Skip to main content
    Blog post main image
  • Cape Breton University Joins the Cultures of Sound Network

    With the recent addition of Cape Breton University, the Cultures of Sound Network (CSN) has expanded its alliance of cultural institutions unified in their goal of developing exciting new projects around music and sound. CBU will be represented by the Centre for Sound Communities, directed by Dr. Marcia Ostashewski.

    “Smithsonian Folkways welcomes with great enthusiasm the CBU Centre for Sound Communities to the Cultures of Sound Network,” says Associate Director John Smith. “Dr. Ostashewski and the CSC have demonstrated a fervent and effective dedication to amplifying the voices of Canadian musicians and their communities. We believe that there are great benefits in collaborating with Canadian institutions in order to expand our network of resources and gain from the perspectives of Canadian Universities and educational organizations."

    Preservation and dissemination of knowledge about musical and cultural heritage are at the heart of the CSN’s mandate, which calls for sharing resources, furthering creative research, and enabling wide public access to a rich body of work. Established in 2018, the Cultures of Sound Network brought together like-minded institutions, each with an international reputation for research and public engagement work focused on music and sound: University of Alberta’s Sound Studies Initiative; Memorial University’s Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place; the Canadian Museum of History; and the Smithsonian Institution’s Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. These are now joined by Cape Breton University’s Centre for Sound Communities.

    “We are honored to join the Cultures of Sound Network,” says Dr. Marcia Ostashewski, “particularly as our mandate — as an arts-led social innovation lab — is to engage in research that involves artistic practice and addresses systemic inequities, to provide training within and beyond our institution and to work with communities developing connections.”

    Ongoing projects of the Cultures of Sound Network include:

    • Online music education workshops, spearheaded by CBU’s Centre for Sound Communities with consultation from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, based on Grammy-nominated musician Fodé Lassana Diabaté’s reflections on his Malian heritage and his adopted home in Nova Scotia. The goal of these workshops is to provide virtual educational programming to community organizations that serve African Nova Scotian and Indigenous youth both locally and across North America.
    • The recent publication of an album of traditional songs from the Gros Morne region of Newfoundland and Labrador, produced by Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History.
    • Graduate and undergraduate paid internships with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

    Through its recent expansion, the Cultures of Sound Network has reinforced its resources and extended its reach. Harmonizing efforts to explore, preserve and amplify diverse creative expression in music and sound will contribute to wider awareness and appreciation of regional cultural gifts, for the enrichment of society overall.