About Us


“The purpose of the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music is to foster excellence in the performing arts in the Central Vancouver Island Region.”

The Nanaimo Conservatory of Music was founded in 1977.  Operating from its facility at 375 Selby Street, in the heart of the Old City Quarter, the Conservatory provides high quality musical instruction to children and adults from central Vancouver Island.

The Conservatory prepares students for all levels of the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) exams. Students are encouraged to participate in the annual Upper Island Music Festival and to perform in Conservatory recitals. 

All of our instructors are highly qualified; many are members of the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra.


The Nanaimo Conservatory of Music began as the Central Vancouver Island Community Music School in 1977, with six teachers and thirty students. Before the existence of the school, students often had to travel to Victoria or Vancouver for lessons in specific disciplines, especially those who wished to be instructed at higher levels.  Since 1977 the CVICMS/NCM has provided high-quality instruction in a wide variety of individual instruments in both classical and jazz traditions, as well as ensembles and orchestral groups.  These ensembles and groups include Youth/Prelude Orchestra, Intermezzo Strings, Cello Choir, harp ensembles, and the Nanaimo Youth Choir.

The NCM is unique in the central Vancouver Island area, and the community has responded to its presence over the years by participating in its programs, attending the concerts and recitals produced by the NCM, and offering support financially.

Recognizing that it is critical that beginners are taught by highly skilled and qualified teachers, the NCM has placed an emphasis on youth and the young beginner, while at the same time offering instruction to all age groups and levels. Our students annually participate in the Upper Island Music Festival,  are encouraged to take the RCM examinations, and to compete in other music festivals and competitions.