The Picking & Strumming Styles workshop has proved so popular that the Naked Waiters will be repeating it in the afternoon so we can accommodate everyone who wants to participate.

The workshop will be from 1.30 – 3.00pm and there will be 20 spots available, so buy your tickets early as they are selling out fast.

The Songwriting workshop will be reduced to 10 spots to accommodate this change.






Four one-hour lessons 11am to noon on Fridays at The McMillan Arts Centre, 133, McMillan Street in Parksville

October 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th 2017

Have you been thinking about playing the ukulele but don’t know how to start, what to buy or how to learn?

In this four-week course, I’ll start by showing you the different sizes of ukuleles; you’ll be able to see which size suits you best. I’ll be covering the basics of picking and strumming and you can see if the ukulele is the instrument for you.

The cost is $60 and includes the course book. I will have ukuleles available to rent if you don’t have your own (damage deposit required) or to buy. For more information or to register, email or call 250-586-5803.

I am a Level 1 JHUI Certified Ukulele Teacher; play in a local band, teach ukulele at Arbutus Music in Nanaimo and at my home studio in Parksville.

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.

Custom Ukuleles

Steve Doreen Guitars and Ukuleles

Steve Doreen, an emerging luthier based in Victoria, BC will have his hand crafted custom made ukuleles on display at the Nanaimo Ukulele Festival on both Saturday, July 15th and Sunday, July 16th, 2017.

He specializes in custom hand crafted boutique guitars and ukueles but is well equipped to repair your much loved string instrument as well.

Steve creates unique and beautifully sounding instruments made from domestic and locally sourced westcoast woods.  Don’t miss the opportunity to chat with Steve about your next instrument built with your own design specifications.

Check out his website or his facebook page Steve Doreen guitars.  Contact info:  email: or 250-419-3759.

There will be a free draw for a $300.00 dollar gift card towards a custom built uke

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?