RAEGAN SWANSON (she/her)
Raegan has been 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 Indigenous 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 and co-chair of the ACA’s Indigenous Matters Working Group.
LUCIE HANDLEY-GIRARD (she/her)
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.
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.
ASHLEY ABDUL (she/her)
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Ashley Abdul is all of three titles; Mother, Founder, and Communications and Marketing expert.
She is the founder of international organization, the Brown Girl Diary. They focus on cultivating, creating, and collaborating within the Indo-caribbean community to create representation and preserve cultural identity. Bringing on a team of six women during a pandemic, Ashley and her team were able to grow their platform by over 600% and over 10,000 supporters digitally worldwide.
Ashley has been featured on Breakfast Television Toronto, the Mississauga Local Radio Station, Toronto Caribbean, and Queens New York Library South Asian Heritage Month Panel.
Graduating from York University with a degree in political science, she has developed a career within the nonprofit sector focusing on communications, marketing, and branding. She has supported non-profit organizations with strategies to help them grow and develop their storytelling through digital platforms.
Her latest endeavour includes exploring the impacts of diversity and inclusion within our professional experiences. She is currently working on a blog series to highlight this work, launching in summer 2023.
Providing a millennial approach to the nonprofit world and growing social impact is her passion, and she plans on passing the torch whenever and however she can.
HELEN CHAZAN (she/her)
Trans Digitization Assistant
Helen is a Masters of Information student at the University of Toronto iSchool. She has worked as an archival assistant at the Centre For Renaissance and Reformation Studies, The Bonham Centre Sexual Representation Collection, and the Victoria University E.J. Pratt Library. She holds a BA in Classics from Cornell University and an MA in Medieval Studies from University of Toronto. She is also a freelance writer for publications such as The Comics Journal, SOLRAD and Cleaver Magazine. Her interests include digital humanities, rare books, queer and trans ephemera, and social justice in archival practice.
DEANNA BICKFORD (she/her/they/them)
Senior Development Officer
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.
TONYA SUTHERLAND-STEWART (she/her)
An emerging heritage professional with a background in English and History, Tonya is a recent graduate of the Master of Museum Studies program at the University of Toronto and has worked on archival projects at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, and the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. For her Master’s capstone project, Tonya conducted a feasibility study for developing a digital archive for the Jackson Park Project and continues exploring strategies for developing this archive. In addition to the Jackson Park Project, Tonya has volunteered with the Multicultural History Society of Ontario and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her academic interests include LGBTQ2+ and Black history, poetry, digital heritage, community-based heritage, and collection management.
DANIEL PAYNE (he/him)
Daniel holds a Masters of Library and Information Sciences and a Masters of Arts in Musicology from Western University, as well as a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. He has recently served as part time Social Sciences & Humanities Librarian at York University and a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Toronto’s iSchool, where he teaches a graduate-level course he developed in Art Librarianship. Between 2002 and 2021, he was Head of Reference and Instructional Services at the OCAD University Library, where he used studio-based pedagogy to activate library services. His research interests include exploring the history of art and design education, using art exhibitions as information literacy, and understanding how the Mi’kmaq teaching of Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing) can activate research models using Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Daniel is also principal cellist with Counterpoint Community Orchestra, the world’s longest standing 2SLGBTQ+ orchestra.
Board of Directors
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.
Renée became involved at The ArQuives in 2018 as a practicum student processing the Inside Out Film Festival fonds. Since then, she has continued as a collections volunteer, a Board member, and most recently – Vice President of the Board.
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.
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.
Michelle has a BA in Art History from New York University and received her MLIS from Long Island University, where she specialized in Archives and Records Management. She is the co-director of Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada (LGLC), a SSHRC-funded digital humanities research project that is building an interactive digital resource for the study of LGBTQ2+ history in Canada. The goal of the LGLC project is to increase the amount of existing and publicly accessible historical information around the lesbian and gay liberation movement in Canada, and to capture for posterity the contributions that many individuals in Canada made to this movement.
Michelle works as an educational developer at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Toronto Metropolitan University, where she supports inclusive and accessible teaching and learning.
Ana Rita Moraïs
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.
Courtnay McFarlane is a Jamaican-born visual artist, curator and poet. His poetry has been published in several African Canadian and Queer anthologies including: Fiery Spirits, and Voices: Writers of African Canadian Descent, Word-up, and Plush. A long-time activist in Toronto’s Black LGBTQ communities, he was a founding member of groups from the 80’s and 90’s such as Zami, AYA Men, The Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention and Blackness Yes, the organizing committee for Blockorama at Toronto Pride. These groups and organizations were forerunners providing voice and visibility to Black LGBTQ issues, and laying the foundation for events, organizations and movements addressing those issues today.
He created Legacies in Motion: Black Queer Archival Projects in 2019 and curated its first exhibition in April of that year: See We Yah! The exhibition unearthed and celebrated the political and cultural activism of Black LGBTQ communities in Toronto.
In his other life Courtnay works in the community health sector. He is currently Director of Child, Youth and Family Services at Regent Park Community Health Centre.
Lauren is a second-generation Indo-Trinidadian settler who lives on Williams Treaty territory in Scarborough, Ontario – the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. They are personally and professionally committed to principles of equity, justice and accountability.
Lauren has worked on community engagement, research, and communications for over 15 years with a diverse array of organizations, such as Planned Parenthood Toronto, LGBT YouthLine, and Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Canada. Lauren holds an MA degree in Social and Political Thought from York University. They are currently an MSW student at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Founder and COO of creative agency Intents & Purposes, and bestselling author of The Conscious Creative: Practical Ethics for Purposeful Work, Kelly Small is an award-winning creative director, designer, writer, and educator whose career is driven by the pursuit of practical action toward ethical, inclusive, and sustainable futures. With nearly 20 years of leading major brands to proven success, Kelly’s driving philosophy is that purposeful work can happen anywhere. Their work centres on providing best-in-class design direction, strategic creative leadership, and ethical design education.
A Master of Design graduate and affiliated design researcher with Emily Carr University, Kelly is also a professor of design ethics at George Brown School of Design and mentor with The RGD, The One Club for Creativity, and OCAD University. Kelly is currently writing a book about practical ethics for a youth audience to be published by Groundwood Books in 2023.
Kelvin works as an architect with 10 years of experience with MJMA—a local Toronto Governor General’s Award-winning firm that specializes in community centers. He’s currently working on the East Gwillimbury Health and Active Living Plaza, King Township Recreation Complex, and Western North York Community Center—awarded the Canadian Architect Award of Excellence 2021.
Kelvin completed his B.Sc. (Arch), M.Arch (Professional), and M.Arch Post-Professional History and Theory of Architecture at McGill University—where he handled 13th century 1st edition architectural treatises at McGill’s Rare Books library.
He sits on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee of the Society of Architectural Historians (North America), the DEI group at MJMA and is also a long-time volunteer with the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto.