Songs and Stories in Celebration of the International Decade for People of African Descent

Fodé Lassana Diabaté is a virtuoso balafon (22-key xylophone) player from Mali. The public is invited to join Lassana on April 2, at Cape Breton University’s Centre for Sound Communities Studio, on April 3 at Halifax North Memorial Library, on April 8, at Centre Communautaire Étoile de l’Acadie, on April 9, at Menelik Hall in Whitney…

Read More

Digital Humanities Workshop

Digital Humanities Workshop May 1 -2 Experts from ACENET and the CBU Library are leading this free, two day event. Nutrition breaks and lunches are provided. The following topics will be offered: Is Advanced Computing for Me? Research Data Management Cloud Powering Digital Humanities Research Please email for more information. To register, see information below…

Read More

Songs and Stories of Migration and Encounter: Session 3

Session 3: Duration: 6 weeks on Mondays Time: 6:30 – 8:30PM Start Date: January 29, 2018 End Date: March 5, 2018 Price: FREE Facilitators: Facilitated by Dr. Marcia Ostashewski and Shaylene Paul. To register: Please email or call 902-563-1696.

Read More

All My Relations – Community Arts Research Showcase

Sunday, October, 22, 2017, 2PM – Boardmore Theatre, Cape Breton University Join us for an afternoon of music and entertainment, featuring performances by The Cape Breton Choral, youth participants of our Songs and Stories of Migration workshops, Singing the Circle: Choral Workshop participants and a special Indigenous Welcome by Clifford Paul. The afternoon will also include…

Read More

Singing the Circle: Choral Workshop

Singing the Circle | Choral Workshop | World Singing Day Weekend Singing the Circle workshops are designed to explore and celebrate the basic human act of singing and the artistic use of the human voice within the circle of life, from the time of birth through to the end of life. The 2017 World Singing…

Read More

Songs and Stories of Migration and Encounter

Date: September 11, 2017 – October 22, 2017 Venue: Locations across Cape Breton Island – Locations TBA Project Information: For youth ages 12 to 18 – Join us at one of our in-community locations for 5 weeks of creative arts, multimedia, songwriting and performance workshops where youth will be working with artists, elders and facilitators…

Read More

Singing the Circle: Educator PD Event

The symbol of a circle is deeply symbolic on many levels and sacred to healing practices of our Indigenous peoples. Singing the Circle workshops are designed to explore and celebrate the basic human act of singing and the artistic use of the human voice through the circle of life–from the time of birth through to death. Through inhalation and exhalation, tension and release, the physical act of singing combined alongside a positive relationship with our voices provides health and a sense of well-being. Music “circles” exist in the form of canons, singing games and dances, or in conducting gesture. The circle is a common metaphor for the reflective process of coming to understand our task as music educators. Singing the Circle workshops present an opportunity to reflect, refresh, renew, and rejoice. (Ardelle Ries, Singing the Circle, May 2017)

Early Registration due August 15, 2017
Final Registration due by September 15, 2017

Read More

Songwriting Workshops for Youth

Project Information Songwriting Workshops: For Youth ages 12 to 18, there are three in-community workshops where youth will be working with singers and artist facilitators to co-create a music piece about immigration and encounter. There will also be mentors (Stewart MacNeil, Bryan Cherwick, and Robert Deveaux) at each of the locations giving information and telling stories of…

Read More

Global Musics, Local Connections Workshops

Please join us in attending the Global Musics Local Connections Dance Workshops. Centre for Sound Communities, CBU & McConnell Library, 50 Falmouth Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Read More

World Renowned Malian Musician, Lasssana Diabate!

Dear Colleagues, Friends, Please note that world-renowned Malian musician Lassana Diabate will be returning to Sydney next week for a series of presentations. I have included his itinerary below. It includes some intercultural music-making and performances, lecture-demonstrations, a film screening, and workshops including one for music educators. Please share the news of Lassana’s visit and these…

Read More

THE CENTRE FOR SOUND COMMUNITIES is a world-class digital arts and humanities research lab at Cape Breton University. It fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement on sound, movement, and performance toward the exchange of knowledge and the production of creative, critical research. The Centre for Sound Communities was jointly funded by Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT) in support of the Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures, Dr. Marcia Ostashewski.


The Centre for Sound Communities produces both tangible and intangible research outcomes. These include sound and movement performance pieces, and other creative works; digitized and born-digital artifacts such as audio/visual materials such as CDs, DVDs, and documentary films; as well as publications for both academic and public audiences. The research of Dr. Ostashewski and her research collaborators seeks to expand possibilities for research, both in terms of modalities and methodologies.


The Centre for Sound Communities hosts speakers, workshops, rehearsals, performances, recording and production sessions. The on-campus lab location, which includes specially-designed performance floors and equipment as well as work stations and meeting rooms, serve as a collaborative work space for researchers, artist-practitioners, project groups and committees. The state-of-the art technologies of the facility are also portable, allowing work to be carried out in-community, locally and globally.

Upcoming Events & Workshops

Sound Communities Project Updates – Preliminary Launch & Workshop

May 21, 2015

A preliminary launch and workshop for will be held during the two-day workshop, “Curating Ethnomusicology,” June 15-16th.

Read More
Exhibiting Sound

Curating Ethnomusicology/Exhibiting Music events begin Monday, June 15!

June 13, 2015

I’m proud to be a part of the Exhibiting Sound team, and looking forward to  opening of a week of exciting events at Cape Breton University. This Monday at 9 a.m we begin the Curating Ethnomusicology pre-conference workshop! The first public Exhibiting Sound event is Curating Ethnomusicology, a pre-conference workshop in digital humanities being held at CBU from June 15-16. This event brings together…

Read More
iCreate Cape Breton

Rescheduled! Romani Musicians: Scenes from Kosovo

March 27, 2017

ATTENTION – Exhibit opening and film screening has been rescheduled! The photo exhibit will be on display all day at the McConnell Library, Friday, March 31st, 10-9pm; the film will be screened at 3:30 pm, Friday, March 31st. Dr. Pettan will be in the library to discuss the film and photos until 6 pm.

Read More
Singing Storytellers

Interview with Kassé Mady Diabaté

February 6, 2017

This interview and recital was shot in September 2015 at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, where Kassé Mady Diabaté performed with his group composed of his cousin, Lansiné Kouyaté(balafon), Badjè Tounkara(nkoni) and Balaké Sissoko(Kora), all jaliw or Mande oral artists. This exchange illustrates the process by which they change the repertoire they inherit from their forebears and…

Read More

Donovan Shirt performs traditional Cree dance

May 26, 2016

Rapper and motivational speaker Donovan Shirt from Edmonton, Alberta, was recently spotted performing a traditional Cree dance on a moving escalator! Donovan participated as part of Singing Storytellers in October 2014 in Cape Breton.

Read More
Songs of Truth

Songs of Truth Website Expanded

May 22, 2015

The Songs of Truth website has recently been expanded- you can now visit the ‘Songs’ pages to read Julian Kytasty’s lively program notes for the Songs of Truth CD, read up on the history of the bandura and the kobzar tradition under ‘The Bandura’.

Read More