Applications for 2018 Rainbow Grants are now closed. Congratulations to this years recipients!
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:
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:
Thank you to all who applied for grants this year.
James Stewart Award (inaugural)
The Parenting Teens Exchange (PTE) is a biweekly group for newcomer caregivers whose teenagers might be LGBTTQQ+, to share experiences and learn to support healthy sexuality and gender development. The PTE creates a regular and trusting space for intercultural and multi-faith interactions and problem solving for and by newcomers.
Gender Journeys is an 8 week program for people aged 13+. We provide information, support and meaningful connections for anyone thinking about their gender, transgender folks, and gender diverse folks. Gender Journeys promotes respect for a wide range of possibilities across the diverse gender continuum. Gender Journeys is 8-weeks in duration. Each week will cover a different topic. Our plan is to run one 8-weeks session in Ajax and one in Oshawa.
Through music, dance, story-telling, and visual-art making, LGBTQ seniors will share their histories, express their identities and experiences, and celebrate their lives. The project will also provide a series of health promotion workshops and educational tip sheets for LGBTQ seniors on topics of interest and concern to them.
The project aims to facilitate planning for end of life with a group of older LGBTTIQQ2S adults. The sessions will provide practical information, opportunities for self-expression via writing/arts as a tool to engage this challenging topic, as well as building supportive and collaborative relationships between the participants.
Freedom School Youth Training is being organized to train youth leaders to staff BLMTOFreedomSchool- a humanizing, self-affirming, LGBT positive educational opportunity for Black children in Ontario. BLMTOFreedomSchool is one of the only Black affirmative programs run by queer/trans Black community members and teaching Black liberation from an LGBT positive perspective.
The project is a two day training in trauma informed care for frontline health care and support service providers who provide care to the LGBTTIQQ2S community, who live with HIV/AIDS, with mental health, trauma and substance use concerns. The project is a two-day training session focusing on trauma informed care for frontline services providers who care for people within the LGBTTIQQ2S community who live with HIV and with mental health, trauma and substance related concerns.
LOFT wishes to undertake a research and evaluation project to explore the intersectionality of oppression experienced by people in the trans community, with a particular focus on the BIPOC community. The research will look at cultural issues (black, indigenous, people of colour, etc.) and gender issues (trans-male, trans-female, non-binary, etc.) to see how these issues intersect with each other, and with the generalized discrimination experienced by trans individuals, seeking to identify specific and general concerns. The second step will be to evaluate existing LOFT services to identify what is missing in service delivery and where the serve gaps are, and finally, to develop positive, proactive and affirming responses so that all members of the community feel equally and respectfully supported.
Pieces to Pathways (P2P) will hire a staff person for 10 hours per month to organize and host monthly harm reduction kit-making workshops, which any members of the population can attend.
We hope to achieve the following:
Our project is a speaker’s series providing education and support for families/friends of transgender individuals, as well as the community at large. There will be three speakers from June 2018 to February 2019 including a Two-Spirit individual, a transgender physician practicing in St. Catharines, and potentially a legal expert. We hope to change the perspective of attendees, open their minds to what it means to be transgender, and provide practical advice that they can pass on to their children.
Tell the Children the Truth is a feature-length documentary about the history of Toronto’s Black queer community. Paying homage to creative and courageous individuals who, for almost forty years, have stepped up to create community where there was none, this ground-breaking documentary celebrates a traditionally marginalized, but vibrant community.
DATP (Dragging ASL To Pride) was an event hosted by ORAD annually for five years. Unfortunately, this tradition has been put on hold over the past five years. We are hoping to bring back this tradition to reunite the Deaf Queer & Trans communities through performance in American Sign Language.
STARS 100 is an arts-based project that fosters much-needed belongingness among East and Southeast Asian Trans women through arts, recreation, and social. STARS will hold an exhibition featuring 100 objects (photographs, art pieces, etc.) that will trace 10 Asian trans women’s life journey: stories of challenges, resilience, sisterhood, and love.
Cahoots will support a one-week workshop of Raf Antonio’s newest play, THE EFFEMINATES: A QUEER TALE OF BLOODY VENGEANCE featuring queer performers of colour, actively engaging with Toronto’s drag and queer community by inviting various drag performers and other community members to the development process.
Kyle Rae Award
A core team will plan and implement a series of 5 workshops and activities that promote healthy living and create strong community connections for over 100 gay East and Southeast Asian men age 40 and up in Toronto and the GTA.
The Queer Asian Women (QAW+) plans to organize 1 arts and crafts social, and 3 educational workshops; queer parenting, anti-oppressive leadership skills development, and healthy relationships and consent. We seek to serve 60 queer Asian women and non-binary people in the GTA.
This project aims to develop an affirmative mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) for LGBTTIQQ2S youth by: Introducing/practicing core mindfulness skills with LGBTTIQQ2S youth; investigating what mindfulness/affirmative approaches are useful in a MBI; and developing a culturally-adapted MBI for LGBTTIQQ2S youth to enhance mental health. A pilot evaluation will occur after this project.
Fool Love is my first first length album project consisting of 7-10 original songs. It focuses on love and sexuality as a fluid individual. The marketing and promotion of this album is the main focus of my application.
ZIPE will support 14 learners with workshops beginning in July 2018, with sessions running for 4 subsequent weeks. This series of workshops is designed to be a safe and inclusive space for learners to talk openly about social barriers, encouraging them to vocalize their experiences while taking creative risks, with the support of participating artists, all of whom have experience working with youth and young adults in an educational capacity. These facilitators have structured the workshops to create practical introductions to various techniques relating to writing, image-making, zine-making, and self-publication, while prompting an open dialogue about identity throughout. The program will also connect youth participants with local zine-makers, community members, and art organizations, to ensure the continual support for their art practices once ZIPE has concluded. In addition, the ZIPE Youth Mentor and Facilitator—a role given to a previous ZIPE youth participant—will work directly with program staff and artist facilitators. This creates a peer-to-peer learning model and leadership experience, and cultivates a supportive community network.
Nuit Rose 2018 will launch with a group exhibition at Daniel’s Spectrum. Other exhibitions, presentations and performances will occur throughout the week, with venues including the 519 Community Centre, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Artscape Youngplace, the Gladstone Hotel, the Black Eagle, and Barbara Hall Park. Nuit Rose will also hold its annual Light Parade – which follows the historical route of Toronto’s first pride parades – starting at James Canning Gardens, continuing north, then down Church Street and ending at Barbara Hall Park. The light parade is open for all to join, and we encourage members from the public to bring their own light-emitting objects. The Nuit Rose light parade is a hallmark of the festival as an inclusive, accessible way for guests of all ages to engage with art and to celebrate community. As always, Nuit Rose main events will be free of charge and open to the public, taking place in a number of accessible Toronto institutions, streets and parks.
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 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.
The 2017 Steinert & Ferreiro Award nomination period has closed. Thank you to all nominees.
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 email@example.com
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
The 2017 Steinert & Ferreiro Award nomination period has closed. Thank you to all nominees.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 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 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, 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 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.
A 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.
A 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 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.
As 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 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
Beverly 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 (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.