This coming October 1- 4 the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) is presenting the 1st Annual Cumberland Fungus Fest and forest friends from near and far are invited to take part in this truly interdisciplinary celebration of ‘shrooms (with very special guests – slime molds!)

This 4 day experiment in hybrid virtual/real world programming features 5 live stream talks with fungus experts, an online CCFS Science Pub panel, dance events, film screenings, a bio blitz, myelium themed playlists, pop up performance art, kids art projects, a mushroom market and more. Your $25 unlocks a whole world of discovery with exclusive links to online events, downloads, films and presentations. The best part? 100% of proceeds support biodiversity projects of the CCFS.

A Fungus Fest highlight is screening access to the documentary film ‘Intelligent Trees’. Did you know trees talk, know family ties and care for their young? Is this too fantastic to be true? Scientist Suzanne Simard (The University of British Columbia, Canada) and German forester and author Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees) have been investigating and observing the communication between trees over decades. And their findings are most astounding. You can join a watch party Thursday or Sunday Night or watch whenever you like over the 4 days!

Things officially kick-off on Thursday October 1st with the launch of an iNaturalist “bioblitz” dedicated to identifying fungus, lichens and slime molds in the Cumberland Forest. Just download the free iNaturalist and visit https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/cumberland-forest-2020-fungus-fest-blitz to take part! Tickets holders can sign up their kids for an after school open-air mushroom art project, or take in the “Mycelial Medicine” online gathering w/ Dance Temple Comox Valley from 6-8. That evening kids can take tune in for Fun Fungus Storytime with Hand in Hand and from 7-8 mycologist and toxicity expert Jason Gowan will share a live stream talk about the poisonous mushrooms from 7-8.

Friday the bioblitz continues, preeminent mycologist Andy MacKinnon offers a live streamed talk about mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest from 5-6. Then after a quick break Dr. Shannon Berch will go live at 7 with a presentation on “Forests, mycorrhizas and rhizospheres”. Then local ticket holders can wander to 1st street between 7 and 11 for pop up performance art, projections and music with Cumberland Village Works designed to inspire fungus fest attendees.

Saturday at 10 am and 2 pm Hand In Hand will offer an encore online Fungus Fun Storytime for kids. Later in the day visit the Fungus Fest “Mini Mushroom Market” outside of Harmonic Arts from 230-530, which is open to the general public, Andy MacKinnon returns with a live stream talk from 5-6. Then at 7 pm the CCFS virtual science pub begins! Grab a growler, mix up a cocktail, or brew a cup of tea, and join us for presentations from expert mycologists, naturalists and herbalists exploring the remarkable world of fungus! Lucky Village Enterprises will take us through to midnight with a special fungus fest Psyche Lounge musical and visual adventure. On Sunday herbal Jedi, acclaimed teacher and speaker and Harmonic Arts co-founder will share an 7-8 pm webinar with attendees and we’ll close with a final watch party of ‘Intelligent Trees’ at 9 pm.

Tickets are on sale HERE https://cumberlandforest.tickit.ca/events/9993-1st-annual-cumberland-fungus-fest with detailed link portals being made available to all ticket holders as of Tuesday Sept 29th. Join the adaptation! Thanks to Harmonic Arts, Elevate, Cumberland Village Works and Lucky Village Enterprises for their generous support of our inaugural event.

Find us on facebook HERE https://www.facebook.com/events/481337189226589/ or check out the CCFS Science Pub details HERE https://www.facebook.com/events/331517734822723/

Meaghan Cursons

Cumberland Community Forest Society