Not Long Now…

Just a few days to go before out third Festival at the Neighbourhood Church in Nanaimo. Tickets are flying out the door, so if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, don’t wait too long.

Online tickets sales will close at 10pm on Thursday September 12th. After that, you will only be able to purchase tickets at the venue from 6pm on Friday 13th September and 9.30am on Saturday 14th.

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, 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

Uke Lessons with Liz – Parksville Ukulele Group Orchestra starting September 20th 2019. Go to for full details. Workshop, Group & Private Lessons go to


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 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 – 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 – phone: (250) 337-5447


Valley Seniors Ukulele Players, 198 Government St, Duncan
Contact: (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 –

Reducing Plastic Bottle Use

In an effort to reduce the amount of plastics used at the Festival, we encourage you to bring you own reusable water bottle or container to the Festival.

We will have two water stations available for you to refill your bottles. If you forget your container, we can offer you a paper cup to use for the day, but you cannot take the cup into the Sanctuary or workshop rooms.

Ukulele Orchestra starting in Parksville

I’m starting a new Ukulele Orchestra for ukulele players who are keen to play multi-part arrangements in an ensemble. The format will not involve weekly practices but only meet every 4-6 weeks, giving you plenty of time to learn and practice the piece between meetings.

If you are interested, read all the information below and email me at to register.

The Orchestra will be meeting at the Shelly Road Hall in Parksville 10.30am to noon Friday Sept 20th, Oct 18th, Nov 22nd, Jan 10th. I will email out music sheets in both Treble Clef music notation, TABS (for those who don’t read music) and an mp3 recording of each part of the music prior to each session so you can practice and become familiar with each part.

Being able to read, understand and play correct timing of notes is an essential part of ensemble playing. A pre-requisite of being part of the orchestra is being familiar with quarter, half, eighth, dotted and tied notes. I will be giving a workshop on this theme called “Timing is Everything” prior to starting the Orchestra which will explain all of the timing the orchestra will be using in the music we will be playing. If you aren’t familiar with timing, you will have to attend this workshop to be part of the orchestra.

The first of the sessions is a “Timing is Everything” workshop and then three full orchestra sessions. The cost is $120 for the four sessions and you have to pay in full before the first session. If you are unable to attend one of the sessions, there will be no refund or reduction in the fee, but you will get the sheet music etc. for that session to enable you to prepare for the next session. If this format works and there is enough interest, further sessions will follow in February, March and April 2020.

If you can read music and already know and can play timing, you wouldn’t have to attend the “Timing” workshop and the fee would be $90.

Workshops selling out

If you’ve been thinking about taking a workshop at the September 14th Nanaimo Ukulele Festival, don’t wait around too long before reserving your spot.

There are only 4 spots left in the “TABS & Fingerstyle Ukulele” workshop being given by Carol Johns in the morning session.

Only 5 spots are left in “Mystery of Chords” workshop being given by Liz DeBarros in the afternoon session.

Go to the Workshop Page to buy your tickets

Want to Try a Ukulele Orchestra Experience?

Have you ever fancied trying to play and pick out a tune on your ukulele in an ensemble? Come and join me, Liz DeBarros, and try it out and get the Ukulele Experience at this workshop.

Saturday June 8th 2019, 10.30am to noon at the Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge, Unit 8 – 464 Island Hwy. E., Parksville

We will look at a piece of contemporary music that I’ve arranged into three parts and, after a short practice through all parts and explanation of the timing, you can decide which you feel most comfortable playing. I’ll split the class up into three groups and by the end of the session, we will come together and play the piece as an orchestra. (Minimum of 8 participants)

We’ll be playing the Beatles “I’ll Follow the Sun”

Workshop fee $30. To register, email me at

My website:


Absolute Beginners Group Lessons

WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 24 ,MAY 1, 8, 22, 2019

Four one-hour lessons 11am to noon on Wednesdays at The MAC in Parksville


If you have ever thought about playing the ukulele but never even held one; or have been strumming for a while but would like to learn how to pick a tune, join me, Liz DeBarros, this four-week course will guide you through those skills

The cost is $70 and includes the course book “You Can Play Today”. If you don’t have your own ukulele, you can pre-order a good quality beginner package of ukulele, bag, tuner and strap from me for $120.

For more information or to register, email or call 250-586-5803.

I am a Level 2 JHUI Certified Ukulele Teacher; play in the local band Revolving Doors and teach workshops and group lessons at the MAC and GZAL in Parksville.

Full details at

James Hill’s Sing. Strum. Spa.

The second James Hill “Sing. Strum. Spa.” ukulele extravaganza is taking place at Harrison Hot Springs October 25-27th 2019.

The website is now live and if you are interested, purchase your tickets soon as this event sells out quickly.

Nanaimo Festival organiser, Liz Debarros will be part of the James Hill teaching team at Harrison Hot Springs. 

Here’s the link