Centre for Cape Breton Studies 

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Disaster Songs 

CBU ethnomusicologist Heather Sparling collected over 500 songs about Atlantic Canadian disasters (shipwrecks, mining disasters, etc.). She continues to chronicle the tradition of composing songs to commemorate these events. Follow her work at this site!

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Protest Songs

On Cape Breton Island, where coal mining and steel making were once an essential part of the region’s culture and economy, protest song and verse are found in abundance. Richard MacKinnon’s Protest Song Project is an initiative of The Centre for Cape Breton Studies.


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Centre for Cape Breton Studies Vimeo & Youtube Channel

At the Centre for Cape Breton Studies, we produce media that chronicle research in music, folklore, and history. Check out our documentaries, workshops, music videos on our YouTube and Vimeo channels.

-Check out Vimeo- Check out Youtube

The Centre for Cape Breton Studies recognizes the importance and vulnerability of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). Our mission is to preserve Cape Breton’s and Nova Scotia’s ICH through our services and facilities. To this end:

  • We support research on all aspects of culture in Cape Breton, and provide spaces to share and document cultural expressions.

  • To support CBU’s educational mandate, our facilities create the media and materials though which our students can learn about the ICH and cultures of our region.

  • The Centre for Cape Breton Studies supports the cultural and academic endeavours of our students, faculty, and staff.

  • We maintain a close partnership with Beaton Institute Archives, and are dedicated to the digitization and sustainable digital storage of the archival holdings entrusted to the Beaton and CBU.