Grants & Awards


Rainbow Grants provide funding to foster new and innovative services and programs that have a positive impact on the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the Greater Toronto Area (including Toronto, Durham, Peel, Hamilton, York, and Halton Regions, and Indigenous Communities across Ontario) under the following streams:

  • Indigenous Communities
  • Refugees
  • Trans Communities
  • Spiritual/Social Groups
  • Arts & Culture

Rainbow Grants Foundation Awards are available for up to $10,000 and are open to registered charities or groups trusteed by a registered charity.

Rainbow Grants General Awards are available for up to $3,000 and are open to unincorporated groups, collectives, and/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 & Communities. 

James Stewart Research and Education Award 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 2SLGBTQ+ charities to receive philanthropic support from Mr. Stewart’s estate, Community One is honoured to offer this annual grant in his name.

This award honours registered charities with projects in research and education pertaining to the 2SLGBTQ+ communities. The award recipient will receive $15,000 in funding to start or continue their project work.

The Rainbow Grants Application Cycle is now officially closed and under review by the Allocation Committee!

Thank you to everyone who applied! All completed applications will be contacted by the Rainbow Grants Committee on whether they were successful or not over the next few weeks prior to the Rainbow Grants Awards Event on July 11, 2024.

Please stay tuned for more information regarding the successful grantees on our website and social media beginning in July. The next round of Rainbow Grants Applications will open in early 2025. Thank you, and good luck!

The Rainbow Grants Committee.

Past Recipients

Recent Rainbow Grant Recipients

2023 Recipients

James Stewart Award (up to $10,000)

Movement Programming for 2SLGBTQ+
SKETCH Working Arts for Street Involved and Homeless Youth

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.

Foundation Grants (up to $7,500)

Building Capacity of QTBIPOC Youth in Durham Region Through Ballroom
AIDS Committee of Durham Region

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.

The Modern Guide for Queer & Trans Asian Youth (multilingual resources)
Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS)

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
Birth Mark

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.

Becoming Sanjina

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.

“Unmasked Bodies”: Asian and Migrant LGBTQ+ Sex Worker Rights and Wellness Series
Butterfly – Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network

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.

HERMAPHRODITUS at Toronto Fringe Festival
Dead Name Theatre

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
Faelix Kayn

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.

Vogue for Black Liberation (Vogue/Ballroom Summer Camp)
Freedom School – Toronto

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.

Queer Taiko with RAW
Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers

“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.

Meet, Eat & Move Your Feet: Healthy Living for 2SLGBTTIQ+ Seniors
Sunshine Centres for 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.

Connected – Check – In Series
Ubuntu – Black Trans, Non-Binary and 2Spirit Collective

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.

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).

2022 Recipients

James Stewart Award (up to $10,000)

Gender Affirming Health Clinic Video Series ‐ Creation of 5-part video series to support trans and gender diverse individuals while on a waitlist for in-person services. Videos will improve the mental health of clients, increase knowledge of transgender/gender diverse issues and transition options and improve resiliency/coping skills to manage the distress/discomfort often felt with gender identity/expression in this population.

An invitation to discover Toronto‚ Underground Ballroom Scene ‐ An exciting look into the voices, faces and hearts behind Toronto’s Underground Ballroom Scene. This in-depth initiative led by IGBC will provide much-needed exposure through a video series, collaborative youth-led creative projects and a live stream panel, reflecting on the project and the Ballroom scene’s path forward post-COVID.

Foundation Grants (up to $7,500)

DAO – Trans Community Outreach – Now focusing on our Trans community’s mental health and support, through ongoing group support/presentations/education and access to private counselling services. Including access to FTM garments to ease Body Dysphoria Syndrome.

Passion Fruit: Club Kidz Alley – An arts and culture homage to the 90’s era of Queer Club Kid culture told through the artistry of Video, Drag, Music, and Immersive Performance. Presented through a short film and a Queer Sex-Positive Arts Event Experience by Torontonian racialized queer Nightlife artists.

From Bigotry to Bollywood: 2SLGBTQ+ Stories in Motion – Five South Asian 2SLGBTQ+ artists will work with fifteen 2SLGBTQ+ seniors to create five original dances that tell stories of their lived experiences. These pieces will then be performed at #BollywoodMonster Mashup, the largest South Asian festival in Canada.

Queer Youth Cabaret – Queer Youth Cabaret provides young queer artists with a platform to express their identity while acquiring mentorship and learning to guide their artistry. Twelve selected artists from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community will develop and rehearse performances to be presented at Soulpepper on June 24 and 25 during Pride Month.

LGTBQ2+ Youth mural Jam – On June 22, a series of workshops will be held at ScarboroughArts, invitingLGTBQ2+ Youth, to create/participate in a mural jamLEARNING. Mentored by Monica Wickeler and youth-artist FP MONKEY, the muralJAM will take place at the West-Scarborough-Neighborhood-Community-Center on July/August 22

Queen West Art Crawl Festival – Kid Zone – The Kid Zone project focuses on creating a space for 2SLGBTQ+ families and their youth. This project creates live and interactive theatre that teaches inclusivity, Arts and Crafts, Young Art Entrepreneurs, and Drag story/Drag In the Park. Working with community partners, this initiative creates an inclusive space for all.

Period Equity for All – Period Equity for All will benefit and serve 2SLGBTTIQQ+ individuals in the Toronto community by providing a full range of free period products in all washrooms (dispensers included) and free comprehensive training on reusable period products.

Backstage Center Technical Apprenticeship (BCTA) – The Backstage Center Technical Apprenticeship provides unique performing arts technical skills training to underrepresented youth ages 15-30 with career aspirations in the production industry. Apprentices receive high-quality, paid job training and are paired with professional mentors in the production industry for 5-6 weeks on professional theatre shows produced by SIA.

Never Get In Your Own Way – New Play Development – Roseneath commissioned Indigenous artist Brendan Chandler to create a short piece for young audiences that could be performed digitally. Using digital components the longer live version will be 30-40 minutes in length.

Bricks and Glitter 2022 – Bricks and Glitter is a community arts festival that provides a low barrier, intersectional space for celebrating 2SQTBIPOC+ talent, and building community capacity in arts and activism. In 2022, a three-month workshop series will take place after a weekend of programming spanning the Toronto to Peel region.

Mental Health Zine – Zine focused on the mental health needs and experiences of queer youth in Toronto and the GTA. The issue will provide a creative outlet for queer and trans youth as well as a toolkit to help those who are struggling. 

Durham Region 2022 Pride Week Festival – With in-person and virtual components – Emerging from two years plus of restrictions, it is important to be visible and to reconnect with our community giving new life, renewed hope, and a sense of pride in ourselves and our community. This will be done through virtual and in-person events.

Rainbow Families: Increasing Capacity and Support for QTBIPOC and Trans and Non-binary Led Families in South Etobicoke – This project will focus on increasing support to and resources for QTBIPOC and trans and non-binary led families within south Etobicoke by offering a Family PRIDE Day celebration in June as well as monthly drop-in programs at LAMP’s EarlyON and Family Centre for families with children up to age 6.

Sugar Plum – Sugar Plum is a queer coming of age story. It is a dance-theatre comedy that embraces those who have been systematically rejected by ballet, imagining what the future can look like if all bodies were welcome on the dance floor.

Queer Jewish Incubator – Queer Jewish Incubator responds to a demonstrated need to bolster emerging LGBTQ+ Jewish leaders with the skills, community, and mentorship to advance LGBTQ+ Jewish life in Toronto. The project invests in these leaders as the visionaries, storytellers, guides, weavers, and disrupters currently needed within our Toronto Jewish communal context.

Camp Rainbow Phoenix – Virtual and in-person leadership camp for 2SLGBTQI youth 12-17. Leadership summer camp experience embedded with identity-specific programming. Educational and fun!

Ondru Koodal – This initiative will organize and create inter-generational spaces including events, gatherings and workshops that are centred around radical joy, love and pleasure for queer trans, non-binary and intersex Tamil people and their loved ones.

QueerDigital Speaker Series – Indigenous Friends Association (IFA) will host (3) QueerDigital Speaker Series for Queer BIPOC communities around ways digital spaces can affirm and support queer identities and foster solidarity and relationship building between Black and Indigenous communities. We will invite the Queer Black, Indigenous, and Afro-Indigenous speakers to facilitate conversations.

Out and About Under the Rainbow: Creating Connections for 2SLGBTTIQ+ Seniors – Our project will create connections among 2SLGBTTIQ+ seniors through social, recreational, artistic and educational activities which provide opportunities to be “out and about under the Rainbow”. Presentations by BIPOC/TC artists will celebrate their artistic contributions. Outreach to BIPOC/TQ individuals and the broader LGBTTIQ+ community will encourage involvement in the project.

Rainbow Griffins RFC – Pathway to Inclusive Sports – 2SLGBTQIA+ – Rainbow Griffins is actively promoting 2SLGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and Newcomers inclusive rugby to activate players to their potential without discrimination, and Captains into Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) Champions. To do so, RGRFC will invest heavily in training new players, regardless of gender, age, skill, financial situation and experience.

Queer Asian Joy – This grant will be used to launch an online hub and home for our LGBTQ2+ Inclusive Education materials so that teachers, student groups, partners, and community members can access these materials for free.

Wear We Stand – For four weeks in August 2022, the Wear We Stand project will bring together 2SLGBTQIA+ QTBIPOC youth in Scarborough to learn how to design and create screen-printed t-shirts as a way of engaging with gender-affirming fashion and self-expression through workshops on radical self-love and social justice equity.

QTBIPOCSA Youth Abilities – This initiative will create a safe environment for QTBIPOC multicultural youth with intellectual, physical and developmental abilities to learn heritage through workshops, and allow each member to learn their own ancestry & culture. The group will create an art mural to use going forward – a shield of power.

LGBTQ2+ Inclusive Education: Online Hub – This initiative will launch an online hub and home for LGBTQ2+ Inclusive Education materials so that teachers, student groups, partners, and community members can access these materials for free.

General Grants (up to $1,500)

Healthy Kitchen Workshop ‐ Healthy Kitchen workshop aims to not only equip its participants with fresh ingredients and kitchen tools but also inspire them with confidence in navigating their nutritional health despite food/income insecurities, and depression-based loss of appetite, all while embracing self-acceptance and internalized compassion.

Phantasmagoria ‐ NEAR&FAR Projects (NFP) is presenting “Phantasmagoria” at the 2022 Toronto Fringe Festival. This live contemporary dance experience explores the process by which one renounces themselves in pursuit of their beloved. Choreographed by Tavia Christina, this show offers a vignette of all that can be lost and gained in love.

Stories of Life With HIV: A Queer Asian Perspective ‐ 10 queer Asians Living with HIV in Toronto will be photographed and interviewed about their experiences of discrimination and resiliency. These stories will be published in Timid Magazine, National Geographic Yourshot, Photo Ed Magazine and Where Love is Illegal.

QTBIPOC Provincial Policy Proposals – This project will conduct research to identify how the Ontario Government can improve health, social and economic outcomes for queer and trans Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (QTBIPOC), in order to provide policy recommendations for the newly-elected Ontario Government following the June 2022 election. 

Trans Love and Remembrance Quilt ‐ Love and Remembrance Quilt is bringing awareness to the daily violence Trans women of Color and 2Spirit women experience daily. This quilt will showcase through art, photos or poetry the lives lost and the violence endured by community members. This showcase is on Trans Day of Remembrance Nov 20th.

The Nuance of Gender: Building Solid Foundations For Better Inclusion (Part 1: The Gender Layer Tool) ‐ This project will review, revise and widely disseminate Faelix Kayn Gender Layer Tool (2016) and accompanying workshop 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.

Muslim Pride Toronto 2022 ‐ Muslim Pride Toronto 2022 is a community-led collaborative hybrid festival creating opportunities for queer and trans Muslims in the GTA (and beyond) to build connections, celebrate, and share skills. It strives to center the brilliance of Black queer and trans Muslims & to disrupt Islamophobia within mainstream LGBTQ spaces.

Tafari Anthony Album Visuals – This project will help bring the queer story-telling in Tafari’s music to video form. The album heavily deals with alternative queer relationships and navigating that which we have not had many mainstream examples of.

Curve Lake First Nation PRIDE Event ‐ Curve Lake First Nation PRIDE/Wellness event will be an exposition of 2SLGBTTQ+ events that centre around a combination of both modernized and traditional Indigenous 2 Spirit and LGBTQ culture.

LGBTQ2S+ Bike Program ‐ This project is entire classes and exclusive shop time dedicated to specifically serving people of marginalized genders, who have been made to feel excluded in the cycling industry.

k’taab | ASL Transformative Justice Bookclub ‐ QTBIPOC led initiative, k’taab is a contributory act towards the advancement of groups that experience exclusion and targeting, by developing a template for an ASL Transformative Justice Bookclub that will allow events across the GTA (and eventually wider) to educate various audiences.

Asian Queer Alliance Community Growth Project – Asian Queer Alliance (AQUA) is a project that aims to provide spaces, events and programs for support, advocacy, education and connection of queer Asians of marginalized genders. Asian meaning East-, South-, and Southeast Asian communities. Marginalized genders include cis and trans women, non-binary folks and gender diverse individuals.

Pride is Forever/Pag-pride ay Magpakailanman – a zine workshop for the Filipino LGBTQ+ community in the GTA, for all ages, that explores how play and care manifests in our lives. Zines created will be collected and compiled into a booklet as a celebration of intergenerational healing, joy, and community.

2021 Recipients

James Stewart Award (up to $10,000)

MCC Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs – As identifying as LGBTQ+ is still a criminal offence in 72 countries, the LGBTQ+ Refugee Programs work to support LGBTQ+ refugee claimants to Canada by providing a host of programs that provide support to help them navigate their new beginnings, along with a community of family to call their own.

Foundation Grants (up to $7,500)

Sanjina: The Untold Story of a Fijian Drag Queen – BollyHeelsTO will share the story of a Fijian male, gay dancer based in Toronto named Sanjay DaBish Queen, in the form of a short dance piece. The aim is to open doors to both Bollywood and Hollywood and raise more awareness, create, and establish more openness within the South Asian and BIPOC communities.

Drag Academy – Drag Academy (run by The Concerned Kids Charity of Toronto) brings together 2SLGBTQ+ artists who share their expertise in drag through immersive classes.

QueerDigital – Indigenous Friends Association will deliver 8 QueerDigital educational sessions to Queer BIPOC youth in the GTA, with content around the intersections of Queer digital spaces and Indigeneity. The aim of the program is to increase the digital literacy and career skills of the participants while simultaneously embracing their identities.

2021 Virtual Visible Pride Week – An initiative that will assist Pride Durham in continuing Pride in the Durham Region through virtual events and online presence.

Music In Community: Rainbow Writes 2021 – A music program for Scarborough LGBTQ2S+ youth to explore, collaborate on, and create music that discusses identity for the BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities. At the end of the project, youth will have recorded and completed 2-3 original songs.

Durham TransEmpowerment – An initiative by Durham Alliance Outreach that seeks to improve and ease the cost that the trans community faces in transition.

Bigger Than We 2 – A project to develop an intergenerational creative experience using the arts to build connections and facilitate knowledge exchange among members of the GTA’s Black queer communities.

Journey of Rainbow Pride in Scarborough 10 year anniversary – A documentary bringing much needed visibility to QTBIPOC community with intellectual and physical disabilities. It will be used as a tool to raise awareness, generate discussion and to address the stigma that the community faces.

Queen West Art Crawl Festival – Kids Zone – A project that focuses on creating spaces for our 2SLGBTQ+ families and their youth. The event will bring live and interactive theatre that teaches inclusivity, along with arts/crafts and drag story time.

Mature Trans Sisters – A social drop-in group where mature trans women unite, talk and learn, share resources, and enjoy a hot meal. Led and supported by participants and facilitators, MTS is a safe space for self-identified trans women, gender-non confirming, Two-Spirit and intersex people aged 45 years plus.

EducAsian – Community Learning for LGBTQ+ Youth in the Face of Anti-Asian Racism – A workshop series that will equip and empower East and Southeast Asian LGBTQ+ youth with basic knowledge and skills to deal with Anti-Asian racism in their daily lives and connect them to the community.

General Grants (up to $1,500)

The 2021 Virtual POZ-TO Awards ‐ An online awards ceremony that will shine light on individuals and organizations who do thankless work in the HIV/AIDS community.

The Art of Blackness Workshop Series ‐ A virtual workshop series that will connect Toronto Black Queer and Trans folks ages 30+ through visual arts, creative writing, and movement workshops by promoting community, healthy expression, destigmatization of mental health needs, and safe(r) spaces, while considering the isolation caused by the pandemic.

ACE ‐ A short film following Ace, a socially awkward trans-man. The two are unrelated but have an equal impact on his life. Narrated, visual vignettes – adapted from three short stories written by the man himself.

Queerdigital Speaker Series – Indigenous Friends Association will host (3) Queerdigital speakers series and invite Queer Black, Indigenous, and Afro-Indigenous speakers to facilitate conversations with Queer BIPOC youth around ways digital spaces can affirm and support queer identities, and foster solidarity and relationship building between Black and Indigenous communities.

Asian Queer Alliance Community Growth Project ‐ A project that aims to provide spaces, events and programs for support, advocacy, education and connection of queer Asians of marginalized genders. Asian meaning East-, South-, and Southeast Asian communities. Marginalized genders include cis and trans women, non binary folks and gender diverse individuals.

Queer of Colour ‐ A storytelling platform where queer people of colour have a safe space to tell their stories on their own terms.

Asian Transmasculine Community Space Project ‐ This project will build a peer support network by hosting monthly workshops, events that address culturally-specific issues for East & Southeast Asian transmasculine and non-binary people. We’ll also improve coping of Gender Dysphoria and overall well-being of trans folks by increasing access to transition-related gear to those who lack disposable income.

The Goddess Day Arts Festival – a not-for-profit women-run festival celebrating International Women’s Day, featuring women artists from different genres.

2020 Recipients

In celebration of Pride month in Toronto, Community One Foundation  announced “Community One Foundation’s We Are Family – Emergency Drag Support Fund” — a $50,000 COVID-19 relief program to financially assist local drag artists in the GTA.

“Drag queens and kings have been the essence of Toronto’s queer community for decades. A hobby for some and a career for others. The drag community has not only been a source of entertainment for all, but they have often been leaders within our cause, fighting for equality, inclusion and rights for all community members,” said Community One Foundation board member Sam Katz.

Community One Foundation distributed 100 grants of $500 each, to eligible, in-need community members. To qualify for a grant, drag artists were current residents of the Greater Toronto Area, and attributed drag revenue as a significant source of regular income, requiring funds for essential living.

2019 Recipients

James Stewart Award

Rainbow Tea Time Birchcliff Bluffs United Church – Focusing on art, music and the enjoyment of an afternoon tea, the program will offer LGBTTIQQ2S participants an opportunity to make new friends, be themselves and share and enhance their creativity through art and music.

The SKETCH Trans I.D. Clinic SKETCH Working Arts for Street Involved and Homeless Youth – An access-to-justice project that will provide 40 transgender youth aged 16-29 with confidential and professional legal guidance to change name and/or gender markers on essential identification documents.

Kyle Rae Award

Emergency Homeless Winter Support Kits – Fife House – Creating 100 emergency winter kits to be distributed to homeless HIV+ outreach clients in marginalized communities.

Foundation Grants – Arts and Culture

Queering Education in ASL in Drag – Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf – two hours of family and queer/trans friendly storytelling in ASL, plus educational information-sharing sessions bridging the gap between different identities in LGBTQIA spaces.

Performance Creation Program – The Artists Mentoring Youth (AMY) Project – an opportunity for trans women and trans femmes of colour, ages 16-29, to create original performance work based on their lives, in an affirming and supportive space.

Searching for Eastman – Citadel + Compagnie – a multidisciplinary performance piece based on the life and work of musical genius Julius Eastman (1940-1990) – Black/Queer, an exceptional outspoken voice in the (White) minimalistic music scene.

Disability Express Photoshoot – Rainbow’s Pride in Scarborough – a youth-led art and costume-making workshop series, photoshoot and exhibition, recognizing the need for positive spaces that celebrate the diversity of LGBTQ2+ youth in Scarborough labelled with physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities.

Non-Binary Lives and the Journey of Faith – Generous Space Ministries – production of a documentary film featuring non-binary individuals and their spiritual journeys to educate, particularly in the context of faith communities where non-binary folks are at significant risk of rejection and discrimination.

Drumming Up! Taiko With RAW Raging Asian Women – Taiko Drummers – interactive arts-based workshops inviting LGBTQ2S+ community members to activate the power and potential of taiko for emotional expression and collective action.

Foundation Grants – Health and Social Services

Machane Lev – Canadian Young Judaea – Canada’s first and only overnight LGBTQ+ Jewish summer camp, giving attendees a safe place to explore gender, sexual and religious identities.

Rainbow Seniors: Proud and Active – Sunshine Centres for Seniors – outings, art-making, and a speakers’ series to give LGBTQ+ seniors enjoyable opportunities for social interaction, physical exercise, cognitive stimulation and engagement in their community.

QTBIPOC Drop-In – PFLAG Canada Durham Region – connecting folks who identify within the QTBIPOC community to educational programming, resourceful support groups, volunteer/employment opportunities and social networking with Durham Region’s growing QTBIPOC community.

General Grants – Arts and Culture

Coalition Building – Bricks & Glitter 2019 ‐ Offering a series of workshops in partnership with Bricks and Glitter 2019 – a grassroots community arts festival for QTBIPOC creatives and friends

Glory Hole Gallery ‐ The world’s first, and only, miniature LGBTQ2S+ gallery, with a mandate to promote the immense artistic and creative talent of LGBTQ2S+ people past and present, and celebrate the multi-diversity within these communities

Aerissa Roy-Dupuis – Insight Games ‐ Creating accessible board games with the purpose of bringing LGBTTIQQ2S persons with blindness, partial sight and deafblindness into the broader LGBTTIQQ2S community, both combatting social isolation and creating accessible recreation spaces.

To My Grade 7 Self – The Get REAL Movement – Christopher Struder ‐ An educational video and collaborative curriculum piece, with honest educational messages of advice about coming out, bullying, and support, from a diverse cast of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and allies.

General Grants – Health and Social Services

Midnight Lotus ‐ Promoting community engagement and participation of older, socially isolated queer asian men (QAM 40+), facilitating intergenerational dialogue and connections through social and creative activities that build community and connect them to other programs and services at Asian Community AIDS Services.

AQUA – Asian Queer Alliance ‐ Monthly program with the goal to build the community support of at least 70 queer Asian cis and trans women and non-binary people in the GTA.

General Grants – Research, Education and Advocacy

Proud Politics Leadership Organization – Out To Win 2019 ‐ to provide LGBTQ film and cultural programming, working in partnership with arts, service and community organizations, seniors/long term care residences, and TDSB schools, to under‐served neighbourhoods with little to no LGBTQ programming. The project provides films, culture, discussions, resources, and community connections to LGBTQ individuals in their own communities.

2018 Recipients

Pink Pine Project – Gay Asian Men 40+ Workshops – 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.

STARS 100: A Space for Trans women’s Art, Recreation, and Social – Asian Community AIDS Services – 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.

BlackLivesMatter – Toronto Freedom School – BlackLivesMatter – Toronto Children’s Peace Theatre 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.

Harm Risk Reduction Kit Making – Breakaway Addiction Services – Community- and user-focused kit making for safe sex and IV drug use.

The Effeminates: A Queer Tale of Bloody Vengeance – Cahoots Theatre -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. On an administrative level, the size of this project and production presents a challenge for Cahoots. With a cast of 10, this will be the second largest cast Cahoots has ever produced. We hope that THE EFFEMINATES could be the one step towards building a strong and meaningful relationship between Cahoots and Community One for years to come.

Gender Journeys – Carea Community Health Centre – 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. Community One’s funding is important for us as we require extra dollars to expand Gender Journeys.  We want to run the program in Oshawa and in Ajax so folks across Durham Region have access to the program and all the supports that go along with it. We also pay peer facilitators (with lived experience) to assist with running Gender Journeys.

Intersections: Trauma Informed Care, HIV, Mental Health and Knowledge Exchange – Casey House- 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 funding offered through Community One Foundation would positively impact the training by supporting the cost of expert Seeking Safety trainers to offer the initial 2 day workshop.

Planning Together – End of Life Planning Canada – 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.

LGBTQ+ Youth Affirmative Mindfulness Project – Gio Iacono – 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. This project will support the mental health of LGBTTIQQ2S youth and help advocate for LGBTTIQQ2S youth mental health programming to improve mental health among this vulnerable group.

Responding to Intersectional Oppression Experienced by BIPOC Trans Individuals – LOFT Community Services – A research project to better understand the intersectionality of oppression experienced by BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of colour) trans people, and develop programs and services that respond effectively.

Draggin’ ASL to Pride (DATP) RevivalOntario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf – 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. ORAD (Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf) has limited access to different funding streams. Community One Foundation has been one of ORAD’s steady funding streams.

ZIPE 2018 (Zine Production and Exchange Program) – Paperhouse Outreach Collective – ZIPE is a Zine Production and Exchange Program, offered by Paperhouse Outreach Collective in partnership with SKETCH and Toronto Art Book Fair, for Toronto youth and young adults (13-29) who identify as one or multiple: 2SLGBTQIAP, disabled or POC, led by local artists who self-identify as members of these communities. The Community One funding will allow ZIPE to provide certain accessibility needs, such as food, ASL interpretation, and TTC transportation for youth, that are crucial to breaking down barriers to access and thus create successful programming.

PFLAG Mississauga Speakers Series – PFLAG Mississauga – Our project is a speakers 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 practising in St. Catharines, and potentially a legal expert.

Tell the Children the Truth – Phillip Pike – 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. The funds sought from Community One would assist in covering the cost of an editor which is the most critical component of the post-production process.

QAW+ – Queer Asian Women+ (QAW+) – 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. Without the Community One funding, we face a challenge for meeting the demand in an increase of programming without adequate resources and people-power to meet them.

Parenting Teens Exchange – Springtide Resources – 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. Community One funding is critical to the PTE because it allows Springtide to pilot the program in a priority neighbourhood without committing to the program for years. This makes partner organizations more open to testing this program.

Aging with Pride: LGBTQ Seniors Create and Learn Together – Sunshine Centres for Seniors – 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. Community One funding will provide support for the necessary components of this project such as instructor costs, honorarium for workshop presenters, project coordination, supplies, graphic design and printing of the tip sheets, marketing, refreshments, and evaluation.

Fool Love – Full Length Album Marketing – Tessa Gooden – “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. I think Community One funding this project is particularly important because it will show the support of the LGBTTQQ2S community in the HipHop/RnB community.

Nuit Rose V: Unbound – Throbbing Rose Collective – Nuit Rose is a festival that showcases the work of Canadian visual and performance artists, featuring new and diverse voices from queer and trans* communities. Nuit Rose prioritizes paying artists above all other incurred expenses, and any Community One funding will recieve will help us pay as many artists from our communities as possible. One of the main aims of the festival is to address the barriers to artistic production faced by 2SLGBQIA artists and performers, and paying our artists (in addition to offering them space and promotion) is one of the main ways Nuit Rose is able to help artists overcome these barriers.

2017 Recipients

RBC Community Rainbow Grant

Transitional Gender Project (LOFT Community Services) – 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.

Foundation Grants

Healthier Selves, Healthier Relationships, Healthier Communities (Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf) – provides a ten-week workshop series for LGBTQQ2SIA Deaf community members.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

SOY Youth Capacity Building through Volunteer Anti-Oppression Training (Supporting Our Youth) – will develop, implement, facilitate and evaluate a workshop that will provide crucial anti-oppression training to all current and future SOY volunteers and adult mentors.

Trans Collections Project (Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives) – arrange, describe, digitize and create 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.

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.

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.

General Grants

Autistiqueers – 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.

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.

Out to Win (Proud Politics) – 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.

Hall of Justice – works with youth to explore contemporary and historical social movements and the work of activists in 2SLGBTQ (Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) 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.

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.

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.

2016 Recipients

Newcomer Womens Services of Toronto Kyle Rae Award ‐ a fusion project which will create queer‐positive ESL curricula for newcomers with the intent to train 10 LTGBQI+ newcomer youth to research global Queer history, and collaborate with ESL instructors to develop ESL curricula for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada.

Native Women in the Arts, in partnership with Tities Wîcinímintôwak // Bluejays Dancing Together : Living Legacies: Two-Spirit Stories RBC Community Award ‐ a series of art workshops and a final exhibition that centres the stories of Two‐Spirit communities in Toronto. Each workshop will provide opportunities to develop things like ideas, feelings and stories  that they will be able to share with others if they so choose.

Black Lives Matter (Freedom School) ‐ a three-week-long summer program for children aged 4–10. The purpose of this project is to respond to a lack of humanizing, self‐affirming, queer‐positive educational opportunities for black children in the GTA.

QUAKE, Tessa Gooden (Original EP) ‐ recording, production and release of an original EP album by local artist, Tessa Gooden.

Outsport (Website Redesign) ‐ to develop their Toronto website into a mobile‐focused and youth‐targeted initiative. This will allow for the LGBTTIQQ2S community in the GTA to remain informed of upcoming queer‐friendly sporting events and the community’s various sport leagues.

Festival Franco Fierté (Pride Month Events) ‐ a series of events during Toronto Pride month, including Francophone shows, concerts, photo exhibitions, cultural tours of the village and a stage at the Pride Toronto event.

Inside Out (LGBTQ Film & Cultural Programming) ‐ to provide LGBTQ film and cultural programming, working in partnership with arts, service and community organizations, seniors/long term care residences, and TDSB schools, to under‐served neighbourhoods with little to no LGBTQ programming. The project provides films, culture, discussions, resources, and community connections to LGBTQ individuals in their own communities.

Lemontree Creations (Staging of upcoming play, The Body Politic) ‐ a play documenting Canadian queer history as it re‐imagines the story of the birth, existence and eventual demise of one of Canada’s seminal queer publications, The Body Politic.

ACE RADIO (Toronto’s asexual community’s broadcast initiative on Radio Regent) ‐ engaging 20 diverse participants (ages 18+) in producing a monthly (nine‐part) digital broadcast about issues impacting asexual communities. As a result, vulnerable young people will gain transferable broadcast skills like technical equipment training, while practicing communication, teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking through participatory media making.

AIDS Committee of Durham (LGBTQ Youth of Colour Program) ‐ a yearlong pilot project with the goal of creating a strong sense of community among LGTBQ+ Youth Of Colour (YOC) along with providing them with HIV prevention education and safer sex practices.

SAGA Collectif ‐ for support of outreach initiatives in relation to their project, Black Boys, which is an innovative and multidisciplinary theatrical event that unpacks the lived experience of three Black queer men in pursuit of an emancipated Black imagination. Black Boys will be co‐produced at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre in 2016.

Asian Community AIDS Services (Multilingual Transgender Resources for Asian Parents and Families) ‐ to decrease challenges Asian families and Transgender youth face when youth come out, this program plans to develop culturally- and linguistically-appropriate educational resources as tools to increase parents’ understanding and acceptance of their child’s gender identity. The resources will be translated to seven Asian languages and distributed in print and online.

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (Grandfamily Project) ‐ a documentary project will tell the story of a queer couple searching to adopt an LGBTTIQQ2S elder into their family to be the grandparent of their soon‐to‐be‐born child. As the due date of the pregnancy nears, they must figure out how to access Toronto’s often-isolated queer elders, finding someone who fits into their family and is up for the commitment. In the process they must confront generational differences in the LGBTTIQQ2S community, build trust, face the possibility of disappointment, and reckon with their own family histories.


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
Black Lives Mattter Toronto - Freedom School
Asian Community AIDS Services
Native Women in the Arts
Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf
Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention
Lucas Silveira and the Cliks


Jonathan R. Steinert and Fernando Gumercindo Ferreiro

The Steinert & Ferreiro Award – a $10,000 prize that is Canada’s largest single cash award in recognition of LGBTQ+ leadership – was launched in 2005 through a bequest from the estates of Jonathan R. Steinert and Fernando Gumercindo Ferreiro.

Fernando Gumercindo Ferreiro immigrated to Toronto from Santiago, Chile in 1973 to earn his doctorate in Psychology at the University of Toronto and established his own private practice here. 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 at his practice. In 1990, Jonathan was tragically diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and quickly succumbed to his illness. Two years later, Fernando quietly passed away from AIDS in Casey House.

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 the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal (now Community One Foundation) as the organization to carry out his wishes.

Community contribution and leadership are at the heart of the 2SLGBTQ+ 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.

Nominations for the 2023 Steinert & Ferreiro Award Recipient Now Closed.  Stay tuned for announcement of this years recipient in the comming months!

(2023 nominations closed as of Friday, October 20th, 2023 @ 5pm EST)


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.

Please see our 2023 Nomination Guide for more details.

Nominate someone in 4 easy steps

The 2023 Steinert & Ferreiro Award nomination period is NOW OPEN!

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 2SLGBTQ+ 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 – Attach all relevant documentation within one email and send to with the nominee’s name as the subject line.

Nomination Deadline

The 2023 Steinert & Ferreiro Award nominations window will close on Friday, October 20th @ 5pm EST)

Award Announcement and Presentation

The 2023 Steinert & Ferreiro Award will be given out on November 10, 2023 at the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Black & White Gala

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

Steinert & Ferreiro Award Recipients

Pax Santos – 2023

Community One Founation honoured Pax Santos as the 2023 recipient of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award at the 2023 CGLCC Black&White Gala on November 10, 2023. (In the photo: Kris Fortomaris – left, Pax Santos – middle, Michael Schneider – right)

Pax (they/them) is known as a Queer woman living in Toronto whose work as an activist, writer, and consultant has been inspirational for the past few years. Pax got her start as a political aide and speechwriter and holds a BA in Hons. Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. She also holds her MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies from the London School of Economics.

They are the founding editor of the non-profit Queer Toronto Literary Magazine, have spoken internationally at conferences regarding Queer human rights, and were a part of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario – where they delivered the Equal Voice workshop series that taught young girls about politics and community advocacy. They have a passion for research towards stakeholder engagement, government relations strategy, and where international humanitarian efforts fail Queer people (when they do). They currently work at Rainbow Railroad, leading projects on government relations and advocacy policy strategy.

Rainbow Hunt – 2022

Community One Foundation honoured Rainbow Hunt as the 2022 recipient of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award.

Rainbow is a transgender woman, labelled with an intellectual disability, who advocates for queer youth with disabilities through her activism, youth support projects and public education work. Rainbow’s insight, conviction, and strength have created a space for queer youth who are often isolated and invisible within the 2SQTBIPOC+ community.

Among Rainbow’s many storied accomplishments includes creating Pride in Scarborough (RPIS), an organization that works closely with 2SQTBIPOC+ youth with disabilities from diverse communities across Scarborough: an area of Toronto that Rainbow knew, from her own experience, to have almost no support services for queer disabled youth. RPIS provides a space for youth to build community, friendships, and a strong voice to fight for their rights. Rainbow has also created countless artistic exhibitions and educational programs to assist Queer disabled youth in connecting, collaborating and claiming their voices.

leZlie lee kam – 2021

Community One Foundation honoured leZlie lee kam as the 2021 recipient of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award.

leZlie came out through LOOT (the Lesbian OrganizaIon of Toronto) in 1977. As a peer counsellor on the LOOT phone line, leZlie helped to facilitate the coffee house/drop-in program for interested parIes and members and was instrumental in pu[ng dykes, lesbians and gay men of colour in the Toronto Pride parade through advocacy with The Proud and Visible CoaliIon (1992), World Majority Lesbians – A REVOLUTION OF COLOUR (1993 – 1998) and Queer Womyn Colouring The Century (1999). leZlie was also instrumental in organizing Island Spice (1999), a monthly celebraIon for 2Spirit, dykes, lesbians, gay men and trans people of colour.

For decades, leZlie has been fiercely commifed to raising the proud and joyful visibility of 2SLGBTQIA+ seniors, ensuring out individuals don’t feel pressure to retreat into the closet as they age. From recently serving since 2016 as the only openly queer representaIve on the Provincial Liason Commifee of the Ministry of Senior Affairs and Accessibility, to co-organizing and hosIng InternaIonal Day of Older Persons queer events, and developing 2SLGBTQIA+ Best PracIce Guidelines for service providers in Ontario, leZlie is a huge force in creaIng visibility and dignity in ageing as a 2SLGBTQ+ individual.


Christopher Nkambwe – 2020

Community One Foundation honoured Christopher Nkambwe as the 2020 recipient of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award.

Nkambwe is a journalism graduate and long-time human rights defender.  She founded The African Centre For Refugees in Ontario Canada – working towards integrating LGBTQIA+ refugees to Canada through extensive social work and community development.    Her accomplishments in this space started in Uganda, where she served as Executive Director and volunteered with many LGBTQIA+ organizations. In 2019, Christopher was conducting voluntary peer outreach for HIV/AIDS testing and counselling, along with Hepatitis B screening and condom distribution, when Ugandan police raided, attacked and threatened her with life imprisonment, which led her to seek asylum in Canada.  Upon arriving in Toronto, Canada as a refugee claimant she realized the challenges faced by newcomers and decided to make a difference – running her organization with her part-time job cleaning salary, and no external funding.

Kimahli Powell – 2019

Community One Foundation honoured Kimahli Powell as the 2019 recipient of the Steinert & Ferreiro Award.

Powell’s work as Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad has exemplified his leadership in the LGBTQ+ community, as has his much lauded past work with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, and the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention.

At the helm of Rainbow Railroad, Mr. Powell oversaw the relocation of more than 500 LGBTQ+ refugees from hostile countries.

Monica Forrester – 2018

Monica Forrester has spent two decades bringing life-saving support to the trans community, particularly underhoused trans women sex workers for whom she has been a powerful voice.

Monica began as an outreach worker, delivering crucial resources to trans women, particularly those in sex work.

She has educated and helped transform services for better inclusion of homeless trans women in Toronto, and played a key role in the Trans Access Project to bring to light the specific needs of trans sex workers to thousands of people working in the city’s homeless shelters, crisis centres and detox services.

Her tireless contributions have included work at such institutions as the 519, Fife House, Fred Victor Centre, Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women, Black CAP, PASAN, Mainstay Housing, Elizabeth Fry Society, Street Health and Maggie’s Sex Worker Action Project.

Monica continues her almost decade-long role in outreach through Maggie’s Sex Worker Action Project. Understanding the importance of intersection in discrimination, she established a Trans and Two Spirit support group in honour of her deceased friend, Alloura Wells, and continues to support her community of Two Spirit survivors of violence in the legal system and seeking justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women.

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 ( 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.


The Bill 7 Award Trust was established in 1987 to provide post-secondary education scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited or queer (LGBTQ) students with demonstrated financial need who are pursuing a first degree, diploma or certification in any Ontario post-secondary institution. Community One Foundation provides three $3,500 scholarships each year to students in need, in the name of a generous bequest from James Stewart.

The Bill 7 Award is named after the 1986 Ontario legislation that extended the protection of the Human Rights Code to lesbians and gays.

The Trust was founded by six community groups, predominantly led by women: the UofT Women’s Centre, the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal (now the Community One Foundation), Lesbians of Colour, The Black Women’s Collective, Zami, and the Toronto Counselling Centre for Lesbians and Gays.

Since 1987, the Bill 7 Award Trust has granted over $400,000 in scholarships to over 150 students in the queer community to help them with the cost of post-secondary education.

Who Can Apply

The Bill 7 Award is a scholarship for individuals with demonstrated financial need after accessing available public financial supports.  To be eligible to receive a Bill 7 Award scholarship, individuals must also meet ALL of the following three criteria:

  • You are attending or accepted by a Post-Secondary Educational Institution in the Province of Ontario
  • You are pursuing your FIRST post-secondary program of study
  • You identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, two-spirited or queer (LGBTQ)


Bill 7 Award Recipients


Ella Johnstone (she/her), Toronto Metropolitan University, Performance Degree in Acting

Alessandra Grant (she/her), University of Waterloo, Hon. Mechatronics Engineering

Nancy Lanuza Villatoro (she/her), Toronto Metropolitan University, Engineering


Kaitlyn Carswell, Toronto Metropolitan University, Professional Communication

Chompel Negi, Western University, Social Science

Sid Sachdeva, York University, Astronomy and Physics


Natalie Frankovitch, University of Waterloo, Physics and Astronomy

Keith Kole, Humber College, Film and Media Production



Callie Liddle, Carlton, Mathematics

Linda Jones, George Brown, Personal Support Worker