The Men of the Deeps Coal Miner’s choir, made up of working and retired coal miners from Cape Breton, was organized as part of the Miner’s Folk Society (founded in 1964). The group was an effort to preserve in song some of the rich folklore of the island’s coal mining communities. Begun with the vision of Nina Cohen and the leadership of Myles Macdonald as their first executive director, the initiative was also Cape Breton’s contribution to Canada’s Centennial Year (1967). Since then they travelled across the world. The musical director of the Men of the Deeps was John (Jack) O’Donnell, later a retired professor of music from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. In 1975, O’Donnell published his first collection of coal mining songs entitled The Men of the Deeps (preface by Helen Creighton — she had helped in collecting the initial material for the choir). Later in 1992, O’Donnell published a further collection called And Now the Fields are Green: A Collection of Coal Mining Songs in Canada. In 2016, O’Donnell was awarded the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award at the East Coast Music Awards. (Photo: Men of the Deeps choir poster.