Toronto-based Foundation Gives Largest Amount of Grant Funding in the World to 2SLGBTQIA+ Initiatives
TORONTO, ON (June 16, 2022) -‐ Pride flags and glitter filled the air at Community One Foundation’s record-breaking Rainbow Grants ceremony on June 1, 2022. Held at Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival’s Lounge (Artscape Sandbox; 301 Adelaide St. West, Toronto), the ceremony saw the foundation present a historic amount of financial grants in support of 39 2SLGBTQIA+ initiatives. With over $194,000 in funding for community projects, this year’s Rainbow Grants ceremony is the largest 2SLGBTQIA+ grant funding program in the world. The Rainbow Grant program, which began in 1980, is one of the organization’s many foundation initiatives supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, funded through the generous donations of Community One Foundation supporters.
For almost 40 years, Rainbow Grants have helped nurture the early days of many Greater Toronto 2SLGBTQIA+ community initiatives, grassroots projects, established organizations and one-off projects. The Grants are awarded in three different tiers: General (up to $1,500) for projects or people that are not a part of an organization, charity or corporation; Foundation (up to $7,500) for registered charities; and the James Stewart Rainbow Grant (up to $10,000), for registered charities, created thanks to a generous bequest from famed mathematician James Stewart.
The recipients of this year’s Rainbow Grants are:
- 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.
- 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.
James Stewart Award:
- 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.
“We are extremely honoured and excited to be able to provide an unprecedented amount of funding to so many diverse Greater Toronto Area 2SLGBTQIA+ communities in the areas of education, health, human rights, arts, culture, research and advocacy,” says Community One Foundation Rainbow Grants Chair, Karen Arthurton. “We would also like to thank Inside Out for their support, as we continue to deepen our relationship with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities across the GTA together.”
Past recipients of Rainbow Grants include landmark organizations such as Inside Out, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, AIDS Committee of Toronto, LGBT Youth Line and the 519 Community Centre.
About Community One Foundation:
Established in 1980, Community One Foundation provides grants to 2SLGBTQIA+ community projects in Greater Toronto Area including Durham, Halton, Peel and York Regions, focusing on the areas of arts and culture, health and social services, and research and education. The Foundation also promotes community philanthropy through strategic partnerships such as the Bill 7 Award and the LGBT Giving Network.