The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Youth Advisory Council (YAC) guides LAC on how youth view, access and relate to Canada's documentary heritage.
The 2021–2022 LAC YAC cohort is made up of 22 students and young professionals aged 19 to 25, from all regions of the country and with different backgrounds and life experiences.
YAC members discuss a variety of topics related to Canada's documentary heritage and contribute to LAC management decisions by providing fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. Past topics discussed by the YAC include special events, social media, podcasts, crowdsourcing, physical facilities, public programming, and adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021–2022 LAC Youth Advisory Council members are:
Donia Arfaoui is studying Business Administration at HEC Montréal. She has been involved with various community organizations for many years. She represented the Forum Jeunesse de Saint-Michel at the public consultations of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal’s Commission on Systemic Racism and Discrimination. Donia also participated in the National Poverty Conference in Ottawa in 2017, where she presented her ideas on reducing poverty in Canada. She is also a refugee rights ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency and the Forum Jeunesse de Saint-Michel.
Kaitlin Bird is a Nîhithaw Iskwew who grew up in and currently lives on her home reserve of Montreal Lake Cree Nation. She is studying at the University of Saskatchewan for an Arts and Science degree, with a major in Political Studies. Her Indigenous teachings have encouraged her interest in history and preserving history, especially her own people’s history. In her spare time, she enjoys oil painting, reading, gardening and living her culture.
Jessica Carrière is completing the second year of her bachelor’s degree in History. After graduation, she would like to pursue a master’s degree in contemporary European history or Canadian and Quebec history. Jessica is fascinated by our past, and she firmly believes that history allows us to learn more about ourselves as a society. After her studies, she hopes to express her passion for history through teaching.
Born and raised in Vaughan, Ontario, Robert DiGiovanni believes in innovative and future-oriented public policy making. He is a fourth-year student at York University, where he studies Political Science and Public Administration. Robert has experience working in the Ontario Public Service, having interned in various ministries over the past three summers. Upon completion of his academic studies, he hopes to pursue a career in the field of public policy. Robert is excited to have the opportunity to join the LAC Youth Advisory Council.
Sarah Ham is a student at Carleton University, majoring in English and History, and minoring in Greek and Roman Studies. It should therefore come as no surprise that they enjoy reading, writing, and engaging with history and literature in various forms. Sarah is also a former member of Ottawa Public Library’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG), where they spent four years helping to organize library events from book nights to art competitions.
Sarah Hanahem was born in Quebec and still lives there. She received a bachelor’s degree from the Université de Montréal and is completing a certificate in Archival Studies this year. She currently works for a telemedicine company. Sarah is passionate about data protection and copyright issues related to the dissemination of documents and archives in the digital age. She enjoys reading and cross-country skiing in her spare time. She will be starting a master’s degree in Information Science at McGill University in fall 2021.
Holly Johnstone was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, but now splits her time living between Victoria, British Columbia, and Toronto, Ontario, where she attends school at the University of Toronto. While completing her degree in History and Ethics, Holly actively participates in campus life as a member of student government, a barista at a student-run fair-trade campus café, a registered mentor for first- and second-year students, and a copy editor for a campus newspaper. Holly is passionate about women's social history, grassroots movements, tea, and dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Matthew Koristka is in his final year at the University of Waterloo in the Knowledge Integration program, with a minor in Anthropology, and continued interests in palliative care, biology and the national honours system. An ardent believer in helping others, he has volunteered with numerous organizations including Calgary Reads, a not-for-profit aimed at sparking an interest in reading in Calgary’s kids, and as a White Hat Volunteer at YYC Calgary International Airport. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys travelling, swimming, and spending time with family and friends.
Originally from Minsk, Belarus, Ilona Krasnova immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of three. She is an aspiring librarian and archivist studying Information Resource Management at Carleton University. Ilona finds beauty in logic, and she is driven by her commitment to make sense of the world through championing information organization and accessibility. Ilona has a passion for languages and is fluent in English, French and Russian. In her spare time, she enjoys making textile art for her friends and reading speculative fiction in the company of her two calico cats, Clementine and Soleil.
Born and raised in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Cameron Lamb has always valued nature and the ocean. Following a move to Vancouver Island, he found himself in Ottawa, driven by a passion for human rights and activism. After graduating from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Law and Legal Studies, and a minor in History, Cameron has been working toward attending law school and continues to pursue his activist work. In his spare time, he enjoys playing sports, practicing photography and scoping out the best sushi restaurants.
Ziyang (Zeo) Li is studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Regina, as well as a Certificate of Non-Profit Organization Management. He works with his team members from the University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) to carry out campaigns and programs that benefit students. With a keen interest in food security for students at the University of Regina, Zeo helped to expand the URSU Cares Pantry and volunteered at the Regina Public Interest Research Group’s Green Patch.
Clare MacDonald is an internal communications advisor at Economic and Social Development Canada, where she serves to support the IT Branch with its broad goal of supporting the Canadian public in times of need with a wide range of programs like Old Age Security, the Canada Pension Plan and the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit. She hopes to spend her career in and around government and to learn continually from her work.
Prior to her current role, she had the chance to work at Ontario's legislature in a non-partisan political role and to study public policy at the University of Toronto. Before that, she completed her undergraduate studies in McMaster University's Arts and Science program. As a long-time library enthusiast with an ongoing interest in history, Clare looks forward to joining the YAC to learn more about LAC’s current priorities, Canadian history, and the changing ways it is being documented and thoughtfully re-examined.
Erin MacKinnon is currently an Archival Assistant at her alma mater, St. Francis Xavier University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English. Additionally, she recently received a Diploma in Library and Information Technology from Nova Scotia Community College. She plans to pursue a career in children’s media.
Ashley MacLellan is North Slave Métis and grew up under the aurora in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She studied English and professional communications in Edmonton, Alberta, and Victoria, British Columbia, before graduating in 2019 and moving to Tk'emlups (better known as Kamloops) in British Columbia to live with her partner Nathan and sweet dog Kron. She now works as an Indigenous Recruiter-Advisor for Thompson Rivers University, is a recently published poet, and enjoys reading Canadian fiction and distance running.
Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Jessica Mandziya-Sathoud has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Université de Montréal and is completing a master’s degree in Public and International Affairs. Author of the book Mes confidences, Jessica is interested in youth and human rights issues. In 2014, she received a special bursary from the mayor of the Sud-Ouest borough of Montréal, Benoît Dorais, recognizing the quality of her academic performance and the diversity of her accomplishments. She wants to give a voice to young and disadvantaged persons, and hopes to practice in this field.
Anna McAllister is currently in the graduating year of her bilingual Joint Honours Bachelor of History and Political Science at the University of Ottawa. During her undergraduate studies, Anna had the privilege of serving as a page in the Senate of Canada for three years. Through her time as a page and her studies in history, Anna developed a passion for contemporary Canadian history and a deep appreciation for the work of archivists and librarians who preserve our country’s stories.
Percephone (Percy) Miller is a graduate student at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. She is nearing the end of the Master of Information program, with concentrations in Library and Information Science, and Archives and Records Management. She enjoys reading, learning about design (universal, user experience, invisible) and creating zines. Percy hopes to bring both personal experience and theoretical frameworks to inform her work on the LAC Youth Council.
Tyler Owens is a former history student and a public servant in Ottawa. He has been on the LAC Youth Advisory Council for two years, during which time he has found LAC to be an exciting and dynamic department.
Born and raised in Montréal, Quebec, Caroline Parent-Harvey recently graduated from McGill University’s Faculty of Law with undergraduate degrees in Civil and Common Law (B.C.L./J.D.). She has always enjoyed giving back to her community, whether it be by volunteering at the Legal Information Clinic at McGill or by coaching youth hockey in her neighbourhood. She is currently studying for the Quebec Bar exam and is excited to subsequently start her career in law.
Born in northern Alberta, Christopher Richmond-Krahn headed south to pursue a growing interest in English and history. He attained a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Lethbridge. Christopher wishes to begin working in the non-profit sector one day, as he has a strong desire to help people. He believes that the LAC Youth Advisory Council will be the next step in pursuing that goal because of the previous work that the council has strived to complete. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, playing video games and spending time in nature.
Shannon Sartor is a fourth-year International Bachelor of Arts student at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is majoring in both English and French and plans to pursue a Bachelor in Education after completing her undergrad. Aside from her obvious interests, Shannon also enjoys history, exercising, travelling (when safe to do so!) and spending time with animals.
Emily Tang was born in China, but she grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She is currently studying Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan. She is passionate about Canadian law, equal access to quality healthcare and destigmatizing mental illness. She is a member of the National Youth Advisory Council with the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, volunteers with non-profits, is a Peer Mentor and the Vice-President of Communications on the Health Sciences Students’ Association at USask. Emily is ecstatic to be learning alongside mentors and like-minded youth across Canada!
Frequently asked questions
Do members need to have an educational background in history, libraries or archives?
Everyone is welcome to apply regardless of educational or professional background. We are looking to create a council with diverse backgrounds and experiences. YAC members have discussed a range of topics, such as social media, searching the LAC collection online, the visitor experience at our facility at 395 Wellington, public events at LAC, and documenting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do members have to be bilingual to be part of the YAC?
Members need to be able to speak only one official language. All youth council documents and presentations are available in French and English.
Do members have to be Canadian in order to apply?
YAC participation is open to permanent residents and Canadian citizens.
How do you select Youth Advisory Council members?
Members are selected on the basis of their online application, reference checks, and a virtual interview by phone or videoconference.
How are the meetings conducted?
Meetings take place virtually, via Zoom.
How often does the Youth Advisory Council meet?
Meetings take place once a month, on a Thursday evening, for 1.5 to 2 hours.
For more information on the LAC YAC, please contact us at
Learn about other Government of Canada youth programs and services
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previous YAC cohorts.