Who We Are:

The Nanaimo Ukulele festival started as a local summer one day event in 2011 and was produced by Anna Lyman, a local ukulele and vocal teacher. The festival promoted and supported the growing interest in the ukulele in Nanaimo. What started as a one day affair has grown over the years to become a celebration attended by people from across Vancouver Island and BC.

Historically, the festival has been driven by the passion and commitment of Anna Lyman. Anna has now moved away from Nanaimo but leaves a legacy of a thriving ukulele community.

Local ukulele enthusiasts and volunteers work to bring together ukulele performers and teachers from the Island and across Canada. Our goal is to create a place where we can come together to celebrate our love of the ukulele, meet with other “ukesters” and showcase the accomplished and talented ukulele players from across the country.

Ukulele Programs in Nanaimo

Harbour City Seniors Ukulele program

Arbutus Music private and group lessons

Anna Lyman private lessons and ukulele orchestras

The Music Chord

Your Festival Organizing Team 

Liz DeBarros

A resident of Parksville, Liz has been playing the ukulele for six years and has a collection of sopranos, tenors and baritone ukuleles. She also sings, plays the UBass, bass guitar and acoustic guitar in local band, the Revolving Doors.

Liz is registered in the James Hill Ukulele Initiative Teaching Programme and by June this year will have completed her Level 1 Teaching Certificate. “The programme is amazing, so well thought out and having James as a teacher, mentor and guide is outstanding. As my students move through the programme, I get a great sense of satisfaction seeing their progress.” Liz teaches ukulele at Arbutus Music in Nanaimo.

Carol Johns

Carol began playing the ukuele in 2011 with the Harbour City Seniors Nordli group. She has taken lessons with Anna Lyman and has been involved with organizing the 2014, 2015 and 2017 ukulele festivals in Nanaimo. Currently, she continues her study of music with her current teacher, Flavio Cianflone of the Music Chord. Carol also plays regularly with the Harbour City Seniors, 50s and 60s Folk and Rock group. As well, Carol mentors a beginner ukulele group with the Nanaimo seniors program.

Melissa Reves

Melissa became interested in the ukulele a few years ago when she heard the Nanaimo Ukulele Circle playing in a local coffee shop. Since then she can’t put her ukuleles down. Melissa also plays with the seniors Folk and Rock group and says that her playing has improved since joining that group. She studies music with Flavio Cianflone.