Diversitycapebreton.ca is a living, interactive multimedia resource. The site houses and presents research about the contributions of diverse ethnocultural groups to the social and cultural landscape of Cape Breton Island. By bringing together existing and emerging research, the contributors of diversitycapebreton.ca hope to offer visitors to the site a fuller and more accurate representation of the island’s diverse ethnocultural profile.
The site is a response to a call for growth in this area in the Nova Scotia Museums Interpretive Master Plan, 2009. In its initial phase, the web portal showcases Eastern and Central Europeans communities and cultures. The portal has been created in close collaboration with Cape Bretoners of different origins, backgrounds and heritage; multiple CBU offices and institutions, notably the Beaton Institute; and numerous national and international partners, including several research offices at the University of Alberta and the University of Aizu, Japan.
The portal research and development is supported by the research office of Dr. Marcia Ostashewski, Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures at Cape Breton University, who serves as the project’s lead investigator. The rich materials found on the site have been collected and created by a team of scholars, including CBU’s Dr. Tom Urbaniak, students and community research assistants who work in collaboration with Dr. Ostashewski and her research office; as well as professional contractors and consultants, including Eric Favaro of Sydney’s Artscape Consulting. Favaro worked with the research team to create curriculum resources for use in school classrooms.
Funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Public Outreach – Dissemination program has enabled the research and development of resourced related to Eastern and Central European immigrants and their descendants. Funding is already being sought toward the continued development of the portal, and resources that will attend to a greater diversity of the island’s groups. diversitycapebreton.ca sheds new light on what it means to conduct research in Atlantic Canada, while enhancing our understanding of Canadian, regional and group identities.
The public is invited on Saturday, August 1, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. in Whitney Pier’s Ukrainian Hall (51 West Street, Sydney, NS) to launch the diversitycapebreton.ca web portal.