2019 Songs and Stories: ICTM Colloquium

2019 ICTM Colloquium on Songs & Stories of Migration & Encounter

A colloquium for the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) hosted by The Centre for Sound Communities, Cape Breton University, October 6-12, 2019.

Following the theme ‘Songs and Stories of Migration and Encounter,’ 18 international scholars share their research on this theme and create dialogue among specialists from all over the world. This colloquium brings together artists, scholars, and community leaders from throughout Canada and the United States as well as the United Kingdom, Japan, Armenia, Austria, and Slovenia.

Scholars meet at the Centre for Sound Communities at Cape Breton University, Membertou First Nation at the Heritage Park, McConnell Public Library in Sydney’s Waterfront District, Menelik Hall in Whitney Pier, the Gaelic College in St. Anne’s, and in various community centres in Chéticamp.

The following events are open to the general public:

  • Sunday October 6, 7:00pm – Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church

Concert (freewill donation accepted): Julian Kytasty – Immigrants, Exiles, and Cultural Missionaries: Bandura Music Outside Ukraine

  • Monday October 7, 4:00pm – Centre for Sound Communities (Cape Breton University)

Public Lecture: Kaley Mason – Food, Music and Environmental Justice in South India

  • Tuesday October 8, 2:00pm, Centre for Sound Communities (Cape Breton University)

Film Screening: Julia Byl – Poets in the Living Room

  • Tuesday October 8, 4:00pm, McConnell Public Library

Film Screening: Terada Yoshitaka – Crossing over the Arirang Pass: Zainichi Korean Music

  • Tuesday October 8, 7:00pm, McConnell Public Library

Film Screening: Terada Yoshitaka – Drumming out a Message: Eisa and the Okinawan Diaspora in Japan

  • Wednesday October 9, 4:00pm, Membertou Heritage Park

Workshop/Lecture: Alex Chávez – Sonic Bridges: Home, Intimacy, and the Borderlands

  • Wednesday October 9, 7:30pm, Menelik Hall

Public Lecture: Afua Cooper – Fugitive Verses/Sonic Stories: Slavery, the Middle Passage, and the Soundscapes of Black People’s Freedom Quest

  • Thursday October 10, 11:45am, Centre for Sound Communities (Cape Breton University)

Dance Workshop: Ameera Nimjee – Kathak Dance in Hindustani Music Culture

  • Thursday October 10, 7:00pm, McConnell Public Library

Public Lecture: Gage Averill – Echoes of “Haïti Cherie” in the “Koloni”

  • Friday October 11, 7:30pm, Église Saint Pierre, Chéticamp

Concert (freewill donations accepted): Songs and Stories of Cape Breton, with various performers including Colin Grant, Chester Delaney, Robert Deveaux, Julian Kytasty, Marcia Ostashewski, and Le Choeur du Havre

Quick Facts:

  • 18 scholars from 6 countries are meeting in Cape Breton to share research about music and migration in communities around the world including virtual spaces
  • As part of the Colloquium, several community events will take place across the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, including concerts, workshops, film screenings and public talks
  • The International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) is a scholarly, non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. ICTM aims to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation, and dissemination of traditional music and dance of all countries
  • Scholars, artists and community leaders are coming from: Cape Breton University, University of British Colombia, Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Alberta, Membertou First Nation, Nova Scotia Rug Hookers (Cheticamp), University of Notre Dame (USA), Indiana University (USA), St. Olaf College (USA), Lewis and Clark College (USA), University of Puget Sound (USA), Royal Holloway University of London (UK), National Museum of Ethnology: Centre for Cultural Resource Studies (Japan), American University of Armenia (Armenia), University for Music and the Performing Arts Vienna (Austria), and University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Additional Resources:

International Council for Traditional Music: https://www.ictmusic.org/26th-ictm-colloquium-2019-cape-breton

Cape Breton University: https://www.cbu.ca

The Kun’tewiktuk Project

In the 2019 Indigenous theatre research-creation project, Kun’tewiktuk, facilitated in partnership with The Centre for Sound Communities, Membertou First Nation collaborative researchers investigated personal experiences, histories and legacies of migration and encounter in Cape Breton through a theatrical production and film presentation. Subsequent publications in 2020 further explored the significance of the 1916 forced relocation of the Mi’kmaq and its historic and personal consequences on the Membertou First Nation community.

“[What Kun’tewiktuk] meant to the community is that … we were able to open a door into history and to show the people … how it was back in the early 1900s … It was a very significant and traumatic time,” — Graham Marshall, Councillor, Membertou First Nation, Traditional Knowledge-holder, Kun’tewiktuk Project

“We’re carrying this pride in ourselves that we learned this together, and that we worked on this project together and that we successfully brought it to fruition. [We] had a very emotional and a very powerful story to tell, and when that story was told, the elders embraced the youth and they said, ‘That was incredible; that was very good and that was very strong.’ That’s the spirit of our people, that’s the spirit of Membertou, that’s the spirit of Kun’tewiktuk.” — Clifford Paul, Traditional Knowledge-holder, Membertou First Nation Researcher & Consultant, Kun’tewiktuk Project

In this film, Membertou First Nation collaborative researchers speak about their participation in the Kun’tewiktuk Project:


Ostashewski, Marcia, and Shaylene Johnson. 2020. “Relocation, Research and Reconciliation in Unama’ki.” In My Body Was Left on the Street: Music Education and Displacement, edited by Kính T. Vu and André de Quadros, 267–280. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Ostashewski, Marcia, and Clifford Paul, Graham Marshall, Shaylene Johnson. 2020. “Fostering Reconciliation Collaborative Research in Unama’ki: Engaging Communities through Indigenous Methodologies and Research-Creation”. Yearbook for Traditional Music 52: 23-40.

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 below and click on the poster to activate pdf with hyperlinks:

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.

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 several interactive multimedia activities and light refreshments.

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 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 Day Weekend is an opportune time for singers of all ages to gather together and explore the miracle of the singing voice alongside the esteemed Cape Breton Chorale, accompanied by the finest instrumentalists from the island and beyond. World Singing Day Weekend is a perfect occasion to join our voices together in harmony to reconcile and pay homage to Canadian confederation at 150. Come, Sing the Circle with us as we take the time to reflect, refresh, renew, and rejoice with our voice!

Singing the Circle Choral Workshop

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017

Time: TBC

Location: Centre for Sound Communities


Join us on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at the Centre for Sound Communities for Singing the Circle: Choral Workshop, a Multi-generational choral workshop lead by Ardelle Ries, University of Alberta and Cathy Benedict, Western University.

The workshop will be followed by a performance for World Singing Day Concert the Boardmore Theatre, CBU on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Along with performances by youth who participated in “Songs and Stories of Migration and Encounter” a five-week in-community workshop for youth ages 12-18.

Registration and more information to come, check back soon!

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 to converse, collaborate and create a piece about migration and encounter. Workshops will begin the week of September 11, 2017.

For more information please call Kathleen: (902)561-1121 or send us an email at sound_communites@cbu.ca

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 their experience or families experience with immigration to Canada and Cape Breton. For more information please call (902)563-1696. The deadline for registration is June 15th.