Canada 2017 Rainbow Grants

Please note we have given away all of this year’s Rainbow Grants. Should the grant be open for 2018, we will inform you.

The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity is proud to partner with HSBC to present the: Canada 2017 Rainbow Grants. Through 2017 we will be giving away 150 micro-grants of $150 to make Canada a Prouder place!

Any educational institution, community organization or grassroots initiative can apply for these micro-grants using the form here: Click for the Applicaiton Form Here.

The grants are designed to support initiatives and projects that promote diversity, and challenge discrimination in your community or school. This can include workshops, arts projects, campaigns, conferences, or something else. Be creative!

We look forward to reading your applicaiton and support your projects!

Some guidelines:

  • Grants will be distributed on a monthly basis for projects taking place in 2017.
  • Grants will be distributed on a rolling basis. This means that if you meet the criteria you will be approved. This process will continue till all 150 grants are distributed.
  • We are looking to support your initiatives (new or existing) to make Canada a proud(er) place.
  • Some examples of projects include: bringing in a speaker to talk about inclusion, new resources for a classroom, or supplies to organization a celebration (dance, poetry event, awards ceremony…). Please don’t be limited by theses examples, we hope to support innovative and creative projects.
  • Successful applicants will be required to submit a brief evaluation with pictures of their project.
  • If a acknowledgement is available, we will request you include the HSBC & CCGSD logos, and/or acknowledge the support of the Canada 2017 Rainbow Grants, presented by the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diveristy.
  • Priority will be given to projects that recognize issue of LGBTQ+ topics, intersectionality, colonization, and human rights. Priory will also be given to projects that mark import pieces of LGBTQ+ history; some key dates are below.
  • We are only able to support projects that celebrate diversity. Any projects that promote discrimination will not be selected.


A note about 2017:

We at the CCGSD are celebrating Canada 2017. We recognize that Canada’s history dates back before confederation (1867). Moreover, we recognize the impacts of colonization, genocide of Indigenous peoples, and the impacts of residential schools. We recognize our communities shared responsibility to take action to promote reconciliation ( As you apply for your grant, please keep these ideas in mind.


As this is the first time we are running a project like this we invite your feedback! Should you have any questions, suggestion or ideas, please email:

A timeline of LGBTQ+ History in Canada (1950’s till 1980’s):

by Prof Gary Kinsman
Please note: Language used in this document speaks to the real history and language used at time. The absence of the experiences of trans persons, QTIPOC persons and others, refers directly to the erasure of theses communities by the mainstream at the time. We hope your projects will acknowledge this and challenge our communities’ history of oppression towards one another in your projects.

Early 1960s:  Early Resistance and Organizing

  • The anti-homosexual national security campaign began officially in Canada in the late 1950s and lasted
    officially until the later 1980s and into the early 1990s in the military. These campaigns included the creation of a detection technology devised by Dr. F.R. Wake infamously known as the “Fruit Machine.” Many gay men and lesbians refused to co-operate with these purge campaigns which led to thousands of people losing their jobs. In spite of this state surveillance and policing, gay men and lesbians organized homophile groups such as the Vancouver-based Association for Social Knowledge (ASK), formed in 1964 that undertook early popular
    educational and law reform efforts.  The ASK Newsletter and magazines such as Two and Gay also played a critical role in keeping the emerging homosexual communities informed about social and political issues such as anti-queer policies and sexual policing.

Late 1960s:  Law Reform and its Limitations

  • In 1965, Everett George Klippert was charged with gross indecency for having consensual homosexual sex. At sentencing Crown appointed psychiatrists declared him to be a “dangerous sexual offender” (DSO) since he was likely to continue to engage in gay sex.  A 1967 Supreme Court appeal unholding his indefinite detention as a DSO sparked a debate leading up to the passage of the 1969 Criminal Code Reform. Partly based on the spaces opened up by early homophile organizing Pierre Elliot Trudeau (as Justice Minister and then as Prime Minister) and others argued that while homosexual acts between two consenting adults (21 and over) in “private” may be a form of mental illness it did not constitute a criminal act.  This was based on the form of public/private, adult/youth sexual regulation developed in the 1957 English Wolfenden Report. Despite this apparently “liberal” reform the sexual policing of gay men escalated after the 1969 reform.

1970s: Liberation Movements and Human Rights

  • The 1969 New York City Stonewall Riots against police repression provided the spark for liberationist organizing that moved beyond the more moderate approaches of homophile organizing. In this context on
    August 28, 1971, approximately 200 people marched on Parliament Hill and delivered a brief prepared by Toronto Gay Action known as “We Demand.” This protest led to the formation of The Body Politic, a prominent gay magazine and facilitated the emergence of gay liberation, lesbian feminist and gay rights movements.  Early alliances between gay liberation, feminist, and anti-racist activists were built signaling the connections between historically oppressed people. Movement organizing shifted from a liberationist approach to a human rights based approach focusing on sexual orientation protection in human rights legislation. As sexual policing in the later 1970s intensified the raid on Montreal’s Truxx Bar in October 1977 and the massive protests that followed led to the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Quebec Charter of Rights.

1970s: Lesbian Feminism

  • Lesbians experience oppression both as women and as lesbians and have been quite involved in both gay and feminist organizing. In the gay movement lesbians experienced sexism from gay men and in the feminist movement often heterosexism from heterosexual women. They therefore formed their own autonomous lesbian feminist movement to fight against sexism and heterosexism. Groups such as the Lesbian Organization of Ottawa Now (LOON), the Atlantic Provinces Political Lesbians for Equality (APPLE), the Lesbian Organization of Toronto (LOOT), and the Lesbian Caucus of the British Columbia Federation of Women created lesbian feminism as a political force. ThePedestal, Broadside, and Long Time Coming. Groups such as Wages Due Lesbians, the Lesbian Mothers Defense Fund, and the defence effort for The Brunswick Four, four lesbians who were evicted from a heterosexual tavern, were some of the organizing efforts that characterized the radical politics of lesbian feminism in Canada.

1970s: Queering Whiteness and Gender

  • Queers of colours, bisexuals, transgendered people  and transsexuals began to organize themselves within gay and lesbian communities since their specific needs were not being addressed. Many queers of colour continued to face racism within queer communities and the assumption that that “normal” gay person was white.  Caribbean-Canadian author, Makeda Silvera was central in establishing a foothold in queer communities as an out black lesbian feminist. A co-funder of Sister Vision: Black Women and Women of Colour Press in 1985, Silvera played a key role in making visible and radicalizing lesbians of colour.
  • Transsexual and transgendered people often found their needs not being addressed within queer movements and communities as they also had to resist the gender regulations coming from the medical management of transsexual experience and institutions like the Clarke Institute in Toronto. Trans organizing put in question the two-gender binary (man/woman) system.

1970s: Resisting Moral Conservatives

  • By the later 1970s a wave of moral conservatism (often referring to itself as the “Moral Majority”) swept
    across the USA and into Canada targeting queers, feminists, leftists, and anti-racist activists. In particular they focused on defending the heterosexual family. In 1977 and 1978, a rash of protests against Anita Bryant, the spokesperson of the “Save Our Children” campaign in the USA erupted in Canada galvanizing queer activists. Invited and funded by Renaissance International and other moral conservative groups Bryant’s visits to Canadian cities galvanized gay and lesbian organizing.  Groups formed included the Coalition to Stop Anita Bryant, Gay Liberation Against the Right Everywhere (GLARE) and Lesbians Against the Right (LAR). Moral
    conservative organizing against queers has continued but it was pushed back by mass mobilizations and alliance building in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Late 1970s to Early 1980s- Fighting Back

  • The “clean up” campaign prior to the 1976 Montreal Olympic summer games led initially to the closing down of lesbian and gay establishments in Montreal and Ottawa including Sauna Aquarius, Baby Face, Limelight Bar, Neptune Sauna, Club Baths, Jilly’s and the Club Baths. Demonstrations, however, turned this situation around. The Olympic “clean-up” campaign was part of a broader escalation of sexual policing that included the use of bawdy-house legislation against gay establishments as they became more publicly visible. In 1981 with the police code name of Operation Soap the Toronto bath raids took place when the police arrested close to 300 men and there was a mass response to this in the city streets. These mobilizations and defence efforts led to the acquittal of the vast majority of the men who had been charged forcing the police to back off other such large-scale raids as well as to the major expansion of gay community formation in Toronto. These mass mobilizations, the expansion of communities, and the progress of human rights struggles helped to lay the basis for the later use of the equality rights section of the Charter to advance gay and lesbian legal rights struggles.