Virtual Drum Camp


February 3 - 10:00 am


February 4 - 05:30 pm

Event Category:

Online Events

Click to Register: Click to Register

Elisha MacMillan

Website: Organizer's Website

Online Event

Join us for a heart-felt gathering of drumming, dancing, singing and sharing

Calling all Sisters, Drummers, Dancers, Grandmothers, Rhythm-Makers, Singers, Creators, Womyn-identifying folks! You’re invited to our third Winter Virtual Drum Camp. As we await Spring’s arrival, we gather to feed our hearts and nourish our souls.

This event honours the importance of womyn’s participation in the ancient and sacred rite of drumming. Rhythm, movement, sound and song are medicine that offer pathways home to our inner knowing and connection to Mother Earth. We’ll generate rhythms of peace, acceptance, love and healing.

Workshops Include: djembe, body percussion, dance, frame drum, dundun drum, song-writing, singing, chanting, sound bath meditation and sharing circles. See workshop descriptions below. Most are accessible to beginners.

Our facilitators are joining from Quebec to BC, DC to California. We’re bringing you workshops like “Sonic Nectar” with Lauren Bartfai and “Planting Seeds for our Present and Future” with Queen Hollins.

Pop in for one workshop, or choose your own adventure within two days of programming this Sat Feb 3 & Sun Feb 4. All workshops will take place online via Zoom. If you can’t attend live, you’ll still receive links to watch Zoom recordings of each workshop.

Tickets are By Donation. Sliding scale $10 – $170. Your contribution pays our womyn facilitators, who have devoted decades to their artistry. We’d love for them to feel your appreciation, please support generously if you can! That said, we do not want any woman turned away because of financial strain. ***Your presence is a gift, come if you feel the call, pay what enables you to join!*** 10% of profit will go towards scholarships for in-person camp in June!

Below is an outline of our weekend schedule and workshop descriptions <3 Artist bios can be found below the workshop descriptions.

Prepare for some body-brain conditioning! This is a physically active workshop, where layers of rhythm are introduced, practiced and overlapped to make some serious groove, and the voice is used both to vocalize rhythms as well as sing songs and riffs – sometimes in harmony. Like last time, the workshop accommodates beginners with the use of simpler rhythms layered under more complex ones, which will satisfy those who want more challenging rhythms. We’ll put it all together into a routine and by the end of the workshop you’ll come away with your brain and body recharged and feel pretty amazing through collective music making – even on zoom!

Roxanne Christian – Music and Affirmation: Tools to Navigate Stress

During this workshop participants will experience a process of affirmation creation and learn about its effects on our mental health and well-being. Song-writing is a form of personal expression and a tool to shift stress and anxiety. Roxanne will guide us in a singing meditation and share an easy process for song-writing that anyone can do, regardless of experience.

Julie Vachon – Sharing Circle (Live only. This workshop will not be recorded.)

As human beings we are often busy with work, kids, home, commitments. Mother Earth is covered with a beautiful white blanket of snow at this time, teaching us the value of resting. We forget about BEING! It is crucial that we take time to slow down and BE quiet, BE with self and BE in the sacred circle of sisters. Rarely to we make the time to come together to share. I invite you to join me in a sharing circle where each sister will have the opportunity to be seen, to be heard and to be supported. There is great power in being witnesses to each other.

Lauren Bartfai – Sonic Nectar

A workshop filled with soft and sweet harmonies for deep nourishment. Lauren will share 3 tips for using the voice to express emotions and regulate the nervous system. Then she will offer a soothing sound bath with a diverse collection of sound healing instruments to amplify love and harmony. Lauren Bartfai is the founder of Sonic Expressions. You can learn more by visiting or @sonicexpressions on Instagram or Facebook.

Maryliz Smith – Song of the Earth

Song of the Earth is an audio journey in words and music that takes us inward to explore our relationship with Earth and the climate crisis, and then outward to share new insights with others. Telling a story that begins 14 billion years ago and ends in the present—it opens us to the anguish and disorientation of disintegration, while giving us hope that life-threatening dangers will be a catalyst for evolution.

Kristen Arant – Kuku: history, song, parts and the “tomato break”

Drumlady Kristen Arant based in Washington, DC will share the basics of the infamous Kuku rhythm from Guinea on djembe, including her own creation – the “tomato break” – plus parts, song and historical context. Kristen recently created a video series teaching the Kuku rhythm, which is available for download at Kristen is known for giving clear instruction on technique, handing and timing on djembe rhythms, and looks forward to working with all levels of players in this exciting and educational workshop.

‘Love to the World’ Poetry and Song Circle

This evening event is an opportunity for us to gather and align our hearts with sending love to our families, our communities and the world at large. There is a tremendous amount of suffering, cruelty and injustice in our world. Let us send out the rhythms of peace, acceptance, healing and love. We have space for about 10 people to share songs and poems. Once you reegister you can email us and let us know if you’re interested! There will also be break-out rooms where small groups of womyn can speak their wishes and prayers for the world.

Elisha MacMillan – Dance as a Compass: A tool for Alignment and Inner Peace

Dance helps us to access the truth of our bones, the knowing of our flesh, the depth of our heart and the wisdom of our soul. Authentic movement can deepen our awareness of what is not in alignment and what is, while supporting us to access a feeling of inner peace. Through a series of gentle invitations, Elisha will guide you to explore what feels nourishing and opening to your body, while finding movements that soften tension and create space. We’ll move to a soundtrack of delicious and soulful world music as we track tangible shifts in sensation and listen for embodied wisdom. No experience required, all abilities welcome.

Dede Alder – Sacred Drumming: Music & Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the activity of being completely engaged in the present moment. Meditation is the art of emptying ourselves from being connected to our thoughts and learning to just Be. Frame drums have been connected to meditation and trance in every culture throughout history. Playing music requires focused attention. 

This class will tap into all of these areas to create soothing and meditative rhythms, songs, and mindfulness practices. Find more calm, peace of mind, connection, and a way to let out emotions in this class. We will be practicing several meditation and calming breathing techniques each class. We will learn the Mediterranean style of playing the frame drum with our hands and creating beautiful light tones. We will end every class with a meditation. The intention of this class is to have you leaving feeling rejuvenated in your mind, body, and spirit. 

Catherine Veilleux – Learn to play a rhythm from Guinea on djembe

A rhythm includes two or three traditional djembe parts, and some modern arrangements. The amazing Louise Brind’Amour will play on dundun drums too so if you want to learn the dundun parts (ballet style), we will take the time to show it as well.

Tara Mhic Coinnigh – Together We Are One World Through Chant

Most cultures in the world find connections in the stories and songs we repeat. Join singer, drummer and bhakti yogi Tara MhicCoinnigh for an inclusive workshop featuring call and response chanting as a form of breath meditation, devotion and connection. No experience necessary. All chants introduced will be explained for meaning and context.

Queen Hollins – Planting Seeds for Our Present and Future

Queen will guide us in a seed planting ritual, supporting us to elevate to nu frequencies, shift old patterns and align with our potential. As we clarify intentions and work with Mother Earth we open the door to new possible futures. Participants should bring a bowl with earth and a seed, or just bring a seed that you can bless and offer to the Land when Spring arrives. Learn more about Queen by visiting Queen is the founder of the Earth Lodge Center

Tickets and Donations

Your donation goes towards paying facilitators, event coordinators and the Ontario Womyn’s Drum Camp scholarship fund.

Note the Eventbrite fees will be added to the donation amount you enter. You will see the full amount before you are charged. You can adjust your donation accordingly if needed.

Even if you are unable to attend live, all workshops will take place on Zoom and will be recorded and emailed to registered participants after the event.

Please share the eventbrite link with your friends, nieces, drum groups, any womyn who you think would enjoy!

Andrea Kuzmich is an award winning singer, a teacher, an ethnomusicologist, music facilitator and mother. Her eclectic musical activities defy her conventional classical beginnings where by the age of 16 she was a cellist with the McMaster Symphony and had performed in four different Canadian Opera Company productions. Andrea has also: sung in a Congolese Gospel Choir; studied Balkan folk music, South Indian singing and drumming, and West African drumming; performed in Big Bands, small jazz combos, as well as contemporary new music ensembles; taken a leading role in the practice of ridnyj holos (Ukrainian traditional singing) in Canada through Kosa Kolektiv and Kalendar (formerly KalynDar); become Canada’s foremost practitioner and academic of Georgian polyphony and was a featured soloist in Darbazi, sings in the award winning ensemble ZARI as well as with her family, Ori Shalva, which was most recently featured in Toronto’s Body Percussion Festival 2017 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre Theatre.

She can be heard on Veryan Weston’s “Make” (2017); Tanya Tagaq’s “Retribution” (2016); DoVira’s “DoVira” (2016); Kalendar’s “Sichen” (2016); ZARI’s “ZARI” (2008); Whitney’s Smith Big Steam Band’s “Swing’s Mistress” (1998); movie soundtrack “The Witch” (2015); documentary soundtrack “What is Love” (2016), among others. Her PhD in ethnomusicology bridges all this diversity into a cohesive cross-cultural understanding of how musical practice is essential for spiritual, social, and personal well being.

Roxanne Christian, Whitby Trafalgar Castle School alumni, is a Bachelor of Arts graduate of Berklee College of Music. She has over a decade of experience working with physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive needs within district school boards, municipal nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, and other populations within the community. Roxanne is registered and Board Certified through the Certification Board of Music Therapists in the USA and the Canadian Association for Music Therapy. Visit her online at were you can see how music therapists are therapists who use music as a tool to facilitate healing, wellness, rehabilitation, and the creative processes.

Julie Vachon is a woman of mixed ancestry who has overcome violence, addictions, anxiety, and depression through the help of many Elders, ceremonies, and therapy. The drum, that sacred heartbeat of Mother Earth, called to her and has helped Julie find her voice, connect with her ancestors and to grow spiritually. On a healing journey since 1995 she has developed a deep connection with Spirit, Water and Mother Earth, and continues to learn through ceremonies.

Through her life experiences Julie has become intuitive and compassionate to the needs of others. She is passionate about helping women find their voice and to heal, leading circles, and offering ceremonies. Julie brings authenticity and passion in all her interactions. She encourages others to experience the power of the drum and to connect with their emotional self. She uses many different tools for wellbeing; energy work, creative art therapy, drumming and singing. With love, laughter, and her strong connection with nature she lives the sacred teachings passed on by many Elders.

Lauren Bartfai is a visionary artist holding a deep sense of service to humanity, looking to inspire and support others in their evolutionary process. She draws from over a decade of diverse wellness offerings and perpetual explorations into the interplay of sound, light and awareness for personal and collective expansion. Lauren is passionate about delivering deeply transformative experiences to raise consciousness, love and harmony.

From deep spaces of passion, compassion and inspiration Lauren offers three different services. She shares transformational programs for personal expression, empowered birthing, and sound healing practitioner mentorships. Since 2015 Lauren has been offering personal and group sound journeys with diverse instrumentals, breathwork and somatic guidance. These immersive multi-sensory environments are crafted to elevate one’s state of consciousness allowing for deeper healing and expansion within. Lauren loves to offer ceremonies that bring participants through a psychosomatic journey into their true essence. Shamanic sound practices invite deep inner exploration to reveal unconscious patterning that can then shift through embodiment practices. Resulting in more coherent, harmonious patterns that serve your highest evolutionary unfolding.

Maryliz Smith Coming out of a virtuosic, classical tradition as a concert organist, Maryliz’s signature sound is one of post-minimalism, using both acoustic and electroacoustic keyboards to draw listeners into a complexity of emotions. She is inspired by single moments that can change the trajectory of a life, a living system, a culture, and she translates these into musical language, a language she describes as her first. Maryliz is also co-found er of Callanish and ELIA leadership programs—adding her arts-based perspective to their programming, and using musical improvisations and song-making to take people deep into themselves and their signature expression.

Kristen Arant is a percussionist, oboist, vocalist, teaching artist and activist living and working in the Washington, DC region. Originally a classically-trained oboe player with a degree in music, she began her drumming career upon moving to Washington DC (from her hometown of St Louis, Missouri) in 2000, at which point she helped initiate the activist drumming ensemble Rhythm Workers Union, known for its hand-built drum cart the “MotherDrumShip,” and its legions of drummers who created a spectacle at hundreds of protests, rallies and events through 2007. Enthralled by the healing and unifying power of the Djembe drum, Kristen began to study West African drumming in 2002. She has since spent time with master drummers and teachers such as Baile McKnight, Mamady Keita , Tammi Hessen, Jaqui MacMillan, Ubaka Hill and Monette Marino.

Elisha MacMillan BA Hons, CPCC is a Dancer, Sociologist, Filmmaker and Women’s Embodiment Coach. With a focus on healing, self-discovery and tracking destiny, she supports women in deepening their connection to the wise Earth of their bodies through movement, sound and communing with nature. Through her business Dance Medicine ( Elisha offers private coaching, mentorship, workshops and retreats both locally & internationally. Over the past 14 years, she’s worked with women across Canada, USA, Europe, India and Australia. Woven throughout her work is the medicine of drum and dance, which was an integral part of life for her ancestors from Jamaica, Scotland and Ivory Coast.

Before her coaching business launched, Elisha had a full-time career performing drum & dance alongside established artists from across the African continent. For 6 years Elisha starred in award-winning performances touring nationally and internationally. Her experiences of healing and transformation while studying dance in Guinea, Mali, Ethiopia and Brazil inform her current philosophy of Dance Medicine.

Dede Alder began her music studies in the fifth grade, as a member of her school’s band. Her interest in percussion led her to study ethnic and hand drumming. During high school at TC Central, she started her own percussion business, “Rhythmic Adventures.” Dede received her Associate’s Degree in Music at Northwestern Michigan College and later studied African Drum and Dance with Titos Sompa and Cheikh Thiam. She studied world percussion through Layne Redmond, Judy Piazza, the North American Frame Drum Association, and in Ireland and Hawaii. She has studied classical percussion with David Warne (Sun Radius Music), John Alfieri (Interlochen), and Gwendolyn Burgett Thrasher (MSU). She attended Interlochen’s adult band camp in 2006 and 2007 and has performed at Interlochen’s Korson Auditorium on several other occasions. Dede has just added Drumset to her list of musical itinerary with a new teal blue Tama GrandStar.

Dede has attended workshops on Health Rhythms Empowerment Drumming, Facilitators Playshop Skill Training, and Drum Circle Music. She has played with many bands of different genres and is an experienced studio musician. Children and adults alike are continually delighted and mesmerized by her teaching and performance possibilities. Dede also has been developing her dance skills over the past years and is a talented dance performer in the styles of bellydance, tribal bellydance, partner, modern, and improv.

Catherine Veilleux holds a university degree in education and was a teacher for twelve years. She learned West-African percussion and dance from different master drummers in Canada, the United-States and Guinea West-Africa and she has taught West-African percussion since 2005. From 2002 to 2009, Catherine was a founder, artistic director and artist for Yayé. She is also a co-founder and has been a djembe soloist for Cobra du Mandingue, a professional drum and dance company 2009 – 2019. Her career takes another turn when producing the documentary BADERA in 2019 and L’appel du djembé, hoping to bring Guinean artists to light. She is now interested in photography and has exhibited her photographs in various galleries in Outaouais since 2022.

Tara Mhic Coinnigh is a voice coach, music teacher and international touring artist who specializes in vocal music of all genres, Bhakti yoga chanting and various percussion disciplines. Bodhrán was the first Instrument Tara learned at 4 years old, after voice, from her Gaelic family. She learned Sean Nós Singing and harp traditions indigenously, and loves to share the craft of celtic drumming style from this earthy bardic, social and simple perspective. She also has passion for sound medicine through frame and hand drumming, drone and gong devotional playing.

Queen Hollins is a visionary and holds sacred ancestral traditions while channeling Nu and tangible ways to apply these birth rites to our daily lives. She is creatress of ancestor’s daughters and ongoing young women’s rite of passage community empowerment movement, since 1999, located in Long Beach, California. This community movement encourages awareness of our oneness with all that is, self-empowerment and an inner knowing that we are infinite possibilities.Queen teaches Nu Traditional Afrikan Dance Movement. She is visionary to a combination of ancient ancestral movements and modern concepts that fill each movement with intentions of physical, emotional balance and well being whereby self-empowerment via self expression unfolds harmony and the desired state of being.

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