Since 1988 Strings Across the Sky (SATS) has been working with youth in the High Arctic, First Nation and Metis communities throughout Canada, teaching them to play violin and how to fiddle. SATS has run programs in 17 High Arctic communities and transported over 450 donated violins to the north.
SATS is not- for- profit registered charity and operates solely on the generosity of donors and funding organizations. We also rely on donated instruments which are provided to the students during the teaching sessions and there are no costs to the students to take lessons and learn their music.

SATS helps provide many “once in a lifetime” musical experiences to young students. In 1994 they performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in Inuvik; in 1997, 40  students performed at Roy Thompson Hall with the TSO; in 1999, 34 students traveled to the Orkney Islands to perform for their Homecoming Festival; and, in 2004, SATS students performed with the Thunder Bay SymphonyRegina Symphony and the  Saskatoon Symphony.

TODAY, Andrea Hansen and her team continue to teach throughout Canada. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, the SATS program became part of the Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts and Music Champions arts curriculum. SATS and the North Bay Indian Friendship Centre now provide weekly lessons for children, youth and adults. SATS also runs annual fiddle and music camps at the Parry Sound Friendship Centre (since 2004) and  Algoma University (since 2012).  The Parry Sound SATS students have performed a concert each summer, since 2004, as part of the prestigious Festival of the Sound Family Concert series.

AWARDS: Andrea Hansen is a “magical educator” who touches others profoundly and irrevocably. Her personal SATS work is 100% volunteer.  Honoring her vision, determination and generosity, Andrea has received numerous awards for this remarkable program including:

Member of the Order of Canada (1999)
Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)
The Order of Ontario (2005)
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013)
Lifetime Contribution to Aboriginal Music,
Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2007)
Lifetime Achievement Award,
Toronto Musicians’ Association (2006)
125 Confederation Canada Medal (1992)



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