Call for Papers: The Cape Breton Highlanders and the Shaping of Canada:
Conference on Military and Social History

Cape Breton Highlanders Association / Cape Breton University / Atlantic Memorial Park
September 30, 2021 at Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia

On 13 October 1871, the Victoria Provisional Battalion of Infantry was officially organized and
headquartered at Baddeck, Victoria County, Nova Scotia. The battalion, known today as the Cape Breton
Highlanders, drew from settler and immigrant communities to Cape Breton Island in the 19th century –
largely Highlanders of Scottish origin whose families had arrived in the previous decades. One hundred
and fifty years later, in October of 2021, the Cape Breton Highlanders are again coming together to
celebrate the 150th anniversary of their organization. In recognition of this most august event, Cape
Breton University in conjunction with the Cape Breton Highlanders Association and the Atlantic
Memorial Park are hosting a one-day conference (30 September 2021) on the history and influence of the
Cape Breton Highlanders, the military history of Canada between 1871 and the present, as well as related
areas of social history. This conference will commence a three-day schedule of events relating to the
celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Cape Breton Highlanders, culminating with a
formal Presentation of Colours on Saturday, 2 October 2021.

The conference will bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines as well as members of the
Canadian military, policymakers, representatives of heritage organizations and museums, and
community-based projects involving military and social history in Canada. We encourage the submission
of individual papers or full panel proposals. Possible themes include any aspect of the history of the Cape
Breton Highlanders, First Nations and Mi’kmaq contributions to Canada’s military, life on the home front
(broadly considered), and Heritage and Commemoration of Canada at War. Papers will also be considered
for inclusion in a special journal issue or edited collection.

The Cape Breton Highlanders and the Shaping of Canada Conference is being co-organized by Cape Breton
University (, the Cape Breton Highlanders Association, and the Atlantic Memorial Park
( Presenters should plan to cover their own travel and accommodations, although the
organizers will be applying for a grant that may help to defray some of these costs.

Proposals should include a 250-word paper abstract and a CV.

We ask that you submit your proposal by email to [email protected].