This coming October 1- 4 the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) is presenting the 1st Annual Cumberland Fungus Fest and forest friends from near and far are invited to take part in this truly interdisciplinary celebration of ‘shrooms (with very special guests – slime molds!)

This 4 day experiment in hybrid virtual/real world programming features 5 live stream talks with fungus experts, an online CCFS Science Pub panel, dance events, film screenings, a bio blitz, mycelium themed playlists, pop up performance art, kids art projects, a mushroom market and more. Your $25 unlocks a whole world of discovery with exclusive links to online events, downloads, films and presentations. The best part? 100% of proceeds support biodiversity projects of the CCFS.

A Fungus Fest highlight is screening access to the documentary film ‘Intelligent Trees’. Did you know trees talk, know family ties and care for their young? Is this too fantastic to be true? Scientist Suzanne Simard (The University of British Columbia, Canada) and German forester and author Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees) have been investigating and observing the communication between trees over decades. And their findings are most astounding. You can join a watch party Thursday or Sunday Night or watch whenever you like over the 4 days!

Things officially kick-off on Thursday October 1st with the launch of an iNaturalist “bioblitz” dedicated to identifying fungus, lichens and slime molds in the Cumberland Forest. Just download the free iNaturalist and visit to take part!  Tickets holders can sign up their kids for an after school open-air mushroom art project, or take in the “Mycelial Medicine” online gathering w/ Dance Temple Comox Valley from 6-8. That evening kids can take tune in for Fun Fungus Storytime with Hand in Hand and from 7-8 mycologist and toxicity expert Jason Gowen will share a live stream talk about poisonous mushrooms from 7-8.

Friday the bioblitz continues, preeminent mycologist Andy MacKinnon offers a live Zoom streamed talk about “Fabulous Plants and their Fungal Friends” from 5-6. Then after a quick break Dr. Shannon Berch will go live at 7 on “Forests, mycorrhizas and rhizospheres”.  Later on, local ticket holders can wander to 1st street between 7 and 11 for pop up performance art, projections and music with Cumberland Village Works designed to inspire fungus fest attendees.

Saturday at 10 am and 2 pm Hand In Hand will offer an encore online Fungus Fun Storytime for kids. Later in the day visit the Fungus Fest “Mini Mushroom Market” outside of Harmonic Arts from 230-530, which is open to the general public, Andy MacKinnon returns with a live stream talk from 5-6. Then at 7 pm the CCFS virtual science pub begins! Grab a growler, mix up a cocktail, or brew a cup of tea, and join us for engaging presentations from expert mycologists, naturalists and herbalists exploring the remarkable world of fungus! Lucky Village Enterprises will take us through to midnight with a special fungus fest Psyche Lounge musical and visual adventure.

On Sunday herbal Jedi, acclaimed teacher and speaker and Harmonic Arts co-founder will share an  7-8 pm webinar with attendees and we’ll close with a screening of ‘Intelligent Trees’ at 9 pm. Tickets are on sale HERE  with detailed link portals being made available to all ticket holders as of Tuesday Sept 29th. Join the adaptation! Thanks to Harmonic Arts, Elevate, Cumberland Village Works and Lucky Village Enterprises for their generous support of our inaugural event.

Find the event on facebook HERE or check out the CCFS Science Pub details HERE.


Dr. Shannon Berch is an Emerita Scientist with the Government of British Columbia and adjunct professor with the University of British Columbia. She is a founding member of the Truffle Association of British Columbia (TABC) and is part of their research and development program. She is an active member of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society (SVIMS) and is on the search for native truffles in British Columbia.

Yarrow Willard Cl.H. is a second generation Clinical/Master Herbalist, and the co-founder/formulator of Harmonic Arts. He is an influential innovator and international speaker as well as the director of the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing. As an educator and health ambassador, Yarrow delivers rich and original content, focused on reclaiming health and deepening connection with the natural world.

Andy MacKinnon is a forest ecologist who lives in Metchosin, BC. His recent research interests include ecology of BC’s ectomycorrhizal fungal species. He was lead BC scientist for Environment Canada’s 2017 ranking of our province’s threatened and endangered fungal species. He is co-author of six best-selling books about plants of western North America, and co-author of the Royal BC Museum Handbook “Mushrooms of British Columbia” (anticipated date of publication: June 2021). He is an enthusiastic participant, speaker and field trip leader for various mushroom festivals in southwestern BC each autumn.

Dawn Copeman is an avid forest explorer, community historian, photographer and ‘naturalist in residence’ for the Cumberland Community Forest Society with a passion for the wild side of the forest including the incredible world of slime molds. She can be found on Instagram at @cumberlandforesthag

Jason Gowen Jason is a mushroom picker, educator, and a consultant for mushroom ID in suspected poisoning cases. When not in the forest foraging, he studies the urban expansion of the death cap mushroom Amanita phalloides in his home town of Victoria. Passionate about mycology, fungal ecology, and conservation Jason administrates several large mushroom identification  and information pages and is a regular contributor to regional events as an identifier and presenter. You can find him through Instagram @jroot250