Photo courtesy of George Carter

SFU Galleries announces the appointment of Sydney Laiss as Collections Manager.

Sydney Laiss was trained at the University of Toronto (UofT) where she received an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Classical Civilizations and Sociocultural Anthropology. During her undergraduate studies, Sydney gained valuable experience handling ancient material culture while working as an archaeological field assistant with the Western Argolid Regional Project in Greece. Laiss furthered her expertise with a Master of Museum Studies and Master of Archival Studies from UofT, and completed a practicum at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) in Vancouver. During this time, she formed a deep connection to her Métis heritage, an aspect of her personal identity she would like to continue to explore.

After graduating, Laiss accepted a position at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives (CMA) where she oversaw the care and maintenance of a materially diverse collection of over 11,000 objects. She worked closely with the Curator to organize numerous exhibits including; Qoqo: | High Water and Legacy of Hope Foundation’s Where are the Children? Healing the Impacts of the Residential Schools. As the CMA operates on Stó:lō territories, Laiss has been studying Halq'eméylem with the aim of using language to connect more closely with community partners and help to Indigenize the CMA’s object collection.

“Our inaugural Collections Manager, Christina Hedlund, undertook essential groundwork to establish proper procedures of custodianship of the artworks under our care,” remarks Kimberly Phillips, SFU Galleries’ Director. “Laiss’ appointment now enables us to re-imagine this position as one that is dynamic, collaborative, and engagement-focused. Her passion for broadening access to collections with the aim of deepening connections between communities is powerfully aligned with SFU Galleries’ own commitments and focus. We are thrilled to be embarking on an important new chapter at SFU Galleries with Laiss in this role.”

Please join us in welcoming Sydney Laiss!