Volunteer, South Burnaby Neighborhood House
Instructor, Chinese Martial Arts and Health Association of Canada
Sunny (Tao) Sun moved to Burnaby from China in April 2008. As soon as she landed she got involved helping other newcomers and longtime residents enhance their mental and physical fitness.
Sunny leads Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese martial art exercise. She has organized Tai Chi practice programs at different locations, and operates an invitational Tai Chi evening at Maywood Community School on Friday evenings. Partnering with other martial arts masters, she offers exercises and health related seminars. She also presents Tai Chi for private companies in New Westminster.
Sunny shares and celebrates her own culture while encouraging others to do the same. She demonstrates Tai Chi at various multicultural events such as the Burnaby Multicultural Festival and the Christmas and Canada Day parades.
By organizing the Tai Chi programs, she broadens the social network of a lot of new immigrants so that they feel a sense of belonging to the community. She says, “There are many opportunities and information for newcomers. We need to support each other, to get the information out.”
Sunny also volunteers at South Burnaby Neighborhood House as an assistant and special event helper. She introduces new immigrants to job opportunities and job search workshops, helps them find ESL and other educational institutions, and provides information to new residents on childcare and schooling resources.
Through her connection with South Burnaby Neighborhood House and her own experience as a newcomer to Canada, she has helped improve the self-confidence of newcomers on their journey from initial settling to reaching their full social and economic potential in the community.
Sunny is motivated by all the help she received as a newcomer. She says, “People here are so friendly. So many people helped me that I want to work to help other people to pay it back.”