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A Brief History of the Workshop

The Vancouver Island Ukulele Workshop began in the 1970’s as the BC Doane Ukulele Workshop, with the original intention being to offer training to music teachers in the public school system in incorporating the ukulele as part of the music curriculum throughout the province.

J. Chalmers Doane, founder of the Doane Ukulele Method, assembled a staff of ukulele teachers to provide the necessary training. Thanks to former Langley Music Supervisor Rae Fetherstonhaugh, and Victoria Music Teacher Bonita (Bonnie) Smith, the workshop was held in the fall of each year, alternating between Langley B.C. and Victoria, B.C.

In 2005, the workshop became two distinct workshops, with the Langley venue being renamed as the Langley Ukulele Workshop, and similarly in 2007 the Victoria workshop was renamed as the Vancouver Island Ukulele Workshop. Both workshops have since expanded to accommodate local ukulele players in the community as well.

With the rise in the popularity of the ukulele worldwide, the workshop now offers sessions in both tuning preferences used today, D6 “traditional” and C6 “standard” tunings.

The Present

The Vancouver Island Ukulele Workshop today continues to maintain the original integrity and intent, offering the same level of instruction on the Doane Ukulele Method with some of the most respected Doane clinicians today. With the passage of time, many of the original staff such as Bonnie Smith, Marven Shields, Peter Luongo, Brian McMahon, Jamie Thomas, Vince Sequeira, and others, have passed on the torch to younger clinicians, thus continuing the legacy.

With the emergence of James Hill, Canada’s Internationally acclaimed Ukulele Virtuoso and educator, a new era of ukulele instruction has begun. The Doane Ukulele Method has transitioned into the James Hill Ukulele Method, under the guidance and endorsement of J. Chalmers Doane.

2004 Clinicians
2004 Doane Ukulele Staff: (back) Brian McMahon, Kendra Croft,
Jamie Thomas, Vince Sequeira, Mark Luongo,
(front) Peter Luongo,Charlene Sequeira, and a very youthful James Hill.


In 2017 we will be celebrating the 11th anniversary of the Vancouver Island Workshop, offering the same quality and variety of sessions that has been our mission. With a collection of trained, talented young staff to continue the tradition, we hope to continue to offer the workshop for many more years, as long as the interest in the ukulele continues to grow. staff new

2014 Vancouver Island Ukulele Staff: (left to right) Vince Sequeira, Jacqueline Czar,
Marcello (Ukestermoe) Sequeira, Matthew Martin, Dave McKeen, Charlene Sequeira,
Melanie Leask, Tina Horwood.