Youth Songwriter’s Workshops Focus on Immigration and Encounter

As part of Multiculturalism Day being celebrated at Cape Breton University on June 27, the Centre for Sound Communities is hosting Songwriting Workshops for youth aged 12 -18 years old. The workshops begin at 10 a.m. and participants will work with east coast musicians, Stewart MacNeil, Brian Cherwick and Robert Deveaux, to study stories, and then create their own songs, about immigration, which they will perform that evening during the Multiculturalism Day celebrations. The workshop is part of a larger project, Songs and Stories of Immigration and Encounter, being led by Dr. Marcia Ostashewski and the Centre for Sound Communities.

Songs and Stories of Immigration and Encounter is an arts-based project in which, together with youth, elders and community members at large, we explore narratives and experiences of immigration and resulting encounter and relationships in Cape Breton. This project, powered by proactive, community-engaged research and pedagogies, is vital at this juncture in our nation’s history, and in a context of heightened concern for the challenges migrants and refugees face in Canada and around the world,” Dr. Marcia Ostashewski.

The Centre was awarded $17,000 to facilitate in-community programming in Whitney Pier’s Ukrainian Hall, a vibrant community centre that serves a diversity of groups in the district, and two other Sydney locations: McConnell Library and Centre Communautaire Étoile de l’Acadie, which will be the locations of the songwriting workshop. Funds were awarded from CBRM Festivals and Events, Community Foundations Canada, and from CBU’s internal research grants program.

Youth who are interested in participating in the Songwriter’s Workshops should register by June 15, with the Centre at or phone 902.563.1696. Community members with have stories of immigration to share, and who would be willing to work with the youth and musicians, please also contact the Centre.

For more information about the project and in-community programming this fall visit