The Rest is History
The National Arts Centre (NAC; Centre national des Arts) is among many projects launched by the government of Lester B. Pearson to commemorate the Centenary of Canada.
After the suppression of the Prague Spring reforms, music professor and craftsman Joseph Kun flees his native Czechoslovakia, making his way to Ottawa, Canada’s capital. Joseph sees an opportunity in the NAC with its own orchestra housed in a fashionable Brutalist building. Surely all those violin and viola players would need their instruments repaired?
The NAC Orchestra launches to critical acclaim for the passion and clarity of its performances and groundbreaking educational programs, and its leadership in nurturing Canadian creativity.
Design patent published for what will become the Kun Original shoulder rest on 4th January. The product is machined and then hand-assembled.
Joseph meets Marina, who focuses on building the Kun market and brand, while Joseph refines his invention. The practical, uncomplicated design and simple adjusting mechanisms soon becomes a favourite of amateur and professional players alike.
Joseph Kun wins the gold medal for bow making (violin) at the Violin Society of America Convention and Competition in La Jolla, California.
Facing rapidly increasing demand, Kun invests in injection moulds to automate the production process.
Joseph and Marina purchase new premises, an elegant Victorian mansion in Ottawa’s Centretown neighbourhood, just a few minutes’ walk from the National Arts Centre.
Joseph and Marina host the annual VSA Convention at the Kun premises, and other local venues.
Joseph is invited to become a member of the esteemed “Entente Internationale des Maitres Luthiers et Archetiers d’Art.”
With sales now booming, Kun invests in mechanisation for all remaining shoulder rest components.
Kun Super launches. Its streamlined shape and ultra-fine size adjustment mechanism ensure its ongoing popularity among discriminating players.
Kun Collapsible launches offering all of the functionality of the Original with folding feet for easy storage.
Joseph publishes The Art of Bowmaking, documenting his unique approach to his craft, with his colleague Joseph Regh.
Joseph Kun passes away.
Kun Bravo launches in response to interest from players in a wooden shoulder rest from Kun. Its bent hardwood laminates, hand-made from European curly maple, provide the precise combination of strength and flexibility a shoulder rest requires.
Kun Voce launches. The first carbon fibre shoulder rest on the market features newly designed feet for better grip, and an innovative width-adjusting mechanism. Kun Voce wins top prize for Product Design at Canada’s illustrious Design Exchange.
Marina Kun is profiled as one of Profit magazine’s top Canadian female entrepreneurs.
Kun Solo launches. Featuring a simplified, quick-adjust finger lever for ultra-fine size adjustment, and patterned cutouts in its foam to enhance grip on the player’s shoulder.
Marina Kun selected as Outstanding Individual Philanthropist of the Year, Ottawa Philanthropy Awards.
Kun turns 50!