This International Women’s Day, we’re spotlighting Rachel Wei, a prodigious talent whose musical endeavors have not only showcased her exceptional skills but have also illuminated her profound commitment to philanthropy. At just 16 years old, Rachel has harnessed her passion for music to support Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, demonstrating the remarkable impact one young woman can make in her community and beyond.

For Rachel, Canuck Place holds a special place in her heart. Her initial visit to Canuck Place Vancouver – Glen Brae Manor as a kindergartener, singing Christmas carols, was a significant experience that stayed with her. It was an early realization that music to touch lives and bring smiles to faces, even in the most challenging circumstances. This experience fueled her desire to dedicate her musical talents to making a difference in the lives of these children and their families.

Rachel Wei playing her violin at a fundraising concert
Rachel will perform on International Women’s Day to fundraise for Canuck Place.

A musical prodigy with a heart for giving

Rachel’s journey into the world of music began in the familial setting, surrounded by siblings who shared a common bond through their piano playing. This environment nurtured her innate love for music, leading her to embark on her own musical voyage at the tender age of four. Rachel’s 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.

Rachel’s philanthropic journey has not been without its obstacles. The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges to her fundraising efforts, but her resolve remained unshaken. Through innovative approaches, including virtual concerts and effective marketing strategies, Rachel managed to raise over $4,000 for Canuck Place in 2021, proving that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

An encounter that changed everything

Rachel visited Canuck Place formally in 2019 which marked another pivotal moment in her life.

“I was promptly moved to tears,” Rachel explains

“I met this girl who wore the biggest smile, had the kindest eyes, and was so full of energy. But strapped to her back was an oxygen tank. It occurred to me that the joy emanating from this little girl, much like life itself, was ephemeral.”

The resilience and joy of the children she met there, despite their challenges, inspired her to use her musical talents for a greater purpose. Rachel’s first concert for Canuck Place raised over $3,660, and was just the beginning of her fundraising efforts. It was a testament to her determination to bring joy and support to those in need through her music.

“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,” Rachel reflects. “And so, 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.”

An invitation to support and celebrate a role model for young women

On International Women’s Day, Rachel’s story is particularly resonant. As a young female philanthropist and artist, she embodies the spirit of breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes. Rachel’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. Her ability to balance her artistic endeavors with her philanthropic commitments showcases the power of creativity and empathy in driving social change.

Rachel Wei performs for Canuck Place on her flute

Rachel Wei’s upcoming event on International Women’s Day is a celebration of the power of music, philanthropy, and the strength of young women like Rachel who are making a difference. It’s an opportunity for us to come together, be inspired, and support a cause that touches the lives of many children and their families at Canuck Place. Her concert will take place on March 8 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church (2733 W 41st Avenue, Vancouver BC). You can also donate to Canuck Place here.

Let’s join Rachel in her mission to bring joy and hope through music. By supporting her fundraising efforts, we contribute to a legacy of kindness, compassion, and change that transcends music and touches the heart of our shared humanity. Donate to her concert today.