Stephen Muise

Cape Breton University is delighted to honour and recognize a man who has spent his career educating Cape Breton youth, sharing his love of music, culture and the arts and who has seen a global spotlight with the world-renewed Men of the Deeps, Mr. Stephen Muise.

Stephen Muise has been a full-time educator for over 25 years and holds degrees in both music and education with a Masters in Education Administration (BMus, BEd and M.Ed). In January 2017, Stephen accepted the role of Conductor for the world-famous Men of the Deeps, North America’s only coal miners’ chorus.

Stephen strives to connect the world of professional entertainment to his environment of learning, providing unlikely opportunities for students by pairing them with performing artists. In recognition of his many collaborations, in December  2022, Stephen was the recipient of the Canadian Band Association Community Builders Award, a national honour for his community work with students and professional musicians.

Stephen is co-owner of Olive Street Entertainment (OSE), an entertainment production company, with his spouse and business partner, Jenn Sheppard. The company produces various large-scale events, fundraisers and productions for businesses. OSE also runs the daily business operations and logistics for the Men of the Deeps, The Island Girls, High Society and the Privateers.

In 2023, Stephen was nominated for Outstanding Musical Direction at the 2023 Merritt Awards for his work on Dear Rita, a musical tribute to the life of Rita MacNeil. Stephen’s involvement in the music industry has allowed him to work with artists such as Rita MacNeil, The Rankin Family, The Island Girls, The Barra MacNeils, Bruce Guthro, Matt Andersen, Gordie Sampson, Sam Moon, Fred Lavery,  Matt Minglewood and more.

During the COVID pandemic, Stephen, Jenn and their daughter Jordyn created an online event called Garbage Night Sessions, with live music and special guests. The trio managed to raise over $100,000 for various community endeavours and were able to purchase and deliver 48 iPads to seniors who were in long-term care facilities across the island.

Today, Cape Breton University confers the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, on an educator and entertainer whose love of music and arts are the guiding principle of his work and who ensures he leaves a legacy with every project he undertakes, Mr. Stephen Muise.