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 & 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:
The 2021 Rainbow Grants Application window is now open.
STEP 1: Review the 2021 Rainbow Grants Application Guide for eligibility, grant details and instructions for submitting your application(s).
STEP 2: Register at the 2021 Rainbow Grants Application Portal. This portal will be where you provide all application details – progress can be saved in ‘draft’ as you work through your application until you are ready to submit. You will be required to use one distinct email for each application submitted (if requesting multiple grants for different initiatives). Additional documents like reference letters, budget details and project samples can be uploaded as part of this process in the portal.
STEP 3: Contact Community One Foundation Rainbow Grants Committee with any questions at email@example.com (please allow up to 24hrs for responses).
STEP 4: Submit your completed application by Friday, April 9 at 5pm EST in the portal. Note: it is crucial you ‘submit’ for this final step vs. leaving your application in ‘draft’ status. Any incomplete/late applications will not be considered for 2021 funding.
What Happens Next?
Best of luck!
Focusing on the creation of three educational puppetry performances to be researched, developed and tested by a group of queer arts professionals and writing experts, eventually to be performed for school children (JK-Grade 1, Grades 2-3, and Grades 4-6) in the GTA.
Enabling at-risk children ages 6-14 in neighbourhoods across Toronto and who are students in Sistema’s after-school program, to participate in workshops with drag stars Fay & Fluffy.
Orientation project for East/Southeast Asian LGBTQ newcomers transitioning to live in Toronto. Through monthly drop-in sessions, LGBTQ concepts are introduced including gender identities, coming out, relationships, and online safety by learning the language, culture, and resources to navigate and connect to the Toronto LGBTQ community.
Providing opportunities for LGBTQ+ seniors to experience Toronto’s cultural landscape through outings to movies and cultural performances and educational speakers. The project will create connections among LGBTQ+ seniors, provide a sense of belonging, and foster community and pride.
Galaxy Photo Express continues on from Disability Express Photo Shoot, allowing youth to educate and bring awareness to community organizations and broader community. Program will offer education, workshops, and trainings and decrease invisibility around ableism and sexism. Goal is to empower LGBTQ2+ youth to become educators and leaders in their own communities.
Creating a toolkit, available in both hard copy and electronically, to provide information on eating disorders regarding the unique needs of the LGBTQ2S Community. Material will focus on the requirements of the community who are directly affected by disordered eating and also provide guidance to professionals serving them.
Creating an educational video series and downloadable PDF to promote safe binding practices, education around the basics of gender dysphoria, and additional resources where both youth and parents can seek support.
Enhancing the immersive experience for audiences for the production by adding video projection to stage design and to create promotional material for dissemination to theatres.
A new premier theatre piece created by Boys In Chairs Collective which will be co-produced with Cahoots Theatre at Toronto’s Buddies In Bad Times Theatre in the fall of 2020.
The world’s first, and only, miniature gallery space dedicated to the creative talents of LGBTQ2S+ artists; all while pushing the boundaries of creativity within a 12″x 12″ box. We showcase the perspectives of diverse and intersectional LGBTQ2S+ experiences through collaborations, exhibitions, and talks
Food/craft socials, and educational or skills building workshops. Organizing at least one program per month 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
Awards recognizing those who are doing the work in our community to raise funds for AIDS Service Organizations (ASO’s) or awareness to fight the stigma associated with being HIV+. The 8th annual POZ-To Awards continues to build community and will happen at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre.
Participating in the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, June 2020 followed by “Paying-It-Forward” into co-hosting a 2-day mini-conference in Toronto, February 2021, for GTA- based 2SLGBTQIAP, Deaf, Mad, disabled, and BIPOC youth and community members. This initiative is led by Paperhouse Outreach Collective and their youth-leaders.
Music workshops for LGBTTIQQ2S youth hosted at the legendary Phase One Studios. Under the mentorship of successful local LGBTQ2S+ artists, such as Lynx from Random Order, participating youth will collaborate on the creation of original songs of self-expression, advocacy and celebration f or their community.
Yoga summit focusing on QTBIPOC Yoga practitioners who are striving to create space for marginalized communities. The goal is to enhance knowledge through sharing circles, share practices/models and offer classes to the community
Piloting an educational workshop for college-age and high school student organizations and other community groups within the Orthodox Jewish community, creating awareness amongst community members regarding LGBTQ+ issues. We will empower participants to advocate for and work towards more inclusion in their communities.
Promoting skill-sharing and care in LGBTQ+ communities through food by inviting LGBTQ+ people who are 50+ to host cooking classes with an inter-generational audience. Each session will include free food care packages delivered to people from our community who are in need.
Offering a series of workshops in partnership with Bricks and Glitter 2019 – a grassroots community arts festival for QTBIPOC creatives and friends
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
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
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
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
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
Focusing on barriers to civic leadership facing marginalized and under-represented LGBTTIQQ2S individuals from underserved areas in the GTA
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
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
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
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
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
Interactive arts-based workshops inviting LGBTQ2S+ community members to activate the power and potential of taiko for emotional expression and collective action
Canada’s first and only overnight LGBTQ+ Jewish summer camp, giving attendees a safe place to explore gender, sexual and religious identities
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
KYLE RAE AWARD RECIPIENT
Creating 100 emergency winter kits to be distributed to homeless HIV+ outreach clients in marginalized communities
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
2019 JAMES STEWART AWARD (1 OF 2)
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
2019 JAMES STEWART AWARD (2 OF 2)
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
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.
The 2020 Steinert & Ferreiro Award nomination period is now OPEN. Accepting nominations for community leaders.
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 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 2020 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the nominee’s name as the subject line.
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 2020 Steinert & Ferreiro Award nominations now closed.
2021 Nominations will open in Fall 2021!
The 2020 Steinert & Ferreiro Award will be given out on November 5, 2020 at the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce’s virtual Black and 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 (or agree to pre-record acceptance ahead of the virtual event held in 2020 due to COVID limitations)
For more information, please contact the Community One Foundation at email@example.com
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.
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 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 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.