Concert a community celebration
Music for the Future draws full house for fundraiser
There was a full house at the
10th annual benefit concert and silent auction for the Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association (Music for the Future) at the Mahone Bay Centre on Saturday,
Nov. 3, in support of a music program that is reaching hundreds of youth on Baffin Island, Nunavut.
“Overall, it was a great celebration,” said co-founder and chairperson of Music for the Future, Julie Lohnes-cashin.
“There was wonderful music, the performers were spot-on and hopefully we raised some awareness of the work we are doing in Nunavut. When we first started 10 years ago, that concert was one of our biggest means of fundraising, but what’s happened is it’s really grown into a community event; kind of a thank you and a celebration of our program.
“Although it is still an important fundraiser, the focus is not as much on fundraising as it is on celebrating.”
The concert and silent auction raised a net profit of more than $5,500, said Lohnes-cashin, which will be used to help
Music for the Future continue delivering fiddle workshops to multiple communities on Baffin Island — a practice that was unintentionally started in
2007, after the first fiddle workshop was organized by LohnesCashin, who had spent three years teaching in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, and was leaving to come back to Nova Scotia.
“Technically, I wasn’t planning to organize another workshop,” she said, but when the students asked if they would be back next year, she couldn’t say no. “I said ‘yes, we’ll make it happen,’” Lohnes-cashin added and organizied another fiddle workshop in 2008.
Knowing there was other interest in other communities, the Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association, which translated means Music for the Future was officially incorporated in 2009 to provide opportunities for Inuit youth in Nunavut to learn music.
Since then, guitarist Greg Simm (Nova Scotia) and fiddle instructors Gordon Stobbe, Trent Freeman and Kim de Laforest, have travelled to Nunavut to conduct fiddle workshops annually and starting this year, fiddle workshops are held in both the spring and fall in the communities of Pond Inlet, Qikiqtarjuaq, Pangnirtung, Hall Beach and Igloolik, teaching traditional fiddle music.
“This past October, they worked with 300 students in five communities (which is) a large percentage of the youth in each community,” said Lohnes-cashin, where the population ranges from 650 to about 1,700 people.
“We’re seeing a lot of positive results.”
Lohnes-cashin said Music for the Future does conduct other fundraising campaigns throughout the year such as seeking donations from donors.
“We also have great support through some other charitable organizations who donate each year. We are also extremely grateful to Canadian North, our airline of choice. For 2018-19, they’re providing basically 100 per cent of all our flights from Ottawa to the communities in the North, twice per year, times two musicians. That support is huge for us to be able to do what we do, but ultimately we’re grateful to all our donors and supporters,” she said, adding they are looking forward to the next 10 years.
For more information about Music for the Future, visit www. musicforthefuture.ca.
Musician Greg Simm performs at the 10th annual Music for the Future benefit concert at the Mahone Bay Centre on Saturday, Nov. 3, in support of a music program that is reaching hundreds of youth on Baffin Island, Nunavut.