Visual Arts / Media Arts Committee

Jason Ryle, Chair, is a producer, curator, story editor, and independent arts consultant based in Toronto. He is Anishinaabe from Lake St. Martin, Manitoba. From July 2010 to June 2020, Jason was the Executive Director of imagineNATIVE, an Indigenous-run organization mandated to support Indigenous filmmakers and media artists. In this capacity, Jason oversaw all operational and artistic activities of the annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest showcase of Indigenous screen content. He also oversaw the organization’s year-round initiatives, international partnerships, and special projects, including On-Screen Protocols & Pathways, an influential framework for film and television production. Under his leadership, imagineNATIVE became the global hub for Indigenous film and a highly respected part of the Canadian industry.

From 2006 until its closure in 2021, Jason was a script reader for the Harold Greenberg Fund (which provided financial support to Canadian narrative screenwriters), which included story development and market assessment. He currently serves on several voluntary boards of directors including as the President of the Toronto Arts Council, as Chair of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto, and as a director for The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and REEL CANADA. Jason is also a member of the Indigenous Advisories for the National Film Board of Canada and the Toronto International Film Festival.

From 2013 until 2020, he was an Advisor for Indigenous films at the Berlinale. He also oversaw the Indigenous Cinema stand at the European Film Market from 2015-2020, which promoted features and shorts made by Indigenous filmmakers to international sales agents, distributors, and festivals. Jason has produced two award-winning short animations and is currently in development as a producer on several projects by Indigenous directors including new feature films from Tasha Hubbard and Darlene Naponse.

In February 2021, Jason received the Clyde Gilmour Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association. The award is bestowed to Canadians whose work has in some way enriched the understanding and appreciation of film in their native country.

Oliver Husain is a filmmaker and artist based in Toronto. His experimental short films and videos have been shown at numerous international film festivals, including Festival de Cannes; Toronto International Film Festival; London Film Festival; Experimenta India; Mar del Plata International Film Festival and Mumbai International Film Festival.  In 2003, Husain's video Q was awarded with the National Award from the Government of Germany. In 2008, he was a featured filmmaker at the Flaherty Film Seminar in Colgate, New York. His film Item Number won the award for Best German Film at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival in 2012. Husain's installations and expanded cinema performances have been exhibited at many galleries, including the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; Galeri Nasional, Jakarta; Greene Naftali Gallery, New York City; ICA Philadelphia; Frankfurter Kunstverein and Fridericianum, Kassel. His work is represented by Gallery Susan Hobbs, Toronto and Clages, Cologne.

Sally Lee has served as Executive Director of artists’ rights organization CARFAC Ontario since 2015. Previous to that, she held management and leadership positions at TIFF, Soulpepper Theatre Company, and the Reel Asian International Film Festival. Other groups she has worked with as a staff or board/committee member include the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), the Images Festival, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC), the Pan Am Path, Samara Canada, BorderLines Magazine and the Women’s Press. She currently sits on the board of Wavelength Music, the Advocacy Network of the Toronto Arts Foundation, and the Advisory Board of Reel Asian. She is also a 2016-17 TAC Cultural Leaders Lab Fellow. She has participated in the production of several independent films and music videos, both behind and in front of the camera. As a musician, she played in Toronto bands Chicken Milk, Venus Cures All, and The Magnetars, and also the Seoul-based band Third Line Butterfly. She currently plays bass and sings in the Toronto band Long Branch.

Sean Lee is an artist and curator exploring the notion of disability art and accessibility as the last avant-garde. His methodology reframes embodied difference as a means to resist traditional aesthetic idealities. Orienting towards a “crip horizon”, Sean gestures towards the transformative possibilities of a world that desires the way disability can disrupt. Sean holds a B.A. in Arts Management and Studio from the University of Toronto, Scarborough and is currently the Director of Programming at Tangled Art + Disability. Previous to this role, he was Tangled’s inaugural Curator in Residence (2016) as well as Tangled’s Gallery Manager (2017). Sean was involved with the launch of Tangled Art Gallery, and has been integral to countless exhibitions and public engagements throughout his tenure at Tangled Art + Disability. In addition to his position at Tangled Art + Disability, Sean is an independent curator, lecturer, and advisor, adding his insights and perspectives to conversations surrounding Disability Arts across Canada and the United States. Sean currently sits on the board of the8Fest, Creative Users Projects and is a member of the Ontario Art Council’s Deaf and Disability Advisory Committee.

Julia Paoli is a curator based in Toronto where she is currently Director & Curator at Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art. She provides leadership for the centre's mandate to support the production of new and experimental work, assisting artists to realize pivotal projects. Prior to joining Mercer Union in 2017, Paoli held the position of Associate Curator at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and has contributed programming to organizations including Feminist Art Gallery, Gallery TPW, Pleasure Dome, Trinity Square Video and Vtape. Paoli has organized key solo exhibitions and commissioned new work with artists that include Bambitchell, Nadia Belerique, Bik Van der Pol, Julia Dault, Beatrice Gibson, Leslie Hewitt, Lili Huston-Herterich, Onyeka Igwe, Laurie Kang, Anne Low, Sophia Al Maria, Emily Mast, Native Art Department International, Mike Nelson, Bahar Noorizadeh, Laure Prouvost & Jonas Staal, Jimmy Robert, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino and Evan Calder Williams. She is the editor of Draw the Line, a critical reader on the work of Jimmy Robert published by The Power Plant as part of its series Power Plant Pages. In 2011 Julia received her MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.