A personal connection to China

Rosemary Thompson and Jasmine, 2009

When I left Parliament Hill four years ago, hoping to find some time for an exuberant two-year-old child who our family adopted from China, I never thought my new career at the National Arts Centre would take me back to the country that changed my life. In a few days, I will be heading back to Guangzhou, the city where I first held baby Jasmine, who is now six years old, and where our family formed a deep and abiding affection for her home country, China.

This time, I’ll be joining 70 musicians, 10 staff members, several enthusiastic journalists, and supporters of the NAC on an epic musical journey that will see Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra perform in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Fuling, Tianjin, Beijing, and Shanghai.

As a mother of a young daughter from China, this entire project has been a great joy to work on. And I often think about the concert halls of China as I prod my six-year-old, my bright Jasmine, to keep practising her piano. My hope is that music will bring the two countries that have defined her young life so much closer together.