CBU Housing Institute

A centre for community engagement, funded under the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Cape Breton University.

Whether you want to hold a workshop to build capacity and resilience in our community, or have an exhibit to promote our community, we’re ready to work with you! You can see some of our upcoming and past events on our website to get a flavour of what we are doing now, but we’re always ready to have events in response to community requests.

Recent events have included:

  • Art-Making Cafes
  • Repair Cafes
  • Children’s University in the Community
  • National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
  • Cape Breton Naturalists’ Society meet-ups

The CSC is also a good place to make connections. In 2015 we will have several community engagement sessions where we will ask the community to help us identify some themes for speakers, workshops and research in the coming years.

Themes Include: Experiential & Interactive Learning, Exhibits, Presentations, Free School & Extension Courses, Community-Driven Research, Reference Services, Communal Work Hub, and Civic Engagement. We are now developing programming in these areas.

Currently, we have 3 years of funding which covers our space and one part-time student assistant. Other staff are seconded from CBU. We do not have any additional funds for research projects, programming, or employment, but we continue to apply for other sources of funding.

The Cooperative Study Club’s (CSC) name is influenced by the work of Rev. Jimmy Tompkins. He famously championed the Antigonish Movement and encouraged empowerment through knowledge, and he was also the chair of many Study Clubs. These Clubs would meet in homes on an ongoing basis and each member would read and research, sharing their knowledge with the group. It was in this way that cooperative housing was successfully built in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, through researching Credit Unions and other housing initiatives as a community.

We’re also influenced by international Community-University initiatives which are connected to a specific communal space and located proximate to community members. Primarily called “hives” these spaces create a space for shared learning and joint research.