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AAO News

  • 17 May 2021 9:13 AM | MacKenzie Gott

    The AAO Awards Committee – consisting of Jean Dryden, Matt Szybalski, David Sharron, and Rodney Carter – were pleased and honoured to announce the winners of the 2021 AAO Awards at the AAO’s Annual General Meeting held on May 14th, 2021.

    Three Emerging Professional Awards, an Alexander Fraser Award, a James J. Talman Award, and one AAO Institutional Award were presented this year.

    Amanda Oliver was presented with the AAO Emerging Leader Award in 2021 for her impressive professional and scholarly work, her demonstrated leadership, and her active participation in the professional archival community.

    The Emerging Leader Award was presented to Joshua Klar in recognition of his work in establishing and managing the Norfolk County Archives, his community outreach efforts, and for his active participation in Archives Association of Ontario.

    For her professional and scholarly work, service to archival associations, and in recognition of the key role she has played as a mentor to racialized colleagues, the AAO presented the Emerging Leader Award to Katrina Cohen-Palacios.

    For his dedicated service to the archival community in Ontario and his tireless efforts in sharing his knowledge and passion for digital preservation, Grant Hurley was presented with the Alexander Fraser Award.

    This year, the James J. Talman Award was presented to Mary Grace Kosta for her work developing the student practicum program at the Archives of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph with which she has demonstrated an outstanding level of imagination and innovation in supporting new members of the archival profession. 

    In recognition of the extraordinary work of its archivists and volunteers, and its continuous improvement over the years, the Archives Association of Ontario presented the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives with the AAO’s Institutional Award.

    The full citations for the winners can be here. Please join me in congratulating them all.

    Rodney Carter

    Chair, AAO Awards Committee

  • 05 May 2021 9:00 AM | MacKenzie Gott

    The Archives Association of Ontario will hold its 2021 annual general meeting (AGM) virtually on May 14, 2021, between 10:00 and 11:30am via Zoom.

    Anyone is welcome to attend the AGM. However, only individual AAO members will be able to vote on motions (with the exception of the vote for IDC Chair, which is only open to institutional members). You can register for the meeting here. We have two constitutional amendments for discussion as well as voting for the 2021-2022 AAO Board of Directors. The Board sincerely wishes to welcome as many members as possible to this virtual event.

    Details on how to join the meeting will be sent to registered attendees in advance of the meeting. Please register by May 11 if you wish to attend the meeting.

    The agenda for the meeting and proposed constitutional amendments can be found here. The AGM Information Package, which includes the minutes from the 2020 AGM and reports from the Board, Staff, Committees, Chapters and Special Interest Groups, will be distributed to all members in early May. The 2021 Information Package will also be made available on the AAO Website.

    This year, there are five positions available on the AAO Board of Directors: Vice-President/President Elect, Director Without Portfolio, Secretary-Treasurer, Website Administrator, and IDC Chair. You can read more about the current slate of nominated candidates for these positions here. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor during the AGM.

    We hope that you will join us on May 14th!

    Please register here.

  • 21 Apr 2021 8:30 AM | Gillian Shaw

    Municipal Archives Interest Group (MAIG) Virtual AGM

    May 5th, 2021 – 10:00-11:30am

    Please join the MAIG Executive for our virtual AGM on May 5th from 10:00-11:30am!

    This year, we are looking for nominations for two Executive Member positions – the Chair and Vice-Chair of MAIG (please click here for more details). Nominations can be sent in advance of the meeting, or submitted at the AGM from the floor.

    - Call for Nominations (Chair and Vice Chair)
    - Chair's Report 2020-21
    - Financial Reports 2020-21
    - Other Business
    - Roundtable

    Agenda Package

    Please find the Zoom details below:

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 910 5117 3854

    Passcode: MAIG_AGM

    One tap mobile

    +16475580588,,91051173854#,,,,*87695292# Canada

    +17789072071,,91051173854#,,,,*87695292# Canada

    Dial by your location

            +1 647 558 0588 Canada

            +1 778 907 2071 Canada

            +1 204 272 7920 Canada

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            +1 587 328 1099 Canada

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    Meeting ID: 910 5117 3854

    Passcode: 87695292

    Find your local number:

    Hope to see you at the AGM next month!

    Jill Shaw, MAIG Chair

  • 12 Apr 2021 1:11 PM | MacKenzie Gott

    Nominations for 2021-2022 AAO Board of Directors

    The AAO’s Nominations Committee is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for the 2021-2022 Board of Directors, to be voted on by AAO members at the 2021 virtual AGM (Friday, May 14th, 2021). Nominations from the floor during the AGM will also be accepted.

    Voting for the position of IDC Chair is only open to AAO Institutional Members, and that vote will be held by special ballot at the AGM as per section 6.10 of the AAO Constitution.

    Stay tuned for more information about the virtual AGM in the coming weeks.

    VP-President Elect: Rachel Beattie

    Rachel E. Beattie is an Assistant Media Archivist at the Media Commons Archives, part of the University of Toronto Libraries. A graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Information, she is passionate about both sound and moving image archives and community – specifically LGBTQ2+ - archives. She is one of the co-chairs of the Sound and Moving Image Special Interest Section at the ACA and served on the 2021 AAO Conference Programming Committee. She is also a member of the Community Engagement Committee of the ArQuives: Canada’s LGTBQ2+ Archives where she hosts their monthly LGBTQ2+ trivia hour.

    Secretary-Treasurer: Charlotte Chaffey

    Charlotte Chaffey graduated with a Master of Information Studies (2002) from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. She has held a number of professional archival and records management positions with institutions such as the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Law Society of Ontario, and York University. Charlotte currently holds the position of Archivist/Records Manager at the Royal Ontario Museum where she is responsible for all aspects of archival services. Charlotte earned the Practicing NAAB Appraiser (PNA) designation in March of 2020.

    Director Without Portfolio: Moska Rokay

    Moska Rokay is the Digital Humanities Research Fellow at the Institute of Islamic Studies (UofT) tasked with coordinating the Muslims in Canada Archives (MiCA). Moska’s research interests lie in the interdisciplinary crossroads of archives, critical race and ethnicity studies, media studies, and identity formation in diaspora communities of war and trauma. She is an advocate for community-centered, activist archives and archives of diaspora communities. In 2020, she was the recipient of the ACA New Professional Award and Archivaria’s Gordon Dodds Student Paper Prize. She completed her Master of Information at the University of Toronto and defended her thesis in 2019.

    IDC Chair: Jessica Barr

    Jessica Barr is the University Archivist and Records Manager for the University of St. Michael’s College (Toronto, ON), where she is responsible for the official records of the University, the University art collection, and the archives of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Since 2019, she has also served on the Board of the Archives Association of Ontario as the Secretary-Treasurer. She holds a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto (2011).

    Website Administrator: Melissa Nelson

    Melissa Nelson holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History, with a minor in Sociology, from Carleton University. She also completed a Master of Information Studies at McGill University. Her experience includes working for George Brown College Archives, The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives, the Law Society of Ontario Archives, and Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University. Melissa conducts research and produces content on history and archive related topics for her website

    We look forward to your participation at the AGM on May 14th.

    The AAO 2021 Nominations Committee

  • 07 Apr 2021 1:45 PM | MacKenzie Gott

    When: April 12, 2021 from 4:30-6:00pm

    Where: Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 966 0941 0727
    Passcode: 383617
    One tap mobile
    +16473744685,,96609410727#,,,,*383617# Canada
    +16475580588,,96609410727#,,,,*383617# Canada

    Dial by your location
            +1 647 374 4685 Canada
            +1 647 558 0588 Canada
            +1 778 907 2071 Canada
            +1 204 272 7920 Canada
            +1 438 809 7799 Canada
            +1 587 328 1099 Canada
    Meeting ID: 966 0941 0727
    Passcode: 383617
    Find your local number:

    Facebook Event page:


    - President's Report 2020-21
    - Financial Statements 2020-21
    - Other Business

  • 06 Apr 2021 5:53 PM | Michael Friesen
    Hello AAO members!

    The spring 2021 issue of Off the Record is now available. Members can access the issue here.

    The most recent issue includes features from Sean Smith discussing the role of a provincial acquisition strategy in a changing profession and Iona McCraith outlining the elements of a deed of gift. The issue also includes a member spotlight on Kelli Babcock. The woman on the cover is Etta Simon. Thank you to the Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre for the photo.

    The excellent spring 2020 issue is now available to all.

    Wishing everyone health and sunshine,


  • 01 Apr 2021 12:07 PM | MacKenzie Gott

    In celebration of Archives Awareness Week 2021 and our theme of Archives@home, the Archives Association of Ontario has organized an “Ask an Archivist” event, taking place Tuesday, April 6 to Thursday, April 8 between 10 am to 4 pm EDT. Each day, a roster of guest host archivists will take over the AAO Twitter account @AAO_tweet for one hour to answer your questions and comments.   

    The schedule of guest archivists and their areas of expertise is listed below. Please join us for these conversations on Twitter @AAO_tweet, and don’t forget to tweet about your own Archives Awareness Week 2021 celebrations using the #2021AAW hashtag!


    5 April 2021


    Lisa Snider, Archeion Coordinator

    Archeion and Researchers


    Julia Holland, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections

    Re-purposing already digitized content as puzzles


     6 April 2021


    Mary G. Kosta, The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada

    How to prepare for the next pandemic

      11:00am-12:00pm Mandy O'Brien, City of Toronto Archives Access during the pandemic


    Krista McCracken, Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre

    Supporting research and community during the pandemic

      1:00pm-2:00pm Nick Moreau, Region of Peel Archives  Archives during the pandemic


    Iona McCraith, AAO Archives Advisor

    Keeping personal archives at home; any archive topic


     7 April 2021


    Natalya Rattan, John Shoesmith, Danielle van Wagner, Fisher's Rare Book Library

    Outreach during the pandemic


    Jennifer Grant, York University

    Activities during COVID


    Adele Torrance, Ingenium

    Changes to work and outreach during COVID


    Moska Rokay, Muslims in Canada Archive

    Outreach during the pandemic


     8 April 2021


    Megan Lockhart, Oxford County Archives

    Outreach during the pandemic and digital engagement


    Andrea McCutcheon, University of Toronto Archives

    Supporting research during the pandemic


    Lucie Handley-Girard, The ArQuives

    Community archives broadly within the pandemic


    Raegan Swanson, The ArQuives

    Outreach during the pandemic


    Gina Dewaele and Amber Mandich, Elgin County Archives

    Archives during the pandemic

  • 25 Mar 2021 4:59 PM | MacKenzie Gott

    The 2021 AAO Conference will be fully virtual and so is our 2021 Shirley Spragge Bursary fundraiser. This year, we are pleased to announce that we’re partnering with Plantables to raise money for this bursary, which supports AAO conference attendance by providing free conference registration and reimbursement of travel costs for bursary recipients.

    What is Plantables? 

    Plantables is a Canadian company based in Forest, Ontario, that grows organic leafy greens, fruit, vegetable and herb plants and ships them to your door exactly when they need to go into the ground or planter. 

    Pick which plants you want to grow, choose when you want them delivered, and wait for your box of garden-ready plants to arrive at your doorstep. 

    Purchase individual plants or choose from a variety of plant kit options.

    How does the program work? 

    All purchases can be made at To support this fundraiser, make sure to enter the code AAO2021 at the checkout. The AAO receives 10% of every sale made using the AAO2021 promo code. Don’t forget to share the code with your plant-loving friends and family to help us reach our $800 fundraising target!

    When can I order?

    Our AAO2021 code is active now, so order anytime! The campaign will be open until June 30, 2021.

    Thank you for your support of the AAO and the Shirley Spragge Bursary!

  • 25 Mar 2021 4:58 PM | MacKenzie Gott

    The AAO Board of Directors is looking for AAO individual members to form a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group for a one-year term (2021-2022). While the specific activities of this new group will be determined by its members, the general focus of the AAO Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group will be to:

    • Provide advice to the AAO Board of Directors on integrating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles into the AAO’s work, policies and structures and aligning with the 2020-2023 AAO Strategic Plan goal 1.3 to diversify AAO leadership and membership

    • Provide guidance to assist AAO members on matters relating to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their institutions, including locating resources and training

    At the completion of the one-year term, the Working Group will provide the AAO Board of Directors with DEI-related recommendations, which may include the creation of a permanent AAO Diversity, Equity and Inclusion standing committee.

    Questions and expressions of interest can be sent to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group’s co-chairs Jennifer Grant ( and Krista McCracken (

  • 22 Mar 2021 10:01 AM | MacKenzie Gott

    In celebration of Archives Awareness Week 2021, the Archives Association of Ontario has once again organized a virtual  “Ask an Archivist” event, taking place Tuesday, April 6 to Thursday, April 8 between 10 am to 4 pm EDT. 

    This year, a roster of guests will take over the AAO Twitter account @AAO_tweet for one hour around the theme of Archives@home. We invite guests to share information and answer questions about working with archives remotely, how they’ve made material and services available online, and methods used during the pandemic to support research and engagement with archival collections.

    Archival staff and institutions interested in signing up for a one hour time slot are asked to contact MacKenzie Gott, AAO Web Administrator at by March 29th, 2021. 

The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) is led by a committed community of volunteers from across the province. 

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