What is the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon?

The Variety Show of Hearts is back on Global BC to celebrate children of all abilities and to ensure that every child across the province has the brightest possible future.

Launching on Global News Hour at 6 on Thursday, February 23rd, viewers will be treated to stories of hope, courage and resilience from children & families who they've helped in 2022. The inspiring stories will then continue on all of Global BC's newscasts including Global News Morning and Global News at Noon on Friday, February 24th & Saturday, February 25th.

Then be sure to circle Sunday, February 26th on your calendar when the 57th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon will air from 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm.

The iconic fundraising event will be hosted by Global BC's Chris Gailus, Sophie Lui, Sonia Sunger, Paul Haysom, Mark Madryga & Michael Newman, CFOX's Karen Khunkhunand Rock 101's Kiah Tucker along with Todd Talbot. Joining them will be Alvin Law, Marco Pasqua, Howard Blank & Jessica McCready as well as Variety Youth Champions, Esabella Strickland, Kaitlyn Lee, and Jayden & Ashton.

And making their Show of Hearts debut will be special guests, Sarah McLachlan and Jim Cuddy, Devin Cuddy & Sam Polley. Also performing will be pop-rock singer, Fefe Dobson and Coquitlam's own Tyler Shaw.

Plus you'll get to see your donor dollars at work when you'll meet more Variety kids including 11-year-old Cameron from Prince George who received a pyschoeducational assessment and 14-year-old Alex from Burnaby who received a tuition bursary to attend Whytecliff Agile Learning Centre.

Be sure to join us for this year's Variety Show of Hearts where thanks to our generous sponsors, your donation will have double the impact up to $850,000. So tune in and together we can continue to transform the lives of BC's kids ... one child at a time!

Bob McGrath Tribute

Last year saw the loss of Variety Show of Hearts legend, Bob McGrath.

The TV icon - who quickly became a household name for his portrayal of music teacher, "Bob Johnson" on the Emmy Award-winning PBS children's series, Sesame Street - also went on to become a Show of Hearts legend making a total of over 40 Telethon appearances over the past five decades.

During the 4.5 hour telecast, we'll be presenting a special tribute to celebrate Bob's dedicatoin and all that he did in support of Variety and BC's kids.

Robert Bateman Poster

This year, donors will receive Robert Bateman's Haida Spirit poster for a minimum donation of $169. Haida Spirit is a captivating depiction of the award-winning artist's visit to the Haida Gwaii where he was guided by a Haida elder to a peaceful bay where Bill Reid's canoe sat an an anchorage.

Donors will also have the opportunity to have their poster framed by GS & Company for an additional $189 + taxes & shipping with a portion donated back to Variety.

New monthly donors, those who contribute $35+/month or increase their monthly donation by any amount are also eligible to receive the poster.

Why is Variety needed?

Often a child’s condition is complex, which means care and support is needed for various aspects of their development throughout their childhood – support that is often not covered by public or private health plans. It is a journey that children and their families face with perseverance, and with the support of donors, Variety is by their side.

Since 1966, Variety BC has been transforming the lives of children & youth with special needs across the province. With the help of our generous donors, we are continually working towards a future where we can say YES! to every child in need of our help.

We strive to fill gaps in the system. Together we are meeting the needs of families and affecting change in the province.

How does Variety help kids?

Variety BC provides direct assistance to children and their families throughout BC including…
  • Adaptive and mobility equipment that allows children to get out and be active in their communities

  • Specialized therapies (such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or speech and language therapy) for kids to learn how to communicate effectively, get stronger after cancer treatment, or learn to master everyday skills that will help them find confidence and independence

  • Private autism assessments and private psychoeducational assessments that help families gain insight into their child’s unique strengths and challenges

  • Access to critical counselling services for kids who may be struggling with invisible challenges in their day-to-day lives

  • Educational support such as bursaries for tutoring and tuition for specialized schools so children can succeed in the classroom

Families who would like to apply for a Child Grant can find more information on the eligibility requirements and the application process on our website here: www.variety.bc.ca/support#grants



Variety BC also has three other programs that have a positive impact on the lives of children with special needs and their families:

  • Variety Schools Grants – matching school fundraising to bring inclusive school upgrades (such as sensory rooms and accessible playgrounds) to life

  • Sunshine Coach Grants – providing safe and reliable transportation other organizations and the kids they work with tirelessly to enhance the lives of kids with special needs

  • Hospital Grants – enabling hospital administrators and social workers to meet the urgent needs of families whose children are receiving medical treatment away from their home communities


Where does my donation go?


At Variety BC, every dollar raised goes towards transforming the lives of kids with special needs and keeping Variety BC running. In addition to providing support to kids and their families, we support hospitals that adminster emergency care across BC and provide transportation to organizations who support kids with special needs.

Check out the journey of your donation on our website here:www.variety.bc.ca/the-journey-of-your-donation/

You can also read more about how Variety has helped BC's kids in the past year in our 2022 Donor Impact Report here: www.variety.bc.ca/our-impact/impact-report/

Is Variety a registered charity?


One of the oldest in BC! Our Registered Charity number is: #108168709.


Are there other ways to give?

When you donate to a team or participant here on the Gold Panel, your donation goes directly to Variety BC and you will get an official tax receipt. However, if you prefer to call or text, we've got you covered:


  • BY PHONE: Call 310-KIDS (5437) toll-free in BC

  • BY TEXT: Text the word "KIDS" to 45678 to make an automatic $25 donation

More ways to give and make a BIG impact:

  • Return your bottles to any Return-It Express depot to donate your refund directly to Variety BC



How else can I get involved with Variety BC?

We believe we can achieve a lot more when we work together! Make a donation, volunteer your time, or set up your own community fundraiser with our support.

  • Do It Your Way: Have a great idea for a fun event? Host a fundraiser at home, online, or in your community to support BC's kids!

  • Fundraise at Work: Is your company looking for a way to engage staff and customers in a rewarding way? Partner with Variety to create a fundraiser that supports kids in your community. 

  • Fundraise at School: Take action at school and help us empower other BC kids to reach their fullest potential - kids helping kids!

  • Volunteer with VarietyJoin our dedicated and passionate volunteers who work tirelessly to help empower Variety kids.

  • Become a Member: Interested in learning more about Variety and getting involved on a deeper level? We're thrilled to welcome new members every day!


How is Variety in BC connected to Variety International?


A charity that grew out of a single good deed, Variety has been transforming the lives of children around the world for almost a century.


In 1927, the original Variety Club was formed by 11 businessmen working in the entertainment industry. This group discovered an abandoned infant in one of their theatres and banded together to raise her. This alliance grew into an organization that puts children first. Variety BC is just one of the 41 chapters in 11 countries around the world that form the entire Variety International organization today.


Here in British Columbia, our chapter was established in 1966, focusing on empowering children with special needs throughout the province. Continually inspired by our roots in teamwork, we’ve partnered with donors and businesses to raise millions of dollars to help children and families across the province.


The funds that are raised in BC are distributed exclusively in BC.