Snowbirds’ sky-high aerobatics come back to Nanaimo for charity

3 July 2018

  • The world-renowned Canadian Forces Snowbirds are on their way back to Nanaimo.

    The 431 Squadron returns to the city for some high-flying aerobatics on Wednesday, Aug. 8. The free show starts at 5:30 p.m. above the city’s harbour in downtown Nanaimo.

    The Snowbirds are ambassadors for the non-profit CH.I.L.D. Foundation, which helps children living with inflammatory bowel diseases. The aerial show here will help raise awareness and funds for the foundation.

    Nanaimo Airport and Nanaimo Flying Club will host a special private session for the Snowbirds and local C.H.I.L.D. members. The kids and their families will meet the aces and take pictures with them. A similar meeting took place during the Snowbirds’ last visit to the city in 2016.

    “It’s such a special moment for everyone,” says Nanaimo Airport CEO Mike Hooper. “I can’t wait to see the smiles when the kids and their families get to meet the pilots and see the planes up close.”

    The foundation’s mandate is to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis and liver disorders. The illnesses cause excruciating pain, vomiting and chronic fatigue, among other symptoms. Children living with the disorders are often confined to their homes. As a result, they miss a lot of school and can’t participate in many activities such as playing sports.

    “We’re proud to support the great work of the CH.I.L.D. Foundation,” says Hooper. “It helps to make a difference in the lives of Central Island families.”

    In their 48th season, the Snowbirds travel North America to perform thrilling aerobatics and breathtaking fly-bys. The team’s 24 pilots make about 60 appearances every year.

    During a performance, they fly at speeds ranging from 185 km/h to 590 km/h. In many of the formations the jets will be about 1.2 metres apart.

    After the Nanaimo performance the Snowbirds will perform at the Abbotsford Air Show.