Nunavut has a new music industry association

Nunavut Music seeks to support industry professionals and strengthen Inuit language and culture.

Until recently, Nunavut was the only Canadian province or territory without an official music industry association. With the establishment of Nunavut Music, that is no longer the case.

The mission of the non-profit organization is to help Nunavut artists and industry workers create sustainable careers in music through professional development, administrative assistance, fundraising, performance opportunities, travel support, networking opportunities, and more.

Other objectives include advocacy and representation at industry events, promotion to global markets, and strengthening of Inuit languages and culture through music. In short, Nunavut Music is designed to become a singular music development hub and contact point.

The organization will be run by a volunteer staff and steering committee, whose members will represent and lobby on behalf of local needs. In order to serve, individuals, groups, and organizations must be either: 

  • Nunavut industry professionals with 2+ years experience
  • Canadian industry professionals 15+ years experience, or
  • Representatives from Nunavut-based arts, cultural, and economic development organizations, which are either democratically elected, demographically-representative, or reputable advocates of the interests of Nunavummiut artists.

The founding organizational members include Qaggiavuut Society, Alianait Arts Festival, HitmakerzIqaluit Music Society, and several others. A callout for artist and industry professional members will be announced soon. Consultations with the Government of NunavutTravel NunavutL’Association des francophones du Nunavut, and other related music industry stakeholders are also underway.

The organization’s Executive Director will be Thor Simonsen, a long-time supporter of Nunavut’s music industry. Simonsen grew up in Iqaluit, but is currently based in Ottawa. He has worked as a professional musician, music producer, instructor, and record label executive.

The organization was founded in December 2022, and once properly up and running, Nunavut Music hopes to launch many new programs and services for Nunavummiut, starting in 2023. Plans to train and hire Inuit staff and provide services in both Inuktitut and French are also currently in development.

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