Music with Heart
Catching up with Ashley Wey
Last August, award-winning singer-songwriter Ashley Wey hosted a benefit concert in Victoria to spread awareness for organ donation and transplantation. This in-person and live-streamed event was well received by the community, with hundreds of dollars being raised to support organ donation and transplant research at TRF. For Ashley, this was a chance to give back, “It felt great to do something good for others in the middle of a pandemic”. Given the success of the first event, plans are underway to recreate the magic, with another benefit concert planned for September, on the heels of Ashley’s newest album release, HUMMINGBIRD.
In our interview with Wey, we hear why organ donation and transplantation matters to her and how music is her vehicle for doing good.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in beautiful Victoria and began playing piano when I was five years old. I started performing professionally as a teenager and graduated from Humber College with a double major in jazz performance and arranging. I have toured the world performing and when I’m not creating music, I enjoy teaching others. I have been fortunate to work with Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila, Juno Award-winners Brandi Distrehaft, Mae Moore, The Parachute Club, and four-time Grammy Award winner Manny Kellough.
What motivates you to promote organ donation and transplant awareness?
Ever since I was a small child, I have been interested in organ donation and learning more about the transplant experience. Since I was seven years old, I have been a supporter of organ donation. Now, many years later, it has become something I have direct experience with as I have several people in my life who have received an organ transplant or are currently awaiting a transplant. This has motivated me to actively raise awareness for organ donation and transplantation. As an artist, I have a platform to shed light on the importance of being a donor, spread awareness about the need to register, and host benefit concerts to support transplant research. Music is my way to help give back and make a difference.
Why is it important for you to support organ donation and transplant research?
Any one of us may need an organ transplant one day. A person is more likely to need a transplant than be an organ donor. Considering that one organ donor can save up to eight people’s lives, I believe that we all need to consider registering our decision to be a donor. But transplant isn’t a cure and that is why research is essential. It helps to improve clinical outcomes and eliminate post-transplant complications. Transplantation has come a long way over the years, however, from my understanding, there is still a long way to go. To increase the number of successful transplants, decrease graft failure, and develop new therapies for recipients, we need to significantly invest in research.
Finally, what are your hopes for the future of organ donation and transplant science?
Organ donation affects more than the donors and recipients – it affects the families, friends, and colleagues who love and support them. My wish is that the research being done will continue to make rapid breakthroughs to benefit recipients and their families. Let’s continue to support the great research being done by organizations like the Transplant Research Foundation of BC, and improve the picture for all recipients.
I also hope more people in BC sign up to be an organ donor. You can do so by visiting https://register.transplant.bc.ca/ . As a donor, you are giving the gift of life to someone in desperate need and in turn making a new lease on life possible.
Be sure to listen to Ashley’s newest album – HUMMINGBIRD! You can visit https://www.ashleyweymusic.com/ for more information and to purchase a copy of her album.
Stay tuned for more information on the next TRF benefit concert planned for September at Hermann’s Jazz Club!
To support Ashley in her efforts to raise funds for transplant research visit https://www.trfbc.org/give/donate/.