Moira MacLeod

Cape Breton University is delighted to honour and recognize a woman who had an exemplary career as a public servant of Nova Scotia, and who is one of the Province’s greatest authors and storytellers, Ms. Moira MacLeod.

Moira grew up in the mining community of Glace Bay, NS, and is extremely proud of her roots. She had a lengthy and accomplished 33-year career with the Province of Nova Scotia as a policy analyst, communications advisor, and speechwriter. It was after leaving her role with the provincial government that she got to dive into her passion for creative writing, scripting a number of signature events celebrating or commemorating local, provincial, or national milestones.

Some of her work included Night of the Bells, marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and narrated by the late Gordon Pinsent; Stronger than Steel, celebrating the opening of Sydney’s Open Hearth Park; and, Nimidiwin, a national showcase of Indigenous culture at the Canadian Museum of History. She also helped make the 2022 CBU President’s Leadership Dinner in Halifax a night guests will never forget.

Intricately weaving fact and fiction through her unique way of storytelling, in 2016, Ms. MacLeod released her first novel, The Bread Maker, a fictional account of a spirited young woman living in a gritty coal mining town during the 1930-40s who pushes back on institutionalized corruption and the punishing social norms of the day. Critically described as, “A lush and stirring reminder of the basic instinct to persevere through even the toughest times,” The Bread Maker quickly turned into a six-book series with a seventh still to come.

While her books enjoy universal appeal, Ms. MacLeod’s use of names and places, and humour familiar to Cape Breton have made them a favourite among local readers.

She maintains there was no better place in the world to have grown up or to be inspired to write.

She now lives in Halifax, close to her children and grandchildren, and just a few hours away from the Island she calls home.

Today, Cape Breton University confers the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, on a woman who continues to impact others through her masterful storytelling and her outstanding ability to use her creativity to help other organizations tell their story, Ms. Moira MacLeod.