Welcome to Cape Breton Podcast

Welcome to Cape Breton is an evocative podcast of change, arrival, discovery and home. It examines the timeless notion – what is home? How do we define the oftentimes moving target known as home?

Your host Norma Jean MacPhee Zinck guides you on these adventures and discoveries. With 20 years as a journalist, her passion for Cape Breton – Unama’ki fuels this captivating podcast series.

Storytelling in Cape Breton – Unama’ki is as old as the first people living here. You come across any house on any street on the Island, and you’re going to hear a story. This podcast aims to reflect the stories of people who have newly arrived to Cape Breton – Unama’ki, along with the efforts of the people across the Island dedicated to welcoming them to their new home.

Meet people who have landed here for a variety of reasons – to study, for a new career, for an escape from the hustle of big city life, and those who heard Cape Breton – Unama’ki’s story and knew they wanted to become part of it.

Richly steeped in history since time immemorial with the Mi’kmaq welcoming settlers, Cape Breton – Unama’ki has long celebrated a rich cultural landscape. What is it about this coal mining, steel making, fishing, and tourism-driven Island that is calling people to not only visit here – but to put down roots – to call Cape Breton – Unama’ki home?

Listen here to find out.  


Episode 1: Featuring Graham Marshall & Ankit Wadhwa

In this first episode of the Welcome to Cape Breton podcast – we’ll meet Ankit Wadhwa and join in the celebrations that he and his friends organized for the annual Hindu festival called Navratri. We are all treaty people and many of us – indeed most of us – are settlers to Cape Breton. Graham Marshall joins the conversation with the perspective of those who have been welcoming people to these shores for centuries.

Episode 2 Featuring Claudia Andres and Sebastian Bock

In this second episode, we’ll head to Southside Boularderie to chat with Claudia Andres and Sebastian Bock. Their passion for good food and fresh adventures prompted them to move to Cape Breton Unama’ki from Germany to start a small scale farm called Southside Pastures. We’ll hear what it’s been like since they arrived in September, 2020.

Episode 3 Featuring Kalie Wang, Nani Venus, and Aby Maqui

Episode Three of Welcome to Cape Breton takes us into the minds and hearts of new Cape Bretoners who are thriving in the business world. You’ll meet the Island’s Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year winners for 2022 for both the Cape Breton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce. Kalie Wang’s Urban Grow Farms business sells microgreens all around Cape Breton – Unama’ki. And partners in life and business, Nani Venus and Aby Maqui are four years into rocking Nani’s Esthetics in Port Hawkesbury.

Episode 4 Featuring Dena MacKinnon, Mildred Lynn McDonald, Bill Murphy, and Kit & Indigo Christ

It’s road trip time in Episode Four! Join host Norma Jean MacPhee Zinck as she hits the road with Jessica Fogarty, coordinator of the Cape Breton Welcome Network. This is part one of a two-part series where Jessica and Norma Jean meet others involved with the Welcome Network and with some new people now calling Unama’ki home. Discover how the land nourishes a community and how communities are welcoming new folks. You’ll hear from Dena MacKinnon, Mildred Lynn McDonald, Bill Murphy in Judique and Kit and Indigo Christ in Mull River. Oh and yes, you guessed it, a ceilidh breaks out along the way! First stop – Judique.

Episode 5 Featuring Loril Shanik, Patsy Leblanc, Sheldon MacDonald & Lynn Mateev, Barbara & Larry Heans, and Heike Koch & Jalal Eftekhri

Episode Five is part two of a Welcoming Road trip. Join host Norma Jean MacPhee Zinck as she continues her adventure with the coordinator of the Cape Breton Welcome Network, Jessica Fogarty. Jessica and Norma Jean travel around meeting people involved with the Welcome Network and also with some new people now calling Unama’ki home. In this episode they head to the vibrant community of St. Ann’s Bay.

Episode 6 Featuring Martin Kejval

Meet Martin Kejval and discover his perspective on life. Originally from the Czech Republic, Martin now calls Ingonish home. As Chief Executive Officer of Cape Smokey Holdings, Martin’s philosophical, yet grounded approach to achieving goals is rippling through Victoria County.

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Last Modified: January 3, 2024