Benefit + Awareness Month

Raising voices in support of charity

Online May 1-June 1, 2023

Ever since Opera Mariposa started, we’ve held annual Benefit + Awareness events to raise funds and awareness for chronic neuro-immune diseases. Through the generosity of the community, we’ve raised over $116,000 in ten years. And now in 2023, we’re honouring the International Awareness Month for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia (ME & FM) with an entire month of online programming!

From May 1-June 1, join us for music & videos, art, merch, prizes and more! 100% of the proceeds will benefit the ME | FM Society of BC, helping the rising number of people affected by Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Long Covid.

Contributions will be TRIPLED up to $3,500 with matching sponsor donations, so your gift has 3x the impact!

Blue and purple banner reading, Enter to Win nearly $5k in prizes until June 1

Access: Free and by-donation ways to participate. Videos include captioning; music includes lyrics and translations; artwork includes alt text and image descriptions. Please enjoy our online offerings throughout the month, at your own pace. If you have questions or need help, please get in touch anytime!

#BAMonth2023 #MEFMBenefit2023 #MEFibroBenefit2023 #BenefitAwareness2023

What is the ME | FM Society of BC?

The ME | FM Society of BC is a registered Canadian charity working to support and advocate for people living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and/or Fibromyalgia (FM). They work to educate the healthcare community, government about ME and FM; provide information and resources for patients and their families; champion issues that impact the ME and FM community; and promote state-of-the-art medical research, testing, diagnosis and treatments. They are also dedicated to building an inclusive, accessible organization that creates opportunities for the participation of patients, carers and family members at every level. |

What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis?
And what’s the connection to Long Covid?

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (known as ME or ME/CFS)* is a chronic multisystem disease characterized by debilitating exhaustion unrelieved by sleep, and symptoms that worsen after even minor physical or mental activity (known as post-exertional malaise or PEM). First classified as a neurological disease by the WHO, ME affects many body systems, and can cause everything from chronic pain and muscle weakness to cardiac issues, immune problems and cognitive dysfunction.

“Mild” ME typically reduces function by at least 50%, while moderate to severe cases can resemble living with heart failure or end-stage cancer for decades. It has the lowest quality-of-life score of all common diseases, and prior to the pandemic, affected over half a million Canadians and an estimated 17-24 million people worldwide. Despite this, ME is seldom taught in medical schools, and an estimated 90% of patients aren’t even diagnosed. There are no FDA-approved treatments or cures.

Around 80% of ME cases are triggered by viruses, and the number people with ME is increasing exponentially right now due to Covid-19. Conservatively, 10-20% of Covid patients (including adults and children with mild/asymptomatic cases) go on to develop Long Covid or associated conditions. Of those, several preliminary studies suggest that around half develop ME. | learn more

*occasionally referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or SEID

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex chronic illness that affects over half a million Canadians and around 2-5% of people worldwide. Characterized by widespread burning pain and fatigue unrelieved by sleep, it can also cause other debilitating symptoms including brain fog, irregular heartbeat, severe sleep problems and digestive issues.

As with ME, symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary not just from person to person but from day to day, and some patients may even appear superficially healthy. Nevertheless, fibromyalgic pain can be unrelenting, and the UK’s National Health Service ranks it as one of the 20 most painful health conditions.

Fibromyalgia is also associated with impaired joints, fascia and other connective tissues – an issue shared with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a genetic disorder with which it can co-occur. In fact, fibromyalgia can occur alongside several other serious conditions, including ME, autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic migraines, and the overlapping symptoms can affect every aspect of a person’s daily life. | learn more

Download a PDF about the charitable cause here.

in support of the
ME | FM Society of BC

MEFM Society of BC logo

Featuring (in alphabetical order)
Christina Baltais, collage art
Lindsay Gillis, soprano
Maria Hwa Yeong Jung, piano
Angus Kellett, piano
Jacqueline Ko, soprano
Michael Onwood, piano
Lia Pas, fibre arts
Toni Scott, digital art

Benefit + Awareness Programming

Discover all our digital offerings from May 1-June 1, 2023.

Closeup of Jacqueline Ko, a disabled Chinese-Canadian woman in a black beaded gown, holding a vintage microphone and looking over her shoulder against a misty purple background.

Music & Videos

Join Opera Mariposa’s award-winning artists for studio singles and digital performances, plus video highlights from past events!

Prize Draw

Enter to win nearly $5,000 in prizes – including jewelry, artwork, gift cards, gift baskets and much more – all in support of charity.

Art Showcase

Art meets advocacy in exquisite creations by visual and multidisciplinary artists with ME and FM from across Canada.


Mariposa has merch! From May 1-June 1, every item in our shop supports charity – so check out our exclusive designs for a great cause!

Closeup of tea in a rose-patterned Royal Albert teacup, surrounded by a spread of scones, buns and chocolate biscuits on a white tablecloth strewn with bluebells.

Blue Sunday

On Sunday, May 14th, celebrate Blue Sunday, “the tea party for M.E.”! Enjoy a tea party from home while supporting a great cause!

Closeup of a black condenser microphone, viewed from below, with a high wooden ceiling blurred in the background.


Enjoying some of our Benefit + Awareness offerings? Support the cause with a donation, which will be tripled-matched up to $3,500!

YouTube video thumbnail of Chinese-Canadian performer Jacqueline Ko with downcast eyes, holding a red rose against an artistic purple background. Cursive text reads, Chi il bel sogno di Doretta.

A new music video

Join Opera Mariposa for Chi il bel sogno di Doretta, directed by and starring soprano Jacqueline Ko and featuring pianist Maria Hwa Yeong Jung! Don’t miss this all-new music video in honour of Opera Mariposa’s 10th annual Benefit + Awareness event.

Access: Closed captioning available. Lyrics, English translation, and content warnings in video description

Thank you to our event sponsors

Enjoy more opera content online

Discover Opera Mariposa’s latest digital offerings.