Gold Heart Gala 2017 Raises $550,000 for Variety BC Kids!

Our Gold Heart Gala on September 30th was a tremendous success! Through the course of a magical evening, over $550,000 was raised. Live auction items, silent items, Fund a Need donations and an incredibly generous $150,000 donation from honourees, Ian Telfer and Nancy Burke meant we will be able to help so many more children. A highlight of the evening was the live auctioning off of committee member and artist, Athena Bax’s painting, “Hearts of Gold”. The piece was created collaboratively with 5 Variety BC kids and came together in one spectacular piece that was sold to a bidder for $32,000! We thank Athena and our entire Gold Heart Gala committee, all donors, volunteers, and our incredible auctioneer, Fred Lee, who drummed up bids and excitement and most importantly, vital funds for kids in BC with special needs.


For Immediate Release

October 3, 2017

Gold Heart Gala honours philanthropists Ian Telfer and Nancy Burke
Gold hearts come together to raise over $550,000 for kids with special needs supported by Variety – the Children’s Charity

(Vancouver, BC) Vancouverites opened their hearts and their wallets at Saturday’s Gold Heart Gala, raising over $550,000 for kids with special needs. Variety – the Children’s Charity honoured noted philanthropists Ian Telfer of Goldcorp and Nancy Burke for a Gold Heart Award at the Fairmont Pacific Rim.

The gala, chaired by Mary Zilba with vice-chair Fiona Forbes brought together roughly 300 guests to celebrate Telfer and Burke while raising much-needed funds for kids and families facing the challenges of special needs. Presented by Goldcorp, it was a night of wining, dining, and most of all, fundraising.

Commencing with a red-carpet arrival, and featuring notable performances by Chloe Sun and Jayjay Zhou, Joey Nicero, Gerphil Flores, and Roy & Rosemary, the evening was an elegant and moving opportunity for guests to learn about just how their contributions to Variety – the Children’s Charity directly impact kids with special needs in BC.

“I’m blown away by the generosity of our guests and the support of our donors and sponsors,” noted Variety BC CEO, Kristy Gill. “The money raised tonight will directly impact the lives of so kids in BC, and we are so fortunate to have philanthropy champions like Ian Telfer and Nancy Burke to come out and support Variety so generously. Families that have children with special needs face challenges and expenses that many of us can’t imagine, so to have a night to raise money to support them while opening up a new audience to the work we do at Variety is invaluable.”

Gala Chair, Mary Zilba was equally thankful. “As a mother of a child with special needs, it’s deeply important to me to help kids and families facing the fear and challenges that you can’t predict. This night couldn’t have come together without the help of our many incredible sponsors, and I am overwhelmed and grateful to our committee, sponsors and donors for supporting the work that Variety – the Children’s Charity does.”

Attendees were enthusiastic with their support, with Athena Bax’s “Hearts of Gold” live auction item going for a whopping $32,000. The Fund a Need was equally impressive, with donations topping over a quarter million dollars. There was even a Wish Wall, where guests could donate and see what their donations equated to in help for kids. A silent auction as well as a Wine Wall with 150+ bottles of delicious BC wines contributed to the evening’s incredible total of $550,000.The outcome means many more children in BC will get vital help to live their best lives.

To learn more about the Variety BC, or to make a contribution, visit or call 1-800-381-2040.


About Variety – the Children’s Charity:

Variety – the Children’s Charity steps in where health care ends, providing direct help to children with special needs in BC and the Yukon. For over 50 years Variety has ensured children have the support to reach their potential.

Together, we can be there when a family needs us the most.

Since 2010 Variety has distributed more than $30 million in funding to families and organizations in communities all across the province. With your help, we can raise even more!

For more information on how you can support Variety – the Children’s Charity, visit or call 604.320.0505.

Media Contact:
Kim Bowie
Direct: 604-268-3888
Cell: 604-790-2301


Great Art and a Gold Heart