About Jesse Wente

Jesse Wente
Toronto | Canada

SDGC19 Keynote Speaker Jesse Wente

Jesse Wente CBC Radio, Columnist

Jesse Wente is a sought-after Ojibwe broadcaster, curator, producer, activist and public speaker. He's been a columnist covering film and culture on CBC Radio's Metro Morning for 21 years and is also culture columnist for CBC Radio’s Unreserved. He has programmed for film festivals including Reel World, ImagineNative and TIFF and is currently Head of TIFF Cinematheque, overseeing TIFF’s historical film program. Jesse has curated retrospectives on Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton, Bernardo Bertolucci, Michael Mann and Kelly Reichardt. In 2012 he curated the world’s largest retrospective of Indigenous films, titled First Peoples Cinema: 1500 Nations, One Tradition and its accompanying gallery exhibition, Home on Native Land. He is currently producing his first film, a screen adaptation of Thomas King’s best-selling book, The Inconvenient Indian. An outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Metis and Inuit art, he has spoken at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Canadian Arts Summit, CMPA’s Prime Time and numerous Universities and Colleges. Jesse currently serves on the board of directors for both the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Jesse lives in Etobicoke with his wife and two children



'How the Arts can Bridge the Gap Between Cultures'


In this exclusive talk, Ojibwe writer, broadcaster and arts leader Jesse Wente will look at how art and storytelling is the key to cultural communication and understanding. Jesse will look at how artists help identify and shape our futures and how storytelling informs the world we create. Jesse will also discuss how inclusivity and diversity are key to bridge building.

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