Wendy Cheung shows us the difference a little support makes
Wendy Cheung refined her passion for creating music at Capilano University
Wendy Cheung is a creator. Starting out her career as a musical composer, she has used her creativity and passion for music to develop a multi-faceted and award-winning career in both business and the arts.
"I've been pretty lucky. I've had amazing support throughout my schooling and career by people who are very talented in what they do," says Cheung. "Thought leaders have always been my influencers and I have always tried to seek out those individuals who were out there doing what I aspire to do."
A Capilano University alumna, Cheung completed her diploma in Classical Music, with a focus on composition. It was not an easy road for her and she claims that receiving that diploma was her first mark — a pivotal accomplishment in her life. Cheung came to Canada from Hong Kong at a very young age. Her family story is one many immigrant families face — challenges with finances and being immersed in a different culture made extracurricular activities, such as piano lessons, particularly difficult to pursue.
“There were so many people who mentored and supported me throughout my education. Their encouragement helped to push me to follow my musical passion,” she says. “Once I started at Capilano, I found it was a place where I could feel comfortable enough to really hone my skills. I could focus on exploring my creativity in different areas of music, with a community of collaborative people who inspired me. The experience I had at Cap superseded my expectations of what a post-secondary education could be like.”
After earning her diploma from Capilano, Cheung brought her studies to UBC to earn her degree in Musical Composition. As a young composer, Cheung saw many of her fellow students struggle to find sustainable employment within their field. She established the Mozart School of Music while still in school to provide a flexible lesson schedule to children and teens from preschool to high school. The school also offers career opportunities to music graduates, currently employing more than 75 professional instructors throughout two facilities in the Lower Mainland.
“Having music makes for better citizens. I truly believe that music changes people for the better,” says Cheung. “My career right now is a hybrid of business and arts, as I’m naturally drawn to starting things and identifying and embracing business opportunities.”
In January 2017, Cheung established a $20K endowment fund for Capilano University to support students in pursuing their passion for music.
“We don’t study music to get rich,” says Cheung. “We do it because we have a calling. I want people just starting their musical careers to know that is possible to lead a comfortable life while still doing what you love to do.”
Submitted by: Sarah Coull, Communications & Marketing