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Vanessa Wang

2024 Young Adult Honouree

young aduly honouree

Don’t let her youth fool you; Vanessa Wang is an old soul whose awareness and heart shines

through in her music and song writing. At just 18 years old, she has written, performed and

devoted her music to the community for more than half of her life.


Vanessa began playing piano at age 5 and by middle school had embraced guitar and singing as well. With influences like Bob Dylan, Lenord Cohen, Joni Mitchel and the Beatles, this young woman has already written hundreds of songs, and uses her music to impact anyone who takes the time to listen.


Despite growing up in a highly digital age, Vanessa she sparkled when she recalled the first book she ever purchased, which was a twin set Elvis Presley biography, because she wanted to know how THE KING started his career and get some ideas for herself.


While music is something Vanessa clearly loves to make and share, it wasn’t until September of 2018 when she performed as a musical guest at the 9 th Annual Portraits of Giving event, that Vanessa made the connection between intentional giving and impact. Her music school had referred her to the POG team as an excellent student and ideal addition to the auditory experience at the event. She was only 12 years old at the time, but she captivated everyone in attendance and was herself very deeply moved by the concept of the event and the different honourees stories.


With the encouragement and support of her parents, Vanessa was able to discover something she loved and get really good at it. She shares her passion for music daily and uses it to transform the road ahead of her.


There are countless ways to volunteer your time, expertise, strengths, and passions, but it was through her early introduction to Portraits of Giving that a very young but ambitious Vanessa recognized that music would be her vehicle for giving.


“Change the world with your strengths” she encourages.


“Hone your craft and inspire other people simultaneously. Together, we can make a

difference in this world”. – Vanessa Wang


You need not ask if music is important to her. Vanessa eats, sleeps, breathes, writes, and sings music. She often jokes that she’s ‘married to music’, especially now that she’s a young adult attending U of T and studies political science, literature and data science. Just as in high school, she is involved in numerous extracurricular organizations including being a representative for Victoria College’s Mental Wellness Commission and volunteering for the university’s student union. Her passion for social justice, humanity, law and politics comes through in her song writing and she has written many original songs that inspire hope, songs that capture our history and heritage, songs that highlight beyond-important issues like equality and diversity and all the beautiful music still to come.








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