Dr. Richard MacKinnon is the Vice President Academic and Provost of Cape Breton University. He is from New Waterford, Cape Breton Island and is a former Tier One Canada Research Chair in Intangible Cultural Heritage at Cape Breton University where he teaches Folklore, Community Studies and Music.
His BA is from Mount Allison University and his MA and Ph.D. are in Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research interests include all aspects of Atlantic Canada’s culture including oral traditions, music, language, material culture and vernacular architecture. He has authored articles in scholarly journals and books such as Vernacular Architecture in the Codroy, Newfoundland. Ottawa: National Museum of Civilization, 2002), Discovering Cape Breton Folklore (Sydney: CBU Press, 2009) and with Dr. Bill Davey, The Dictionary of Cape Breton English (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016). Dr. MacKinnon is also the Editor and Managing Director of the scholarly journal, Material Culture Review that circulates to more than thirty countries around the world. He has also worked in the multimedia field developing CDROMS and web sites. Some of these include Time Travel to the Eighteenth Century, The Peopling of Atlantic Canada, learner’s portal and protestsongs.ca, a web site exploring the historical songs of protest that were once common in Cape Breton Island.
He has been the President of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and has served on numerous boards including the Nova Scotia Highland Village, Iona, the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative, The Canadian Intangible Cultural Heritage Network, and the Sectoral Commission on Communication, Culture and Information for UNESCO in Ottawa, Ontario. He has given presentations at many local, national and international venues. Dr. MacKinnon has been a Visiting Scholar at Lockhaven University, Pennsylvania; Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland; and an adjunct Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
At CBU Dr. MacKinnon has also helped to develop a BA major in Folklore Studies, a minor in Ethnomusicology and a BACS Music degree; a digitization lab; formed a relationship with the Rotary Club of Sydney to build a Performance Analysis facility and Music Room; developed the Centre for Cape Breton Studies; helped establish international exchanges with \the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now Royal Scottish Conservatoire), Glasgow, Scotland; Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Skye, Scotland and the 13 campuses of the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland. He continues to conduct research on Folklore, Architecture History and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Atlantic Canada.