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Exploration Place names new executive director

Alyssa Leier, who first joined the museum as a student, takes over for Tracy Calogheros
alyssa leier exploration place
Alyssa Leier is the new executive director at The Exploration Place.

Alyssa Leier, who has been part of the Exploration Place team for 11 years, is its new executive director.

Leier is taking over for Tracy Calogheros, who is retiring.

“As a member of Okanagan First Nation, I am passionate about reconciliation and the decolonization of the museum sector. Museums have a public responsibility to our communities to tell a more comprehensive and representative history that is relevant, engaging, and educational. The Exploration Place has been an industry leader in this work, and it is my privilege to continue guiding it.”

Leier majored in archaeology and minored in First Nations studies at Simon Fraser University. She has also completed numerous courses in cultural resource management, museology and conservation with other organizations, including the University of Victoria.

“The Exploration Place is such a valuable part of our community’s culture and shared heritage,” Alyssa says. “Under the leadership of Tracy, the impact of The Exploration Place’s work is not only recognized within our own community but provincially and nationally as well. It is my honour to lead this organization into this next chapter.”

She joined the Exploration Place in 2013 as a summer student and became an assistant archivist later that year. In 2016, she was promoted to curator. "As part of the organization’s leadership team, she has played a crucial role in guiding the museum’s direction over the past decade," states a press release.

In 2017, the Hodul’eh-a: A Place of Learning gallery was awarded the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming in partnership with the Lheidli T’enneh, also receiving the B.C. Museums Association Award of Merit for Exhibitions. In 2020, The Exploration Place and the Gouchie family were the recipients of the Jeanne Clarke Award for Outstanding Service for the Mary Gouchie: Hubodulh’eh exhibit. In 2023, Leier was recognized by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce as one of the community’s Top Figures Under 40.