Home Arts, Culture & Education Arts Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association

Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association

Time to practice and work together. © Greg Simm

Music for the Future brings music to Nunavut Youth

“So thankful for Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association for taking the time to come to our communities and teach the power of music. I really wouldn’t be where I am now without their guidance and passion for the arts. I am now following in their footsteps by teaching ukulele when I can. Music is powerful!”— Colleen Nakashuk (aka Aasiva) — April 2019

Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association (TSA), which translates to “Music for the Future,” is a consistent and culturally responsive charity providing musiceducation to youth in Nunavut since 2008. TSA was originally inspired by a high school teacher in Pond Inlet who wanted to provide after school opportunities for students at her school to play instruments, explore, and experience traditional Inuit and other music styles.

Since its inception in 2008, TSA instructors have visited Nunavut 22 times and have held fiddle workshops in eight communities, providing more that 110 fiddlesto these communities. As of 2019, fiddle workshops are held in the spring, fall and winter, with two to three workshops per year in Sanirajak (Hall Beach), Igloolik, Qikiqtarjuaq, Pangnirtung, Pond Inlet, most recently expanding to include Kinngait, as of January 2019. The fiddle workshops take place over three to five days in each community. Interested students are divided into groups (by playing level) and meet daily, to develop their playing skills and learn new songs. During the workshops, instructors work with more than 300 youth, many of them returning workshop after workshop, year after year. In addition to the fiddle workshops, TSA instructors aim to engage youth in community events such as school assemblies, performances for Elders, and other community-based events and celebrations, as opportunities arise.

Samuel Nookiguak enjoying the fiddle in Pangnirtung. © Greg Simm

TSA facilitates opportunities to develop and encourage creativity, confidence, joy, cooperation, teamwork, and positive mental health — skills that will empower youth in other life choices. A new goal for 2020-2021 is to also establish after school Music Clubs in communities so students have ongoing opportunities throughout the school year to experience and enjoy the power of music.

The ongoing success of workshops is largely due to consistency. TSA has provided activities for youth in isolated communities for over 10 years. The workshops are facilitated by instructors who are as passionate about the Inuit culture as they are about the students. TSA’s foundation is built on the presence of dedicated instructors, who return year after year to build relationships and skills. Instructor and musician, Greg Simm, has been a lead every workshop since 2008 and has become a respected instructor as well as afriend and mentor to many youth. Lead fiddle instructor, Kim de Laforest, performer and teacher from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, looks forward to reconnecting with as many students as possible during the next workshop. Note: Due to the ongoing pandemic, TSA — Music for the Future has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the 2020 Fall Fiddle Workshops but is actively planning for workshops in 2021 and is keen to have their instructors return to Nunavut as soon as it is safe to do so. TSA is proud to have developed relationships in the communities and with organizations in Nunavut who support the ongoingprograms while partnering to increase access to music education.

TSA — Music for the Future is grateful to its many incredible donors and supporters who believe in the power of music. Together we are creating a brighter future for youth. The partnership and support from Canadian North Airlines speaks volumes to their community commitment, ensuring youth have access to positive and creative extracurricular music programs well into the future. Qujannamiik Canadian North Airlines!

Want to know more? Visit us at www.musicforthefuture.ca/how-to-help

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