The Ray Ferris Innovation and Sustainability Grant is an annual grant awarded to a Toronto-based producing company selected by the committee based on a detailed production/project proposal, recognizing advances in theatrical design and the promotion of sustainability in live theatre. The recipient will receive a cash grant of $25,000 towards innovative sustainability elements for an in-person live theatre performance. The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the grant.
Applicants will demonstrate how the grant would contribute to advances in theatrical design, while promoting environmental sustainability, and how the grant would assist in one or more capacity such as (but not limited to) the following:
- Creating unique methods of delivering a narrative in a live theatre show, through the application of design innovations and digital technologies
- Extending the theatrical experience to include the audience’s journey to and from the venue (and beyond), and working with community groups to find exciting, inclusive, and environmentally conscientious ways of making that happen
- Developing new and sustainable processes in the construction and striking of a live theater show, and collaborating with communities and other theatre artists to find creative uses for the materials after the production
- Transforming non traditional underused spaces into theatrical venues
The recipient must be a charity registered and in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency.
The Ray Ferris Innovation and Sustainability Grant recipient will provide a report back to the committee following the conclusion of the production, detailing how the grant was used to further sustainability practice in the performing arts, elaborating on elements that worked well and others that require additional consideration. The report will be presented to the TAPA membership with the goal of building upon best practices in the industry.
Raymond M. Ferris was a Toronto artist, mathematician and statistician born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He earned a Master of Science degree and early in his career, Ray was on the team of NASA rocket scientists responsible for the successful return of the astronauts from the moon landing. In the mid-1980s, Ray started his own business in Toronto, R.M.Ferris Research Consultants. With advances in technology, he began experimenting with digital art and developed techniques to integrate his love for art, mathematics and computer technology and he collaborated with local musicians, combining art forms. Ray loved the theatre and was an enthusiastic supporter of Toronto’s scene.