Conversations on Culture

A new book from Cape Breton University Press and Utah State University Press, based on interviews carried out by American folklorist Burt Feintuch (University of New Hampshire), conveys the power of culture. The launch for In the Blood: Cape Breton Conversations on Culture is taking place on Tuesday, October 12 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the CBU Art Gallery.

Perched as we are at the edge of North America, the continent that tends to shape the world in its own image, Cape Bretoners have, against significant odds, sustained a society in which culture runs deep. Planners often tout culture as an economic engine—music and literature in particular—and in this, it would seem, Cape Breton stands out.

In the Blood: Cape Breton Conversations on Culture offers the insights of artists, musicians, economic development specialists, educators, former miners and steelworkers, First Nations activists, journalists, fishers, Gaelic revivalists and others. All are presented in a carefully edited, highly readable and engaging conversation about culture on the Island.

Completing the picture are photographer Gary Samson’s portraits of the subjects and their communities. Samson is Chair of Photography, New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA). His portraits and other photographs are complemented by those of NHIA student Lindsey Vladyka.

Their exhibit, Cape Breton: A Visual Diary, is being presented by the Cape Breton University Art Gallery, beginning Tuesday, October 12, coinciding with the launch of the book. A second launch and a display of a selection of images from the exhibition, will take place at An Drochaid/The Bridge Museum, Mabou, on Wednesday, October 13, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The exhibit and book launch are being presented in cooperation with the Centre for Cape Breton Studies, Celtic Colours Lecture Workshop Series. In addition to the exhibit opening and book launch, Prof. Feintuch will give a talk entitled “Sustaining Cape Breton’s Fiddle Music” on October 12 at 1:00 p.m. in the Sydney Credit Union Room.

Samson will give an artist’s talk between 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. the same evening.
These free events are open to the public.