Small mushrooms grow in a cluster on a log in a sunbeam.

Photo Credit: Nathan Cetinski | Facebook

There’s Magic in Those Woods

Vancouver music promoter pivots to mushrooms

Penicillin came from fungus almost century ago. Kapoose Creek hopes to find another game-changing medicine

Sam Feldman likes magic mushrooms. At least, he likes that they’re a good business opportunity.

Feldman is well-known in the Vancouver music industry. He’s a mogul who got his start promoting dances in high school. Over the years, S.L. Feldman & Associates represented Barenaked Ladies, Nelly Furtado, Bryan Adams, Diana Krall, and many other music legends.

Now Feldman is diving into another business.

He’s the chairman and founder of Kapoose Creek, a cutting-edge research company that is looking into how mushrooms can be turned into medicine.

Feldman has assembled a powerhouse team of scientists to study the area’s fungi in search of therapeutic compounds. The team includes CEO Dr. Eric Brown, a biochemist who heads up the Brown Lab at McMaster University. Dr. Joe Gabriele, a McMaster University neuroscientist, is the team’s chief science advisor.

The off-the-grid facility is based at a former surfing camp on the Hesquiat Peninsula between Nootka and Kyuquot Sound. The area is only accessible only by boat or floatplane. But they chose this remote coastal location for good reason.

Kapoose Creek, located on the northwest Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island, was part of a rare ice-free corridor during the last ice age. As a result, this land has a rich ecosystem and unique mycological diversity,” according to the Kapoose Creek website.

The hype is big and the expectations are high.

There’s lots of research now to show that psilocybin from magic mushrooms can help with anxiety and depression. But mushrooms could treat other conditions, too.

The company references penicillin, which was discovered almost a century ago. Penicillin also came from fungus, and this medicine changed the world.

Kapoose Creek has a similarly lofty goal. “We aim to make our own mark on the course of history,” they state on their website.

An estimated 5 million fungal species live on the planet, each with 50 or so drug-like compounds. But more than 90 percent of them are still unknown to science.

In other words, when it comes to mushroom research, it’s game on.