And the winner is… Haven Society!

This year’s Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards winners were announced at a gala ceremony in the Port Theatre, Friday, March 4, and Haven Society took home the 2016 Community Service, Not for Profit Award, graciously sponsored by the Nanaimo Port Authority.

The award criteria was as follows:

This award is presented to a not for profit organization that exemplifies excellence and innovation in their programs, services and projects and their efforts to be self-sustaining. Their commitment to growth and expanded programs, a well as service, community involvement, sustainable practices and/or job creation/development demonstrates a dedicated focus on achieving a social vision and mandate.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

According to Kim Smythe, Chamber CEO, “It was a very exciting night with all the glitz and glamour of a celebrity-studded awards show – and all the celebrities were our local awards nominees!”

TV personality Mira Laurence MC’d the event, 10 piece R&B band ‘Decadence’ played the winners onto the stage and a crowd of around 350 applauded them off.

Haven Society faced a large category of tough competitors, and this award is a tremendous honour – we truly felt like celebrities, and are so grateful to the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, the Nanaimo Port Authority, the panel of hard-working judges and the Nanaimo community for the incredible support.



Introducing the Boundary Project


Beginning Spring 2016, 13 new homes for single women fleeing violence will open in Nanaimo.

Currently under construction, the affordable housing project at 1597 Boundary Crescent will provide a total of 41 units of permanent, subsidized and fully staffed housing for individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the community.

“We’re often asked what happens next for our clients,” said Anne Taylor, Executive Director of Haven Society. “Second-stage housing opportunities are critical for women, and we’re thrilled with the opportunity this project provides.”

One floor of the new building will be dedicated to housing single women who are fleeing violence and are seeking to build independent lives.

The project is being developed under the BC Provincial Homelessness Initiative, and is a result of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Province and the City of Nanaimo signed in 2008.

Nanaimo Affordable Housing will be the owner/operator of the complex with staffing contracted to Haven Society and Vancouver Island Mental Health Society.

The Boundary Crescent project has an Operating Agreement with BC Housing for subsidy and support services for 60 years from the date of opening, ensuring women will have a safe place to start the next stage of their lives for years to come.

Be More Than a Bystander

BC Lions Community Presentation – February 1st, 2016

Are you familiar with the Be More Than a Bystander Campaign? You may have seen those commercials where football players talk about ending violence against women? Or even attended a BC Lions game and seen the No More a Bystander banners in the stadium?

We are thrilled to announce the BC Lions Be More Than a Bystander campaign – featuring JR LaRose – is coming to Nanaimo! For the first time ever, the BC Lions will be hosting an evening event here in Nanaimo, free to the general public.  JR LaRose will be speaking and available for autographs after the presentation, and a signed jersey will be a draw prize for early registrants.

This is a FREE public event,  but please pre-register yourself or your group by contacting  Jessica Lee by email at

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Be More Than a Bystander is a groundbreaking partnership between the BC Lions and Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) that sees sports icons from the BC Lions using their status and public profile to create awareness and urge everyone to “Break the Silence on Violence Against Women.” Founding partners of the Be More Than a Bystander initiative are Status of Women Canada, the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development and Encana Corporation.

The Clothesline Project

November 25, 2015 – December 10, 2015

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Domestic violence still remains hidden behind clothes doors – it’s time to air our “dirty laundry.”

Haven Society is making it easier for people in Nanaimo to speak out through the Clothesline Project, an interactive visual art project taking place at designated locations throughout the city, beginning November 25.

The Clothesline Project coincides with the United Nations driven 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign and will run until December 10, Human Rights Day.  It will also mark December 6 – the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

“Violence silences,” said Anne Taylor, Executive Director at Haven Society.  “We are asking individuals in Nanaimo to send a message about why they are speaking out on violence against women in a very public way.”

Complete the messages: “Violence is…”, “I speak out on violence against women because…”, “Violence against women matters because…” and post your message on an item of clothing on your clothesline, a designated Clothesline Project location or on the Haven Society FB page!

Violence Silences! Nanaimo Speaks Out! — will be posted on a sheet or large banner on every clothesline – check out the Clotheline Project at Haven Society’s Community Services Building located at 2270 Labieux Road or at our partner locations: CFUW Nanaimo, Boys and Girls Club (5th Street location), Nanaimo Family Life, Vancouver Island University Nanaimo campus, the Zonta Club of Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Women’s Centre.