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Community One Foundation To Award $100,780 in Rainbow Grants to Foster LGBTTIQQ2S Programs and Initiatives in the Greater Toronto Area

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Foundation supports upcoming community projects with the help of Royal Bank of Canada during community celebration on June 8, 2017

TORONTO, ON (May 23, 2017) ‐ On the evening of Thursday, June 8, 2017, Community One Foundation will hold a community celebration at The 519 Community Centre (519 Church St., Toronto), which will feature a presentation of the Community One Foundation Rainbow Grants and a number of panels featuring current and past grant recipients, along with highlighting LGBT programs and initiatives in the Greater Toronto Area including Durham, Halton, Peel and York region. The Rainbow Grant program, which began in 1980, is one of many foundation initiatives supporting the LGBTTIQQ2S community, funded through donations from individual donors and corporate partners.


For over thirty years, Rainbow Grants have helped nurture the early days of many Greater Toronto LGBTTIQQ2S community initiatives, grassroots projects, established organizations and one-off projects. The Grants are awarded in three different tiers; General (for projects or people that are not a part of an organization, charity or corporation), Foundation, and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Community Award of $10,000 (donated by RBC).

“We are thrilled to celebrate such a diverse group of communities in the areas of arts and culture; health and social sciences; and research, education and advocacy this year,” said Community One Co‐ Chair Kevin Ormsby. “Thanks to the continued support from both individuals and corporate partners like the Royal Bank of Canada, Community One looks forward to providing continued support to important and innovative LGBTTIQQ2S projects in the GTA.”


The following is a list of Rainbow Grant recipients in 2017:

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.

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.

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.

For more information, photos or interview requests, please contact:

Cory Stewart | Embrace Disruption PR

o: 416.963.9857 c: 647.638.1586


About Community One:

Established in 1980, Community One Foundation provides grants to LGBTTIQQ2S 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.





About RBC:

Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full‐ and part‐time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 37 other countries. For more information, please visit

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, we contributed more than $121 million to causes around the world.

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