FOUNDED in 1987 by late Toronto symphony violinist, Andrea Hansen, SATS  has been working with youth in indigenous communities throughout Canada. By teaching a uniquely developed, “play based” fun method of violin skills and fiddling styles, SATS opens the door to rich, positive musical experiences. It introduces youth to violins, guitars, and musical performance. Besides the recreational, emotional and social values of being able to play a musical instrument, we know from science that music is processed in the same part of the brain as memory and language. Many SATS students have seen improvements in all academics areas and made positive life choices including higher education.

SINCE 1987, SATS has run hundreds of music programs across Canada including in many High Arctic communities. In 2023, these fiddle programs continue today through the work of the Kole Crook Fiddle Association and the Aurora Fiddle Society.

SATS is a not-for-profit, registered charity and operates solely on the generosity of donors and community organizations. We also rely on donated instruments, which are tax receiptable. SATS provides these instrument to  student and First Nation Schools. SATS instruction and instruments are at NO COSTS to the youth so that no child is left out of an opportunity to participate in SATS’ programs.

Fiddling and music education programs include:
*1 week (5 day) school teaching visits followed by a community
student performance
*3 day “Tune Up” teaching workshops
*1 week Fiddle & Music Camps
* Weekly teaching Music Circles in urban, indigenous centred communities, such as North Bay and Parry Sound

Strings Across the Sky’s teaching teams travel throughout Canada.  SATS has been active in Sagamok, Wikwemikong, Nawash, Sagamok,  Conklin AB, Shawanaga, Wasauksing, North Bay, Parry Sound, French River, Temagami, Muskoka.

The SATS programs have been partnered with the Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts and Music Champions arts curriculum. From 2013 to 2019, SATS and the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre offered the Traditional Fiddling Program, weekly lessons for children, youth and elders.
Since 2019 youth have participated in Naazhaabiigehguhn
(Ojibwe word for violin) a weekly fiddle and guitar program in partnership with the Parry Sound Friendship Centre.
Since 2004, SATS’ annual one week Fiddle and Music Camp has operated in partnership with the Parry Sound Friendship Centre and the Festival of the Sound.
As well, SATS has partnered with Algoma University Binesi camps  the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre March Break camps.

SATS helps provide many “once in a lifetime” musical performance experiences to young students. As well as each summer with Festival of the Sound, in past years they have been featured with the Edmonton, Thunder Bay, Regina, North Bay and Saskatoon Symphonies and the New Zealand String Quartet. In 1997, students traveled from the Arctic and performed at Roy Thompson Hall with the Toronto Symphony.  In 1999, 34 students traveled to the Orkney Islands to perform for the Homecoming Festival, experiencing the roots of their 300 year fiddling heritage.