We are delighted to announce the return of the two-day Nanaimo Ukulele Festival on Friday June 9th & Saturday June 10th, 2023

To kick off the festival there will be a music filled concert on Friday evening with some great tunes from two very talented Canadian artists: Manitoba Hal (now based in Nova Scotia) and Tina Hebner from Kamloops, BC.

On Saturday, choose from workshops that promise to inspire you. Mingle with fellow ukesters, make new friends and learn new skills from Manitoba Hal, Tina Hebner, and your two local JHUI qualified ukulele teachers, Carol Johns and Liz DeBarros

We wind up the day with the ever popular Sing & Strum 

There will be workshops offered to satisfy every level of player from Absolute Beginner (how do I hold this?) to Advanced

Workshop topics will be announced on March 1st, 2023 when concert and workshop tickets will go on sale



Canadian blues artist Manitoba Hal is a ukulele master and singer-songwriter. He is known for his expressive voice and mastery of his instrument; his trusty baritone ukulele; Manitoba Hal takes his audience from the deep south to the islands with songs that are mournful, hopeful, silly, romantic and introspective. His original songs have become modern classics and his take on standards and popular blues songs of the past have brought him to festival stages worldwide.

He began his career as a guitarist but began to play the ukulele when he inherited a 1955 Martin uke from his beloved grandfather who told him “you can have it if you learn to play it”. And so, he did, continuing to master the tiny instrument, proving that the ukulele can be small but mighty as he pulls out powerful riffs and melodies adding background beats with looping technology showcasing the blues in all its passion and groove.


A classical guitarist for most of her life, Tina found her passion for music extended to the ukulele…and the rest is history. She has studied with a variety of classical guitarists within BC (Canada), including Capilano University and the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Tina Hebner is a life-long music lover, who for over 25 years has been helping others enjoy their own musical journey. Using a light-hearted and gentle teaching style, Tina helps people to learn at their comfort level with confidence. Music can bring people together, can bring relief from a stressful time…she shares her feelings about this with her students: It’s more important for her to play with passion than it is to play with perfection. 

Tina shares her unique perspectives with her students in her workshops. Classical music, blues, Spanish, metal…. She enjoys playing it all on her ukulele and guitar.