Arts activities and education have been an important part of Cape Breton University since its inception. Through storytelling in numerous forms, CBU has engaged with the wider community which has enriched all involved. There are numerous examples including The Boardmore Playhouse which is a bustling centre of activities from plays to auditions and from workshops to rehearsals. Also, the Boardmore is home to many of the academic courses offered as part of CBU’s Theatre Arts programs: Degree in Applied Theatre, Minor in Drama; Theatre Arts Certificate; Major in Dramatic Literature. Community members enjoy volunteer opportunities both on and backstage.
The University has many and various venues and assets that are available for community partnerships. The Centre for Sound Communities is an arts-led social innovation lab that carries out research through artistic practices such as dance, music, theatre and digital media.
The Art Gallery at CBU was opened in the 1970s and is home to a significant collection which it holds in trust for the general public. The Gallery is a hub for visual arts activity and education on Cape Breton Island. The Gallery is a unique resource for visual arts appreciation, education, and research on campus and in the community.
The CBU Pipe Band consists of musicians who are youth and adults from numerous communities who are interested in sharing their talents and promoting piping in Cape Breton. Cape Breton University is very proud that the Pipe Band was recognized for their hard work when awarded North American champion status in 2019.
The Beaton Institute is a genealogical gem in the heart of Cape Breton University. Its doors and extensive archives is accessible on campus and online for any interested student, hobbyist or just the very curious. The Beaton Institute archives contains over 3,000 textual collections, 300,000 photographs, 5,000 audio and video tapes, 1,000 maps, several dozen newspapers, as well as thousands of rare, antiquarian, local, and out-of-print publications.