The We’re Funny That Way Foundation, producer of the ground-breaking queer performance festival, We’re Funny That Way, has proudly donated a $30,000 grant to Toby’s Place in Scarborough, Ontario.
Toby’s Place is a new drop-in centre for all LGBTQ+ youth and their friends and allies in south west Scarborough. A new initiative of Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, this grant is instrumental is allowing the centre to open, beginning Mondays in September, for youth up to 23 years of age.
Toby’s Place will offer comfort, support, inspiration and encouragement for individual, community and global transformation by affirming both the reality and the dreams of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, 2-spirited, queer and questioning youth and their friends in this community. All who enter will have the opportunity to be nourished in body and soul through homework help, job search assistance, facilitated group discussions, meal preparation, budgeting and culture programming. Toby’s Place will be a safe space where LGTBQ+ youth can see real and exciting new possibilities for their future.
We’re Funny That Way founder Maggie Cassella said: “Toby’s Place came into our focus right after I had a very sobering homophobic experience with a middle school student at a convenience store in Scarborough. From that encounter, I got a strong sense first-hand how much a safe space might mean to a queer kid in Scarborough.” The Foundation immediately decided that Toby’s Place would be the grant recipient from this year’s We’re Funny That Way Festival, held May 3-6, 2017.
We’re Funny That Way began in 1996 and was the first international queer performance festival in the world. Over the years the festival has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for small, struggling or start-up queer charities across Canada, aiming to donate funds in the most impactful way by supporting youth, health, social, and arts organizations.
“Everyone at Toby’s Place is incredibly grateful for the support of the We’re Funny that Way Foundation,” says Toby’s Place Program Manager Amanda Christie, “Their support provides funds to start and sustain our programming, as well as contributes to the community building we are striving for through our drop-in centre.”