Imagine VIU


To our valued visitors to the VIU Foundation office:

Our office will temporarily be closed in support of BC and Canada's efforts to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff members will be working remotely from their home offices. 

If you have questions, please email

We appreciate your patience during this difficult time. 

We wish you well,

The VIU Foundation and Advancement and Alumni Relations Team

Three exciting projects have transformed our Nanaimo Campus - the new Dr. Ralph Nilson Centre for Health and Science; the expanded and renovated Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex; and the new District Geo-Exchange Energy System.

In addition, we have been raising money to support our students with new scholarships, awards, and bursaries, and acquiring new training equipment to support their training.

Windsor Plywood Transforms VIU

The expanded and renovated Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex at the Nanaimo VIU Campus includes the carpentry shop, a student commons, and a collaboration area for industrial partners to conduct learning seminars, hold events, and collaborate with students and faculty on innovative research projects. These new spaces are having a positive impact on these industries in our region, and have allowed for a 33.5% increase in trades apprenticeship opportunities for students.

In recognition of the Windsor Plywood Foundation’s long-term partnership with Vancouver Island University and their support of the Imagine VIU Campaign, we are proud to announce the naming of the Windsor Plywood Trades Discovery Centre. In further recognition of their support, VIU names the accelerator / discovery room within the centre the Windsor Innovation Space. Read the full story here.

Programs and Equipment - Building Excellence

Help us equip and complete our newly renovated and created spaces with cutting-edge equipment and technology.

Students - Supporting Access and Excellence

Directly support student education by making a donation that will alleviate the financial costs associated with attending post-secondary.

The VIU Alumni Association is a dedicated group of passionate leaders working to engage, connect, and support VIU and our current and future alumni, building lasting relationships and supporting VIU's mandates. We thank the Association for their generous support of the Imagine VIU Campaign, giving $25,000 to the Dr. Ralph Nilson Centre for Health and Science.

Yamaha Motor Canada has partnered with VIU by giving two brand new motors and tools to our Motorcycle and Marine programs! Yamaha dealers hire many VIU grads because of the high quality education they receive in our Motorcycle and Marine Technician training program, housed in the new Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex. This donation will give our students increased opportunities to train on cutting-edge equipment, better preparing them for the competitive job market.

Harbourview Volkswagen has been a wonderful partner to VIU for over a decade, supporting VIU Mariners and events, and now to the Imagine VIU Campaign in support of Trades. “We were excited to support further access to education for students, which will support our business and other businesses in the community,” said John Wynia, retired owner of Harbourview Volkswagen. “There is also a great benefit to VW—our workers have access to a great facility with the finest instructors, with a diversity of future workers. We need more than just mechanics – The growth of VIU needs to match the growth of Nanaimo.” 

Island Savings made a leadership gift to Imagine VIU of $150,000 to name the 75-seat classroom in the Centre for Health and Science and the green rooftop at the VIU Cowichan Campus.

This gift builds on a rich history of ongoing support of VIU's students in both Cowichan and Nanaimo.

The Nanaimo Foundation gave a $10,000 gift in support of the Simulation Exam Room in the Dr. Ralph Nilson Centre for Health and Science.

The Nanaimo Foundation has been supporting Vancouver Island University in a variety of ways since 2002, including the annual Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, the Canadian Letters and Images Project, and the VIU Indigenous Speakers Series, to name a few. Thank you!

The Nanaimo Port Authority is supporting the Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex as Imagine VIU partners, donating $50,000 to complete the Boat Work Bay and Dyno Lab!

The NPA has been a great partner to and our students since 1998, along with many other local organizations.

Lewkowich Engineering Associates Ltd. is continuing their 17 years of supporting VIU with a gift toward the development of an Interpretive Centre for the District Geo-Exchange Energy System. The unique system, which utilizes the water in flooded mines under the campus as a heat sink and cooling system, works to reduce the carbon footprint of our new buildings at the Nanaimo campus to near zero.

Jane and Frank Gregory were some of VIU's most active community leaders. They were with VIU from the very start in the 1960s, ensuring our successful progression from college to university.

The Jane and Frank Gregory Memorial Fund has been created in honour of their legacy at VIU. The fund supports Milner Gardens and Woodlands, Jane's favourite place to be.

At the start of WWII, 19-year-old Gerry McKinnon enlisted in the army. At the same time Mary Campbell left her job at St. Paul’s hospital and joined the up. Gerry developed pneumonia and ended up in the army hospital in Nanaimo, where he met and fell in love with Mary. 

In August of 1944, Gerry was badly wounded overseas and ended up in a Canadian hospital, where his ward nurse just happened to be Mary. They married in 1945, and moved to Vancouver Island to be close to their son Tim in the 1960s.

Tim made a gift to the Imagine VIU Campaign in support of the Centre for Health and Science in honour of his mother’s Nursing career. #VIU thanks Tim for his generosity, and his late parents for their service to Canada during WWII. 

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