Variety Show of Hearts Telethon

 ‘Variety Show of Hearts’ Raises $6,936,621 

(Burnaby, BC) – Variety – the Children’s Charity and Global BC are thrilled to announce that this year’s Variety Show of Hearts raised $6,936,621 to support children with special needs. 

During the first two days of the three-day event on Thursday, February 24 & Friday, February 25, Global News viewers were introduced to just some of the amazing kids who were helped by Variety in 2021. The inspiring stories continued on Global BC’s broadcast of the 56th Annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon which aired on Saturday, February 26 from 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm. 

“I’m once again left speechless by the unbelievable generosity of our donors and supporters,” said Cally Wesson, Variety BC CEO. “Realizing how challenging the past two years has been for all of us, it’s extremely heartwarming to see that British Columbians will still band together during the toughest of times to ensure that we’ll always be here for BC’s kids. It’s absolutely overwhelming.” 

“I’m always amazed at the generosity of people in BC,” said Bhupinder Hundal, News Director & Station Manager, Global BC. “With this incredible support, the future of so many kids and their families is much brighter thanks to all of you.” 

This year’s roster of hosts included Global BC’s Chris Gailus, Sophie Lui, Kristi Gordon, Neetu Garcha, Paul Haysom, Jay Janower, Jordan Armstrong and Michael Newman along with 980 CKNW’s Jody Vance who was joined by Show of Hearts favourites Howard Blank, Alvin Law & Marco Pasqua and Variety Youth Champions Esabella Strickland and Janelle Milne. Making their Show of Hearts debut were actor & parent advocate, Bethel Lee and local singer-songwriter, Seven Taviss. 

Viewers also got to see their donor dollars in action when they were treated to updates on the kids who they met during Global BC’s Variety Week. Saturday’s telecast also featured performances by musical guests David Foster, Katharine McPhee, Colin James, Serena Ryder and William Prince along with Penticton’s spoken word poet, Shane Koyczan and Canadian violinist, Adrian Anantawan. 

Those who missed this year’s Variety Show of Hearts can still donate online at variety.bc.ca. 

Entertainment Line-Up

 

This year’s entertainment line-up will feature special guests, David Foster, Katharine McPhee and Colin James. In addition to winning sixteen Grammy Awards, David has also won both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe while earning three Oscar nominations for “Best Original Song”. Born in Victoria, the Canadian icon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013. Katharine rose to fame in 2006 after finishing as runner-up on Season 5 of American Idol. Following the success of her 2007 self-titled album, she branched into acting on television and in films. Katharine went on to make her Broadway debut in 2018 playing the lead female role of “Jenna” in Waitress. Colin – who has earned seven Juno Awards over the span of his career – will be taking time out from his cross-Canada tour to perform songs from his newly released 20th studio album, Open Road. 

And making their Show of Hearts debut will be six-time Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter, Serena Ryder, singer-songwriter, William Prince, Penticton’s own spoken word poet, Shane Koyczan and Canadian violinist, Adrian Anantawan.

Show of Hearts Sponsors

Become a Monthly Donor

During the Telethon, we’ll be announcing many new funding programs. And if we’re able to sign up 200 new monthly donors, it will mean we can help another 40 kids this year in new ways … and we’re thrilled to announce that three generous anonymous donors will be matching the contributions of all new monthly donors for one year up to a total of $40,000.

Caring for a child with special needs isn’t something parents prepare for. By joining our Variety Cares Community, you’ll be helping ensure that we are always there when families need us most. Donating monthly allows Variety to take a planned, long-term approach to making a lasting impact in children’s lives. Sign up to become a monthly donor today and you’ll double your annual donation while helping 40 more kids!

Robert Bateman Poster

This year, we are pleased to announce that donors will receive Robert Bateman’s stunning Ocean Rhapsody poster with a minimum donation of just $169. Donors will also have the opportunity to have their poster framed by GS & Company for an additional $189 with a portion donated to Variety! Poster dimensions are 23” x 18” or 29.5” x 20.75” framed.

*Monthly donors who are at $35/month or who increase to this level are eligible to receive a poster.

 

Helping Kids in New Ways

Because of your support, Variety is able to expand funding to include:  

… Private autism assessments – to ensure kids with autism can access support and funding as soon as possible  

… Psychoeducational assessments – to better understand a student’s strengths and needs so they can be as successful as possible in the classroom  

… Equine therapy – using horses in a therapeutic environment to create positive change for kids with special needs   

… Music therapy – using the physical, emotional and mental facets of music to help improve the overall health of a child  

… Variety schools’ program – funding projects that promote inclusivity in schools across BC 

Lucy's Story

Lucy and Lily are 5-year-old twins from Quesnel. While Lily is neurotypical, she requires no special treatments but that is not the case for Lucy who has been diagnosed with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Kidney Disease, Global Developmental Delay, Auditory Neuropathy and she is G-Tube fed 100% of the time.

With Lucy’s complex medical issues, mobility is merely one of the major challenges this family faces. Lucy’s arms and legs are constantly and uncontrollable flailing which causes her to fall over when she uses her walker. “That doesn’t stop her though. Lucy wants so much to be able to move about on her own” says Jody Gallant, Lucy’s Mom. “She’s always up for another try. Our Lucy is so determined to succeed at everything … she is the most determined kid I have ever seen.”

Meal times are also complicated at the Gallant Family household. Lucy’s Cerebral Palsy requires her to be held still and upright so she can be tube fed. This labour intensive process, done three times a day currently consumes 4 hours of Jody’s time. Thankfully Variety was able to provide Lucy with a specialized activity chair which provides versatile and adaptable seating for children.

Says Jody, “the activity chair from Variety is a blessing. Now it is easy to maintain Lucy in position for her feedings and the stability provided by the new chair will shorten her feeding times.” The family also hopes that the activity chair will make it easier for Lucy to move around more freely on her own.

Lucy’s complex medical condition means that her family will need ongoing support from Variety for years to come. Building her core strength, muscle control and balance are going to be so important as she continues to grow and develop and we know that our incredible donors will be there for every step of this family’s journey so that one day soon, Lucy will be able to participate in activities with her family and friends that she longs for … like biking and dirt biking.

“Lucy is the most determined kid I have ever seen. Thank you to Variety and your donors for making movement and feeding easier for her!”
-Jody, Lucy’s Mom

Gold Panel

The Variety Show of Hearts Telethon Gold Panelists are trading in their phone booths to go virtual again this year, and we want to invite you to join them!

Join the Gold Panel and be a part of a this unique group of business leaders and passionate community members raising $50,000 to provide critical support to an additional 20 kids during this year’s Telethon.

Start your very own Gold Panel team today! The top fundraising team will win a $25 gift card to White Spot for each member of their team!

 

About Show of Hearts

The Show of Hearts has been an enduring legacy for the entire 55-year existence of Variety – the Children’s Charity in British Columbia. Proceeds from the annual broadcast event on Global BC have helped countless children with special needs.

Donations can still be made online or by texting “KIDS” to 45678 to make an automatic $20 contribution.

Social Media Toolkit

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Show of Hearts Brochure