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Songs, Stories, and Sacred Fire: Ktapekiaqnn, Atukwaqnn, aqq Kepme’k Pukto

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Songs and Stories: ICTM Colloquium

Songs and Stories: ICTM Colloquium A colloquium for the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) will be hosted by Centre for Sound Communities, Cape Breton University, October 6-12, 2019. This colloquium follows the theme “Songs and Stories of Migration and Encounter.” 18 international scholars are invited to share their research on this theme and to…

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The Kun’tewiktuk Project

In this film, Membertou First Nation collaborative researchers speak about their participation in the Kun’tewiktuk Project. The Kun’tewiktuk Project involves a community engaged arts-based research practice that investigates personal experiences, histories and legacies of migration and encounter in Cape Breton.

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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 and Cloud Powering Digital Humanities Research Please email sound_communities@cbu.ca for more information. To register, see information…

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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 sound_communities@cbu.ca or call 902-563-1696.

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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…

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Singing the Circle: World Singing Day

Singing the Circle: World Singing Day Date is Sunday, October 22, 2017. The start time is 2p.m. and the ending time will be announced soon! Singing the Circle | World Singing Day | Songs & Stories of Migration and Encounter Singing the Circle workshops are designed to explore and celebrate the basic human act of singing…

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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…

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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…

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Singing The Circle: Music Education from Birth to Adult

 SINGING THE CIRCLE: MUSIC EDUCATION FROM BIRTH TO ADULT (AN EDUCATOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EVENT) 8:30 a.m. to 3 pm, Friday, October 20th, 2017 Cape Breton University 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…

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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


diversitycapebreton.ca – Preliminary Launch & Workshop

May 21, 2015

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

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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’.

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