Dr. Marcia Ostashewski, Director

Dr. Marcia Ostashewski is dedicated to investigating the creative and cultural expression of communities across Canada as well as internationally. These diverse populaces include Eastern and Central Europeans, Indigenous groups, at-risk youth, and newcomers to Canada. A Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures at Cape Breton University facilitates this commitment. Dr. Ostashewski’s collaborative work connects her with an array of experts and laypeople on several continents and across sectors with whom she conducts critical scholarly inquiry into music and dance and, more broadly, sound and movement. She also devises and co-produces digital media projects that address community issues and social challenges.

Dr. Ostashewski is a professor at Cape Breton University, where she teaches courses on a variety of topics, including the music and dance of Indigenous and immigrant communities, gender and performance, and culture and tourism. She is also heads The Centre for Sound Communities at Cape Breton University, an arts-led social innovation lab involved in research through artistic practices (mainly dance, music, theatre & digital media) as well as standard methods and strategies across a range of disciplines.

An innovative and passionate researcher and community advocate, Dr. Ostashewski has been awarded funding by major provincial, national, and international sponsors, including Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Fulbright Foundation.

In addition to her experience in post-secondary education, program development, and research, Dr. Ostashewski has worked extensively in the not-for-profit and heritage sectors, including a position as the Executive Director of a national charity that provides visitor services at a living history museum. Dr. Ostashewski and her work are regularly featured in a variety of media, and she is frequently invited to speak and present at academic and non-academic colloquiums.

Marcia Ostashewski completed her Ph.D. at York University in Toronto (2009), two postdoctoral fellowships with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and held the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Canadian Studies at the Henry M. Jackson School for International Studies at the University of Washington (2010-11).