Merri Macartney & Kat VanLammeren

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Merri Macartney is an Inspirational Humorist & Professional Smarty Pants. She is a gregarious “funny lady” who has chosen to look on the brighter side of life in spite of traumatic events in her past: abandoned by family at age 6, failed adoption, failed marriages.
Merri Macartney shared her inspiring journey , her struggles as a single mother, her decision to head back to school at 40, her new beginnings and her next chapter. Through the use of humor, she inspires leaders to seek out life-fulfilling choices and muster the courage to embrace change. When she takes the stage, she brings loads of laughter, lessons learned and love of life. Merri is the irrepressible Queen of Acting Up, whether she’s juggling, or dressed to kill in a prison uniform, or rocking a feather boa! Her hilarious stories, hard-won wisdom, and years of overcoming challenges will make one laugh at the excuses and kick the limitations to the curb

Kat vanLammeren better known as Kat van Groove. She is the Owner/Instructor/Drum circle facilitator of Organic Groove and Found the Organic Groove Summer Drum Jam in 2002. Kat teaches hundreds of people to drum at her Rhythmic Journey group drumming classes since 2009. She facilitates drumming workshops across all ages and abilities. She has been involved in the school art & music programs for children with early mental illness diagnosis through Trellis Mental and Developmental Health (now CMHA) called ‘Create & Play’ . Kat has travelled to Hawaii to study Drum Circle facilitation with Arthur Hull (the author of “Drum Circle Spirit”) and to Cuba to study Afro-Cuban percussion. Kat travels to tiny Inuit villages in the Canadian Arctic to perform and teach kids how to drum. She collaborates and performs with poets, spoken word artists, singer/songwriters, electronic music DJs and other musicians. She conducts many workshops and lessons in West African drumming, Middle Eastern drumming, Afro Cuban percussion and Australian didgeridoo

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