Published on

Paul Ong a CBC Future 40 Awardee

Paul OngEvery year, CBC Manitoba recognizes an outstanding group of young Manitobans under the age of 40 who are making a difference in their communities. 

This year, the 10 awardees include creative business owners, grassroots organizers, scientists, and fundraisers. One of them is educator and music artist, Paul Ong.

Since 2015, the internationally trained educator has been selling out his annual Concerts for a Cause, which gives him and participating students an opportunity to share their musical gifts and engage the community to bring positive change.

The concerts have so far raised over $100,000 for local charities.

Pilipino Express (PE) recently spoke with Paul Ong (PO) about the recognition and what it means to him and for his community endeavours.

PE: First, congratulations? Can you tell us the relevance of this award to you?

PO: The award is relevant because I can represent the Asian- Canadian community and the good things we do through this recognition. It makes me feel thankful to be recognized for the work we have been doing out of passion and a strong belief in what we do – what a bonus! This award was not achieved on my own and is a result of the community support that has allowed me to use my gift and transform it into a platform to create a collective community engagement to make a positive impact in the community through the performing arts. 

This award will be even more relevant if this inspires, empowers, and motivates people to make a positive difference in their communities through their own little ways. Every positive action creates a ripple effect – let’s all spark positivity, inspiration and empower one another!

PE: How do you plan to move forward with this award? Particularly regarding your advocacies and community involvement.

PO: We are in the process of selling tickets and seeking sponsorships and advertisement placements for our 2023 Concert for a Cause with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for the benefit of Sistema Winnipeg.

Sistema Winnipeg is a daily, intensive, music education program that focuses on children with the fewest resources and greatest needs. It delivers musical training to children after school for over two hours a day, five days a week, at no cost to their families. Sistema Winnipeg encourages children to reach their full potential and inspires greater social change within the community.

We are also starting conversations for our 10th Concert for a Cause in 2024! More exciting details to come once the 2023 concert is done. 

In addition, we are planning to start our endowment fund which will allow charitable giving for perpetuity. This will hopefully be up and running by early 2023. 

PE: Please tell us about your upcoming annual fundraiser.

PO: My upcoming Annual Concert for a Cause 2023 will be with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. I am so proud and honoured that the WSO will be accompanying me once again for the whole concert. The program for this year will be different compared to year’s past as we have a very nice surprise especially for our audiences from the Filipino community. 

The concert is on April 29, 2023 (Saturday), 7pm and will be at the Calvary Temple. This is a new venue, and a change from TecVoc.

Tickets are $30, which is a great price for a show with the full Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and more importantly, All proceeds will be donated to the beneficiary, Sistema Winnipeg. 

Tickets can be bought by contacting Paul:, or 431-3365486. Alternatively, you can connect with Paul through Facebook (Paul Ong, Paul Kelvin Ong, Paul Ong Productions) or Instagram (@itspaulong). 

We will also have Sistema Winnipeg and other students perform during the concert which is an important part of the program. Aside from raising funds for charitable donations, it is as important to use the concert in providing youth the opportunity to perform alongside the WSO, hoping that this empowers them to pursue their talents and to plant a seed of how they can use it to create a positive impact in the community. 

PE: Anything else you would like to impart to our readers?

PO: I just want to express my sincere thanks to our Filipino community whose support has allowed me to use the concert as a platform. Without everyone’s support, we would not be able to achieve what we have, together. I view this not as an award for myself, but an award to our community whose collective support has been instrumental in bringing us where we are today. I hope we will continue to work together in our journeys ahead. 

Maraming salamat. I value and appreciate everything and thank you for giving me the privilege to use my gift in this capacity. Hope to see you all on April 29th for our Concert for a Cause 2023!

The other CBC Manitoba Future 40 awardees for 2022 are:

Dustin Murdoch – a physiotherapist from Fisher River Cree Nation
Ben Carr – a Divisional Principal at Seven Oaks
Dr. Melanie Lalonde – a productive research scientist
Tracie Leost – a Métis leader, activist, and athlete
Dr. Kaarina Kowalec – a scientist at the University of Manitoba
Joseph Chaeban – a dairy scientist who came to Canada as a Lebanese refugee
Filiz Koksel – a food scientist and innovator
Dr. Brett Houston – a hematologist
Rylee Nepinak – a grassroots organizer helping aboriginal youth from Sagkeeng First Nation

By: Lucille Nolasco-Garrido