Raegan Swanson

Raegan Swanson,
Executive Director (she/her)

Raegan has served as the Executive Director since 2016. 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.

executivedirector@arquives.ca

Lucie Handley-Girard

Lucie Handley-Girard
(she/her)

Lucie has served as 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.

archivist@arquives.ca

Jennifer Aja Fernandes

Jennifer Aja Fernandes
(they/them)

Jennifer has served as the Community Outreach Coordinator since 2018. She holds a BA from McGill University. She has worked as a Youth in Transition Worker with Supporting Our Youth at Sherbourne Health Centre, and as a Programmer at the Studio with LGBTQ2+ youth. She is an experienced coordinator and youth worker with a history of working in child welfare, community health care, and the LGBTQ2+ community. She is currently a volunteer with the Notso Amazon Softball League as the Equity and Outreach Coordinator. Jennifer is a connector and networker, and enjoys creating community, sharing education, and supporting positive spaces. Jennifer is also a writer, a pianist, and a piano teacher.

outreach@arquives.ca

Jordan Saroya
(he/him)

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.

admin@arquives.ca

Schem R Bader

(they/them)

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.

Schem R Bader

(they/them)

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.

Deanna Bickford
(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.

development@arquives.ca

Ariana Ho

Ariana Ho
(she/her)

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.

projectarchivist@arquives.ca

Board of Directors

Co-President
Dennis Findlay
(he/him)

Dennis Findlay is a long-time gay activist in Ontario, particularly in Toronto. He was a leader in the response to the 1981 Bathhouse Raids and Coordinated the Legal Defense Committee of the Right to Privacy Committee, which is featured in the documentary film, Track Two. He is a former teacher, a retired baker, and an urban development activist with a passion for LGBTQ+ history and heritage. He has been a volunteer at The ArQuives since 2009.

Co-President
Dr. Elspeth Brown
(she/her)

Elspeth Brown is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in American Studies, queer archives and LGBTQ+ history. She is the Principal Investigator on a 5-year SSHRC-funded project, the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory, which brings together four archives and a group of international collaborators to make LGBTQ+ oral histories more accessible online. In addition, she is a Co-Investigator for the Family Camera Network, in partnership with The ArQuives, which collects queer and trans family photographs, and oral histories about them, in relationship to migration and diaspora in Canada.

Vice 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.

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.

Treasurer
David DesLauriers
(he/him)

Recently retired from a 30-year career in investment banking in Toronto and New York, David returned home to Toronto in 2015 along with his husband, Nicolas Diaz, and is focused on transitioning his professional life to personal pursuits in volunteering, consulting and mentoring. The majority of David’s career was spent leading the Government Finance Group within TD Securities. 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 also serves as a Board member and Treasurer of the AIDS Committee of Toronto.

Director
Ana Rita Morais
(she/her)

Ana Rita Morais is a Doctoral Candidate in the Communication and Culture Program at Ryerson University and 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.

Director
Fran Odette
(she/her)

Fran Odette is a feminist and disability rights activist for over 25 years, with a focus on the intersections between gender, disability, and sexualities. Fran works in services focused on gender-based violence with a particular focus on violence against women and children with disabilities. She has been involved in working on issues related to disability and sex-positivity, providing training to sexual health providers and people with disabilities. She is co-author (with Cory Silverberg and Dr. Miriam Kaufman) of The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability – For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain and Illness. She has been a teacher at George Brown College since 2008 and is faculty in the Assaulted Women and Children Counselor Advocate Program, Social Service Worker Program. She co-developed and teaches a critical disability issues course entitled Disability Discourse: The Experienced Life.

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
Kabir Ravindra
(he/him)

Kabir holds degrees in Politics, Common Law, and Civil Law from McGill University, where he was a director of the LGBT peer counselling program. He was also active in a number of other Montreal-area equity-seeking organizations in the 1990s. Since moving to Toronto in 2000, Kabir worked initially as a litigator. For the past decade, he has been adjudicating abuse claims, notably claims by survivors of the residential schools system. Kabir served on the boards of The 519 Community Centre and Toronto Dance Theatre before coming to The ArQuives in 2017. He is an avid yoga practitioner and a proud father of a delightful child.