Originally from southern Ontario, Sam’s professional background is multidisciplinary. He studied Music at Queen’s University, Canadian Studies at Carleton, and Museum Studies at the University of Toronto. A digital archivist and curator, he’s taught cultural history, information studies, ethnomusicology and media studies at universities in Canada and the United States, including Queen’s, Indiana University (Bloomington) and Scripps College. He has worked with the former Canadian Museum of Civilization, Indiana Historical Society, the Woodland Centre, the Schomburg, the National Music Centre and the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archive to curate and co-develop 40+ on-site and digital exhibits ranging from the careers of iconic Canadian musicians to celebrations of Black Canadian heritage, women’s suffrage, immigration stories and Indigenous art. Sam has also worked with Indigenous, Latinx and LGBTQ2+ partners on more than 30 digital archival and other projects for community and educational outreach. He is a co-founder of inclusiv ltd, which supports community-based contemporary and historical research and heritage initiatives.
Lucie has worked at The ArQuives as an Archivist since 2017. She holds a BA and a Masters of Information both from the University of Toronto. In the summer of 2016 she was the Archives Assistant at The ArQuives, and has previously worked in records management. She currently sits on the Association for Canadian Archivists’ Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Taskforce. Her research interests include community archives, archival performativity, and archives as spaces for activism, resistance, and identity formation.
Ariana serves as Project Archivist. She has previously worked as an Archives Assistant at the City of Ottawa Archives and the Wilfrid Laurier University Archives. She holds a BA from Concordia University and a MA in Fashion from Ryerson University. She also holds a MISt from McGill University’s School of Information Studies. Her research interests include community archives, public history and memory.
DEANNA BICKFORD, SENIOR DEVELOPMENT OFFICER (SHE/HER/THEY/THEM)
Deanna serves as the Development Officer. She worked exclusively in the social profit sector for the past two decades as a communications and fundraising professional. Most recently, Deanna served as the Development Director at Inside Out. There, she helped grow community partnerships and expand resources for innovative programs such as the RE: Focus Fund to support women, trans, and non-binary filmmakers. She has also helped build capacity of several community organizations and advocacy groups including, YWCA, United Way, Leadnow, Friends of the Greenbelt, and Ecojustice.
Jordan has served as the Administrative Assistant since January 2020. He holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Toronto, where he studied Human Geography and Women & Gender Studies. He has worked in various administrative capacities and LGBTQ2+ community spaces. He is very proud to be part of The ArQuives team and a community that actively works to preserve QTBIPOC history and storytelling.
Schem R Bader is a Postdoctoral researcher at The ArQuives. They received their Ph.D. in Communication and Culture at Ryerson University after studying Photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and Painting and Drawing at OCAD. They are interested in historical representations of queerness, systemic violence and intersections of class, race with specific attention on historical apparatuses of erasure. Schem has the soul of a poet, the sensibility of an artist, who finds themselves often occupied by concepts and language.
Raegan Swanson, Executive Director, on leave (she/her)
Raegan has been the Executive Director since 2016, and is currently on a 10-month parental leave as of June 2021. She holds a BA from Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface and a Masters of Information from the University of Toronto iSchool. She has worked as an archivist at Library and Archives Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute and as the Archival Advisor for the Council of Archives New Brunswick. She is currently working on her PhD focusing on the role of community archives in Aboriginal and Inuit communities. She is a member of the Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives Taskforce to respond to the “Calls to Action” Report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Board of Directors
President Marcos A. Persaud (he/him)
Marcos A. Persaud has over 10 years of legal experience and more recently has shifted into corporate auditing. After obtaining a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Paralegal studies, he graduated with an LL.B (Hon.) from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). His experience in tax litigation and bankruptcy brings procedural organization, while his 5 years in corporate and personal immigration allows him to bring understanding and advocacy to the table. In addition, Marcos has lectured at Humber College, held executive LGBTQ2+ committee positions for Deloitte, PwC, and more recently George Weston Ltd./Loblaw. His work within the LGBTQ2+ community includes engaging key executives and various individuals through education, social awareness, and advisory work.
Vice President Ana Rita Morais (she/her)
Dr. Ana Rita Morais is the Chair for the School of Design at George Brown College. Her work operates at the paradigmatic intersection of media, culture and society alongside technology and practice. Reflected in her research, she believes that accessible technology has the capacity to cultivate new forms of knowledge, inaccessible via other methods. Her doctoral research-creation project develops an archival augmented reality app entitled me-dérive: toronto. The SSHRC-funded project recalls site-specific, photographic narratives using crowd-sourced images that work against the conventional nature of institutional archival material—those which often fail to account for diverse and marginalized histories. As an administrator at one of Toronto’s primary design institutions, Ana Rita is an advocate for diversity across both academia and social institutions alike.
Treasurer David DesLauriers (he/him)
David is retired from a 30-year career in investment banking in Toronto and New York and is focused on personal pursuits in volunteering, consulting and mentoring. As a seasoned financial executive, David brings considerable expertise in client relationship management, finance and risk management, and as a trusted advisor on strategic and governance matters. David is currently volunteering on several community boards in a variety of capacities. David lives in Toronto with his husband, Nicolas Burbano Diaz.
Secretary Aaron Cain (he/him)
Aaron Cain is an archivist and librarian who has being involved in Toronto’s arts scene through galleries, libraries, archives, and museums since the early ‘90’s. He formalized his training with UofT’s Master of Information program in 2018.
Being a trans man, Aaron joined the ArQuives to assist in the preservation and celebration of our LGBTQ2+ histories. He has worked with the collections as well as participated in several committees.
Aaron is currently a Librarian with the Toronto Public Library and a freelance archivist.
Director Renée Saucier (she/her)
Renée first got involved at The ArQuives in 2018 as a practicum student processing the Inside Out Film Festival fonds and since then, she has continued as a collections volunteer, and most recently – a Board Director.
She is a queer white settler living in Sǫ̀mba K’è, Denendeh, within Chief Drygeese Territory, the unceded lands of the Yellowknives Dene and Treaty 8 territory, also home to the North Slave Métis; also known as Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She currently works as a Digital Records Archivist at the Northwest Territories Archives, and has previously worked for the Archives of Ontario, the Ontario Jewish Archives, and the University of Toronto Libraries’ web archiving program. Her interests include the social history of medicine, web and social media archiving, and the relationship between archives and relations of power.
She prefers being on a dance floor or outside, either on a bike or hiking and looking at moss.
Director Keith Cunningham (he/him)
Keith is a cisgender gay man born in the tropical paradise that is Jamaica. He is an advocate for youth, and the Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) community telling their own stories and the pain that they must deal with, in their own voices. As a registered psychotherapist, Keith has worked at the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) in sexual health promotion, and currently works at Strides Toronto as their Community Outreach Manager. At Strides, he supervises frontline, clinical, and youth outreach workers offering mental health and other frontline support to youth and families. His work experience with various marginalized communities has given him an archive of stories from people who want to tell their stories but have no one to listen to them.
Keith is delighted to join The ArQuives’ Board to help the LGBTQ2+ community continue to tell our stories to Canada and to the world in our own voices. He also enjoys hiking, camping, and going for long walks (both alone and with friends), among other leisurely activities when he is not professionally engaged.
Director Justin Hughes-Jones (he/him)
Justin is currently the Senior Director, Digital Sales at RBC. He is a strategic individual with strong analytical and people management capabilities. His experiences include being a business lead for multiple initiatives related to product, strategy, reporting, relationship management and transformation. Through his 15 years at RBC he has worked in Digital Banking, Retail Banking, Private Banking, Call Centres, US Banking and Insurance. He is a diversity and inclusion champion for a number of areas with a focus on the LGBT+ community; including being the Co Chair of the RBC Toronto Pride ERG and a member of ExeQutive.
Director Nathan Hoo (he/him)
Nathan is a longtime advocate for LGBTQ2+ rights. He has worked with a number of LGBTQ+ organizations, providing workshops and resources to help combat homophobia and transphobia since he was a teenager (which he swears was a long time ago).
Nathan represents a union in labour disputes before private arbitrators and administrative tribunals across the country in both French and English. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrated Media from OCAD University and a Juris Doctor from the French Common Law Program at the University of Ottawa.
Director Radissen Ramoutar (he/him)
Radissen currently works at Indeed as a Global Brand and Advertising Manager and has expertise in brand and digital marketing. He focuses on fostering diverse and inclusive work environments by promoting empathy at work for audiences around the world. Outside of work, Radissen is a playwright and screenwriter who focuses on creating pieces focused on LGBTQ2+ and BIPOC communities. Along with being a graduate of the Queen’s University Drama Department, he has extensive experience promoting higher education both within Canada, and around the world.