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On a volunteer and non-profit basis, the society will seek to promote music among youth in the North in order to increase self-esteem, teamwork, leadership, and a healthy and positive lifestyle. The society will strive to provide music education and support music opportunities, including purchasing instruments where needed and facilitating music workshops. The society will use a mentorship model to ensure that there are qualified instructors, which will assist with the growth and development of music programs in the northern communities. The society will seek to foster community development through music, celebration and education in order to support the continued evolution of northern communities through development of music education programs and promotion of mutual respect for the cultural traditions of the North and South. 


The vision for the music association evolved from the music club started by educator Julie Lohnes in 2004 in the remote northern community of Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

Teaching in a high school without a music class, and listening to her students talk about music and learning to play guitar, Ms. Lohnes decided to start the Nasivvik Music Club. The desire that youth have to learn to play instruments and the lack of structured after-school activities for youth were the driving forces behind starting the club, which continues today. The purpose of the music club was, and still is, to provide a safe environment in which students can learn to read and play both traditional Inuit and popular music, fostering their individuality and musical growth.


The program’s popularity increased, and in 2007, with extensive fundraising, the first-ever fiddle workshop was held in May. In 2009, Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association – Music for the Future was officially incorporated and created to provide opportunities for Inuit youth in Nunavut to learn music. Since then, our instructors have traveled annually to Nunavut to conduct fiddle workshops. Through organized workshops, exposure to professional musicians, and opportunities for cultural sharing and mentoring, youth have been learning valuable skills and given a positive outlet with which to express themselves. The interest in our music program continues to grow and post-Covid we're not only presenting in-person fiddle workshops, we also have an active virtual lesson option (in Inuktitut = Qarasaujakkut Nijjausijariursaniq) and we are finding ways to expand our community outreach and the variety of instruments taught.

For the last fifteen years, Inuit youth have benefited from the fiddle workshops, both during the workshops and throughout the year as many of them continue to play. The workshops, our virtual lessons and music clubs put instruments in the hands of youth, and that is powerful. Our focus will continue to provide opportunities for youth to engage with music as a positive, creative outlet which has a positive impact on their mental health. We're currently working to develop a mentorship model as a means to build capacity in remote communities. Wouldn't it be great if our former students were the instructors and music club leaders in the future? Here's hoping!




Julie Lohnes-Cashin
Lower Sackville, NS

2009 - Present


Jeff Lohnes
Toronto, ON
2009 - Present


Eunkang Jo

Lower Sackville, NS

Feb 2021 - Present


Heather Moffett
 Sussex, NB
May 2019 - Present


Emma Baasch
Iqaluit, NU
Sept 2021 - Present


Laura Horn
Dartmouth, NS
May 2023 - Present


The Board of Directors of Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association - Music for the Future acknowledges the Indigenous Peoples of all the lands and the importance of the lands, which we each call home. In particular, we want to acknowledge that the land on which

 we do most of our work is in Nunavut, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Inuit. We do this to reaffirm our commitment and responsibility to improving relationships between nations and improving our own understanding of local Indigenous peoples

 and their cultures, and to our collective commitment to make the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation real in our communities. From coast to coast to coast, we acknowledge the ancestral and unceded territory of all the Inuit,

 Métis, and First Nations people that call this land home.

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