Welcome to our Podcast

Variety’s Empowerment podcast discusses social good, fundraising, innovation, and highlights great people overcoming extraordinary circumstances. Featuring inspiring meaningful conversations the series aims to inspire, inform and deliver practical insights on Variety’s initiatives, the importance of inclusion and accessibility and more!

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Small Miracles

12/17/2022 | Season 1, Ep. 1

Karen Stintz, CEO of Variety The Children’s Charity of Ontario, sits down with Mike Strobel, award winning columnist for the Toronto Sun and author of the book ‘Small Miracles: The Inspiring Kids of Variety Village,’.
Karen and Mike discuss the origins of Variety The Children’s Charity and share some inspirational stories of the people that call Variety home.


ShowHeart: Variety’s Twitch Charity Concert

1/18/2023 | Season 1, Ep. 2

Karen Stintz, CEO of Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario, discusses ‘ShowHeart’, Variety’s Twitch Charity Concert featuring bands & artists from across the world. The concert series is broadcast live on Twitch over a series of four-days celebrating Heart month, February.

Karen welcomes special guests, recording artist and songwriter Josh Taerk and David Small, Executive Director, Variety of Australia.


Breaking Down Barriers: The Importance of Camps for Children with Disabilities

3/11/2023 | Season 1, Ep. 3

​In this episode of Empowerment by Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario, we talk about the impact isolation can have on children, especially children with disabilities and we explore opportunities the camp experience can provide.

We are joined by Claudia Leavens, who shares how one-on-one support at Variety Village has greatly supported her daughter Anna, who has a regressive genetic disorder.

We also speak with Tracy Morley of Camp Awakening and highlight Variety’s efforts to expand reach and subsidize camps for kids outside of Variety Village, at organizations like Camp Maple Leaf, JCC, Camp Awakening, BGC and the Campfire Circle.

Join us as we discuss the important aspect of siblings and friends being able to come together, and the incredible impact access to these services can have for children of all abilities.


Pizza Nova: 30 Years of Empowering Kids with Variety​

4/12/2023 | Season 1, Ep. 4

​In this episode, we highlight Variety’s work and collaboration with community partners. Karen Stintz, CEO of Variety Ontario is joined by Domenic Primucci, President of Pizza Nova, to discuss their long-standing partnership, history and support helping to raise over $2 million for kids through their annual May fundraiser. Also in this episode, Joshua McDonald, a variety kid and ambassador, shares his love for Variety Village. ​​


Volt Hockey: Empowering Children with Disabilities

8/15/2023 | Season 1, Ep. 5

In this episode, our host Karen Stintz interviews Bhavjeet Sandhu, an inspiring 18-year-old Volt Hockey player, who shares his personal journey and the transformative power of this sport. We also hear from Harjeet Sandhu, Bhavjeet’s father, and James MacArthur, an impassioned hockey dad. Together, they illuminate the spirit of inclusivity, determination, and unity that defines VOLT Hockey.


  • Your Host

    Karen Stintz
    President and CEO of Variety Village and Variety – the Children’s Charity (Ontario).

    Before joining Village, Karen was a Toronto City Councillor for 11 years and while serving on Council was Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission. As Chair of the TTC, Karen oversaw large capital projects, a billion dollar operating budget and the implementation of new technology to improve customer service.

    Karen’s career also included senior positions at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and in the private sector. Karen currently serves on two volunteer Boards of Directors in the local community: as Chair of the North Toronto Arena Board; and, as a member for the North Toronto Tennis Club.

    Karen is also weekly political commentator for a radio show and contributes a monthly column to a Toronto-based publication.

    In 2021, Toronto Life Magazine kindly named Karen as one of Toronto’s 50 Most Influential People and the Women of Influence Magazine named me as one to the Top 25 Women of Influence.