The following is a description of this project, used in our application for funding. The exact activities of the project may evolve.

iCreate Cape Breton is a pilot project—focused on the theme of slow violence—establishing a collaborative, community engaged research practice that fosters youth resilience. The project involves local youth as co-researchers who draw upon a network of other youth, community elders, and scholars, to communicate their knowledge and perspectives on challenges in their lives. Our methodology fosters positive personal development and social change through arts-based research and integrating scientific investigation, facilitating a synergy between the outcomes of scientific and artistic research.

iCreate Cape Breton involves a series of multidisciplinary, research-based outreach events and activities that facilitate the co-creation and exchange of knowledge across multiple demographic groups and sectors. These events and activities include the following.

  • A capacity building weekend (1-3 May, 2015) bringing youth, community elders, and service providers from industrial Cape Breton together with scholars to explore local histories of slow violence, and approaches to scientific and creative experimentation. This weekend will also include workshops on documentary process and exhibit curation, and on community resources and first response tactics.
    • Concurrently, CBU’s Art Gallery will open an exhibit that models the potential for arts research to serve youth in challenging circumstances.
  • Weekly, in-community workshops (4 May-11 June, 2015), in which three research teams will create multidisciplinary materials addressing the project’s theme.
    • Concurrently, two teams will engage in documentary processes, one audio (CBC radio) and the other video. These teams will be based in the Cape Breton University Art Gallery; and their documentary materials will be continually added to the ongoing CBU Art Gallery exhibit that showcases the work of iCreate Cape Breton to the public.
    • These audio and video documentary materials will be posted regularly to the project’s website (www.icreatecapebreton.ca); radio documentaries will air regularly on CBC.
    • The CBU Art Gallery will hold weekly cafés to draw attention to exhibit developments and engage in public dialogue on issues arising in the work of the in-community teams.
  • A one-day public symposium (12 June, 2015) at Cape Breton University will showcase the materials created during the workshops. Public officials will be invited to attend this event.
    • Research participants will then tour their works (13 June, 2015) to their communities, providing greater opportunities for community engagement.
    • All project materials will then be deposited at the CBU Art Gallery, where the entire exhibit will remain on display until the end of the week (19 June, 2015).
    • One final CBU Art Gallery café will be held to promote community engagement before the exhibit and documentary process closes.
  • A two day Writing Incubator (15-16 June, 2015) will facilitate academic team members collaboration on writing projects to disseminate project discoveries. Writing outcomes will include: a policy paper and two scholarly articles for publication (one in the sciences, the other the humanities).
  • Collaboration on a Partnership Development Grant (July-August, 2015, for 2015 submission) will support a long-term research program building on the current project’s community engagement and outreach. In the fall of 2015, the iCreate team will present our work and invite community consultation regarding the final grant application at CBU’s Community Study Club at New Dawn’s Centre for Social Innovation in downtown Sydney.

All creative work of the iCreate Cape Breton research teams will be Creative Commons-licensed and made widely available to purposes of education and public engagement.

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