Where to play your ukulele when the festival is over




Ground Zero Ukulele Club – Unit 8, 484, Island Hwy E., Parksville. Meets on the 2nd & 4th Monday of each month 7pm for Sing & Strum. By donation, suggested $10, https://www.gzalounge.com/gzal-ukulele-club.html for full details

Qualicum Beach Seniors Centre – 703 Memorial Ave, Qualicum Beach. Ukulele drop in, Sing and Strum Mondays, 12.30pm – 2.30pm. Members $1 https://www.qbseniors.ca/activities.html

Uke Lessons with Liz – Parksville Ukulele Group Orchestra starting September 20th 2019. Go to https://www.ukelessonsliz.com/orchestra for full details. Workshop, Group & Private Lessons go to www.ukelessonsliz.com


Arbutus Music School – 6324 Metral Drive, Nanaimo – Private Lessons –

call 250 933 1900 to book lessons

The Music Chord – Private Lessons with Flavio & Louise Cianflone –

call 250 619 5871 www.themusicchord.com to book lessons

Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors – Nanaimo Parks and Recreation

*These classes require a Harbour City Seniors membership and registration for the group.

  • Ukulele in the Classroom Absolute Beginners – Booster Uke – October to December

  • Ukulele in the Classroom, Beginner Level 1 – Moving On – January to May

  • Ukulele in the Classroom, Level 2 – Step UP – October to May

  • Nordli Ukulele group. Tuesday afternoon from September to June 2020

  • Folk n Oldies Music Group – ukuleles and guitars – ongoing but limited spaces available.

  • Beginner Bluegrass Slow Pitch Jam – Friday morning – ongoing throughout the year

  • Bluegrass Band – Friday afternoon – ongoing throughout the year

  • Open mic and circle performance – Tuesday afternoon – ongoing throughout the year

  • Country and Western style band – Tuesday morning – September to June


Evergreen Ukulele Club – Comox Valley, B.C. The group meets regularly every 2nd and 4th

Tuesdays as part of the “Evergreen Seniors Club” in Courtenay. Since starting up 2 years ago, the group averages between 25-30 members for some fun, singing and strumming on the uke.


For more information contact Terry Hall: eMail – comoxterry@gmail.com Ph. (250) 338-2163

Fretted Friends – Black Creek, B.C. The group meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday evenings at the Black Creek Hall. The meetings provide instruction and group playing for beginners and experienced ukulele enthusiasts in the Black Creek area on Vancouver Island.


Contact Lous Lucieer: eMail – braluci@telus.net phone: (250) 337-5447


Valley Seniors Ukulele Players, 198 Government St, Duncan
valleyseniorsorg@shaw.ca (250) 746-4433

Byron Thomson group, Mill Bay area

Brenda’s Brats, Mill Bay area

Chemainus Legion Ukulele Group (newly formed)

The Small Block Brewery, meet on Sundays for 2 hours. Contact Al – vtwinal@yahoo.com

Another “Great Little Festival” event this year

Wow! Didn’t we all have a great time this year with Cynthia Kinnunen, Kim Bjerga, Clark Holmes, and Andrew Nufer of the Naked Waiters  and Bill Naylor, Ade Barnum, Dean Williams and Liz DeBarros of the Revolving Doors. 

The workshops were well attended and we received very positive feedback from the participants. The Saturday night concert was a hit with stellar performances by Cynthia and The Naked Waiters. It was truly a wooo hooo time.

Sunday afternoon was a blast with several performances kicked off by Katelyn & Mira, followed by several excellent open mic players. Then the concert with the Revolving Doors proved to be a big hit again this year. The sing and strum, led by the Revolving Doors showed that 100+ ukesters and friends always do have a great time when we all get together. All the performers and organizers, Liz, Melissa and Carol got up on stage to close the festival with a rousing rendition of Hey Jude. 

And, I think I can say, that a great time was had by all.

We will be posting pictures and comments that we receive on the blog. I will also be putting up information about where you can get involved with groups in your community if you play the uke and want to connect with others.

We’d love to hear your feedback and any comments. Please get in touch.

Carol, Liz and Melissa


After the festival was over, Melody and Russ offered to take the Naked Waiters, Kim, Clark and Andy, on a sailing trip off the shores of Nanaimo. Here is the video that Melody took during their three hour tour.


The countdown to the 2018 Nanaimo Ukulele Festival

Well, we only have four days to go before the festivities begin. We are so excited to bring Vancouver Island ukesters another fantastic festival full of fun, frivolity and ukulele fever this coming weekend at the Nanaimo Ukulele Festival. 

Bringing you Cynthia Kinnunen from Guelph, Ontario, a highly skilled and masterful teacher of the ukulele. There are still a few spots open in her Ookestra workshop so it’s not to late to join in on a fantastic and fun festival experience.

Words from one of Cynthia’s students: “Right from the first lesson, Cynthia taught me a lot, from strumming techniques, to tricks of the instrument.  Cynthia is a fantastic teacher, and she brings such a passion for music to her teaching. When she plays, you can tell that Cynthia loves what she does, and that is crucial in a teacher. If you’re young and just starting out in the music world, or if you have a few years in your sails and want to bring a little uke into your life, I recommend contacting Cynthia. I can’t wait until my next lesson!”  – Emma B.

I can hardly wait to experience the musical talent and ability of the boys in the Naked Waiters group. They characterize themselves with their “impressive ukulele playing, nice hair and handsome harmonies that set the mood for any event.” The “Waiters” are also gaining an impressive resume of bookings at international ukulele festivals.

Don’t wait too long to pick up your concert tickets for the Saturday evening performance.

Parksville’s own Revolving Doors along with Mira and Katelynn and local open mic performers will bring local ukulele spirit to finish off the Festival on Sunday afternoon. Lets fill the Neighbourhood Church with great music and a rousing jamboree of ukulele playing and singing like the world is watching. Come on down for a whole lot of fun. Come even if you don’t play the ukulele (yet). 

Hope to see you all there. Bring a friend.

D’Addario Ukulele Hub

D’Addario, one of our Festival supporters, has some fun info on their website that might help you find your ukulele personality and propel you off in a surprising direction in your ukulele playing journey. Click on the image below to find out your ukulele playing personality.

Find Your Ukulele Personality

Ukulele – on line magazine link

Here is a link to a really great online Ukulele Magazine. http://www.ukulelemag.com/

The Ukulele Magazine is jam packed with all kinds of tips, tutorials, gear info, stories and just way too much good stuff to mention. Click on the link above and check it out.

There is an article in this month’s Ukulele On Line Magazine about Cynthia Kinnunen. Take a peak and check it out here.

Why I Uke: Cynthia Kinnunen’s Soul-Nourishing Return to Ukulele



Tapestry Music joins to support the Nanaimo Ukulele Festival


We are very happy to welcome Tapestry Music of Victoria, Vancouver and White Rock to the Nanaimo Ukulele Festival list of sponsors for the 2018 festival. 

Michael has generously donated an Acadia All Solid Mahogany Concert Ukulele valued at $199 which we will be giving away to a lucky winner during the festival.

Tapestry Music will also have a vendor table at the festival on Saturday and Sunday. Make sure to stop by and chat with Michael and David.

Visit their website at http://www.tapestrymusic.com/ or their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/tapestrymusicstore



2017 Nanaimo Ukulele Festival pictures and comments

We received several comments from people who attended the 2017 Nanaimo Ukulele Festival and made all the hard work and planning worthwhile. Below are just a few of the remarks that patrons sent us:

“Just want to pass on my huge THANK YOU to all who were involved in organizing, volunteering and hosting the 2017 Uke Festival!  It was fantastic!  So much fun!  I took in Rob Wilkinson’s two lessons on the Saturday (which were really good!), and James & Anne Janelle’s concert (they are both so awesome!), and a friend and I went to the strum and sing-along on the Sunday afternoon as well.  An informative, entertaining, fun-packed ukulele weekend!  Thank you so much!  Can’t wait for next year!” Shiela

“Thank you SO MUCH for a wonderful Nanaimo Ukulele Festival experience!  Anne, Alder and I had a great time.  The weather, the workshops, the people, the good vibes… you must be very pleased at the way it all came together.  You did a great job!  Thank you for the opportunity to be part of such a well-run event.” James Hill

“Looking forward to next year.  Only question is how do you beat this year’s guest performer next year?  Thanks for a great weekend.”  TERRY and LARRY

“Well wasn’t that fun?! I have been around many such events with numbers from less than 20 to over 700. This ukulele festival may be the best organized, most fun, most relaxed, most inspiring off them all.”  Martin

“I thought that the festival was so much fun – wonderfully planned and executed.  There were lots of volunteers to handle any problem and the scheduling of volunteers was very good.    I would be really interested in volunteering and the helping with the planning of another festival, hopefully, next year.  I loved both the concert and the  jamboree on Sunday.  It would be nice to have an sing and strum that could be longer at the next festival if possible.”  Heather

My head is still spinning from the wonderful day I had yesterday at the festival. Your organizers did such a wonderful job that I was able to just absorb the whole experience. I applaud all of you for a tremendous success.”  Eileen 

Pics of the 2017 Nanaimo Ukulele Festival. 

Tuning up for the Jammin’ Jamboree sing and strum.
Melissa at the Registration/Information table.
The Revolving Doors band performing at the Sunday afternoon Ukulele Jammin’ Jamboree.
Steve Doreen, luthier, pleased with the interest his custom ukuleles are getting.
Rob Wilkinson teaches Rhythm and Time workshop
Steve talks with interested ukulele players.
James Hill in action teaching the Lyricism and Line workshop.
James teaches jazz chords in Swing Ukulele Swing workshop.

Why play the ukulele

Everyone has their own reason for wanting to play a musical instrument. But, why play the ukulele? Below is a list of my top 10 reasons that I choose to play the ukulele.

  1. It is easy to learn. I learned to play a song in a few minutes with just a few simple chords.
  2.  I can take it on my trips and play it by the beach or up on a mountaintop.
  3. It makes me and people around me happy.
  4. I can play any kind of music on the uke…jazz, blues, pop, soul,  country, oldies, or even Hawaiian!
  5. I have learned so much about music and music theory.
  6. The ukulele suits the size of my smaller hands so I can even play barre chords.
  7. The ukulele is affordable. I got started with a $40 ukulele that I bought at an outdoor market in Hawaii. 
  8. I have met so many amazing and wonderful people at home and in places that I have travelled. Ukulele players are very friendly and fun loving people.
  9. There’s no right or wrong way to play an ukulele, there’s only your way.
  10. I’ve never met a grumpy ukulele player.

I’d love to hear from you. What are your reasons for playing the uke?