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Second annual MushrooMania festival grows in Gibsons

And featuring a 10-year anniversary screening of Now, Forager
Chefs will be creating a variety of ready-to-eat gourmet foraged wild mushroom dishes for festival attendees to enjoy for lunch.

Fans of fungi, get ready for a fun time. 

The Sunshine Coast’s second annual MushrooMania Festival returns Oct. 29 and 30 at the Gibsons Public Market. The on-theme offerings include “all things mushroom” — a selection of speakers, workshops, demonstrations, forest walks and, of course, food vendors and menus. 

“With an estimated 500 unique species growing in this region, the Sunshine Coast is well-placed to become a hub for mushroom lovers from all over,” festival organizer Jody “Shaggy Jack” Franklin said. He’ll be hosting his popular Wild Mushroom Foraging For Beginners class and forest walk again this year.

In a press release, festival organizer Joy Dutcher said, “Public awareness of the culinary, medicinal, therapeutic and environmental benefits of various species of mushrooms has been exploding in recent years.” To feed that interest, the festival has a hearty line up: Jennifer Dou of Forij Mushrooms, Shannon Hobson of Natural Know How, Stephanie Dacre of Vancouver Mushroom Co., Dr. Landon McLean ND, and Stephanie Bulman on a research project she is undertaking at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. 

Through the two-day event, attendees can learn about mushroom cultivation, medicinal properties, how to make mushroom kombucha, and about various research projects. 

One Straw Society will be hosting a Soup Stories event in the Gibsons Public Market Community Kitchen, and inviting all ages to collaborate on making a mushroom soup to share. 

On Saturday night, the Heritge Playhouse will screen Now, Forager in time for the award winning film’s 10th anniversary. The indie movie follows a young forager/chef couple trying to make a living selling wild-foraged mushrooms to restaurants in New York City. 

Tickets to all MushrooMania events can be purchased in advance at