"Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it and give birth to it." - Meister Eckhart

30 September 2019

Day 3: Burlington's Culture Days and Hamilton's Grandmothers for Africa

Day 3: Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of performing twice with other members of the Burlington Storytellers Guild. Our first event was as part of Burlington’s celebration of Culture Days at the Burlington Art Gallery. The Gallery provided space for a number of local artists, crafts people, dancers, musicians, and storytellers. There had been a number of children in the morning but by the time we took the stage in the afternoon, the audience consisted mostly of adults, proving once again that they need the nourishment of story as much as the kids do. We heard tales from Brenda Byers, Sue Ramsay, Barb Vollick, Suzanne Burchell, and yours truly.
Barb Vollick
Later, in the evening, we regrouped for another performance - a fundraising event for the Grandmothers of Africa, held at the Unitarian Church on Dundurn Street in Hamilton Ontario (www.bloomsforafrica.org). The organization raises funds to provide grandmothers in Africa with assistance, including assistance with food costs, school fees for grandchildren, income-generating projects, counselling and social support, and burial costs for loved ones. Storytellers included Suzanne Burchell (who also acted as host), Brenda Byers, Barb Vollick, John Wesselson, and myself. Stories and songs were African in origin including that crowd favourite — “A Lion Sleeps Tonight”. I also took the opportunity to teach the audience a Cameroon chant “Bele Mama”, traditionally sung when a woman goes into labour — it’s a call to the mothers and grandmothers to come and help and keep vigil.
Suzanne Burchell

It was a truly a joy and a privilege to support such a project and the appreciations were accepted with heartfelt gratitude. It’s in moments like these when I feel at home in my passion for what I love and am truly grateful for the gift of story that I have been given.

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"We have received only very positive reports of your workshop, and must thank you for being so flexible and responsive both before and in the course of implementing the workshop. It has been lovely to work with you. . . . We are hopeful this project will give rise to future storytelling endeavours, and would be very happy to work with you again if the opportunity arises!" Muireann Crowley, At Home in Scotland, University of Edinburgh, May 2014 ("Storytelling, Research and Public Engagement" workshop)

Michael Williams is a a storyteller of compelling skill. He is also a fine human being who engages in all situations and draws people into the warmth of communication and shared experience." Donald Smith, Director, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Scotland

"Michael's understanding of storytelling within a leadership and business context has helped us provide a great service in helping leaders determine their personal and organisational destiny and legacy. Working with Michael is inspiring and fun; and pulls you to be fully engaged from start to finish." Norton Bertram-Smith, Managing Director and Leadership Consultant for On Purpose.

Kamink: the little boy who grew into a giant of a man

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