Social Studies Teachers Association Conference

On Friday October 23rd, the Coordinators of the C@P Society of Cape Breton County and the Inverness County C@P Network Society attended the annual Social Studies Teachers Association (SSTA) Conference in Fall River to exhibit and present the Educational Resources developed as part of Work Through Time: Cape Breton Stories of Land and Sea.

Educational Consultants, Colleen MacLeod and Alice Campbell, developed twelve lesson plans to accompany twelve of the site’s stories. These lesson plans are based on the Specific Curriculum Outcomes of the Atlantic Provinces and are multi-disciplinary in nature.

All are available in the Educational Resources section of

The response to both the presentation and exhibit table were overwhelming. The teachers we spoke with were very excited to discover this resource and to be able to begin using it in their classrooms. Many asked for extra copies for colleagues that weren’t able to attend!

The Educational Resources DVDs have also been provided to all Primary to Eight Teachers on Cape Breton Island through the Strait Regional School Board, Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board, Membertou Elementary, Eskasoni School Board and three French schools in Sydney, Cheticamp and Arichat.

Social Studies Teachers Association Exhibit Table

Down North

The old Cottage Hospital, Down North © North Highlands Community Museum

The old Cottage Hospital, Down North © North Highlands Community Museum

Today I went to the North Highlands Community Museum, in Cape North, with the coordinator of the C@P Network Society for Inverness County, Darlene Cameron. As we drove along the beautiful Cabot Trail, we kept our eyes peeled for moose and eagles and more. We headed to the North Highlands Museum to research and digitize photographs to accompany the “Industry North” story for the WTT website. The museum itself is a great place to do research and there are lots of exhibits to explore. They’ve done a great job in creating a space that both the local and greater community can enjoy! Heather Morrison, my contact at the museum, a great help as I made my way through the archives and exhibits. Everything in the museum has been catalogued in such a way that it was easy to find what I needed.

Darlene even used their genealogy resources to find out new information about her ancestors!

I’ve added the North Highlands Community  to the growing list of museums I plan to visit again this summer, and so should you!

~ Calum

Come join us…

© C@P Society of Cape Breton

© 2009 C@P Society of Cape Breton

…on Twitter and on Facebook! We’re hoping to upload some preview pics on the Facebook group this week to get you excited for the Launch next month.

Many historical museums, organizations and attractions began opening last week (May 15) and most if not all will be open as of June 1, 2009 – make sure you include them in your late spring and summer plans! We’ll be featuring a “Heritage Hotspots” interactive map of Cape Breton on the Work Through Time website.

For now, take a picnic over to the Highland Village, bring your bicycles down to Isle Madame for the day, or wear your dancing shoes over to Mabou for a night of steps. The spring blossoms are out, our heritage gardens are growing, and Cape Bretoners are gearing up for another summer season. Get outside and get engaged in all that our beautiful island has to offer!

In Cheticamp, language listening.

The sun setting near Cheticamp © Christie Macneil

The sun setting near Cheticamp © Christie Macneil

For the last few days I’ve been in Cheticamp, at the CKJM 106.1 radio station, overseeing the recording of the English and Gaelic narration of all 24 stories for the Work Through Time project.

Ian MacNeil was up first, and if you don’t recognize his name, you would definitely recognize his voice. As the longstanding host of CBC Radio One’s Information Morning, Ian was a part of our mornings for so many years. It was great to hear him in action again, narrating the English version of the stories featured on the WTT site.

Our narrator for the English stories, Ian McNeil

Our narrator for the English stories, Ian McNeil

Equally impressive was Effie Rankin, who not only translated all 24 stories into Gaelic, but joined us at the studio to narrate them as well! Effie speaks the language beautifully (she grew up speaking it in Scotland) and is a Gaelic Studies professor.

Reading and recording 24 (sometimes very long) stories is no small feat! I had a great time in Cheticamp and would like to thank everyone at CKJM and our amazing narrators. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the stories come alive as I did.

~ Calum

Location of Launch Day announced

Image of Sisters and Swordfishers courtesy of the Coastal Discovery Centre © Coastal Discovery Centre 2009

Sisters and Swordfishers courtesy of the Coastal Discovery Centre © Coastal Discovery Centre 2009

Please note: this is not the official invitation! Just a quick mock-up to announce our Launch Date and location. The Work through Time: Cape Breton Stories of Land and Sea website will go live on June 30, 2009. We will be hosting a launch party at St. Patrick’s Church Museum on that day from 4-6pm. Come and join us as we celebrate the history and diversity of work in Cape Breton Island’s past and present. There will be food, and refreshments and a fiddler too! Here’s a little history about St. Pat’s Church to pique your interest. We thank the Old Sydney Society for providing us with a beautiful heritage space for our gathering.

For more a precise location map, please click here. I will post a version of the official invitation once we have it in our hands!
Christie Macneil

WTT Project Update!

Marine Science School © Coastal Discovery Centre

Marine Science School © Coastal Discovery Centre

Dear WTT readers, just a bit of an update from our end! We’ve collected all of the twenty-four Cape Breton stories of land and sea and now our wonderful translators have been busy weaving the English threads into Gaelic, Mi’kmaq and French. We’re very excited that each story is being translated, narrated and recorded in all four heritage languages!

The first of two recording sessions began at the CKJM studio in Cheticamp last Friday. Calum is attending the first two sessions and will soon provide an update for how they went! We’d like to send a kind thanks to our narrators for their work and enthusiasm for the project: Ian McNeil, English; Effie Rankin, Gaelic; Elisabeth Paul, Mi’kmaq; and Daniel Aucoin, French.

Our web developer, Robb Corbett, and graphic designer, Kristy Read, are working together to finalize the site layout and graphic design elements. The initial mockups and trial versions are fantastic! Calum and I have our fingers in lots of little pots – gathering related materials and photographs for each story,  learning how to use new technologies, and trying to keep the blog updated! We’re busy as bees over here, but the excitement of the Launch Day grows daily.

Remember, the final version of the site goes live on June 30, 2009!

Christie Macneil

Chestico days.

A handpress used in printing. Taken at the Chestico Museum.

A handpress used in printing. Taken at the Chestico Museum.

Today I visited the Chestico Museum again and visited with Ann Beaton and John Gillies, who were busy preparing costumes and mannequins for an exhibit on the history of nuns and priests in the area. The building was full of people examining old photos and trying to recreate the look of times past, often with uniforms and wardrobe pieces that have been packed away in boxes for quite some time. It was really great to see it all coming to life.

Now that all the stories have been collected, we’ve moved on to the next phase of the project. This involves finding photos to go along with the twenty-four WTT stories, as well as supplementary materials (ledgers, material culture objects, and more). The Chestico Museum provided us with photos to accompany a story about David Jones, a printer from Port Hood.

All of our partners in the project have been wonderful and allowed us access to some very impressive photo libraries and archives. I also stopped in at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre while I was in the area and they provided me with some of the photos they had in their archives that complemented a number of our stories. While I really enjoyed reading through old stories and narratives of peoples’ lives and work, it’s so much fun to look through old photographs. They’re going make the WTT stories come alive and leap off the page. I think the narration of the stories (in English, French, Gaelic and Mi’kmaq) will also have this effect but I’ll tell you a bit more about this in my next post.

~ Calum