Newcombe Conference Hall in the Royal BC Museum became the site for the SVIMS 2023 mushroom show. This was a return to RBCM for SVIMS–the show was at the museum in the 1990s. The 2023 show was the capstone event of a wide-ranging RBCM Fungi Fest that included the opening of a new IMAX film on mushrooms, a mushroom walk, and two noontime lectures.
This year’s event was, without doubt, the most stylish show ever, thanks to some new table signage prepared by Leya Costa, the species cards created in 2022, and elegant posters coordinated by show runner Andrew Anderson.
In the days before the show, SVIMS colllectors ranged far and wide to harvest the show mushrooms. Setup for the show was on Saturday, October 21. Workers arrived about noon and quickly assembled the displays. The mushrooms were arranged on small paper boats and plates. Identifiers worked to put names to the more than 200 species that were brought in.
After the doors to the show opened at 10 am on Sunday, nearly a thousand visitors streamed through the displays, smelling and touching the mushrooms, asking questions to the SVIMS members behind the tables, and lugging in mushrooms to be identified. Visitors were able to buy the new SVIMS calendar and take out SVIMS membships. Displays at the edges of the room attracted children and foragers. Beginning at noon, short illustrated talks by five different SVIMS members–to capacity audiences–took place in the room next to the bookstore.