacted and partnered with community groups such as Vancouver Island University , and the University’s Horticultural Department, to organize very successful Plant Sales.  Other individual members and groups from the Seniors also helped in this particular endeavor, and with bazaars and raffles, to raise funds for donation to various community organizations.  As a result of these combined efforts, donations of over $3000 have been made to the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation; the Nanaimo Telephone Visiting Society, and to the Masonic Community Charity Fund /Volunteer Drivers for Cancer.  Isn’t it amazing what can be accomplished?

The Crafty Workers are always anxious to teach new members and help them along with their projects.  They are also open to any new craft project that someone would like to introduce.  So, if you possess a special talent in the craft area don’t hesitate, Sheila Lindsay will be happy to provide information.

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Friday Crochet Group

The Friday Crochet Group was formed in 1992, led by Shirley Strong and 5 enthusiastic ladies who loved to crochet and were members of the Bowen Park Seniors. By the fall of that year, their final home became Games Room #1 and they have enjoyed meeting there ever since. Today 16 members of the newly named Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors enjoy the company of each other while they create wonderful items using their crocheting talents. Several of the original group have continued over the years.

 They are a very friendly, happy, chatty group that would welcome any new members into their fold on Friday afternoons. The group founder’s husband named them the “happy hookers” much to the delight of 94 year old Chris Cook, and others whose lives benefited from being with their friends and participating in a craft they loved until illness kept them away. This ‘pet’ name no longer is used but the happy group continues to crochet beautiful baby sets, mittens, socks, slippers and many other lovely pieces, enjoying others with similar interests. Newcomers are welcomed and some have even been taught to crochet by many of the crochet group. 


Whenever there is a birthday during the month, Anita’s granddaughter bakes a special cake for all to celebrate. They have a windup party each Christmas as well as a party to mark the end of their season each May. It seems though that there are goodies every week along with coffee and tea. Games Room #1 Fridays at Bowen Park is a great room to peek in on and you will leave with a smile on your face and a piece of cake in your hand.

Each year there is a craft bazaar held in November and as the date approaches, all are busy making sale items from Afghans to doilies, Christmas decorations and a variety of other items. Proceeds from the sale are donated each year to two charities that have included Loaves & Fishes, the 7 to 10 Club, the Hospital Foundation, Hospice and Haven House and others. Unsold items from the Bazaar have been donated to the thrift stores.

 Anita Jones is the current Crochet group coordinator and would love to have you join them every Friday afternoon at Bowen Park in Games Room #1. For further information call (250)755-7501.

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Friday Evening Bridge

 Held on Friday evenings at Oliver Woods Community Centre. The doors open at 6:30pm and games start at 6:45pm.  

This is Contract Bridge, usually known simply as Bridge - not Duplicate Bridge.  You do need partners for this, and the instructor has “spare” lists if you need one.  

The Friday night Bridge group is an enthusiastic and extremely sociable group who welcome all NHCS members, no matter what their particular playing level may be.    

The cost for the evening is just $2.00.  Monetary prizes are awarded each evening at the end of play and include prizes for the top scores, middle and bottom scores.  

Please note that no tea, coffee or treats are provided by the volunteers.

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Harbour City Singers

Wednesdays from 2:00- 4:00pm at Rotary Field House at 850 Third St.

There are currently over 40 singers, men and women who enjoy each other’s company singing a wide variety of music from international folksongs, Broadway musicals, spirituals and jazz standards to popular, seasonal and classical songs.

Everyone is welcome – no previous choral experience is required- this community choir is open to anyone who loves to have fun singing in harmony with others.

If you are interested in joining this group please contact the choir director, Lionel Tanod at 250 722 0232  or by email at lioneltanod

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Mixed Painting - Advanced

Thursdays 9 am - 12:30 pm, Bowen Room 6.  Members no charge

If you would like to work with a group on the same project or work on your own, this is the class for you.  Whether you paint with acrylics, oil, water or chalk you will immerse yourself in the wonderful company.  Minimal instruction is available.  Participants must have completed Beginners 1 or have approval of instructor based on equivalent training.  Bring your own supplies.

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Quilting Group

Meets Tuesdays from noon to 3 at Bowen

This group's purpose is to bring women together to share in enjoyment of creating something beautiful as well as useful while maintaining the tradition of hand-quilting.  Quilts are machine pieced and hand-quilted on traditional "Quilting Bee" frames. 

All skill levels are welcome as there is always someone to help a new member or a beginner whether you choose to become an advanced quilter or prefer to sit at a quilt, stitch and enjoy the conversation.

 Working together on projects we take part in cutting, sewing the blocks, constructing the quilt top and finally hand-quilting the finished product.  This group makes and donates 20-30 children's quilts to the "Linus Project" each year. They are pleased to help provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to a child in crisis.

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(Submitted by Gary Brownhill)

Place: Bowen Park Activity Room #4

Time: Monday, Thursday, Friday 8:30am-4:30pm

Tuesday, Wednesday 8:30am-9:00pm

Saturday, Sunday 8:30am-3:00pm

Our Seniors Snooker group presently has twenty members, with room for more. There are both male and female members.

Cost is $53.76 for a one year membership or a drop-in fee of $8.00 per day for members and $11.00 per day for non-members. This cost is in addition to the membership fee for Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors. This fee enables us to re-felt tables at a cost of $1,200 and we provide tournament quality balls and the best equipment available.

We are all willing to help new members learn the game and if you are interested, please join us.

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Stained Glass

Tuesdays 9:30am-11:30am - runs September to April

Learn to create stained glass items. This class is for beginners and people with experience. Those who wish to learn the art of stained glass can learn to make a clear glass dove for $10.00 and supplied materials. Others with experience are welcome to join us and share ideas at no cost for members. 

New participants are asked to call Vera 250-756-1601 to discuss starting in this class.


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Table Tennis
Held at Departure Bay Activity Centre.    Mondays & Fridays 11 am - 2 pm  and  Wednesdays 12 - 3 pm

Table Tennis is not only fun but improves physical conditioning, mental alertness and improves reaction time. All skill levels welcome.

(Submitted by Wally Lawrence)  Table-Tennis has been played as early the 1900s although many changes to the game have taken place such as tables, balls, playing area,  etc.

I have been playing since I was 15 yrs. young and really the game doesn’t get the recognition in North America that it does in Europe and Asian countries.

Lately the game (ping-pong as some people call it) has been mentioned by Dr. Oz and he calls it “the Brain sport”. A good article was in the Senior Living Magazine in September.

Here in Nanaimo and Victoria and other parts of the Island there is an active amount of Senior participation.

Monday, Wednesday and Fridays we play in the Departure Bay Hall. Also thru the year there are tournaments in which I and other seniors compete. There is a web site

So my fellow Seniors members, it’s a Great game and YES I am plugging this Sport. 
Your N.H.C.S. member, Wally Lawrence

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Tai Chi

Monday 1-2pm at Bowen Complex

This program is for those who have experience with the Taoist Tai Chi 108 move set. No instruction is provided so those who wish to participate should know the 108 move set.

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Thursday Evening Dances
(7:30 - 10:30 pm)

Enjoy a fantastic evening out while you dance and socialize the night away.
Check out the  poster

$7 for Members, $10 for Non-Members at the door.
Check out the Video from the Thursday evening dances HERE And here are some photos below.  (Thanks to Wendy Wenaus)

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Thursday special events

Are held on most Thursday afternoons and are publicized near the beginning of the NHCS monthly newsletter. The format varies and may include music or a BBQ.

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Woodcarving Group

We, at the Mid Island Carving Club, are a group of seniors who enjoy and appreciate the fine art of carving as much as we enjoy each other's company. 

We meet every Thursday morning at the Bowen Park Complex, between the hours of 9 and 11am, when we work on our projects. Any one of us could be carving an animal, a flower, a bird, or a face - whatever the imagination will allow us. We share our expertise, knowledge, experience and stories at our sessions. We share our wood, patterns, methods, thoughts, laughter, techniques and all other tricks of the art of carving. The wood that is used most often is bass, although yellow cedar, alder, walnut, cherry and holly are not forgotten. The tools that we use vary, and any member would gladly give the information on where to obtain these tools, which ones to use and how to use them. 

We all realize that as we age, we must pass this talent along to those younger than us. 

If you have a desire to learn the art of woodcarving then call 250-758-6898. 

New Members Welcome.

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 Seniors Wellness Park at Oliver Woods

is one example of the significant contributions made to the Nanaimo community by Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors. NHCS is responsible for the Seniors Wellness Park initiative, and  raised $18,000 for this project. It has been up and running since June 2009, adjacent to the Oliver Woods Children's Playground. See HERE for the Wellness Park Brochure.

Click here to see the photos of the Wellness Park in use  in a separate window - use the arrows to move through. Thanks to Carol and John for allowing these pics to be taken while they went through their routine).

The equipment is designed to strengthen arms, legs and 'core' (the body part that helps with balance). Each piece has clear instructions on use. You'll find some give a little more difficult work-out than at first appearance.
 And there's even a trail at the end that leads to a small marsh - very nice design.

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