October kicks off with inaugural Cumberland Fungus Fest

Submitted to The Record

The Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) is presenting the inaugural Cumberland Fungus Fest Oct. 1-4. 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 four-day experiment in hybrid virtual/real-world programming features five 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? All 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 (UBC), 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 four days.

Things officially kick-off on Thursday, Oct. 1 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://bit.ly/337GBFd to take part. Ticket holders can sign up their kids for an after-school open-air mushroom art project, or take in the “Mycelial Medicine” online gathering with Dance Temple Comox Valley from 6-8 p.m. That evening kids can tune in for Fun Fungus Storytime with Hand in Hand, and from 7-8 mycologist and toxicity expert Jason Gowan will share a livestream talk about the poisonous mushrooms.

Friday the bioblitz continues. Pre-eminent mycologist Andy MacKinnon offers a live-streamed talk about mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest from 5-6. Then Dr. Shannon Berch will go live at 7 with a presentation on “Forests, mycorrhizas and rhizospheres.” Local ticket holders can then wander to First 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 a.m. and 2 p.m., 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 2:30-5:30, which is open to the public. MacKinnon returns with a livestream talk from 5-6. Then at 7 p.m., the CCFS virtual science pub begins. Grab a growler, mix up a cocktail, or brew a cup of tea, and settle in for presentations from expert mycologists, naturalists and herbalists exploring the remarkable world of fungus. Lucky Village Enterprises will take participants 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 a 7-8 p.m. webinar with attendees. The festival will close with a final watch party of Intelligent Trees at 9 p.m.

Tickets are on sale online at https://bit.ly/36fmPJG, with detailed link portals being made available to all ticket holders as of Tuesday, Sept 29.

Thanks to Harmonic Arts, Elevate, Cumberland Village Works and Lucky Village Enterprises for their generous support of this inaugural event.

For more information, check out the Facebook page.

CumberlandFestival

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