Discounted vehicle rentals through Celtic Colours International Festival!

To all Singing Storytellers symposium and project participants!

Great news! Celtic Colours International Festival has arranged a discounted rate for vehicle rental through Enterprise! PLEASE book your rental vehicles (whether in Halifax or Sydney or wherever), with Enterprise, citing the Celtic Colours promotional code –  you will be given a significantly discounted rate! Your rental through Enterprise, using the promotional code, is an important way that Singing Storytellers can support our sponsors and partners – and you get a deal on your car rental! This helps everyone!

Find out more about the Celtic Colours promotional code and Enterprise vehicle rental here!

Looking forward to welcoming you to Cape Breton soon!

Register Online for Singing Storytellers Symposium!

Dear colleagues, greetings to you on behalf of the Singing Storytellers organizers!

Online Registration is now available on our website.

***All presenters must be registered no later than July 21st, 2014 – or will be removed from the final program, which will be created shortly after July 21st, 2014.*** Note that the schedule of presentations will be revised from that of the preliminary program.

With kindest regards – looking forward to welcoming you to Cape Breton this October!

Marcia Ostashewski, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures
Cape Breton University

Preliminary Program

We are pleased to announce that the Singing Storytellers Preliminary Program is now available on our website!

***Please note that some aspects of this preliminary program are pending approval of funding and cannot be confirmed until all grant applications have been adjudicated. Information will be updated as it becomes available over the coming weeks.***

Once the program has been finalized in a few weeks time, a PDF of the final program will be made available for download. A booklet of presentation and workshop abstracts will also be made available.

Please continue to check our website and our Singing Storytellers Facebook page, for more information.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Cape Breton this October!

With kindest regards,                                                                                                          Marcia Ostashewski,                                                                                                                                                     Canada Research Chair in Communities and Culture,                                                      Cape Breton University                                                                                                                                                    and the Singing Storytellers Organizing Committees

Kiwanis Club to provide local shuttle service!

OUR GREAT THANKS to the members of the Cape Breton KIWANIS CLUB who have very kindly and generously agreed to provide local shuttle service for Symposium participants during the Singing Storytellers Symposium! This is an tremendous demonstration of the kindness and hospitality of Cape Bretoners!

Updated Travel and Accommodation Information!

The website pages for Travel and Accommodation have been updated – and now include a direct link for the hotel where delegates can book at a special rate for our conference! Other options are listed on the Accommodations page as well – and detailed information about a variety of matters related to Travel (local and international) are available on that page. Looking forward to welcoming you to Cape Breton in October!


Epjila’si  Bienvenue კეთილი იყოს თქვენი/შენი მობრძანება  Καλώς Ορίσατε Tikilluarit/Tikilluaritsi  પધારો  V byenvini  Sannu da zuwa Aloha  ברוכים הבאים  स्वागत  सवागत हैं  Üdvözlet  Velkomin  Swaagata  Selamat datang Nno dalụ  Qaimarutin  ᑐᙵᓱ  Cead míle fáilte  Benvenuti/Benvenute  Sugeng rawuh  Séyiz les beinv’nu(e)(s)!  ಸುಸ್ವಾಗತ  Қош келдіңіз!  សូមស្វាគមន៍  Murakaza neza  환영합니다  Kosh kelinizder  Taŋyáŋ yahípi  ຍິນດີຕ້ອນຮັບ  Salve  Laipni lūdzam  Wilkóm  Sveiki atvykę Haere mai Fáilte സ്വാഗതം  Merħba  Nau mai  स्वागत आहे خش بهمونی  Weltasualuleg  Тавтай морилогтун  Ximopanōltih  Siyalemukela  स्वागतम्  Bon bini  Velkommen  Mauya  Bun venit  Haykuykuy!  جی آیاں نُوں  ਜੀ ਆਇਆ ਨੂੰ।  Bem-vindos  Witamy  خوش آمدید پخير  Bine ai venit  Susu mai/Afio mai  Добро пожаловать!  Kenang ka kgotso!  Добродошли  Ceud mìle fàilte  Walcome  Ennidos  Le amogetswe  Binvinutu  Maliu mai  Welcum  සාදරයෙන් පිලිගන්නවා  Dobrodošli  Soo dhowow  Bienvenidos  Karibuni  Vitajte  Välkomna  Mānava/Maeva  Mabuhay  வாங்க  Räxim itegez  Bemvindu  Ksolok Bodik Mai  సుస్వాగతం  ཕེབས་པར་དགའ་བསུ་ཞུ།  ยินดีต้อนรับ  መርሓባ  Welkam  Talitali fiefia  Hoş geldiniz  Wëllkomm  Добредојдовте  Ласкаво просимо Вітаємо  خوش آمديد   Xush kelibsiz  Benvignùo  Hoan nghênh   Được tiếp đãi ân cần  Vekömö  Tere tulõmast  Benvnuwe  Croes   Willkommen  Benvida  Eguahé porá  Ẹ ku abọ  Merhbe  Siya namkela nonke  ברוכים־הבאים  Ngiyanemukela  Kíimak ‘oolal  Mirë se vjen  Wellkumma/Willkumme  in kwahn deh-na meh tah/in kwahn deh-na meh tash  أهلاً و سهلاً  Ahla w sahla  Bienveniu/Bienvenius Բարի գալուստ!  Բարի՜ եկաք  Ghini vinit!  Bienveníu/Bienvenida  Xoş gəlmişsiniz!  আদৰিণ  Salamat dating  Ongi etorri  Horas!  স্বাগতম  स्वागत बा   Maayong pag-abot  Bien binidu/Buen binidu  марша дагIийла шу  ᎤᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ  Dynnargh dhis  Vítáme vás  Welkom  A me di o  Bonvenon  Tere tulemast  Woezor  Vælkomin  Tervetuloa  Wäljkiimen  Agradît  Benvignût  Degemer mat  Добре дошли  Добре заварили  Benvido Bainvegni Wilkomm Menjuah-juah!

Call for Participation

Singing Storytellers: The Lives, Music and Verbal Artistry of Bards in our World

An International Interdisciplinary Symposium hosted by Cape Breton University, in partnership with Celtic Colours International Festival and CBC Cape Breton

October 9th – 12th, 2014

Singing storytellers – griotskobzarstroubadoursashiksgusle players, sean-nós and seann-nòs singers, bards and epic singers, performance poets, men and women from countless narrative traditions around the world – have played a variety of complex roles in their communities and cultures. The long-time focus of study for ethnomusicologists and other scholars of culture, history and memory, they are multifaceted social agents – genealogists, historians, spokespersons and activists, diplomats, musicians, praise singers, healers, and advisors. Wordsmiths and performers, their verbal and musical art have been the subject of studies across disciplines – religious studies, history, music, folklore, anthropology, gender studies, linguistics and literature, to name a few. But recent studies of these bards and their practices in our contemporary world are relatively few.

The study of today’s singing storytellers resonates with theoretical interest in ethnomusicology, humanities and social sciences. It offers opportunities to consider the importance of the individual in society, as well as the politics of representation. Whereas ethnomusicology has, more conventionally, invoked music as a symbol of national pride, cultural and national unity, or presented musical phenomena as typical products of a larger social organicism, this symposium also looks to the ways in which music is historically constructed, socially maintained, individually created and experienced. We will look to examples through which numerous interlocutors, processes, practices, statements and performances continually operate and fluidly reshape one another. We will consider the ways in which cultural performance and production are contingent on intersecting and mutually affecting aspects of experience entwined with identities. Contributing to a burgeoning literature on musicians’ life stories, this topic brings to light the ways in which individuals function within cultural webs along the many avenues they travel — revealing shared practices and ideologies within specific locations and beyond. Aspects of identity and experience are shaped in the context of wider, changing historical, social and cultural pressures – which many singing storytellers deftly negotiate. Singing storytellers provide an opportunity for scholarly investigation that profoundly makes evident the complexity with which experiences and identities are created and performed through the lives, music and verbal artistry of individuals.

Call for Participation

We invite contributions from a rich array of scholars/practitioners/artists alike – to encourage investigations of and engagement with performers and their practices in our world today, through a variety of ways of knowing, and creating and sharing knowledge.

We invite proposals for various forms of presentation, including papers (either individual 20- minute papers with additional 10 minutes for discussion, or panels), keynotes, workshops, performances, roundtables, films and exhibitions (including of photographs and other visual materials, and interactive and multimedia installations).

  • Workshops will run either 60 or 90 minutes
  • Roundtables will run concurrently throughout the conference
  • Theatre and studio space is available in addition to standard conference facilities

***Symposium works will be considered for publication in a peer-reviewed, edited collection.***

Submissions for papers or creative presentations MUST include:

  • Title(s) – for panel (if applicable) and each individual presentation
  • Presentation format/type
  • Technical requirements
  • 300 word abstract (of each individual presentation)
  • 100-150 word abstract (of each individual presentation)
  • Panel proposals also require a panel description of 100-200 words
  • Each presenter(s) one-page C.V.
  • Each presenter(s) institutional affiliation (or indication if you are an independent scholar/artist), including department or division
  • Each presenter(s) complete contact information, including postal and email address, and telephone number

ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST INCLUDE ALL OF THIS DETAILED INFORMATION FOR EACH PRESENTER, or your abstract will NOT be eligible for consideration. The detailed information and materials requested are necessary in order for the conference organizers to apply for travel/event funding.

PLEASE SEND YOUR SUBMISSIONS to by March 15, 2014. The subject line of the email is Singing Storytellers proposal – [name]. PLEASE ATTACH THE INFORMATION and MATERIALS IN .DOC FORMAT.

Please write to us at if you have any questions! For information and updates, check the conference WEBSITE (

We look forward to receiving your proposal – and to welcoming you to Cape Breton!