Canada Research Chair Awarded $61k for “Global Musics – Local Connections” Project

global musicsCape Breton University’s Dr. Marcia Ostashewski has been granted $61,280 in Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connections funding for a project that engages the public in learning about musics from around the world and their local connections; and how music can influence positive change and intercultural exchanges in our communities.

The “Global Musics – Local Connections” project is grounded in two knowledge exchange events – one in Sydney and one in Edmonton – at which participants will share knowledge and expertise through presentations, performances and activities.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with scholars and educators from around the world and in our local regions on this project,” says Dr. Ostashewski, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures (Tier 2). “To be able to offer and participate in these exciting opportunities to study and appreciate musics from around the globe, and the diverse cultures, perspectives, ideas and traditions of which they are a part – it’s essential as we work to support lifelong learning and growth in our communities, and critical, creative thinking about our world and the challenges we face together.”

The project is another successful collaboration between Ostashewski and her colleagues at Cape Breton University, along with Dr. Michael Frishkopf and a team of scholars and institutes at the University of Alberta. Based in two centres – primarily The CoMM Lab at CBU, Ostashewski’s new digital media lab funded by Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT), and Frishkopf’s Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology at U Alberta – the project is facilitated through collaboration with numerous government offices, national educational organizations, community and cultural institutions in both Nova Scotia and Alberta. This multi-faceted research and public outreach program will bring together ethnomusicologists and musicians, educators and culture sector professionals from around the globe, to build on their diverse experiences working to address challenges and community development initiatives, and facilitate positive social interactions and intercultural exchanges.

Additional components of the project include a program to support civic engagement in Cape Breton and Edmonton, including public music events, in-school workshops, and a film festival; professional development in global music education, and the development of curriculum for schools and universities; the creation of legacy materials, including print publications and digital media resources.

“We are delighted for Dr. Ostashewski and her colleagues, and proud of this work at CBU,” says Arja Vainio-Mattila, Dean of the School of Arts and Social Sciences. “CBU is a multicultural and creative university where an understanding of diverse communities is central to our thinking of what makes for an excellent learning environment. As a result, community based research is fundamental to our University. Dr. Ostashewski’s work on local and global connections and musics contributes to further strengthening CBU’s relationship with the Island that is its community while expanding our understanding of community in the global context.”

The first major project events will take place in Cape Breton from October 5-10, 2016. They will be organized around the biennial conference of the International Council for Traditional Music’s (ICTM) Applied Ethnomusicology Study Group, which will be held in conjunction with the opening weekend of Celtic Colours International Festival.

The website for “Global Musics – Local Connections” will be launching mid-May at – visit the site at that time for information about events and activities.