Nunavut Hitmakerz is Back!
A new, northern arts initiative hopes to give Nunavut youth skills writing, recording, producing, marketing, and
selling professional music. The project is called Nunavut Hitmakerz.
For the second year in a row, Nunavut Hitmakerz is headed to various communities around the territory. This year, the team will be travelling to Arctic Bay, Hall Beach, and Igloolik as Nunavut Hitmakerz Phase 2 (QIA funded), and Cambridge Bay, and Iqaluit as Nunavut Hitmakerz Phase 3 (Department of Culture and Heritage funded).
This empowering 3-day educational/entertainment program features workshops on songwriting, music production, and working in the arts. It also features free community events such as concerts, motivational
speeches, movie nights, a talent show, and a community feast. A small, mobile, recording studio will also be
donated to every community on the tour.
The workshops are taught by Kelly Fraser and Thor Simonsen. Fraser, a well-known singer from Sanikiluaq, will be
teaching songwriting and will also be giving motivational talks, telling the youth about her experiences traveling
across Canada and the world as an artist and a performer.
Fraser hopes the tour will provide new creative outlets for struggling youths in remote communities. “I hope I can inspire the youth to express themselves through music – or whatever their passion is,” said Fraser. “I want to be an example, and tell them that it’s possible to do what you love and get paid for it –
and I want to show them how.”
Simonsen, a music producer from Iqaluit, will be teaching music production as well as “working in the arts”. He has
a long history of music and media production, both in Nunavut and in Scandinavia. “Growing up, I was fortunate to have access to great music teachers, workshops, and especially, recording
equipment,” said Simonsen. “This allowed me to practice my skills, and turn them into a career. I hope we can create similar opportunities to other young Nunavummiut.”
In 2016, Nunavut Hitmakerz travelled to Clyde River, Pond Inlet, and Qikiqtarjuak with QIA and Department of Culture and Heritage support. The program was very well received and could boast around 200 workshop participants, as well as more than 1200 in attendance at the community events.
The project's two phases are supported by QIA and the Government of Nunavut's Department of Culture and Heritage.