TORONTO, ON (July 18, 2023) – Today, Community One Foundation, a charitable organization based in Toronto, is announcing the recipients of their 2023 Rainbow Grants. These grants offer more than $95,000 in funding to individuals, groups, and registered charities within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Community One Foundation’s Rainbow Grants support the development of fresh and pioneering services and programs that contribute positively to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in various areas, including health and social sciences, arts and culture, and research, education, and advocacy.
“For over 40 years, Community One Foundation has been grateful to award so many deserving GTA-based 2SLGBTQIA+ initiatives with crucial community growth funding,” says Rainbow Grants and Community One Foundation Co-Chair Karen Arthurton. “What started as a discrete grassroots fundraising initiative in private homes in the 1980’s has blossomed into one of the world’s largest and most diverse 2SLGBTQIA+ grant programs.”
The Rainbow Grants continue to play a pivotal role in supporting various initiatives within the Greater Toronto 2SLGBTQIA+ community for over four decades. These grants have assisted in nurturing grassroots projects, established organizations, one-time endeavours, and other community-driven projects. The grants are categorized into three tiers: General (granting up to $1,500) for individuals or projects not affiliated with organizations, charities, or corporations; Foundation (granting up to $7,500) for registered charities; and the James Stewart Rainbow Grant (granting up to $10,000) for registered charities, established through the generous bequest of renowned mathematician James Stewart. Past recipients of Rainbow Grants include landmark organizations such as Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, AIDS Committee of Toronto, LGBT Youth Line and the 519 Community Centre.
This year, the following individuals and organizations will receive 2023 Rainbow Grants:
General Grants – Up to $1,500
The Value of Blackness Market – BOUNTIFUL Pride is offering no cost, barrier-free space to Black Queer/Trans artists and small business owners from Toronto over the age of 30 to showcase their wares, talents, and services at The Value of Blackness Market. Artists keep 100% of their sales revenue.
The Disability Collective – CRIPtonite is a drag and burlesque show featuring all Queer and disabled performers.
Lead with Hope – The ‘Lead with Hope’ project seeks to de-stigmatize mental health, offer support/resources to persons who experience schizophrenia, psychosis & depression through community wellness workshops offering yoga and mindfulness; and a website which will share personal stories, promote resources, support and advocate for improved access to care, treatment/support.
TranscenDANCE – Sid Ryan Eilers (they/them) will facilitate a creative movement class for children. TranscenDANCE will be an eight-week program for Trans and Non-Binary youth with outreach support from Pflag, and studio space and administration support from Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS).
Foundation Grants – Up to $7,500
AIDS Committee of Durham Region
Building Capacity of QTBIPOC Youth in Durham Region Through Ballroom
Monthly vogue, drag, and dance workshops for QTBIPOC youth that will culminate in a ball. The goal is to foster a sense of community, enhance sexual health knowledge, build relationships with Queer mentors, and develop artistic skills for QTBIPOC youth.
Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS)
The Modern Guide for Queer & Trans Asian Youth (multilingual resources)
The Modern Guide is a much needed update to a decade old resource. With this resource they aim to provide guidance and support for East & Southeast Asian LGBTQ+ youth and their family members in the coming out process with a culturally-specific lens.
Rainbow Roots: Advocating for Equitable Reproductive Care for 2SLGBTQIA Families
Project Summary: Rainbow Roots is an advocacy project created with 2SLGBTQIA community members to help intended parents learn about their rights and how to advocate for their needs in family building journeys. We are addressing intersecting barriers related to 2SLGBTQIA family building through community advocacy, outreach, and training modules for healthcare professionals.
BollyHeelsTO will share Sanjina DaBish Queen’s story in the form of a musical, building upon a previous project. They aim to open the doors to both Bollywood and Hollywood to raise more awareness along with create and establish more openness within the South Asian and BIPOC communities.
Butterfly – Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network
“Unmasked Bodies”: Asian and Migrant LGBTQ+ Sex Worker Rights and Wellness Series
A community-led initiative that aims to foster connections and provide resources for Trans, Queer and GenderQueer Asian and Migrant Sex Workers. Their project aims to “unmask” the stigma and barriers through engagement in training and programming that vitalizes social connection, community care and solidarity.
Dead Name Theatre
HERMAPHRODITUS at Toronto Fringe Festival
HERMAPHRODITUS is a theatrical retelling of the Greek myth of Hermaphroditus, the child of Hermes and Aphrodite. Hermaphroditus desires to be a part of the greater Olympus and fights through Transphobia and discrimination to get there. This world-premiere was presented July 5-16 at the 2023 Toronto Fringe Festival.
The Gender Layer Tool- For Conceptualizing Experiences of Gender
This project will review, revise and widely disseminate Faelix Kayn’s Gender Layer Tool (2016) and accompanying workshop in order to provide a free, accessible and more inclusive resource for understanding gender, presentation and perceived presentation in a way that includes and normalizes fluid, neurodiverse and non-western genders.
Freedom School – Toronto
Vogue for Black Liberation (Vogue/Ballroom Summer Camp)
Vogue for Black Liberation is a project to engage children/youth in ballroom culture/arts as an expression of Black LGBTQ+ liberation. As part of a summer ballroom camp in 2023 children and youth will dance and create art with: Twysted Miyaki Mugler, Tamar Carter, Kimora Amour and many others.
LGTBQ2+ Youth muralJAM
Monica Wickeler has teamed up with Scarborough Arts to bring this 2SLGTBQ+ project to East
Toronto. A series of workshops will be held at Scarborough Arts, inviting LGTBQ2+ Youth, to
create/participate in a muralJAM. Mentored by Monica Wickeler and youth-artist FP MONKEY,
the muralJAM will take place at the West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre.
Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers
Queer Taiko with RAW
“Queer Taiko” is a series of three interactive arts-based workshops inviting 2SLGBTTIQQ community members to activate the power and potential of taiko for emotional expression and collective action. Through movement, games and reflection, participants will learn taiko stills, practise creative embodied expression, and build community.
Sunshine Centres for Seniors
Meet, Eat & Move Your Feet: Healthy Living for 2SLGBTTIQ+ Seniors
This project will provide opportunities for 2SLGBTTIQ+ seniors to enjoy 30 social and recreational activities together including dance, neighbourhood walks, and outings to diverse local restaurants as well as participating in five health and wellness events. The project will create social connections and improve Rainbow seniors’ overall health and well-being.
Ubuntu – Black Trans, Non-Binary and 2Spirit Collective
Connected – Check – In Series
Connected – Check – In Series is a drop-in program which will run once a month from August 2023 through March 2024. The sessions will foster community connectedness and empowerment of Black Trans, Non-Binary and 2Spirit people, through informative, fun facilitated sessions curated based on community feedback.
James Stewart Grant – Up to $10,000
SKETCH Working Arts for Street Involved and Homeless Youth
Movement Programming for 2SLGBTQ+
SKETCH’s Movement Programming for 2SLGBTQ+ Youth invites participants to come as they are
to an inclusive space for weekly movement workshops. Participants of all body types/abilities
wear what they want, be who they are, and lean into their right to occupy space and experience
empowerment through movement.
For more information about Rainbow Grants and Community One Foundation, please visit http:///www.communityone.ca.
About Community One Foundation:
Established in 1980, Community One Foundation provides grants to 2SLGBTQIA+ community projects in Greater Toronto Area including Durham, Halton, Peel and York Regions, focusing on the areas of arts and culture, health and social services, and research and education. The Foundation also promotes community philanthropy through strategic partnerships such as the Bill 7 Award and the LGBT Giving Network.