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CBU Receives Funding For State Of The Art Research Facilities

Two Cape Breton University professors will receive funding from the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust.

The trust has announced it will fund a total of 12 projects across the province that aim to improve the quality of life for Nova Scotians while building further capacity for innovation.

CBU’s Marcia Ostashewski, assistant professor of ethnomusicology, and Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, assistant professor of community health, will receive funding to improve infrastructure in support of their research. Ostashewski will receive close to $499,000 and Cunsolo Willox will get $65,000.

“This is wonderful news for our researchers,” says Dale Keefe, dean of research and graduate studies. “This funding will allow CBU to build the proper and innovative spaces needed to keep our researchers in the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that facilitate the world-class work that they conduct here.”

Ostashewski engages with diverse communities, with partners across sectors and scholars across disciplines, in innovative, creative music, dance and digital humanities research that addresses concrete social problems.

“Music and dance are at the heart of our most profound experiences and, in Canada and globally, are tightly wound up with expressions and representations of identities, cultural policy, the distribution of funding, governance of communities and cultures, and more,” said Ostashewski in a press release. “They are especially important in Cape Breton, famous for its music, dance and culture.”

The funding will help build the Collaborative Music and Movement Laboratory and will promote collaboration and community-based research on music, dance, performance and other media. The lab is a world-class digital humanities research la, and is the only research centre on the Canadian East Coast working on creative and critical digital, interactive multimedia research and applications.

Cunsolo Willox’s research will strive to improve knowledge surrounding the causes of health disparities and develop strategies to decrease health inequities in many parts of the country, including Cape Breton and Atlantic Canada. Using community-engaged health research approaches and participatory digital media, this chair will support and enhance the determinants of healthy communities in resource-dependent, rural and remote, and Indigenous populations.

“These funds will contribute to the development of the Centre for Community-Engaged Health Research at Cape Breton University, which aims to bring together health researchers, practitioners, students, policy makers and community stakeholders to work together on complex health challenges,” said Cunsolo Willox.

The funding will help build infrastructure at CBU to support collaborative, community-based and multi-media health research. This includes the construction of offices for visiting researchers, a boardroom, work stations for student researchers, and a multi-media lab, including computers, digital cameras, digital video cameras and editing and analysis software.

This centre will be the first of its kind in Canada, and is hoped to become a hub for community engaged and participatory health research, producing high-calibre research, hosting workshops and conferences, creating multi-media knowledge translation pieces, and contributing to evidence-based decision-making and policy.