Ann Harmer

South Vancouver Island Mycological Society (SVIMS)

December 3rd 2020: A Zoom presentation post the Annual general Meeting

Our speaker of the month: ANN HARMER

Mushroom dyeing is a passion, combining the best of both worlds: fibre arts and fungi.

Ann Harmer ( Shroomworks, Garden Bay, BC) has found the perfect fusion of her love of fibre and her never-ending interest in the world of fungi: exploring the colour potential found in mushrooms. The rainforest surrounding her home on BC’s Sunshine Coast is a mushroom paradise, and she spends many hours in the woods every fall in search of the dye fungi. Once mushroom season is finished, she can be found in her cottage studio in the forest, ever in awe of the rich, earthy colours that come out of the dye pots. Ann uses wool dyed with mushroom colours to spin interesting yarns—yet another chance to handle and play with these forest hues.

While researching dye mushrooms, Ann learned of the International Fungi & Fibre Symposium, an event held somewhere different in the world every two years. She has attended each such gathering since 2008, learning from others who share her passion. She brought the 2016 Symposium to her home village of Madeira Park and was the principal coordinator of the event.

Ann has taught mushroom-dyeing workshops at Maiwa School of Textiles in Vancouver, at the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op in Toronto, and to fibre-arts groups in a number ofcommunities in British Columbia. She is active in the Sunshine Coast Spinners & Weavers Guild and the Sunshine Coast Fibreshed.

Now Ann eagerly awaits every mushroom season and spends most fall days exploring her backyard forest with her dog, searching out the next fungal treasure.

Ann’s Book Magic in the Dyepot is available through her blog:




November 5th General Meeting

SVIMS General Membership Meeting for November 5th 2020

(South Vancouver Island Mycology Society)

This will once again be a Virtual Meeting via Zoom.

All members will be sent an email about 3 days prior to the event with the secure log in link to the Zoom meeting. Please make sure that you copy down the Meeting number and the password as you may be asked for this before you are let into the meeting. Please make every effort to mute your sound and video. Wear headphones where possible to cut down on background feedback as this interferes with any recording and can even block the feed from the speaker. All registered members with an email and who have updated their profiles should have received a Username and Password over the past 6 weeks. The latter only can be changed at this time and not the username. The website continues to be developed and all sections are accessible to the public except the secure members’ only section and that only by logging in. You do NOT have to log in to this member’s site to join the Zoom meeting which can be accessed by that link in the email sent to the members. Please do not share that link. We have received permission from our speaker to record the meeting which will then be included in the members only section as well as to  post it as a live feed to the Facebook site, which is the backup if for some reason you cannot get into the Zoom meeting.

There will be some general announcements preceding the speaker.

Meeting Start Time: The meeting will open at 6:45 PM Pacific time and it would be appreciated if everyone is checked in by 7:00PM. Coming in after 7:00 PM, when the meeting is under way results in interference particularly if you are not muted.

Our Speaker:  Editor-in-Chief of Mycotaxon: Lorelei L. Norvell Pacific Northwest Mycology Service 6720 NW Skyline, Boulevard Portland, Oregon 97229-1309 USA

                     Title: Capturing hypotheses in Phaeocollybia: The Canadian Connection

“Dr. Lorelei Norvell is the editor in chief of the highly regarded journal- Mycotaxon.

The naming of fungi, their relationships and identification are critically important aspects in their study. Molecular approaches and concepts have impacted on our knowledge of species and genera.

Lorelei in her talk is going to use Phaeocollybia only as an example of her personal journey from the initial finds on Vancouver Island and her encounters with some Canadian Mycologists-characters. Did they get it right or wrong? What did the increasing sophistication of molecular studies uncover?” which has details of her very impressive CV

Lorelei will be introduced by Adolf Ceska







Household hyphae: novel, remarkable, and obscure fungi of the indoor environment by: Joel Tanney

Meeting and Presentation

When: Thursday, October 1st, 2020, 7:00 pm

Where: This will be a Zoom presentation and will be limited to members only and not recorded, but will be live streamed to our Facebook page.

You will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 day prior to the event. 

TopicHousehold hyphae: novel, remarkable, and obscure fungi of the indoor environment

We spend approximately 90 percent of our lives indoors – but exactly who are our fungal housemates? A global survey sought to provide insight into indoor fungal biodiversity and develop an authoritative and reliable identification system. Fungal biodiversity was explored using indoor dust samples collected from 93 buildings in 12 countries worldwide, and subsequently investigated with an approach combining next generation sequencing and a novel dilution-to-extinction isolation technique. I will discuss some of the results from this research project with an emphasis on the ecology and taxonomy of some of the common, novel, and remarkable fungi identified and described from more than 200,000 sequences and 9,000 cultures.

Believe it or not, your home is an extreme environment filled with extremophiles: fungi called xerophilies, who grow on substrates with low water activities (think deserts and desserts). Learn about Wallemia, typically associated with dried fruits, jams, maple syrup, and salted meats, which is sometimes one of the most abundant genera in homes. Meet the obscure Diploöspora rosea, a forgotten fungus described in England and re-discovered one hundred years later from a home in Kosrae, Micronesia. Prepare to be motivated to vacuum and mop after seeing Aspergillus subgenus Polypaecilum, a group including some opportunistic pathogens of humans and dogs, which lives happily in extreme environments such as desert caves, salt mines, salted fish – and indoors. Forget the COVID-19 travel concerns and vicariously join me on a mycological grand tour from Canada to Mexico to South Africa to Micronesia and more.

Photo: James Holkko

Presentation: Joel Tanney

Joey Tanney is a research scientist (mycologist) with the Canadian Forest Service (Pacific Forestry Centre) who recently moved to Victoria from Québec in the fall of 2018. He studied forestry at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario but was bit by the mycology bug during a third-year forest pathology course and has never looked back. He completed his BSc. F. and MSc. F. at Lakehead University, PhD at Carleton University, and a post-doc with Richard Hamelin at Laval Université in Québec. His favourite fungi are dematiaceous hyphomycetes and inoperculate discomycetes and he looks forward to collecting and describing new species from Vancouver Island.

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)