About Us

Who We Are:

The Nanaimo Ukulele festival began as a one day event in the summer of 2011 and what started as a small affair has grown over the years to become a two-day Uke Fest celebration attended by people from across Vancouver Island, Mainland BC and other parts of Canada and North America.

Local ukulele enthusiasts and volunteers work to bring together ukulele performers and teachers from the Island and across Canada and the USA. Our goal is to create an event 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 continent.

Your Festival Organizing Team 

Liz DeBarros

A resident of Parksville, Liz has been playing the ukulele since 2011  and has a collection of sopranos, tenors, and baritone ukuleles. She also sings, plays the UBass, bass guitar and sometimes even drums in local band, Revolving Doors. Liz is a certified Level 3 teacher the James Hill Ukulele Initiative Teaching Program. Liz teaches Group Lessons and gives Workshops in Parksville. www.ukelessonsliz.com

Liz was thrilled to be part of the Teaching Team for James Hill’s Harrison Hot Springs -“Sing. Strum. Spa” in October 2019





Carol Johns

Carol started playing the ukulele in 2011 with the Harbour City Seniors Nordli group. She has been involved in organizing the ukulele festivals in Nanaimo since 2014. Carol plays the tenor and baritone ukulele and plays and performs regularly with the Folk ‘n Oldies group where she is the musical director.  She is a Certified Level 3  James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) ukulele teacher.




Jane Lewchuk

A relative newcomer to the ukulele, Jane started taking lessons from Carol Johns in September 2018 and hasn’t looked back! In April of 2019, she joined the Nanaimo Folk & Oldies group, a weekly sing and strum group who provide monthly entertainment for Nanaimo Seniors at various locations. Then in September 2019, Jane volunteered at the Nanaimo Ukulele Festival, and became an active member of the Organizing Committee in January 2020. 


Ukulele Programs in Nanaimo and Parksville

  • Nanaimo

Nanaimo Parks and Recreation programs for those over 60. 


Nordli Ukulele group, & Beginner Ukulele

To participate in any of the ukulele programs offered by the City of Nanaimo Parks and Recreation contact the program coordinator at 250-756-5200 or visit their website by clicking on the link above. 


Liz  teaches Group Lessons and Workshops there. For upcoming events, go to http://www.ukelessonsliz.com for full details

Bi-weekly Sing and Strum organised by Deanne Sprague at the MAC, McMillan Arts Centre, Parksville – for details email deannasprague@gmail.com