Meet Esabella, a talented 12-year-old passionate about cooking, baking, tap dancing, swimming and acting. She lives in Vancouver with her family and enjoys exploring her talents in the city’s film industry.

Variety provided a bursary grant for Esabella this past year so she can reach her full potential at school. Esabella was entering into Grade 2 when she had a Psychoeducational Assessment and was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. To help with her learning, she would often be taken out of the main classroom to work one-to-one with a teacher. As her peers began to notice, Esabella became the target of bullying. When the bullying continued, Esabella’s parents pulled her from school in the spring of Grade 5. Luckily, they found Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School (KGMS) that offers alternative education for students with learning differences.

It was the day after Spring Break when Esabella started at KGMS and it was the first time that her parents saw her happy and looking forward to going back to school. Her first comments were that she belonged there.

“(Your support) has made a huge difference. Esabella was bullied at her old school and now she feels like she belongs.”

After seeing such a remarkable change in Esabella, her parents wanted her to continue attending KGMS. With the help of Variety’s tuition bursary, it was possible for Esabella to stay enrolled. She is now entering Grade 8 and is happier, more confident and has found her extended family through the school.

“It has made a HUGE difference. Esabella was bullied at her old school and now she feels like she belongs. Variety has made it possible for Esabella to learn in a safe environment. She is also at a school where she can focus on activities that inspire her and give her confidence, like piano, tap dancing and acting. Thank you so much for giving us the support we need! You have made school fun again for Esabella. 90% of the kids who go to Esabella’s school have been bullied previously. They all now feel safe and can have fun learning. Thank you so much for giving our daughter the opportunity to be a happy kid again.” – Michael, Esabella’s Dad

Esabella just completed three short films and she is currently working on her own short film with an all-female crew. She continues to manage her dyslexia and ADHD and is able to easily learn and memorize all her lines in the scripts. She continues to build confidence and recently passed her first Royal Conservatory Piano Exam. Way to go, Esabella!

For more information or to support Variety, visit our financials page, get involved with us or donate today!



Ben's Story


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Dear Variety Family,

During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global situation, our highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of our Variety donors, families, members, supporters, volunteers and all British Columbians.

Variety BC has been here for more than 50 years ensuring kids with special needs thrive. I would like to assure you that during this uncertain time, we will continue to be here for BC’s kids with special needs.

I also would like to provide you with an update on our response to date and our commitment to you moving forward:

  • In keeping with the BC Centre for Disease Control’s recommendations, we will be postponing all Variety events between March 16th and April 30th including our One Night in the Valley Gala on Saturday, April 4th at the Glass House Estate Winery
  • We have closed the Variety Office as a precautionary measure and are having employees set up to work-from-home. All in-person meetings will be moved to teleconference. We will evaluate working “virtually” on a week-to-week basis while actively monitoring the evolution of this global pandemic and returning to regular operating procedures once health authorities deem it safe for our staff to do so.
  • Due to our office closure, we have postponed the shipping of Robert Bateman’s Woodworkers – Pilated Woodpeckers posters and our Variety water bottles. Anyone looking for tax receipts will receive them via email
  • With the closure of BC’s schools, the need to ensure our kids are supported has never been so great. As such, our Heart of Variety Fund will continue to accept grant applications by e-mail.
    Like all of you, we will monitor the COVID-19 situation and communicate with you on important health and safety measures and decisions regarding events regularly.

We encourage you to stay informed by visiting BC Centre for Disease Control’s website at and the Government of Canada’s website at

We are grateful for your support as we navigate through this uncertain time.

Thank you,

Cally Wesson
CEO – Variety BC