Nanaimo will be the next stop on The Amazing Race Canada.
The announcement was made at the end of Tuesday’s episode of the CTV reality competition, in which teams of two travel across the country and race to complete challenges in order to advance to the next locale.
The Nanaimo episode marks a return to the Island for The Amazing Race Canada. Last season’s race began at Hatley Park National Historic Site in Colwood outside Victoria, and after a swing through B.C. and the Yukon the contestants were back in the area for challenges on Salt Spring Island, Duncan and Shawnigan Lake.
Amazing Race Canada executive producer Mark Lysakowski calls the Island “a beautiful oasis in the country.”
“The rest of the country’s kind of freezing cold but, you’re here in this magical, dewy forest and you’re wishing, ‘Oh my God, why don’t I live here?” he said.
Lysakowski said the Amazing Race Canada is no stranger to B.C. or the Island, adding that the province has a lot to offer.
“You’ve got the north, which is kind of rugged and cold, you’ve got the Interior, which has these lush wineries, you’ve got the coastal Island and the Lower Mainland … the province has pretty much everything. Ocean to mountains. As they say, ‘The sea to sky.’”
Amazing Race Canada host Jon Montgomery lives in Victoria and often travels to Nanaimo to play golf, go boating and visit with friends. He said the competition is an opportunity to show the Island off to the rest of the country.
“I think we’ve got to keep it a bit of a secret, to be honest,” he said. “And that’s selfish Jon talking. Proud Jon wants to tell the world about this gem that we can all brag about and as Islanders get to call home and as Canadians can embrace and come visit.”
Montgomery said each time the show comes to the Island they’re “pulling at different threads.” He said the places the racers will visit in and around Nanaimo are all new to him.
“I hadn’t been to any of them, to be honest with you,” he said. “So I got to explore the Island through the show. This is home and I’m still discovering it.”
Those Nanaimo-area locations will be revealed in the next episode of The Amazing Race Canada, airing on CTV on Tuesday, July 30 at 9 p.m.