What is your ‘Why‘? How has uncovering it impacted your life and others around you?
My ‘Why’ is how I empower vulnerable women around the world to create their lives and overcome their circumstances. A few months ago, I realized that my “Why” was the natural outpouring of my past experiences of childhood sexual abuse. This dysfunction followed me as an adult, resulting in patterns of self-harm and abusive relationships.
There were many times that I found myself in incredibly precarious situations, often with no resources or anyone to turn to for assistance. Throughout these circumstances, I often thought to myself, there is a bigger reason for this, I wasn’t meant to just suffer for no reason.
As I began the long healing process, I met other women in similar circumstances, and each time my determination to do something to assist women and change their circumstances grew.
We understand you now express your ‘Why‘ in social and environmental impact projects. Please describe these activities and their effects on others. What is your vision for this area of your life?
I founded the Allegra Chamber Orchestra in June 2016. As one of the only all-female classical orchestras in the world, the ACO is a nonprofit arts organization with a mandate to empower women and their communities through music.
We’re also a charitable partner with Music Heals, where a portion of our ticket sales go to fund music therapy programs in BC. Funds from the ACO have founded a new music therapy initiative at the WISH Drop-in Centre, a program that assists some of the most vulnerable and marginalized women in Vancouver.
Each event, concert, and recording created by the ACO have a social awareness component. We continue to utilize music as a unifying force that transcends cultural, language and societal barriers to inspire insight and action to create change, first within ourselves, and then in society as a whole.
What I endeavor to do in each project I undertake is to create other empowered creators
Tell us about your business. Why are you an absolute expert in your business?
Music and sharing it with others has always been an integral and inspiring part of my life. I began violin studies at the age of three and playing with professional orchestras when I was 13.
I then pursued studies in violin performance at the Brandon School of Music and earned a Masters and Artist Diploma from the University of British Columbia. While I was in grad school, I began playing violin with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and other ensembles in town, and my performing career grew steadily.
Ensembles I have performed with include the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Tafelmusik.
I have served as concertmaster with both the Montreal-based l’Orchestré de la Francophonie (2011) and the National Academy Orchestra of Canada (2014).
In addition to on set work, I have been fortunate to play alongside artists such as Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Kenny G, Mary J. Blige, Chris Botti, The Canadian Tenors, Il Volo, Frank Sinatra Jr., Mary Margaret O’Hara and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
I performed on two of Michael Buble’s Christmas Specials on NBC and performed for heads of state including Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan, the Korean Consulate, and members of the Senate of Canada.
What is the one piece of advice or encouragement you would like to give other entrepreneurs just starting out?
Creation comes when you are connected to yourself, your entire self: that means acceptance of your past, your perceived mistakes, and acceptance of your present circumstances.
Your past was given to you as a gift to learn and from and gain clarity, which enables you to develop tools to use moving forward.
What was the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in your life or business? What have you learned from it?
I have come to realize that my greatest challenge in life was overcoming my past of abuse and a diagnosis of PTSD as a result—it has also become my most excellent teacher and motivator to create regardless of the circumstances.
I see how powerful each of us are, that the transformative qualities of unconditional love and forgiveness, and how it is our responsibility to realize our impact on one another.
Other than your business, what is the part of your life that lights you up the most?
I love being out in nature; I love the wildness, the abundance, and the freedom to be found there. When I take the time to hike, spend time by the ocean and be in the forest, that is when I feel the most alive, loving, connected and creative.
What current collaboration opportunities do you have, what opportunities are there for others to get involved with your projects or business?
While we are creating social change through music, the ACO provides professional opportunities and mentorship for female and minority musicians, composers and artists, as women are underrepresented in the orchestra music world.
In addition to our work with Music Heals, The Wish Drop in Centre, and Compassion Globally we will be presenting projects for Earth Day, International Women’s Day, as well as youth empowerment initiatives around Canada.
We are always looking for heart-centered organizations to partner with to create upcoming projects and awareness of social issues, and to assist with the status of women and minorities.
When we open up, share with others and create a space of connection and accountability to ourselves and others that are when we can grow and flourish in our life purpose and impact.
Work with Janna
You can get connected with Janna through one of her many online outlets including the ACO’s website www.allegrachamberorchestra.com, her personal site www.jannasailor.com or e-mail her at email@example.com
- Musical Talent
BECOME A SOCIAL IMPACT ENTREPRENEUR
Want to be a social impact entrepreneur but not sure where to start?
Uncover your ‘Why’ at one of our workshops or in a one-on-one power session with our founder, Dave C. Bonk.
Discover the possibilities when you find your ‘Why’ and see what you’re capable of.FIND YOUR WHY