Cape Breton University and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. Sign Gift Agreement

$500,000 in Support of Aboriginal Awards

Today, Cape Breton University proudly announced and signed a $500,000 gift agreement with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. in support of Aboriginal student awards. The Irving Shipbuilding Awards will be available to Aboriginal undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing studies in environmental remediation and management.  Three scholarships and two bursaries will be created as a result of this gift and presented annually in the amount of $5,000 each.

“At Cape Breton University we are committed to attracting students who have a desire to impact change.” says Dr. John Harker, President & Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University.  “I believe our 30 year history as a leader in Aboriginal post-secondary education and our continuing commitment through Unama’ki College, combined with future initiatives led by CBU’s new Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE), show that we understand important and unique relationships, and treat them as a priority for this institution. This very significant gift from Irving Shipbuilding Inc. will add to CBU’s reputation in providing strong Aboriginal programs and services and allow us to support our students in the best way possible. The CSEE will be a centre of excellence for new ideas, new methods and new technologies for globally sustainable prosperity, and CBU students will be active participants in innovative research and long term contributors to global solutions.”

Cape Breton University has been a leader in Aboriginal post-secondary education in Atlantic Canada as demonstrated by its more than 500 Aboriginal graduates, many of whom already hold leadership roles specific to important business, environmental and energy related issues in their home communities.  Through Unama’ki College, the establishment of the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies and other focused initiatives and partnerships, CBU is building on its legacy and positively impacting Aboriginal communities in the region and across the country. The Irving Shipbuilding Awards will be administered and awarded through CBU in co-operation with the Unama’ki College Advisory Board Committee. 

CSEE is poised to support related social, environmental, economic and educational objectives. The building will serve as a hub for public demonstration, education and environmental advocacy. CSEE will attract and inspire Aboriginal students, allowing them to enrol in programs that the Irving Shipbuilding Awards support.  

"On behalf of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. I am very pleased to announce this $500,000 contribution to Cape Breton University," says Jim Irving, CEO of Irving Shipbuilding.  "This donation is dedicated to scholarships and bursaries for talented Aboriginal students pursuing studies at the Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE).  Irving Shipbuilding is a learning organization, dedicated to continuous improvement through investments in people, best practices and technology.  We are committed to building opportunities for the next generation.  We look forward to generating more jobs and opportunities for skilled young people and entrepreneurs as we pursue new federal shipbuilding contracts as a qualified Centre of Excellence," says Irving.

Irving Shipbuilding’s scholarship investment at Cape Breton University is a result of the company's commitment to generate Aboriginal benefits and industrial regional benefits as part of the federal Mid-Shore Patrol Vessel Project currently underway at the Halifax Shipyard. 


Jim Irving

Mr. J.D. (Jim) Irving, CEO of Irving Shipbuilding Inc., announces the company’s $500,000 gift to CBU.

Jim Irving and John Harker

(l-r) Mr. J.D. (Jim) Irving, CEO of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Dr. John Harker, President & Vice-Chancellor of Cape Breton University, sign the official gift agreement for the Irving Shipbuilding Inc. Award.

Irving Announcement - Group

(l-r) Ms. Annette Verschuren, Chancellor of Cape Breton University; Alex Irving with Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Ms. Katy McEwan, Aboriginal Elder and CBU graduate; Mr. J.D. (Jim) Irving, CEO of Irving Shipbuilding Inc.; Ms. Pauline Bernard, Aboriginal Elder; and Mr. Lindsay Marshall, event emcee and Principal of Unama’ki College at CBU, gather after the announcement. Katy and Pauline opened the celebratory event with an Aboriginal Blessing and Smudging ceremony.

Sons of Membertou Singers

The Sons of Membertou Singers close the gift agreement signing and announcement with an Aboriginal Celebration Song, as those in attendance enjoy the performance.