Here’s what happened at the 2019 Festival …….

They were so much fun last time, we had to hear them again

Originally from Provo, Utah and now living in Laie, Hawaii, The Naked Waiters are ready and set to provide a fun evening at the Friday September 13th 2019 concert and workshops on Saturday September 14th 2019

The Naked Waiters are an acoustic, ukulele-based group that started in Cedar City, UT, and is now based on Oahu. They specialize in fun, melt-your-heart music with handsome harmonies. They are comprised of Kim Bjerga, Clark Holmes, and Andy Nufer.

They were a great hit at the Festival last year and some Festival goers took them out birding and sailing to give them a great BC experience.

Click this link to listen to one of their original songs.

The Naked Waiters will be offering two workshops, “Introduction to 12 Bar Blues” and “Percussive Techniques on the Ukulele – Chunky is Funky”



Ali Romanow is a James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) Level 1 certified ukulele instructor, and will be teaching two Beginner workshops.

Ali Romanow is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Competent on a variety of instruments Ali also brings her captivating vocals, original writing and arranging to whatever project she is currently focused on. Ali spends her time in Courtenay BC, where she directs two FolkHarmonic Orchestras, FolkHarmonic Voices & teaches private music lessons.


LIZ DEBARROS, one of the Festival organisers, is a James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) Level 3 certified ukulele teacher and a member of Parksville’s own Revolving Doors, who will be leading the Sing and Strum on Saturday 14th. 

Liz regularly teaches Absolute Beginners Group Lessons at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville and teaches ukulele Workshops at the Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge, and has a new Ukulele Orchestra starting in September 2019, also in Parksville.

In October of 2019, she will be part of the James Hill Teaching Team at the semi-annual “Sing. Strum. Spa” ukulele orchestra event at Harrison Hot Springs.

Liz will be offering a “Mystery of Chords” workshop on the afternoon of Saturday September 14th 2019 full details on our Workshops page


CAROL JOHNS is a JHUI Level 1 certified ukulele instructor who teaches beginner ukulele group lessons in Nanaimo. Carol started playing the ukulele with the Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors Nordli group back in 2011. Since then, Carol has taken lessons with Anna Lyman and Flavio Cianflone. She plays with the Folk n Oldies music group and enjoys the performances the group does for various seniors residences in Nanaimo. Carol is currently enrolled in Level 2 of the James Hill Ukulele Institute teacher training.

Carol will be teaching a workshop on “HOW TO READ TABS & FINGERSTYLE PLAYING”

Here’s what happened at the 2018 Festival…..

Joining us from Guelph, Ontario, we had Cynthia Kinnunen  teaching her Ookestra workshop and performing at the Saturday evening concert. 

In Cynthia’s earlier years, following studies in piano, flute, bassoon, oboe and voice, and after completing her conservatory piano levels and a university degree in music, Cynthia dove into marketing and fundraising in the arts and non-profit sector. A Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Initiative teacher, she now currently teaches private music instruction in ukulele and piano, ukulele group classes, the Royal City Ukulele Ensemble program, and is Director of the Royal City Uke Fest in Guelph, Ontario. Passionate about the role that music can play in our lives, our homes and our communities, she encourages everyone to learn and make music, no matter their age or ability.

The fun didn’t stop there.

All the way from Provo, Utah, The Naked Waiters provided a fun evening at the Saturday concert. They will also presented two workshops on Saturday; Strumming & Picking Styles and Songwriting.

The Naked Waiters are an acoustic, ukulele-based group that started in Cedar City, UT, and is now based in Provo, UT. They specialize in fun, melt-your-heart music with handsome harmonies. They are comprised of Kim Bjerga, Clark Holmes, and Andy Nufer.






Liz DeBarros, a member of Parksville’s own Revolving Doors and a James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) Level 2 certified ukulele instructor, gave two beginner workshops.

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER workshop on Saturday morning.  Uke 101 is for those who have never played or even held a ukulele before.

In the afternoon in Uke 102, new players moved on and develop their skills. 

On Sunday afternoon Liz  also be performed with the Revolving Doors.



Here’s what happened at the 2017 Festival……


Thank you to all of you who attended and participated in the 2017 Nanaimo Ukulele Festival making it a great success. It was with your support that this festival lived up to it’s tag of a “great little ukulele festival.”  James Hill and Anne Janelle put on an awesome concert and many people commented on how much they enjoyed the workshops. Everyone enjoyed the Sunday afternoon concert with the Revolving Doors band and the sing and strum, lead by the band, was the best ever.  We all had a great time.




James Hill at the 2017 Uke Fest taught a Chord/Melody workshop and a Swing workshop




The Revolving Doors band playing the Sunday afternoon concert at the 2017 festival.