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Local Teen Connecting Through Music

Rachel Wei is an extraordinarily talented teen whose musical endeavours have not only showcased her exceptional skills but have illuminated her profound commitment to philanthropy.

At just 16 years old, Wei has harnessed her passion for music to support several BC charities, demonstrating the remarkable impact one young woman can make in her community and beyond.

Wei has been learning the piano, flute and violin since she was four years old. Her early exposure to music, coupled with her family’s support, laid the foundation for what would become a significant aspect of her identity—not just as a musician, but as a philanthropist.

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The first fundraising concert she was involved in raised money for BC Children’s Hospital when she was in Grade 1.

“Ever since then, I knew I wanted to host my own concerts so after five years of preparation, in Grade 6, I hosted my first concert for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and have been doing them annually since,” says Wei, who was born in Hong Kong and moved to Vancouver with her family when she was 10 months old.

Her first concert for Canuck Place raised over $3,660 and was just the beginning of her fundraising efforts. Since then, she has raised thousands of dollars for seriously ill children and their families, including more than $60,000 for Canuck Place. She has also raised funds for BC Cancer Foundation and Lions Gate Hospital Foundation.

“When I was just five years old, our choir went to sing Christmas carols for Canuck Place,” Wei says.

“We sang on the porch of the house and wondered why the children had to be so isolated from us while watching our performance… I saw a very young girl with an oxygen bag. One of the workers at Canuck Place told me that their goal was to make short lives shine bright, and that stuck with me as I left the grounds that day. As I grew older, it occurred to me that the joy emanating from this little girl, much like life itself, was ephemeral.”

It was an early realization that music touches lives and brings smiles to faces, even in the most challenging circumstances. This experience fueled Wei’s desire to dedicate her musical talents to making a difference in the lives of children and their families.

“As humans, our lives are lived in constant preparation for the future—it isn’t until we’re confronted with the finitude of time that we learn to make meaning of our present,” says Wei.

“I felt compelled to share as much kindness and warmth with these children as I could, to communicate my love through my music, to bring them the same joy that smile had brought me.”

As a young female philanthropist and artist, she embodies the spirit of breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes. Wei’s work and dedication serve as an inspiration to young women everywhere, encouraging them to pursue their passions and make a positive impact in the world.

When asked what she would say to someone younger than her who is considering learning how to play an instrument but might not know if it’s right for them, Wei said:

“I would tell them to go for it! Whether or not you become ‘good’ at music, what’s more important is to have fun and hopefully learn a thing or two while you’re at it. It can teach so many valuable lessons outside of music itself, and there are so many transferable skills that you can apply to school and your future career. At the end of the day, I think music is for everyone and that everyone should at least give it a try.”

Wei’s ability to balance her artistic endeavours with her philanthropic commitments showcases the power of creativity and empathy in driving social change.

“What modulates my playing is the knowledge that I could cast this magic world of sound beyond myself, that I could conjure escapism for audiences too,” she says.

“Even if we don’t speak the same language, even if we’re 50 feet apart in a recital hall, even if we’re a computer screen away, music has the power to still connect us.”

To learn more about the award-winning musician and philanthropist, visit rachelweimusic.com.

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