The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives aspires to be a significant resource and catalyst for those who strive for a future world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people are accepted, valued, and celebrated.
Executive Director: Raegan Swanson, BA (Hons), MI
Raegan serves as the Executive Director. 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 communities. She is Chair of Online-Learning for the Association of Canadian Archivists, and 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.
Volunteer + Community Outreach Coordinator: Jade Pichette, BSW, MSW
Jade serves as the Volunteer + Community Outreach Coordinator. They started at the CLGA as the Volunteer Coordinator. Jade is an anti-oppressive educator, who has worked as an advocate in LGBTQ2+ communities for over ten years. They have previously worked at Kind (formerly Pink Triangle Services) in Ottawa as the Education Programs Coordinator, and has worked with over 50 different organizations across Ontario to develop queer and trans inclusive policies. Jade is an avid lover of history and in particular has interest in trans and bi erasure in LGBTQ2+ communities, LGBTQ2+ Interfaith work, and continuing to challenge their own position of white-privilege.
Development Coordinator: Caitlin Smith
Caitlin serves as the Development Coordinator. She has been a fundraiser for 13 years, most recently at the Aga Khan Museum, in addition she has worked at Casey House, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and PEN Canada. Caitlin holds a BA in Communications from Concordia University and a Certificate in Fundraising Management from Ryerson University. She has also studied Book Publishing at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Caitlin is a fervent bibliophile, who indulges in her lunch hour with the many duplicate books surrounding her at the Archives.
Archives Assistant: Charly Wreggitt, BA, MA
Charly is currently serving as the archives assistant for the summer. She is going into her second year of a Masters of Information degree at the University of Toronto with a collaborative degree in Sexual Diversity Studies. She holds a BA from the University of Manitoba and a MA from McMaster University, both within the field of Gender and Feminist Studies. Her research interests include queer theory, histories of sexuality and sex, and zombies.
With over a hundred active volunteers, and over 12,000 hours given each year the CLGA wouldn’t work without our volunteers. They are the lifeblood of the organization. For information about the different volunteer positions at the CLGA please check out our Volunteer Opportunities.
Board of Directors (2017 – 2018)
President: Dennis Findlay
Dennis Findlay is a long-time gay activist in the Toronto area. He was a leader in the response to the 1981 Bathhouse Raids and helped found 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 CLGA since 2009.
Treasurer: Edward McDonnell
Ed McDonnell is Vice President and Chief Information Officer at The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. He has more than 20 years experience working on system and organizational planning with a diverse range of public sector and non-profit organizations in Ontario and in the Caribbean.
Secretary: Paul Leatherdale
Paul Leatherdale received his Master’s Degree in Archives Studies from the University of Windsor. Since 1999, he has served as the Archivist for The Law Society of Upper Canada, the body that governs lawyers and paralegals in Ontario. Paul has been a volunteer with the CLGA for over 17 years as a member of the Operations Committee, which oversees collections management and development.
Director: Dr. Elspeth Brown
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 LGBT history. She is the Principal Investigator on a 5-year SSHRC-funded project, the LGBTQ Digital Oral History Collaboratory, which brings together four archives and a group of international collaborators to make LGBTQ+ oral histories more accessible online.
Director: Dr. Rachel Epstein
Dr. Rachel Epstein has been an LGBTQ parenting activist, educator and reseracher for close to 20 years. She has previously worked as the Coordinator for the LGBTQ Parenting Network at the Sherbourne Health Centre, providing resources, informaiton and support to LGBTQ parents, prospective parents and their families, and training for health care, legal, social work and education professionals. She has also published on a wide range of queer parenting issues, including assisted human reproduction, queer spawn in schools, butch pregnancy, and the tensions between queer sexuality, radicalism and parenting. Dr. Epstein is currently a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Brock University.
Director: Kabir Ravindra
Biography to come.
Director: David Udayasekaran
David Udayasekaran identifies as a settler in Canada of Sri Lankan Tamil origins. They are currently the Coordinator of the Teens Educating And Confronting Homophobia (TEACH program). David has been an activist and educator for over 15 years. Their primary passion is fostering understanding of the issues of people whose voices and stories often go unheard, namely LGBTQ+ people who also identify as Black, Indigenous and/or People of colour (BIPOC). Their primary method of sharing understanding is through storytelling and is passionate about connecting queer and trans folks with other people and communities from the past and present and approaches all of their work with an understanding of anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice.
Director: Ari Wahl
Ari Wahl is the Senior Development Officer for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). He has extensive experience working in fundraising, specializing in major gifts and planned giving. Ari has been a volunteer at the CLGA for several years and also serves as the Chair of the Fundraising Committee.
Director: Melika Zamani
Melika Zamani received her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Toronto. Currently she works for the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development as a Knowledge Management Analyst, leading several Divisional initiatives. Melika has previously served as co-Chair for the Operations Committee, which oversees collections management and development at the archives.