Great Alberta Mushroom Foray

Friday, September 1st to Monday, September 4th, 2023

Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

Event Details

Dates:  Friday, September 1 (6:00 p.m.) – Monday, September 4 (1:00 p.m.)

Location: Waterton Park Community Centre

Cost: $260/member

  • Children 5 and under are free.
  • Students 6 and older are charged $130/person. A current student ID must be provided at the registration desk.
  • Includes presentations, forays, and 7 meals. Please see below for more information about meals.
  • Excludes accommodations. Please see below for more information about available accommodations.

Organizing Team:  Karen Slevinsky, President AMS and the AMS Board

For more information, email:

Registration Information

GAMF registration is open to AMS members. Please log into your AMS account and check out our Events page or click Register below. 

Registration Opens: July 5, 2023

Registration Deadline: August 29, 2023

Because most meals are included in your registration, please make sure to let us know if you have dietary restrictions when you register, and we will do our best to accommodate you. Book your tickets now to reserve your spot at our annual signature event!

Registration costs are subsidized by the Alberta Conservation Association through the Conservation, Community, and Education Grant (2022-2023).

This year, our annual signature foray event takes us south to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. In Waterton, we’ll be searching for mushrooms that thrive in our Rocky Mountain Natural Region, which contains Alpine, Subalpine, and Montane subregions. Mushrooms here could be unique from the mushrooms we see in Edmonton area (in the Central Parkland Natural region), northern Alberta (Boreal Forest Natural Region), and Calgary area (Grassland Natural Region).

Learn more about Waterton Lakes National Park here.

GAMF is a wonderful opportunity for nature lovers new to the mysterious world of fungi! Newcomers can attend an introductory Mushroom Identification Course and work alongside renowned mycologists, experienced amateur mycologists, savvy biologists, and other veterans of our beautiful outdoors.

Event Schedule (tentative)

Friday, September 1, 2023

  • Potential early bird forays (stay tuned).
  • Registration opens at 6:00 p.m.
  • A Welcome to Waterton Lakes National Parks from Robert Sissons, Alberta Parks Ecologist
  • Evening social and Orientation information – Please bring snacks to share.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

  • (Morning) Mushroom Identification Course by Martin Osis
  • Forays to special permitted nearby sites and identification assisted by mycologists
  • Identification of collected specimens
  • (Afternoon) Keynote presentation from Larry EvansMushrooms, Truffles, and Conks
  • Mushroom tasting event (pending sufficient edible mushrooms gathered)
  • (Evening) Keynote presentation from Dr. Keith SeifertMore than dots on maps: Citizen scientists and biological collections in a world of DNA technology

Sunday, September 3, 2023

  • Forays to special permitted nearby sites and identification assisted by mycologists
  • Identification of collected specimens
  • (Evening) Keynote presentations from from Paul KroegerThere’s Fungus Among Us: Common urban “weed” mushrooms and immigrant fungi

Monday, September 4, 2023

  • (Morning) Keynote presentation from Andy MacKinnonMycoheterotrophs
  • Open House of identified fungi
  • Breakfast

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Keith Seifert

This year, the Alberta Mycological Society’s feature scientist is Dr. Keith Seifert, author of The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi: Exploring the Microscopic World in Our Forests, Homes, and Bodies. Dr. Seifert worked on mycotoxin-producing moulds for nearly thirty years at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He was an executive editor of Mycologia, President of the International Mycological Association, and an active participant in the global DNA barcoding movement.

More than dots on maps: Citizen scientists and biological collections in a world of DNA technology

The constantly changing world of DNA barcoding, fingerprinting and genomics creates a confusing, expensive minefield for citizen mycologists. We need to understand the appropriate use and relative expense of each approach. What questions do we want to answer? After a quick look at data standards for biological collections, we’ll consider a few projects that Alberta mycologists might launch, and how DNA barcoding could (or might not) contribute.


Larry Evans

Larry Evans is a charismatic mycologist, founder of the Western Montana Mycological Association, and co-author of  A Field Guide to Tropical Amazon Mushrooms. He has taught mycology at the Glacier Institute and has a well known presence at festivals, such as the Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado. Larry is extremely familiar with the habitats (and their unique mycota) in the Waterton Parks area. (Below Larry is modelling a mushroom felt made from local conks!)

Mushrooms, Truffles, and Conks

Larry Evans will provide a survey of fall mushrooms, truffles, and conks that can be found in the Waterton Parks area. He’ll highlight the fungal collections from 20 years of mycology classes he’s taught at the Glacier Institute and the various habitat types in the area, each with its unique mycota. We’ll find out about the mushrooms growing in the Waterton Parks area, including the edible ones!

Paul Kroeger

Paul Kroeger is a founding member of the Vancouver Mycological Society and leading expert in field identification of mushrooms of western Canada. He specializes in “little brown mushrooms,” magic mushrooms, and their relatives. Paul was an instrumental key identifier and marvelous keynote speaker at last year’s GAMF in Pigeon Lake, Alberta with tremendous amounts of information to share.

There’s Fungus Among Us: Common urban “weed” mushrooms and immigrant fungi

A look at some mushrooms growing in urban areas in landscaping and under street trees, fungi that often have come from elsewhere. Humans create habitats that are home to many common and some unusual fungi, adding diversity, beauty, and interest to our city surroundings.


Andy MacKinnon

The AMS was incredibly pleased to have Andy MacKinnon speak at our Annual General Meeting and President’s dinner this year, so if you missed these events, now is your chance to meet him! Andy is co-author of recently released Mushrooms of British Columbia and many more mushroom and plant publications. Andy is a forest ecologist and has taught rainforest ecology courses in Bamfield and Tofino for the University of Victoria and Haida Gwaii for University of British Columbia. He is a former president of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society.


Mycoheterotrophs are a group of distinctively weird vascular plants. And like most distinctively weird things, Andy MacKinnon finds them fascinating! Mycoheterotrophs lack chlorophyll, and the missing pigment has two important effects: these plants aren’t green (they’re usually white or pink), and they can’t manufacture their own food through photosynthesis. These odd plants derive their nutrition from fungi.


Martin Osis

Martin Osis is an amateur mycologist and one of the earliest members of the AMS, being involved for 30 + years. He provides an engaging (and highly entertaining) Mushroom Identification course at GAMF that will set newcomers to the fungi world on the path to foraging success. He is particularly interested in fungi keys, mushroom photography, and medicinal mushrooms.



Seven full meals are catered and included in the registration cost.

  • Saturday, September 2: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Sunday, September 3: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Monday, September 4: Breakfast only

Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions when you register.


Although accommodations are not included in your registration, please consider the options below. We highly recommend you book your accommodations as soon as possible as spaces are filling up.

  1. Crooked Creek Campground
    • Various campsites have been set aside for our members.
    • Located just outside Waterton Lakes National Park
    • Visit the Website for campsite rules and amenities: Crooked Creek Campground
    • Call Murray at +1 403-635-8163 to register and reserve your site.
  2. Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort
    • Standard (pet-friendly) rooms have been set aside for our members.
    • Address: 101 Clematis Avenue, PO Box 4, Waterton Park, Alberta  T0K 2Mo
    • When you register, please use the following code to receive a 15% discount: MYCOSOC
      • Tel: +1 888-985-6343 or +1 403-859-2150
      • Email:
    • Visit the Website for hotel rules and amenities: Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort
  3. Other Campgrounds

Health Notice

The health and well-being of all our members are important to the AMS. We encourage all our members to follow Alberta AHS guidelines with respect to COVID. We want everyone attending GAMF to feel safe and comfortable, so we kindly ask all participants to attend only if they are not sick. We will provide refunds for cancellations made prior to August 31, 2023, to any members who test positive for COVID. During the event, hand sanitizer, masks, and free test kits will be made available.

Check out GAMF photos from previous years!