Kerry Swanson is a seasoned arts professional with over fourteen years of experience leading change for Indigenous artists. She has worked in leadership roles at the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council, where she created and launched new programs including the Indigenous Culture Fund and the TAC Leaders Lab. Kerry is the former Executive Director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, where she worked for six years of extraordinary growth and innovation and where she is now Chair of the Board of Directors. She was co-curator of the exhibition Shapeshifters, Time Travelers and Storytellers at the ROM, co-editor of the book Code Territories: Tracing Indigenous Pathways in New Media Art and co-author of the report Indigenous Feature Film Production in Canada: A National and International Perspective. She also worked as Producer on the award-winning film The Underground, directed by Michelle Latimer. Kerry has a Masters in Communication and Culture from Ryerson and York Universities, where her thesis paper on the artist Kent Monkman was nominated for a Governor General’s Silver Medal.
Kerry was born and raised in Chapleau, northern Ontario, in a family of Cree/Ojibwe, Irish and French heritage. She is a member of the Michipicoten First Nation, with familial ties to the Chapleau Cree First Nation.