Cape Breton University is pleased to announce the University’s 2022 Artist in Residence, Sons of Membertou. The Mi’kmaq drumming and singing group, formed in 1992, will be celebrating their thirtieth anniversary this year and are eager to bring their experience to CBU. Their hope is for members of the campus community to learn from one another through cultural performances when restrictions are lifted.
Each year, CBU hosts an Artist in Residence who joins the campus for a four-month term during which they pursue creative projects, connect with students and employees and engage with the Island community. The initiative was developed to create partnerships with artists who share a passion for enriching the creative arts experience.
Sons of Membertou began with just four members and has since grown to include more than 15 members throughout its existence. The group has performed all over the world, always carrying with them the original goal of finding identity and sharing Mi’kmaq songs and culture with others. When restrictions are lifted, they will be hosting a series of events involving additional presenters and performers. The proposed schedule includes an Indigenous theatre project, an evening of storytelling, drumming and singing, a retrospective in the Art Gallery, a drum making workshop and more.
“The drum represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth so we come together on one drum, one people,” says member Graham Marshall. “What I hope to achieve during this residency is for CBU students from around the world to come together virtually so we can learn from one another both academically and culturally.”
The Artist in Residence program is just one way CBU is working to foster creative arts on campus. Students are invited to participate in workshops and attend performances when they begin to learn about topics such as treaty education, resilience, healing, storytelling and environmental practices.
CBU Creative Arts Coordinator, Todd Hiscock, says Cape Breton University is proud and honoured to have the Sons of Membertou as the 2022 Artist in Residence. “Indigenizing the L’nu Way and Globalizing With a Difference, two of CBU’s strategic priorities, must in part happen through engagement with the creative arts,” he says. “Cultures express who and what they are through music, dance, theatre and art. By creating opportunities in and out of the classroom for cultural expression in these areas, we find highly evocative and personal ways to teach and learn about each other.”
For a list of upcoming virtual and in-person events at CBU, visit cbu.ca/events