Lecture: A Natural and Cultural History of Magic Mushrooms in BC, Canada by Andy MacKinnon and Paul Kroeger. The presentation will be given by Andy.

SVIMS Meeting and Presentation


Thursday, September 3rd, 2020, 7:00 pm

Where: Zoom

Magic mushrooms have been employed in spiritual practices in Mexico and Central America for millennia. The visionary powers of these mushrooms first became known to the world in 1957, and in the early 1960’s they sparked a social and cultural “psychedelic revolution” soon dominated by LSD. The discovery that magic mushrooms grew commonly and abundantly in the Pacific Northwest and in British Columbia helped make Canada’s westernmost province a focal point of social change. This presentation will explore the natural history of BC’s magic mushrooms, and their role in the rapidly changing countercultureof the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and up to the present day.

Andy MacKinnon: Andy is a forest ecologist who lives in Metchosin, British Columbia, Canada. Since December 2014, has also served as a Municipal Councilor in Metchosin. After completing graduate work in mycology (the study of fungi) at the University of British Columbia in 1982, Andy worked on-and-off as a forest ecologist for the BC Forest Service until his retirement in 2015. While at the Forest Service, Andy was responsible for ecosystem classification and mapping and for a program of forest ecology research focused on old growth structure and composition, effects of climate change, and BC’s native plants, fungi, and lichens. His recent research interests include ecology of BC’s ectomycorrhizal fungal species. He was lead BC scientist for Environment Canada’s 2017 ranking of BC’s threatened and endangered fungalspecies.
Andy has also taught rainforest ecology field courses in Bamfield and Tofino BC (for the University of Victoria) and Haida Gwaii (for the University of BC). He has also taught mushroom identification courses in Tofino (for the Rainforest Education Society) and in Victoria. He is co-author of six best-selling books about plants of western North America, and co-author (with Kem Luther) of the upcoming Royal BC Museum Handbook “Mushrooms of BC” (due June 2021). He is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University and a (retired) Professional Forester and Professional Biologist in BC. Andy was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by Simon Fraser University in 2013. He is past president of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society (SVIMS), and an enthusiastic participant, speaker, and field trip leader for various mushroom festivals in southwestern BC each autumn.

SVIMS general membership meeting notification

Good day everyone. It is coming up to September and the beginning of the SVIMS 2020-2021 year. This has been an Anno Horribilis so far for all of us. Unfortunately the Covid-19 continues to play havoc with all our programmes. I would like to thank the board very much for their dedicated participation and all the hours spent in management of the various activities to date. The plan was to proceed as if all the events would be taking place on schedule with some modifications and then cancel as necessity required. This has taken a lot of planning and unfortunately almost all the events have had to be cancelled.

The following have been cancelled so far this year and it appears that the cancellations are going to continue for the foreseeable future.You have already been notified on the list server of some of these. All mycological Societies have faced similar dilemmas.


Chinese Mushroom Dinner 2020

The President’s picnic in June-July 2020

All foray speakers for 2020-2021: however we are still exploring the probability of having multiple small forays with numbers limited to 10-15. We do not have to stick to the monthly forays only on the first Saturdays of the month and with the smaller groups will ask you to sign up on an events page on the website. The foray sign in and out form and the foray policy documents have been amended to comply with our legal and insurance requirements of “due diligence”. These will be added to the new website.
We do not have access to the Pacific Forestry Centre and therefore all in person meetings have been cancelled. The board has decided to waive membership fees for the 2020-2021 season and extend membership to the end of 2021. All registrations and payments for membership and events will be on the website shortly.

Shannon Berch’s Mushroom Identification Workshop.

The annual SVIMS foray at Cowichan.

The annual Mushroom Show.

The January Survivor’s Banquet and Auction.

Updates on the calendar and logo: will be provided at the General Membership meeting on September 3rd.

Speaker’s bureau: we have a full list of speakers for the season beginning with Andy MacKinnon on September 3rd
These will be held by Zoom and we will try to hold them on the first Thursday of the month as per tradition but not necessarily. Our participation contract with Zoom is limited to 100 and therefore the talks, where allowed by the speakers, will be live broadcast to our Facebook page and possibly to YouTube.
They will also be recorded and posted to the web page.
We have also been posting links to speakers, courses, myco sites and publications sponsored by other mycological Societies and as permission obtained these links will increase. All will need clearance for appropriateness.
The links to the Zoom meetings will only be sent to registered members up to 100 but others can join by the live Facebook page.

Membership: The board has agreed to all paid up members with 2020 memberships to have their memberships extended to the end of 2021.
We now have 349 members. New and renewal memberships will shortly be able to be done through the website as well as payments. details will follow from Gillian Phillips.

Website: A number of changes are pending to accommodate all the electronic activity. As you are aware, thanks to Kem Luther and Ian Gibson we have had an updated site based on Word Press since 2018 . Chris Mitchell has joined our dedicated duo as an administrator. Dylan Zintel is adding a number of the new features. More details will follow post the board’s approval.

I hope we can make the best of the circumstances. I would be obliged if you would contact any of the board members regards any suggestions for future events. best wishes,David Walde (President)