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Ray Ferris

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.

Recipients - Click for Info

Common Boots Theatre and Bad New Days

2024 Ray Ferris Grant Recipient

Native Earth Performing Arts

2023 Ray Ferris Grant Recipient

Eligibility Criteria

Deadline for applications: Monday, April 22, 2024 (Earth Day) – 5:00pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.

To be eligible to apply for a Ferris Grant, a company must be a not-for-profit organization based or producing in the Toronto area, and a registered charity under the Canadian Income Tax Act.

Proposed production must take place during the producing season following receipt of the grant. (i.e., a grant awarded in June 2024 for production to take place July 2024 – June 2025)

In order to apply for the Ferris Award, please supply the following information:

  • Applicant’s Company Name, Representative Name, Title, Phone and Email Address
  • Registered charity number
  • Brief history of the applicant company
  • Project outline (Describe the proposed project and why the applicant should be awarded the Ferris Award, (up to 6 pages) detailing how the grant will be used
  • Relevant Supplementary material
  • All applications must be submitted in English
  • Accessibility accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. (ie. video/audio submissions) Contact Dora Awards Manager Scott Dermody at or 416.536.6468 x 2. Please ensure that text versions accompany alternate submission modes.
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