Opera Mariposa
(l-r) Stephanie Ko and Jacqueline Ko, co-founders of Opera Mariposa. Photos: Diamond's Edge Photography.

For Opera Mariposa, Canada’s only disability-led opera company, COVID-19 has made their annual Benefit + Awareness Show uniquely paramount. The Vancouver-based company is run by sisters Stephanie and Jacqueline Ko, both of whom have lived with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since childhood; their annual fundraiser event is in support of chronic neuro-immune diseases like ME and fibromyalgia.

ME is known to be triggered by viruses – including some coronaviruses – and the community for which Opera Mariposa holds its yearly benefit event is considered to be uniquely at-risk.

“People with ME and FM are incredibly vulnerable right now,” says general manager Stephanie Ko. “Statistics Canada shows that these patients already have the highest poverty levels and greatest unmet healthcare needs of any patient group in Canada.”

Opera Mariposa’s live event was halted by the pandemic, but they’ve shifted instead to a month-long fundraising campaign in support of the ME|FM Society of BC. Until June 1st, your donations will make you eligible for prizes valued at $2500; prizes include tickets to Vancouver-area performances in 2020/21, gift baskets for self-care during quarantine, and other goodies for opera fans.

Donations to Opera Mariposa’s Benefit + Awareness campaign can be made online, or by texting MARIPOSABENEFIT to 855-202-2100.