Jasmine Wang has been performing Chinese opera and folk songs since she was just 5 years old. The Kwantlen Polytechnic University student, now 19, immigrated to Canada with her mother five years ago from China, and this past month had her first solo concert – completely filling the James Cowan theatre at the Shadbolt Centre for the Performing Arts.

Despite being a relatively new Canadian, Jasmine already exhibits a more than admirable sense of community spirit and a desire to give back. She decided Sunday’s concert would be in support of Burnaby Hospital Foundation.

“I’d like to use my music to bring joy and happiness to others and at the same time, raise funds for the foundation. Having my first solo concert as a charity event is very meaningful for me,” says Jasmine.

“Canada is such a great country with people from different backgrounds gathering together to build such a unique and beautiful community. Canadian people are generous, friendly, loving and caring. They always want to help others. I have been very impressed with this since I came here, and I wanted to do something to help others. I believe I can use my music to give back to people and community.”

Jasmine chose to support Burnaby Hospital Foundation based on a recommendation from her aunt, Karen, who is a long time Burnaby resident. Recognizing the importance of the hospital for local, community-based health care, she wants to encourage others to join her in supporting redevelopment of the aging facility.

Coming from a very musical family, Jasmine isn’t the only one putting her talents to great use.

“My mom is a National Chinese opera artist, and has set up a non-profit society (Canada National Folk Art Society) with my aunt Karen. Mainly they have been performing for seniors homes, non-profit organizations and charities, and they have plans to have a charity concert every year. Toward the end of the year, they’re organizing a charity piano concert for my 15 year old cousin, Adam, and next year they are also planning to have my mother’s vocal studio stage a concert.”

Jasmine’s concert raised $2,500 in walk-up donations, with pledges for up to $9,000 more.

“Singing is my passion and it makes me happy! I hope we can encourage more people to participate in charity events and together we can build a better community.”