Writer & Broadcaster
Jesse Wente is a husband and father, as well as an award-winning writer and speaker. Born and raised in Toronto, his family comes from Chicago and Genaabaajing Anishinaabek and he is an off-reserve member of the Serpent River First Nation. Jesse is best known for more than two decades spent as a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning. Jesse spent a decade with the Toronto International Film Festival as a curator, including leading the film programming at the Tiff Bell Lightbox. In 2018, Jesse was named the founding director of the Indigenous Screen Office and in summer 2020 he was appointed Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. Jesse received the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto in 2021 for his volunteer contributions and was recently appointed a Senior Fellow of Massey College. His first book “Unreconciled: Family, Truth and Indigenous Resistance” is a national bestseller and was picked as one of best books of 2021 by Chapters-Indigo, Apple Books and The Globe and Mail. Last year, Jesse won the Kobo Emerging Writers Prize in Non-Fiction and most recently, he has been named the Communicator of the Year for 2022 by the International Association of Business Communicators.
Reimagining Canada's Playbook for Digital Content
The media ecosystem in Canada for storytellers across all mediums has long been in a state of transition. With the passing of both Bill C-11 (the Online Streaming Act) and Bill C-18 (the Online News Act), we have a renewed invitation to consider a looming question: how do we advocate the infrastructure creators deserve when technology, corporations, and policy intersect? Exploring solutions ranging from which values should inform new legislative paradigms, to how tech companies can meaningfully support Canadian art from those on the periphery, we’ll brainstorm out loud what we want our collective future to look like.