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 OUR MISSION. WHY WE EXIST 

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TUSARNAARNIQ SIVUMUT ASSOCIATION

MUSIC FOR THE FUTURE

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. 

 OUR STORY 

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, guitarist Greg Simm (from Nova Scotia) and fiddle instructors including Gordon Stobbe, Trent Freeman, Ameena Bajer-Koulack and Kim de Laforest, 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 the youth fiddle workshops continues to grow and has added to the inspiration to ensure this program grows and prospers. As of 2019, fiddle workshops are held in the winter, spring and fall in the communities of Pond Inlet, Qikiqtarjuaq, Pangnirtung, Hall Beach, Igloolik, and Cape Dorset.

For the last ten 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 put instruments in the hands of youth, and that is powerful. Built on a foundation of relationship, our program teaches students to play fiddle (especially in communities where music programs don't exist) as a positive, creative outlet, many of them developing leadership skills, confidence and engagement with others and building self-esteem which has a positive impact on their mental health, improving their lives significantly. 

 HI. MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Current Directors:

Julie Lohnes-Cashin

Co-Founder/Chairperson

2009 - Present

Gary Corbett
2018 - Present

Jeff Lohnes
2009 - Present

Heather Moffett
May 2019 - Present

Juanita Swinamer Treasurer
2009 - Present

Veronica Zentilli

 Secretary
August 2018 - Present

Past Directors:

Lynn Feasey

2009 - 2019

Stephen Osler
2009 - 2011

Greg Simm
2012 - 2018