[Press Release] COVID-19 Island Insights for Prince Edward Island now available

For Immediate Release
Charlottetown, PEI (April 6, 2021) —

COVID-19 Island Insights for Prince Edward Island now available

The COVID-19 Island Insights Series entry for Prince Edward Island is now available online. The series aims to bring together critical assessments of how specific islands around the world have performed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extent to which their recovery plans are able to promote long term resilience and sustainability.

Prince Edward Island is one of twenty-five islands around the world participating in this project. Like many islands, PEI has been able to reduce the spread of the virus better than many mainland states and jurisdictions. The international group of researchers behind the project hope it can be a tool for policy makers and island stakeholders. 

The Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island is a partner in this collaboration, which recently released papers focusing on COVID-19 responses in PEINewfoundland and Labrador, and Iceland. The COVID-19 Island Insights Series provides understanding grounded in local knowledge and has been released in sets of two or three periodically since November 2020, with a total of seventeen Island Insights now available online.

“While the entire series will not be complete and published until May, we can already see patterns emerging that we believe could help inform island policy makers here and elsewhere,” said Dr. Jim Randall, the project lead at UPEI. “When islands have the autonomy to craft their own responses, when they have the capacity to limit access, and when their residents are conscientious, they have been more successful in preventing the spread of the virus.” 

In May 2021, the Island Insights project team will be hosting online workshops where policy makers and researchers will come together to identify key lessons. The findings will be shared at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), taking place November 1–12 in Glasgow, Scotland. 

The COVID-19 Island Insights Series is an initiative led by the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI and Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) at Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde, in collaboration with Island Innovation, a social enterprise which seeks to drive sustainable change across islands and rural areas around the world. 

To read the Prince Edward Island COVID-19 Island Insights paper, and the others in the series, visit islandstudies.com/island-insights-series.


Media contact:
Dave Atkinson, UPEI
(902) 620-5117, datkinson@upei.ca


[Press Release] What Newfoundland and Labrador can learn from Iceland’s financial crisis


For Immediate Release


Charlottetown, PEI (March 15, 2021) —
What Newfoundland and Labrador can learn from Iceland’s financial crisis

UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies hosting free virtual event Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 featuring researchers from Newfoundland & Labrador and Iceland. More here

A Stella’s Circle building in St. John’s, shown
in the spring of 2020, carries a message of hope.
Source: The Canadian Press.


As cold-water islands with a shared history, Newfoundland and Labrador and Iceland are often compared. This time researchers are looking at what one island can learn from the other about getting through a financial crisis. They will be sharing their findings at a free, online, public event on Tuesday, March 30th at 1:00 pm ADT, hosted by the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI).

While the financial catastrophe in Newfoundland and Labrador and the 2008 banking crisis in Iceland both seemed to happen suddenly, this study shows they both had deep roots. “Neither government heeded warnings before their crisis and both had poor communications throughout their crisis,” explains one of the researchers, Mark Stoddart of Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. “In Iceland however, public outrage created a turning point that we haven’t yet seen in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

This research undertaken by Professor Stoddart and Dr. Ásthildur Elva Bernharðsdóttir, an independent research scholar at ReykjavíkAkademían in Iceland, is a part of the Sustainable Island Futures project being coordinated by Dr. Jim Randall, the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability at UPEI. The project aims to develop a better understanding of the sustainable development practices and potential of small islands and is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

For more information and to register for the event, visit islandstudies.com/islandlectureseries-march2021.

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Media contact:
Dave Atkinson, UPEI
(902) 620-5117, datkinson@upei.ca

Event contact:
Maggie Henry, Institute of Island Studies, UPEI
mjhenry@upei.ca


[Press Release] Getting the word out: How knowledge gets shared on islands

For Immediate Release

Charlottetown, PEI (January 18, 2021) —
Getting the word out: How knowledge gets shared on islands

New research from UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies and UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability highlights knowledge mobilization in island contexts
. More here.

You might think a conversation at your local coffee shop or at the hockey rink is just something you do in passing, but recent research done by the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) says there is more to it than that.  

In January 2020, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) asked Canada’s network of 27 UNESCO Chairs to contribute papers on Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): how research gets into the hands of people who can use it. UPEI’s UNESCO Chair looked at how knowledge is mobilized on islands across Canada. Knowledge on islands was one of six submissions selected for CCUNESCO’s final report Imagining the future of Knowledge Mobilization: Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs

Too often, informal and local knowledge on islands is thought of as being less important than the formal knowledge that we get from government, researchers, or other organizations. It turns out that what really creates resilience on islands is informal knowledge that we share in our day-to-day lives when we get together.  The research also shows that if this knowledge is not valued and included in planning and decision-making by those in positions of power, they risk making communities more vulnerable. 

Dr. Jim Randall

In the words of Dr. Jim Randall, UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability at UPEI, “I think most islanders know the value of what they might learn at the local coffee shop, but it doesn’t necessarily register for decision-making bodies, especially those not on the island, such as a federal government department. This knowledge-sharing is not just important in the day-to-day lives of people, but also in how they address more significant challenges such as climate change or a pandemic.”

Randall was joined by the Institute of Island Studies’s Dr. Laurie Brinklow and UPEI Master of Arts in Island Studies student Marlene Chapman to complete the project. Their research included focus groups in Atlantic Canada, the Great Lakes, and British Columbia’s west coast. They wanted to find out if knowledge-sharing is different on islands, and they found that, yes, it is. Their chapter in the report details these differences, and makes recommendations on how islands might make use of this information to make their communities more sustainable in the future.

For more information and to access English and French versions of the report, go to projects.upei.ca/unescochair/knowledge-mobilization-2021.

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Media contact:
Dave Atkinson, UPEI
(902) 620-5117, datkinson@upei.ca

Project contact:
Dr. Laurie Brinklow, Institute of Island Studies, UPEI
brinklow@upei.ca


Institute of Island Studies | UNESCO Chair in Island Studies & Sustainability
Island Studies Press | Master of Arts in Island Studies

© 2021 Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island. All rights reserved.

[Press Release] Island Lecture Series January Lecture: “Music-making and the experience of community life on an Irish island” with Rory McCabe

For Immediate Release

Island Lecture Series January Lecture: “Music-making and the experience of community life on an Irish island” with Rory McCabe

Dr. Rory McCabe
with Clare Island in the background

Charlottetown, PEI (January 6, 2021)—
The Island Lecture Series January session will feature Irish researcher Rory McCabe (Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway) joining us live from Clare Island, Ireland, to discuss the role and importance of music-making in island community life and vitality. Following his presentation, Rory will be joined in conversation by Dr. Laurie Brinklow (Institute of Island Studies, UPEI), with an opportunity for questions from the audience. This session will be held virtually via Zoom on January 19, 2021, at 1 p.m. AST.

This lecture presents an ethnographic account of music and social life on Clare Island (pop. 159), a small community off the west coast of Ireland. The details of music-making on Clare Island in the twenty-first century suggest that, against a changing social, economic, and technological environment, the universal themes of social bonding persist as core values in the island experience. Through this presentation, Rory McCabe will describe how music-making is a fundamental process in island community life and an important measure of island health or vitality.
Rory McCabe recently completed his PhD at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. His doctoral research examined music-making and islandness within his home community of Clare Island. In March 2020, Rory was an Ireland Canada University Foundation visiting scholar at the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI.

This virtual event is free and everyone is welcome to attend. The event will be hosted on Zoom, and advance registration is required – please visit bit.ly/islandlectureseries to reserve your spot.
For more information about the Island Lecture Series, please visit islandstudies.com/islandlectureseries or contact Maggie Henry (Interim Coordinator, Institute of Island Studies) at mjhenry@upei.ca.

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Media contact:
Dave Atkinson, UPEI
(902) 620-5117, datkinson@upei.ca

Event contact:
Maggie Henry, Institute of Island Studies, UPEI
mjhenry@upei.ca


Institute of Island Studies | UNESCO Chair in Island Studies & Sustainability
Island Studies Press | Master of Arts in Island Studies

© 2021 Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island. All rights reserved.