Archaeological Research Associates (ARA) was the first archaeological and heritage consulting firm to be established in Ontario. Since 1972, ARA has offered a full range of services in the management of cultural heritage resources. Our expert staff, unrivaled customer service ethic, and long-established record of excellence mean that you can count on us to manage your archaeological or heritage project, regardless of its complexity.
Over the years, ARA has completed hundreds of contracts for clients in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. ARA is registered with RAQS under the Environmental – Archaeology/Heritage specialty.
ARA Ltd. is an independent consulting firm dedicated to conserving the heritage of Ontario.
We help protect heritage. Archaeological and heritage consulting services are our main specialty. With nearly 50 years of experience, ARA is proud of our long history of successfully completed contracts. Our work has contributed to the enrichment of Ontario’s heritage through discovery, documentation, research, and presentation.
Our core values are:
- We will always be mindful that it is a tremendous privilege to work with the heritage of any community.
- We acknowledge Indigenous stewardship over their own cultural properties, the ongoing trauma of Colonialism, and the burden it imposes on us to de-colonize all aspects of our practice.
- We hold ourselves to the highest professional, ethical, and environmental standards in everything we do.
- We seek collaborative relationships with our colleagues, clients, and partners, based on integrity and respect.
ARA has an enduring commitment to archaeological education in Ontario. We are pleased to provide education, outreach, and seminar programs customized to individual needs. Our Managing Principal, Dr. Dean Knight, long served as Departmental Chair and remains Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University. The close relationship between ARA and WLU, traditionally Ontario's premier venue for post-secondary education in archaeology, has meant that ARA has consistently been staffed with the best and brightest archaeologists and heritage specialists in Ontario.
Dr. Dean Knight, PhD, Managing Principal
Isobel Ball, BA, Principal
Paul Racher MA, CAHP, RPA, Principal
Christina Gohm, BA, Operations Manager - Archaeology
Jonathan Haxell, MA, Team Lead – Geomatics and Geophysics
Victoria Cafik, BA, CAHP, Business Development
Christopher Gohm, MA, Team Lead, Production and Deliverables
Daniel Worby, MA, Production and Deliverables
Lena Zepf, MA, Production and Deliverables
Sarah Bolstridge, BA, Project Archaeologist
Sarah Clarke, BA, Team Lead, Research
Alexis Dunlop, MSc, Project Archaeologist
Peter Epler, BA, Project Archaeologist
Peter has worked in the heritage industry for over 15 years. He originally began his career with ARA in 2011 and served in a wide range of positions from Field Technician to Project Manager. Between 2011 and 2018, Peter assisted in hundreds of projects across Ontario through field directing, technical writing, field logistics, and project management. In 2018, he accepted the role of Field Archaeologist with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. While there, he worked as the technical expert for the First Nation, providing field-level support to the Nation's in-field representatives, specialist-level response to archaeological consultants, and high-level support for proponent engagement and crown consultation. He also assisted in the development and expansion of the Nation's in-field representatives' program and training, including redeveloping department processes and technological tools. He returned to the archaeological consulting industry with ARA in 2022 as a Project Archaeologist. Peter specializes in complex infrastructure and urban projects.
Peter has an Honours B.A. in Archaeology from Wilfrid Laurier University and holds a research licence (R418) with the Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. He is a member of the Ontario Archaeological Society (OAS) and the Chair of the City of Woodstock Heritage Advisory Committee.
Janet Gardner, MA, Project Archaeologist
Mike McCready, MSc, Project Archaeologist
Andrew O'Shaughnessy, BA, Project Archaeologist
Craig Ramsoomair, MA, Project Archaeologist
Craig holds a Professional License (P1106) with the Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism and has over a decade of experience in all aspects of the Ontario Cultural Resource Management industry including excavating 19th century Euro-Canadian military and urban complexes, deeply buried contexts, and Indigenous villages. He has also managed and conducted archaeological assessments, gap analyses, and risk assessments for many large Transportation, Infrastructure, and Residential projects for Federal, Provincial, Municipal, and Private Clients. Craig has also been the Outreach Director of the Ontario Archaeological Society since 2020, leading the organization with active and educational social media campaigns and initiatives like the 2020 Special Speaker Series and 2022 Symposium Mentorship Program.