Strangers in the Land: The Ukrainian Presence in Cape Breton

huk_strangers-web (1)First published in 1986, Strangers in the Land is a carefully researched telling of stories of Cape Breton’s Ukrainians, written by a son of the community, John Huk. Working tirelessly in archives, he spent countless hours combing through municipal and steel company records, collecting press clippings and other relevant papers as well as memorabilia, interviewing community members about their family histories, and working with his family to put together a story of a century of Ukrainian life in Cape Breton.

$22.95 CDN plus tax and shipping

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Guthan Prìseil (Precious Voices)


The songs and stories on this CD and the accompanying book are the voices of past and present Cape Breton. Collected from many parts of the Island, they are not commonly heard any longer these days, even in Cape Breton. These voices have been recorded so that the artistic expression of Cape Breton Gaelic singers can be made available to all who are interested in this authentic Gaelic tradition. With English translations to aid non-Gaelic speakers, it is the hope of all involved in the project that the heritage of Gaelic song and story be preserved for a new generation.

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Discovering Cape Breton Folklore


For more than two decades, folklorist Richard MacKinnon, Canada Research Chair in Intangible Culture Hertiage at Cape Breton University, has researched Cape Breton’s rich cultural heritage—from log houses to company houses and co-operative housing, from cockfighting to folksongs and nicknames. In Discovering Cape Breton Folklore, Dr. MacKinnon revisits some of his earlier research and exposes us to some new.

This book includes chapters on:

Cape Breton Folksong Collecting
The Dynamics of the Cape Breton Piano Style
Protest Song and Verse in Cape Breton
Homorous Nicknames in Cape Breton
Cockfighting in Cape Breton
Log Architecture on Cape Breton Island
Company Housing in Cape Breton
Tompkinsville: Co-operativism and Vernacular Architecture
Public Image and Private Reality in Cape Breton Folk Traditions

$24.95 CDN plus tax and shipping

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The Peopling of Atlantic Canada


“The Peopleing of Atlanic Canada” CD ROM presents a culturally inclusive history of Atlantic Canada. It begins with the First Peoples more than 10,000 years ago, allowing users to see the importance of the interaction of cultures. Users will also gain insights into the climate of the Atlantic region. 

This CD ROM provides a stimulating context for users to discover that MiKmaq, Maliseet, Acadian and Black experiences, together with those of the other cultural groups, have played a major role in the history of Atlantic Canada.

Minimum Sytem Requirements:
Windows – 100 MHz Processor, Windows 95 or better, 32mb RAM, 2x CD-ROM drive, 256 colour 640 x 480 resolution, Quicktime

Macintosh – 100MHz PowerPC, 32 mb RAM, 2x CD-ROM drive, 256 colour 640 x 480 resolution, Quicktime

Sold as a lab pack $239.00 or

Sold Separately $59.99

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Gaelic Songs From The Mira – Volume 2 – Lauchie Gillis
(More Songs & Lyrics Included)


Nestled in the widest span of the picturesque Mira River is the quiet, tight-knit farming community of Grand Mira. In 1952 this mainly Scottish-settled area gained national acclaim. Under the direction of Father Hugh A. MacDonald, the Grand Mira Gaelic Choir won the National Folksong Competition in Halifax.

That award-winning choir included Lauchlin Cyprain Gillis. His strong, melodious voice carried Gaelic songs into homes, concert halls, minstrel shows and folk festivals. During his life he recorded solo records with various people, including the BBC. He was born in Grand Mira where, as a child, Lauchie learned to speak Gaelic from his grandmother. Famous for his voice and generosity of talent, people across Cape Breton also knew him for his job as a farmer and meat man. A hard-working, honourable individual, lauchie possessed a keen sense of humour and enjoyed life.

Lauchie died in his home in 1980. His spirit continues to fuel the island’s cultural roots through his powerful tenor voice and the many Gaelic songs he brought to life.

Cum Gaidhlig Beo!

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Cape Breton University – SOUNDTRACKS 2010


The proceeds from this CD go towards
Cape Breton University’s ECMA/Rotary Scholarship that helps a student achieve their goal of a university-level education while pursuing a career in the professional music industry.

Thank you for your support!

Peformances by:
Kyle Carey, Carleton Stone, Rachel Davis,Erin Martell,Caroline Murphy
Breagh MacKinnon, The Byegones, CBU Fiddle Music Class, Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Parish, Janice Ester Tulk, Neil Fitzgibbon, Chris McDonald,
Rob Miller, Cape Breton Orchestra featuring Heather Sparling

Executive Producer: Dr. Richard MacKinnon

$15.00 CDN plus tax and shipping

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Cape Breton University – Prefer Performance


Promotional CD release 2009.

Performances By:
Erin Martell, CBU Choir, Rob Miller, Claire Lafferty, Richard MacKinnon,
Cape Breton Fiddle Music Class, Fiddle Music for Dance Class,
Kyle Carey, Heather Sparling,Chris McDonald

Out of Print. Duplicated Copies Available.

$15.00 CDN plus tax and shipping

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Failte: Airs and Waltzes

ccbs-pub-failte-airs-waltzesThis second CD in the Failte series, Airs and Waltzes, again produced by the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre and its musical director, Kinnon Beaton, is an impressive selection of airs and waltzes previously recorded by many of Cape Breton’s signature Celtic musicians. The CD promises its audience a variety of enjoyable Cape Breton styles: remarkable newer compositions alongside memorable older tunes from the Scottish heritage.

Airs and Waltzes is an excellent introduction to the vast repertoire of the Cape Breton fiddling tradition. It’s an invitation to learn more about the history, music, and culture of Cape Breton Island and certainly a proper invitation to spend some quality time at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre itself. There, you might enjoy a ceilidh, enter and view the interactive Tom Rankin Exhibit Room, enjoy a workshop at the Buddy MacMaster School of Fiddling, browse the Centre’s gift shop for a souvenir or enjoy lunch, a cup of tea or cold beer before leaving.

The CD features a number of notable Cape Breton musicians including: Andrea Beaton, Kimberley Fraser, Ashley MacIsaac, Winnie Chafe, Colin Grant, Kinnon Beaton, Dave MacIsaac, Leanne Aucoin, Allie Bennett, Sandy MacIntyre, Lisa MacArthur, Scott Macmillan, and Natalie MacMaster.

The project is a joint initiative of the Centre for Cape Breton Studies, Canada Research Chair in Intangible Cultural Heritage, Cape Breton University and the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre with a supportive role from the Municipality of Inverness County. The CD was engineered by Mike Sheppard of Lakewind Studios with graphics and design by Cheryl Smith of OutFront Productions.

$19.99 CDN plus tax and shipping

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One God, One Aim, One Destiny

ccbs-pub-one-god-one-aim-one-destinyThe story of African settlement in Cape Breton was largely undocumented and on the verge of disappearing. In 2006, the African Nova Scotian community in Glace Bay decided to restore its Universal Negro Improvement Association hall, a vital part of the social life of their community in the early part of the 20th century. They created a museum to recognize and celebrate the history of blacks in Cape Breton.

To share their story, the UNIA Cultural Museum, with the help of the Centre for Cape Breton Studies, at Cape Breton University, and the Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority, created this book and DVD. Tracing a history previously unrecorded and virtually unacknowledged, it begins with black slaves, moves through the 1918 Glace Bay race riots, and ends, for now, with the first black Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia.

$22.95 CDN plus tax and shipping

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Buddy MacMaster: The Judique Fiddler

Sheldon MacInnis
Nonfiction: Biography, Music, Cape Breton
180 pages, Includes Photographs
$18.95, 6″x9″ Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-895900-90-3
ISBN-10: 1-895900-90-5

ccbs-pub-the-judique-fiddler_0Buddy MacMaster, the renowned Cape Breton fiddler, grew up in Judique, Inverness County. He was influenced by some of the giants in the music at that time like Bill Lamey, “Little” Jack MacDonald, Angus Chisholm and Mary MacDonald. In 1949, Buddy began performing at local square dances. By the mid-1960s, Buddy was making regular appearances at dances in Canada and the U.S. that contributed to sustaining the old-time music and the dance tradition. He developed a reputation as a master fiddler and made his first visit to Scotland to perform in 1970.

Through more than 70 years in music, he has travelled extensively to perform and record. His most recent recording was with his niece, the popular Natalie MacMaster. He has received numerous awards for his service to community and culture, including the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia as well as honorary degrees from St. Francis Xavier University and Cape Breton University.

Buddy’s music adheres to the Gaelic fiddle tradition that he cherishes as much as life itself. The story highlights his devotion to family, faith and community, as well as to his music. He is seen at home, at school, on the farm, and at the CNR where he worked for 45 years. The book looks at his visits to Scotland, the land of his ancestors, as well his visits to American-style music camps and festivals. The legend of Buddy MacMaster is also presented in accounts from many friends, relatives and musicians.

Sheldon MacInnes teaches at Cape Breton University and works at the archives of the Beaton Institute. He is the author of A Journey in Celtic Music – Cape Breton Style.

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Vernacular Architecture in the Codroy Valley

ccbs-pub-vernacular-architecture-codroy-valleyVernacular Architecture in the Codroy Valley is the story of a small Newfoundland community as told through its buildings. From adding on a kitchen to constructing a completely new house, the way people build and change their homes says a great deal about their lives, past and present. Richard MacKinnon’s insights into the stories revealed by the buildings of the Codroy Valley will have you looking at the buildings in your own community in a whole new way.

Richard MacKinnon is the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Intangible Cultural Heritage, as well as Director of the newly established Centre for Cape Breton Studies at Cape Breton University, in Sydney, Nova Scotia. He holds both a MA and Phd in Folklore from Memorial University, and his research focuses on Atlantic Canadian folklore, culture and heritage with a specialization in Cape Breton Studies.

$24.95 CDN plus tax and shipping

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Richard MacKinnon
Professor, Folklore, Department Chair, as well as Managing Editor, MCR

Office: CE264

Phone: 902.563.1284

Elizabeth Beaton
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Cape Breton Studies

Heather Sparling
Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology / Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (Musical Traditions)

Office: CE263B

Phone: 902.563.1242

Ian Brodie
Associate Professor, Folklore

Office: CE263C

Phone: 563.1418

Chris McDonald
Assistant Professor, Ethnomusicology

Office: CE251

Phone: 563-1415

Christopher Jones
Digitization Technician

Office: Digitization Lab

Phone: 563.1912