Rainbow Grants

grants-awards chalkrainbowtriangle

Applications for 2018 Rainbow Grants are now closed. Good luck to all applicants!

Rainbow Grants provide funding to foster new and innovative services and programs that have a positive impact on the LGBTTIQQ2S community in the GTA, in the areas of:

  • health and social sciences
  • arts and culture
  • research, education and advocacy  


Foundation Rainbow Grants are available for up to $7,500 and are open to registered charities or groups trusteed by a registered charity.

General Rainbow Grants are available for up to $1,500 and are open to groups or individuals without charitable status. 

Community One strongly encourages applications for programming, projects, and initiatives that prioritize and centre the work of Two-Spirit, Indigenous Trans, Non-binary, practitioners, facilitators, artists, and communities. 


The James Stewart Rainbow Grant was created thanks to the generous bequest from James Stewart, the Toronto mathematician and musician who passed away in December 2014. As one of the Toronto-based LGBTQ+ charities to receive philanthropic support from Mr. Stewart’s estate, Community One is honoured to offer this annual grant in his name.

This grant is available to a registered charity for up to $10,000. The James Stewart Rainbow Grant focuses on one or more of the following key areas:

  • seed new and innovative projects to combat discrimination on the basis of sexual/gender identity and create an atmosphere of respect and acceptance
  • support needed but underfunded services to LGBT individuals and families
  • provide programming specifically aimed at supporting newcomers to Canada who have identified themselves with the LGBT community


Thank you to all who applied for grants this year.



Transitional Gender Project – LOFT Community Services

RBC Community Award

This project will provide intensive, one-on-one, stigma-free coordinated support, and access to trans-positive services and transitional housing for trans people with multiple challenges (mental health issues, addictions, homelessness), who self-identify as wanting to transition or currently transitioning.

Building Pride, Music & Belonging in the City of Toronto - Singing OUT, Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Community Chorus

A June concert theme of “One Love” will speak to loving one’s self, loving others and loving our community. It will reach extended levels of inclusiveness, highlighting young, Canadian and LGBTQ+ composers and artists. Focus will also be on Indigenous pieces that will tell a story of love, history and advancement. A parallel story of LGBTQ+ rights will be woven into the performance through narration by choir members.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls - Roseneath Theatre

Roseneath Theatre will develop and tour “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls” by Dave Deveau, a play that deals with gender identity, empathy and integrity to elementary schools throughout the GTA.

Trans Collections Project - Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives

Arranging, describing, digitizing and creating research aids for three trans collections: Denise Hudson (Transvestites in Toronto), Rachel Lewis (various trans groups) and OneSong Transgender Support Services in Regina, SK. Collect material from trans elders in the community.

SOY Youth Capacity Building through Volunteer Anti-Oppression Training - Supporting Our Youth

To develop, implement, facilitate and evaluate a workshop that will provide crucial anti-oppression training to all current and future SOY volunteers and adult mentors.

Heart to Heart: Queers Creating Better Relationships - Laura Krahn

A 10-week group for LGBTQ spectrum women and nonbinary people aged 30-49 who want to create more fulfilling relationships. Participants will define “better relationships” in their own terms; explore what they need/want from themselves and others; build skills to negotiate conflict; and share knowledge and experience, making the community stronger.

PFLAG Teens & Tweens - PFLAG Durham

A new youth services program that targets adolescents from aged 11 to 17 dealing with gender identity discrimination. This program provides a safe, affirming, positive space for these youth to connect, socialize, learn and share with others in facilitated creative, educational and social activities.

Trans & Gender Diverse Community Drop-in / Working Group Meetings - Trans & Gender Diverse Community Working Group

An open space with optional activities provided for Trans & Gender Diverse people in West Toronto. Some sessions will include outside facilitators for key groups within the Trans & Gender Diverse Community. The open meetings are accessible, community-led meetings in which all Working Group planning is done.

Youth Workshop Program - Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

A free workshop series for queer youth that offers skills building and mentorship in various areas of performance, storytelling, and theatre.

Rainbow Outings and Art-Making: Seniors Celebrate Toronto Together - Sunshine Centres for Seniors

This project will give LGBTQ seniors opportunities to celebrate Toronto’s diverse history through outings, walking tours, art-making and educational presentations. The project will enhance the health and wellness of LGBTQ seniors by providing social interaction, physical exercise, cognitive stimulation, and the chance to creatively express themselves through various artistic activities.

An Intergenerational Gathering Telling the History of Toronto’s Black Queer Community - Intergenerational Gathering Planning Committee

A one-day event bringing together the different generations of Toronto’s Black queer communities to share stories and learn about their history, to acknowledge and honour those involved in community building over the years including Black queer ancestors, and to celebrate the transformative work of community building.

Boys In Chairs - Boys in Chairs Collective

A devised, collective theatre piece that explores the specifics of three men’s experiences as queer disabled men.

Developing a Life Coaching Model for Asian Trans Women - Asian Community AIDS Service

This project aims to develop a person-centred life coach model for Asian trans women to guide them in their journey to transitioning. 10-15 Asian trans women will be engaged by supporting their transitioning in the areas of real life experience, social and emotional well-being, disclosure, and other life challenges.

Asians in Motion II: LGBTTIQQ2SA Youth Forum - Asian Community AIDS Service

A full-day community forum designed by and for self-identified East & Southeast Asian LGBTTIQQ2SA youth in Toronto and the GTA. The project goal is to increase youth capacity, and peer support network through training, awareness raising activities that will promote community leadership, communication, and advocacy.

Healthier Selves, Healthier Relationships, Healthier Communities - Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf

Provides a ten-week workshop series for LGBTQQ2SIA deaf community members.

Unexpectedly Trans: Holding Hands with the Awkward - Hanlon McGregor and Mihaly Szabados

A play about a 40-year-old married mother of two – Gina – who begins a gender transition to identify as Dan, a queer, trans father. He must come out to his partner, his young children, his family and his community. Both big and small hearts are challenged.

Toronto Arts Book Fair x Zine Production & Exchange Program

Paperhouse Outreach Collective has partnered with Toronto Art Book Fair (TOABF) and SKETCH to facilitate a week-long artists’ book and zine workshop, ZIPE (Zine Production and Exchange), in Artscape Youngplace is for 14 youth and young adults who identify and/or ally with LGBTTIAQQ2S, disabled, and POC communities.

Bi Arts Festival

The Bi Arts Festival (September 22-24, 2017) will celebrate and promote bisexual visibility, culture and history through a weekend of community events including an art exhibit, a pop-up craft market, author and poetry readings, Wikipedia edit-a-thon, a zine, and a screening of independent film and video by bisexual filmmakers.

Out to Win - ProudPolitics

A project that seeks to address the low number of LGBTTIQQ2S individuals in elected office and strengthen the networks and ties among those candidates and organizers to build their collective capacity to become civic leaders and champions of inclusive public policies.

Queen of Hearts

A short film about an all-powerful, black, supernatural Queen in a fictional Victorian kingdom. The film is a magical infusion of West African culture in a historically European setting. It offers a creative glimpse into the life of a complex Queen whose world is shattered.

Autistiqueers - Bridget Liang

The first autistic queer/trans-led support and action group in Toronto. Autistiqueers aims to create queer/trans autistic community both by and for ourselves. Their first project is to create a zine of stories about autistic queer/trans people from their perspective.

Hall of Justice - John Caffery

A poster series celebrating 2SLGBTQ activists, exploring the intersections of art and activism and the pedagogy of social justice.

Inside Out
Supporting Our Youth (SOY)
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape
Planned Parenthood Toronto
Rainbow Railroad
Sherbourne Health Centre
Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto
Toronto PFLAG
Black Lives Mattter Toronto - Freedom School
Asian Community AIDS Services
Native Women in the Arts
Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf
Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention
Lucas Silveira and the Cliks
Children's Aid Society of Toronto


Jonathan R. Steinert and Fernando Gumercindo Ferreiro

Fernando Gumercindo Ferreiro immigrated to Toronto from Santiago, Chile in 1973. He had earned his Masters Degree in Psychology while studying in Chile and then earned his doctorate at the University of Toronto. Fernando then established his own private practice in Toronto.

While on vacation in San Francisco in 1985, he met Jonathan Steinert and the two very quickly fell in love. Jonathan relocated to Toronto and assisted Fernando with the administrative duties in his practice.

Jonathan was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 1990 and after a short period of time, succumbed to his illness.

While not persecuted for his homosexuality in Chile, Fernando felt a certain degree of discrimination in Canada and wished that an organization would promote individuals who, through either the arts or sciences, made a significant contribution to the understanding and acceptance of gays and lesbians in the community. Fernando chose Toronto’s Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal Foundation (now the Community One Foundation) as the organization to carry out his wishes.

Fernando quietly passed away from AIDS in Casey House on July 2, 1992.


The Award

The Steinert & Ferreiro Award – Canada’s largest single cash award in recognition of leadership in the LGBTTIQQ2S community – was launched in 2005 through a bequest from the estates of Jonathan R. Steinert and Fernando Gumercindo Ferreiro. Community contribution and leadership are at the heart of the LGBTTIQQ2S community, with leaders often working quietly to achieve growth, understanding and change. The Steinert & Ferreiro Award celebrates these unsung heroes of our community.

An individual will be presented with a commemorative award and a $10,000 cash prize. The recipient must agree to accept the award in-person and be publicly acknowledged for their contribution.


All individuals who have made a significant contribution through the arts and sciences in promoting the understanding and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, queer and two-spirited communities in the Greater Toronto Area are eligible to be nominated. The arts and sciences may include the humanities (literature, philosophy, etc.), the social sciences (law, psychology, politics, history, social work, community development, etc.), fine arts (music, theatre, film, etc.), and physical sciences (engineering, biology, medicine, etc.).

Unsuccessful nominations can be eligible for consideration for the following year’s award by checking the appropriate box at the bottom of the nomination form.


Nominate someone in 4 easy steps

The 2017 Steinert & Ferreiro Award nomination period has closed. Thank you to all nominees.

Download Information Guidelines | Download Nomination Form

STEP 1: Fully complete the Nomination Form; the Nominee and the Nominators must sign the Nomination Form in the signature boxes provided.

STEP 2: Write a 1,000-2,000 word letter outlining the individual’s accomplishments and significant contributions to the LGBTTIQQ2S community, with three people signing the letter (can be the nominators or others).

STEP 3: Gather letters supporting this application from 2-4 other individuals or organizations that are acquainted with this individual’s work and contributions.

STEP 4: Send the completed nomination submission by email or by mail:

EMAIL: Attach all relevant documentation within one email and send to sfaward@communityone.ca

MAIL: Place all documentation in one envelope and mail to:

The Steinert & Ferreiro Award
Community One Foundation
P.O. Box 760, Stn. F
Toronto, ON M4Y 2N6

Nomination Deadline

The 2017 Steinert & Ferreiro Award nomination period has closed. Thank you to all nominees.


Award Announcement and Presentation

The 2017 Steinert & Ferreiro Award was presented to Dennis Findlay on November 2, 2017 at the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Black & White Gala in Toronto.

To qualify for nomination of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award, the nominee must be physically present for the granting event if selected for the award and must sign the nomination form to indicate agreement to attend the event.


For more information, please contact the Community One Foundation at sfaward@communityone.ca


Dennis Findlay - 2017

Dennis Findlay has been an activist in Ontario LGBTQ+ communities for more than 40 years.

He began his involvement in the LGBTQ causes in university, organizing social events to help strengthen the community. After moving to Toronto in the mid-1970s, he volunteered at Pink Triangle Press and opened a bakery – Altitude Baking – catering many LGBTQ fundraisers.

He became involved with the Right to Privacy Committee after the 1981 bathhouse raids in Toronto, helping organize protests, fundraise and coordinating legal support. Upon finding out some of the accused lacked legal representation, Findlay represented a dozen of the accused as a “friend of the court”, even going to trial twice. He won both cases.

Dennis also organized Gay Court Watch to help defend those charged for consensual sex, and established the Gay Street Patrol to combat homophobic attacks.

In 2017, Dennis is still inspiring young activists and serves as President of the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives.

Doug Kerr - 2016

dougkerrDoug Kerr is a well-known activist in Toronto’s LGBTTIQQ2S communities.

He is one of the founders of the LGBT Giving Network, a collaboration dedicated to enhancing philanthropy supporting LGBT and HIV/AIDS causes.

He spent six years on the Board of Directors of Sherbourne Health Centre, one of Canada’s leading organizations for LGBT health services, and was Chair of the Human Rights Program for Pride Toronto where he co-chaired the WorldPride Human Rights Conference in June 2014. He has also spent a number of years as Co-Chair of InterPride’s Solidarity Fund, supporting emerging Pride organizations around the world, and as a volunteer lead with the Dignity Initiative, a collaborative of organizations across Canada interested in enhancing Canada’s support of human rights for LGBT people globally.

Due to his community leadership, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He and his husband Michael are co-owners of Glad Day Bookshop, the oldest LGBTQ bookstore in the world.

Nik Redman - 2015

Nik Redman has made incredible contributions to the LGBTTIQQ2S community in Toronto – work that has had an impressive impact through his tireless work as an artist, activist and community worker.

Redman’s activism, particularly within the trans community in Toronto has been wide-reaching. A small sampling of his work includes being a member of the GBQ Trans Mens’ Working Group, Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance and is one of the creators of “Primed: A Back Pocket Guide for Trans Guys and the Guys Who Dig ‘Em”. He was a co-investigator for the Trans MSM Study as well as one of the co-investigators of The Trans PULSE Project, a community-based research project within Ontario’s trans community, and was one of the online facilitators for the province-wide HIV/AIDS-themed Stigma Campaign. Redman is also a founding member of the Transparent-cy Working Group at The 519 Community Centre, and helped to initiate the Trans-Fathers 2B course– the first course for trans men considering parenting in North America.

Redman has also made an impact with his work in the arts, and is a programmer for the Inside Out Film and Video Festival. As a member of Blackness Yes!, he has been instrumental in programming the Blockorama stage at Pride Toronto. Redman is also an award-winning DJ, writer and radio programmer.

Vivek Shraya - 2014

Vivek Shraya is a visionary artist and dynamic educator and organizer who has contributed tirelessly to the LGBTQ community in Toronto and across the world.

The What I LOVE about being QUEER project, now in its third year, illustrates the fusion of art and activism that is integral to all of Shraya’s work. Shraya created this project in response to concerns he was hearing from the queer and questioning youth he works with in his job as Positive Space Coordinator at George Brown College. Many of the youth who came to talk with him were struggling to embrace aspects of their sexual and gender identities and/or to gain acceptance within their families, peer groups and communities. After reflecting on these concerns, he wondered how our perspective on ourselves, our communities, and our futures might change if we shared more stories about the joys of being queer. To shift the focus of discussions about sexual and gender diversity to celebrate LGBTQ lives, Vivek asked thirty-four self-identified queer people to answer one simple question: ‘What do you love about being queer?’

The resulting short film has traveled the globe and expanded into a larger project with an online home (whatiloveaboutbeingqueer.tumblr.com) as well as a book. All proceeds from the book benefit George Brown College’s Positive Space Award fund, and has raised over $13,000 in scholarships for queer and trans students so far.

In addition to What I LOVE about being QUEER, Shraya is also a musician, who’s latest album, All Of The Lights: A Diwali/Christmas EP celebrates a blending of cultures as well as a consideration of what it means to come home.  His most recent novel, She of the Mountains
was published by Arsenal Pulp Press this fall to rave reviews.

Shraya’s work actively promotes a deeper understanding of the complexity of the lives of queer and trans people and builds positive, productive relationships within and amongst a wide range of diverse communities.

Savoy Howe - 2013

savoySavoy Howe, founder of the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Gym, is a tireless advocate for inclusiveness and social justice in sport. She is also an actor, playwright, and activist who believe that sport and the theatre are important vehicles for change. Savoy has made countless contributions toward the safety, recognition and include of the queer community in the Greater Toronto Area.

Savoy took up boxing in 1992; a year after women’s boxing was legalized in Canada. In 1994, she agreed to talk about being a lesbian boxer for a TSN documentary. She went on to become the 1995 Provincial Silver medalist, 2010 Provincial Gold medalist and the 2010 National Silver medalist.

Savoy has been running the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club for 20 years and has over 3000 alumnae. Its mission is “to provide a safe and positive space for women and trans people to explore the sport of boxing.” The club offers recreational boxing to any person regardless of ability, age, sexual orientation, race, gender, or HIV status. One of Savoy’s major commitments is working with survivors of violence, particularly from within the queer community. She has helped to create a much-needed physical activity space while fostering greater understanding of trans issues within the broader LFTTIQQ2S and straight community.

Syrus Marcus Ware - 2012

syrusSyrus Marcus Ware is a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. He is the Program Coordinator of the AGO Youth Program, Art Gallery of Ontario.  As a visual artist, Syrus works within the mediums of painting, installation and performance to challenge systemic oppression.  Syrus’ work explores the spaces between and around identities; acting as provocations to our understandings of gender, sexuality and race. Syrus recently co-edited an issue of the Journal of Museum Education entitled Building Diversity in Museums, which focused on strategies for diversifying galleries and museums internationally.

In 2005, Syrus was voted “Best Queer Activist” by Now Magazine. For the past 6 years, Syrus has worked with Blackness Yes! to produce Blockorama (the black queer and trans stage at Pride), and other related events throughout the year. Syrus is also a founding member of the Prison Justice Action Committee of Toronto. Syrus is a program committee member for Mayworks Festival, and is a past board member of the FUSE magazine. He is a founding member of the Transparent-cy Working Group at The 519 Community Centre. He helped to initiate the Trans-Fathers 2B course- the first course for trans men considering parenting in North America. Syrus is also a member of the Gay/Bi Trans Men’s HIV Prevention Working Group for the Ontario AIDS Bureau. Syrus holds degrees in Art History, Visual Studies and a Masters in Sociology and Equity Studies, University of Toronto.

Ryan Hinds - 2011

ryanhindsA visionary far beyond his years, Ryan has made and continues to make significant contributions to the acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community; he has enriched art, culture and activism for all, particularly for communities of people of colour and youth. During his years as an advocate and visionary in the community, Ryan’s commitment has included, but is not limited to, co-founding The ARTWHERK! Collective, overseeing the Buddies in Bad Times 2009 Art Auction & LGBT Youth line’s 2007 Art Auction. He has been a proud volunteer with SOY (Supporting Our Youth) since the late 90s and spoken to student audiences at Ryerson, UofT and Guelph on topics of empowerment, identity and queer black history. For his commitment to the LGBTQ youth community and his leadership in LGBTQ arts and culture, Ryan joins honourees as an S&F Award recipient.

Rupert Raj - 2010

rupertA transformative figure in the trans community for close to 40 years, Rupert Raj has won numerous awards in Canada and United States for his eless advocacy and support for trans rights. In his many roles, which have included counselor, psychotherapist, educator, professional trainer, consultant, gender specialist, clinical researcher, writer and activist, he has helped foster greater understanding of trans issues within the broader LGBTTIQQ2S and straight communities. He currently works as a mental health counselor at the Sherbourne Health Centre, and is an active member of the Rainbow Health Network’s Trans Health Lobby Group.




Rachel Epstein – 2008

rachelRachel Epstein has been a queer parenting activist, educator and researcher for over 20 years and has made innumerable and pivotal contributions towards the support, recognition and inclusion of queer parents and their children in Canada. She has provided resources, advocacy and education to queer parents and prospective parents in the Greater Toronto area (GTA) and beyond, and has worked tirelessly to change attitudes and practices in the wider community.

In 1997, with midwife Kathie Duncan, Rachel founded the Dykes Planning Tykes program, a course for lesbian/bi/queer women who are considering parenthood. In 2001 she was hired to develop the LGBTQ Parenting Network, originally housed at Family Service Toronto and now at the Sherbourne Health Centre. She and her daughter and co-parent were parties in the 2005 Charter Challenge that resulted in changes to birth registration procedures in Ontario, and recently she has advocated on behalf of LGBTQ communities with the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency in Ottawa. Rachel also works as a professional mediator with LGBTQ parents and prospective parents. She edited the book Who’s Your Daddy? and other writings on queer parenting, published by Sumach Press in April 2009.

Reverend Brent Hawkes – 2007

hawkesAs the Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Rev. Hawkes has been at the forefront of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Community in Toronto. A member of the Order of Canada, he serves as spiritual leader to a faith community of some 575 congregants at regular Sunday worship. As well, he has served the community at large with distinction, championing several Human Rights initiatives, especially benefiting the LGBT Community.

“Rev. Hawkes exemplifies what the Steinert and Ferreiro Award seeks to achieve,” says LGCA Foundation board secretary and award committee chair, Rupen Seoni. “We have to celebrate and thank leaders like Brent that have made significant contributions in promoting the understanding and acceptance of LGBT people. Generations to come will benefit from his dedication to community service.”

El-Farouk Khaki – 2006

el-faroukEl-Farouk Khaki has played a major role in paving the way in Canada for refugee protection on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender. A longtime champion of equality and human rights, El-Farouk Khaki is a passionate advocate for HIV/AIDS, sexual orientations, ethnic minorities and integration issues. He broke ground by organizing the first female-led, mixed gender Muslim prayer in Canada.

“El-Farouk’s pioneering work has brought awareness and sensitivity of sexual orientation and gender issues to the mainstream Muslim community”
– Senator Mobina S.B. Jaffer




Bev Bain – 2005 (2 of 2)

bevbainBeverly is a Black lesbian feminist, anti-racism/anti-oppression and anti-violence educator and trainer. She has worked in the anti-violence and anti-racism movement for more than 20 years. Beverly has lectured and delivered presentations across the country and internationally on equality rights, violence against women and police investigation practices of sexual assault of women, lesbians, bi-sexual and transgender communities.

She has published in Fireweed and the Canadian Women’s Studies Journal and edited its most recent edition. Beverly currently teaches Sexual Politics and Women and Health in the Women’s Studies Program at Laurentian University/Georgian College.

Beverly was one of the recipients of the 2005 inaugural Steinert and Ferreiro Award from the LGCA, for her contributions to advance the cause of lesbians, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered/transsexual and queer communities in Canada.

George Hislop – 2005 (1 of 2)

george_hislopGeorge Hislop (1927-2005) is known as one of Canada’s most influential gay activists. He was the first openly gay candidate for municipal office in Canada, as well as the first openly gay candidate for any political office in Ontario and was a key figure in the early development of Toronto’s gay and lesbian community. Hislop studied speech and drama at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1949. He subsequently worked as an actor, and ran an interior design company with his partner, Ron Shearer.

In 2003, Hislop was one of several gay activists who launched a class action lawsuit against the federal government. The government had extended Canada Pension Plan benefits to the surviving same-sex partners of deceased pensioners as of 1998, but the change was not retroactive to earlier deaths. Shearer had died in 1986, making Hislop ineligible for survivor benefits.

The suit aimed to have retroactive benefits extended back to the 1985 inclusion of gay and lesbian equality rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On November 26, 2004, the lawsuit ended in victory for Hislop and his co-plaintiffs, although the federal government subsequently filed a controversial appeal of the decision. The federal government lost this appeal on March 1, 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled in Hislop’s favour.

In October 2005, just one week after his passing, Hislop was posthumously awarded the inaugural Jonathan R. Steinert and Fernando G. Ferreiro Award, Canada’s largest award for contributions to LGBT communities.