Get acquainted with some of the people you will meet at this year’s Fungi Festival.

Paul Kroeger

Founder and Past President of the Vancouver Mycological Society.

Paul is a researcher, collector, and consultant, in forest mycology, toxicology, medicines, and identification.

If anyone knows wild mushrooms, it’s Paul!

Paul will be identifying mushrooms from the day’s forays at the Legion.

Paul is the #1 identifier of psychedelic mushrooms

Larry Evans

He is back baby! Larry is featured in the film Know Your Mushrooms by Ron Mann and referred to as the Indiana Jones of Mushrooms.

He has been teaching classes & leading mushroom expeditions since 1980.

Larry has attended most festivals but had to miss one to be in Ecuador with the BBC and PBS Networks filming on witch doctors and wild mushrooms and 2020 and 2021 due to issues with crossing the border during the pandemic.

Tyson Elhers

Tyson is a biologist from the Slocan Valley who specializes in forest mushrooms.

He studies the ecology of wild edible mushrooms harvested from the forests of British Columbia and has intimate knowledge of species found in the Kootenays.

He shares this knowledge with eager mycophiles through his research and workshops.

Mitch Milgram

We are excited to welcome Mitch to this year’s Fungi Festival.

Mitch is a teacher, craftsman and avid mushroom enthusiast from Salmon Arm. He’s been collecting and identifying mushrooms for over 40 years, has been a member of a number of mycology clubs, and has taught mushroom identification courses through Okanagan College in Vernon, Salmon Arm and Revelstoke for the last 20 years.

Robert Rogers 

We are excited to welcome Robert back to this year’s Fungi Festival.

Robert Dale Rogers has studied plants and fungi for 50 years. He is the author of 60 books, including The Fungal Pharmacy.  Robert is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, Fellow of the International College of Nutrition, and assistant clinical professor in family medicine at the University of Alberta.

George Landry

George is a retired fighter pilot who has picked wild mushrooms for the commercial market.

George has been a part of our festival for years, he is our Wagon Master and All-Day Tour Coordinator and guide.

Douglas Airey

Doug lives in Malakwa, he knows the area, he knows the woods, and he knows the mushrooms!

Doug is our local expert and main scout on the ground, helping the guides pick locations leading up to the festival.

Deb Heap

Deb is quick to point out she has absolutely no qualifications when it comes to mushrooms or event management, but she recognized this is a wonderful festival that must continue.  She is doing her best to facilitate things for our amazing experts and festival participants.

Daniel Winkler

Unfortunately Daniel will not be able to join us this year.  He is the author of Field Guides to “Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest” and to “Edible Mushrooms of California” (Harbour Publishing 2011/2012).

He grew up collecting & eating wild mushrooms in the Alps & has foraged for 15 years in the PNW & worked as a mushroom educator & guide.

Daniel trained as a geographer & ecologist & works as a researcher & NGO consultant on environmental issues of the Tibetan Plateau & Himalayas. With his travel agency MushRoaming LLC he annually organizes and leads several mushroom focused eco-tours to Tibet, China, and the Amazon.      

In Tibet, Daniel works with and studies what is locally know as Yartsa Gunbu, or caterpillar fungus.  This fungi, which digests caterpillars from the inside out and then sends a fruiting body out through the head is highly prized for its aphrodisiacal properties.  Where regular button mushrooms are valued around $4 per pound, and black truffles around $800 per pound, the value of caterpillar fungus is more on par with that of gold or diamonds at about $50,000 per pound.

Peter Steiner & Ellen Visser

Peter and Ellen are the Founders of the Fungi Festival.

We will do our best to continue their legacy with this amazing festival.