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IABC/Toronto names Jesse Wente the 2022 Communicator of the Year

Press Release

TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2022 – The Toronto chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (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.

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, Wente 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, Wente 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.

“I want to thank IABC/Toronto for this prestigious award in recognition of my ongoing work as an advocate for Indigenous voices,” says Jesse Wente. “Awards like this help further raise awareness and create space for conversations about the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples.”

Wente 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.

“As Canadians continue to grapple with the country’s colonial history, Jesse Wente is enabling honest conversations and creating space for other Indigenous artists to share their voices,” says IABC/Toronto President Michael Blackburn. “Honest and accessible communication is essential for societal change and Wente is at the forefront of this action. We are delighted to recognize his leadership in communications by awarding Jesse Wente with the distinguished 2022 Communicator of the Year Award.”

Wente will receive his award at a virtual  event on February 15, 2023. The event will include a panel discussion with other prominent Indigenous leaders. Details will be announced in January.

About IABC/Toronto’s Communicator of the Year Award

Since 1997, IABC/Toronto’s Communicator of the Year Award has recognized a Greater Toronto Area executive whose demonstrated leadership and communications skills drive business results or have had a substantially positive influence on the community. Only one person is recognized as the Communicator of the Year each year.

Past  recipients of the Communicator of the Year award include Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health; Masai Ujiri, President, Toronto Raptors and  Dr. Wes Hall, Founder and Chairman of the BlackNorth Initiative. For more recipients, visit IABC/Toronto Communicator of the Year.

About IABC/Toronto

IABC/Toronto is the largest chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. IABC is recognized as the professional association of choice for communicators and is committed towards establishing and supporting the highest professional standards of quality and innovation in organizational communications.

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For further information: Amie Silverwood, Vice President, Programs, IABC/Toronto, [email protected]; Jacqueline Janelle, Vice President, Data Analytics & Brand Management, IABC/Toronto, [email protected]


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