Jesse Wente named IABC/Toronto 2022 Communicator of the Year
IABC/Toronto is pleased to announce that Jesse Wente, writer, broadcaster, curator, speaker and arts administrator, has been named IABC/Toronto’s 24th Communicator of the Year.
Jesse has spent 25 years making space for Indigenous storytellers, highlighting issues facing the community and championing the work of Indigenous artists.
Born and raised in Toronto, his family comes from Chicago and Genaabaajing Anishinaabek on the northern shores of Lake Huron. He is an off-reserve member of the Serpent River First Nation. A husband and father, Jesse is best known for his work as a film and pop culture columnist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Metro Morning (CBC). An outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit art, Jesse was named founding director of the Indigenous Screen Office in 2018. Two years later 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 chosen as one of best books of 2021 by Chapters-Indigo, Apple Books and The Globe and Mail. Jesse recently won the Kobo Emerging Writers Prize in Non-Fiction.
Join us as we present Jesse with this award during a virtual ceremony on February 15, 2023. Jesse will be joined by other prominent Indigenous leaders for a panel discussion. Learn more and register here.
About the Communicator of the Year Award
Since 1997, the prestigious IABC/Toronto Communicator of the Year (COTY) award has recognized excellence in strategic communication by an executive in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Recipients have demonstrated leadership and communication skills that drive business results, or have had a significant, positive impact on the community in the past year.
The Communicator of the Year is not necessarily in a communication role; however, the recipient of the award is someone who uses the power of communication to deepen understanding, inspire action and transform their community.
The nominee must:
- Live in the GTA;
- Have a demonstrated ability to communicate successfully;
- Have had a positive influence with key stakeholders and the community; and,
- Demonstrates a strong code of ethics.
Past COTY Recipients:
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health (2021)
Wes Hall, Founder and Chairman of the BlackNorth Initiative and Founder and Executive Chairman of Kingsdale Advisors (2020)
Jodi Kovitz, CEO and Founder of #movethedial (2019)
Maayan Ziv, Founder and CEO of AccessNow (2018)
Masai Ujiri, President, Toronto Raptors (2017)
Andy Byford, CEO, Toronto Transit Commission (2016)
Stefan Sjöstrand, President, IKEA Canada (2015)
- Alan Middleton, Executive Director, Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) and Assistant Professor of Marketing, Schulich Business School at York University (2014)
- Ted Garrard, President and CEO, SickKids Foundation (2013)
- Jim Grieve, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Education (2012)
- Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of CAMH (2011)
- Peter Aceto, President and Chief Executive Officer of ING Direct (2010)
- Rob Devitt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto East General Hospital (2009)
- Philip Blake, President and CEO of Bayer Inc. (2008)
- Annette Verschuren, President of Home Depot Canada (2007)
- Mayor Hazel McCallion, City of Mississauga (2006)
- Malcolm Heins of Law Society of Upper Canada (2005)
- Wayne Fyffe of Credit Valley Hospital (2004)
- Edward Marra of Nestlé Canada (2003)
- David Booth of Compaq Canada Corp. (2002)
- Paul Tsaparis of Hewlett-Packard Canada (2001)
- Marguerite Jackson of the Toronto District School Board (2000)
- Rudy Riedl of Enbridge Consumers Gas (1999)
- Jeff Lozon of St. Michael’s Hospital (1998)
- Paul Lucas of Glaxo Wellcome Inc. (1997)