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Ethnomusicologist Dr. Marcia Ostashewski, Director of The Centre for Sound Communities, 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 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.


Book Chapters

2021. Studying Ukrainian Byzantine Congregational Music in Canada:  Considering Community and Diaspora. In Studying Congregational Music:  Key Issues, Methods, Theories, Mall, A. et al. (eds.),  pp. 193-208. New York, London: Routledge.

• Related conference presentation:

2019. Journey and Loss in the Songs and Stories of Byzantine Ukrainian Liturgical Practice. 26th International Council for Traditional Music Colloquium:  Songs and Stories of Migration and Encounter. Cape Breton University. October, Sydney, NS. In addition:  ICTM Colloquium Host.

2020. Relocation, Research and Reconciliation in Unama’ki (co-authored with Shaylene Johnson). In My Body Was Left on the Street: Music Education and Displacement, A. De Quadros and K. Vu (eds.), pp. 267-280. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Journal Articles

2020. Studying singing storytellers in Cape Breton:  Community-engaged research as a methodology. In Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Studies in Singing: Vol. 3, Well-being, A. Cohen et al. (eds.), pp. 291-303. New York: Routledge.

  • Related conference presentation:

2020. Fodé Lassana Diabaté, M. Ostashewski. (90-minute Workshop) Creative, Critical Research through Public Engagement:  A Mali-Canada Collaboration. Society for Ethnomusicology (Virtual).

2020. Fostering Reconciliation through Collaborative Research in Unama’ki: Engaging Communities through Indigenous Methodologies and Research-Creation (co-authored with Clifford Paul, Graham Marshall and Shaylene Johnson). Yearbook for Traditional Music 52: 23-40.

  • Related conference presentatation:

2020. R. Gray, A. Martin, F. Orejuela, M. Ostashewski, C. Paul, D. Robinson. (Round Table) Disrupting White Supremacy in Music and Sound Studies. Society for Ethnomusicology (Virtual).

Sound communities. Music and Arts in Action (Special Issue: Keywords in Music and Peacebuilding) 7(3): 63-84.

Technical Report

2020. Songs, Stories, and Sacred Fire:  Fostering Reconciliation through Research in Unama’ki. Report regarding development of the nascent Atlantic Memorial Park, prepared by a collaborative team led by Dr. Marcia Ostashewski and Graham Marshall, involving numerous Mi’kmaq Elders and community participants, and core research team including Lindsay Marshall, Dianne Friesen, Nadine Prosper, Dr. Sheila Christie, Dr. Andy Parnaby, Dr. Michael Ash.


2020. Bala (CD). Producer of full-length audio recording with balafón musician/composer Fodé Lassana Diabaté (accompanying website:


Project title: DIALOGUES: Towards Decolonizing Sound, Music and Dance Studies.

Jan 2021. SSHRC Connections, involving Co-apps Ostashewski and Sooi Beng Tan (ICTM Dialogues Chair); Collaborators Dr. Michael Frishkopf, Michael B. MacDonald, Julia Byl, Meghan Forsyth in Canada; Collaborator Tomie Hahn in USA (SEM Acting President); and Collaborators Shzr Ee Tan, Silvia Citro, Christian Onjeji (all members of ICTM Dialogues Committee)

Project title: Piloting an Emerging Model for Global Music Education in the Time of COVID:  Songs and Stories in Celebration of the International Decade for People of African Descent.

Dec 2020. $24,970. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Individual Partnership Engage Grant (PEG). (M. Ostashewski, P.I., Dr. Afua Cooper, Dr. Michael Frishkopf, Patricia Shehan Campbell, John Smith/Smithsonian Folkway Recordings, Jody Stark, Lee Willingham, Jody Stark, Chester Borden/Whitney Pier Youth Club, Graham Marshall/Membertou First Nation, Tamlyn Pickering/Halton Waldorf School, with Association Foli-Lakana and its Director, Fodé Lassana Diabaté (MITACS award, $15,000, with matching funds contributed by CLARI/Communitiy Engagement Assistance, is in process for this project – for the hire of a Ph.D. student in support of research activities.).

  • Fall 2020/ $7500. CLARI (Community Engagement Assistance). (Whitney Pier Youth Club with M. Ostashewski, P.I.).
  • Jan 2021. $10,000 MITACS BSI (Eric Escudero)

Project title:  Songs, Stories and Sacred Fire: Establishing Relationships to Foster Reconciliation through Collaborative Research in Unama’ki

  • Jan 2021. $10,000 MITACS BSI (Dianne Freisen) – MITACS BSI extending SSHRC PEG project of 2019-20, responding to COVID-specific challenges
  • Jan 2020. $15,000 MITACS (Lindsay Marshall)