Jesse Wente named chairperson of Canada Council for the Arts

Jesse Headshot
Indigenous Screen Office executive director Wente has been appointed on a five-year term, replacing outgoing chairperson Pierre Lassonde.

Canada Council for the Arts has appointed Jesse Wente the first Indigenous chairperson within the Canadian Heritage portfolio.

With a five-year mandate, Wente takes the place of outgoing chairperson Pierre Lassonde, effective today (July 28).

He adds the chairperson position to his other role as executive director of the Indigenous Screen Office, which was established in 2018.

In previous roles, Wente has served as the director of programmes at TIFF from 2010 to 2017. He has also contributed to CBC Radio as a critic, reporter and producer since 1996, in addition to serving on numerous boards, including the Toronto Arts Council and the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival.

“I am very pleased to be able to rely on the continuous support of Jesse, now as Chairperson— the first Indigenous Chairperson within the Canadian Heritage portfolio. The Canada Council for the Arts will be able to continue to benefit from his extensive knowledge, experience and passion for the arts,” said Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault in a statement.