Welcome to our island paradise!
August 26th-28th, 2016
Céad Míle Fáilte! A hundred thousand welcomes! As your hosts, we’re overjoyed to invite you to the 25th annual Canadian Paleontological Conference, in lovely Sydney, Nova Scotia, the heart of Cape Breton. The CPC is always great, but we’ve worked hard to make this year’s conference something truly special.
In addition to a weekend of fabulous presentations and intellectual engagement with colleagues, we’ve created an agenda that includes a selection of the very best that this beautiful island has to offer. The activities, most of which are included at no extra charge in the conference registration, were chosen to showcase Cape Breton’s vibrant Gaelic, Acadian, and Mi’kmaq cultures, its rich fishing and mining history, and its world famous scenery. By the time you go, you’ll understand for yourself why the island’s motto is “your heart will never leave.”
Featured activities include:
- A tour of a turn of the century coal mine, guided by a retired miner (including a trip underground to touch the coal seams)
- A candlelight banquet in the 18th century Fortress of Louisbourg, a National Historic site
- A traditional Cape Breton square dance, presided over by one of the island’s top fiddlers
- Step-dancing lessons
- A field trip along the beautiful Marconi Trail, featuring Carboniferous fossils, lighthouses, and exposed coal seams
- The chance to sample a wide selection of island-made craft beers, rum, and single malt whisky
- And… an authentic island kitchen party to send you off with a bounce in your step and tune in head!
We’ve also arranged a ton of bonus offers with partners in the hopes that you’ll stick around a tour more of the province, including discounted or free admission to the Joggins Fossil Centre, the Fundy Geological Museum, Blue Beach Fossil Museum, Hopewell Rocks, and lots more! See here for a selection of suggested vacation itineraries.
Conference Registration Rates:
- $250* CAN (Professional)
- $200* CAN (Student)
- $30 CAN (Community member)–includes talks only, not banquet, etc.
*Note: Registration includes Louisbourg tour and banquet, mid-conference field trip, lunch and refreshments, rum tasting, and dance.
Field trip: World-famous Cabot Trail—Aug. 24-25th**
To start things off with a bang, we’ve organized a two-day guided tour along the west coast of Cabot Breton, featuring the world-famous Cabot Trail, a drive that the New York Times has called “perfect”, and which has topped ‘must see’ lists in National Geographic, Conde Nast, Travel and Leisure magazine, and many others. Although its beauty alone is reason enough to visit, Cape Breton’s western side—“Canada’s Musical Coast”—is home to working Acadian fishing villages, Mi’kmaq communities, a Gaelic college, and renowned musical exports like Ashley MacIsaac, the Rankin Family, and Natalie MacMaster (as well as a ton of up and comers like the young Celtic supergroup Còig).
Of course, there’s also geology… a lot of geology. And what better way to see it than under the guidance of one of the Maritimes’ most celebrated regional geologists, Dr. Sandra Barr (co-author of the field guide, Geology of Nova Scotia). Over two days, you’ll travel through a billion years of Cape Breton’s dramatic tectonic evolution, visiting Carboniferous forests, salt diapirs, dramatic faults, walls of chalk white gypsum, sparkling metamorphic rocks, and dramatic bird-covered sandstone cliffs. Even better… you’ll see some of it from the deck of a fishing boat, as you get a unique up close view of the Highlands’ rocky exposures (and just maybe see some of the resident pilot and minke whales at the same time).
You’ll also have the chance to see the magnificent Carboniferous paleobotanical collections of the Cape Breton Fossil Museum, tour Canada’s only single malt whisky distillery, listen to Acadian fiddlers, and meet Cape Breton’s best known folk artist.
Field trip registration ($250 CAN) includes: Hotel, boat tour, bus, most meals, national park, fossil museum, and distillery admission, and fiddle concert!
**Note: Funding provided by Springboard Atlantic
(Registration now open! Early bird discounts apply. Field trip space is limited.)