imagineNATIVE Names Naomi Johnson New Executive Director

TORONTO – imagineNATIVE, the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous-made screen content, announced the appointment of Naomi Johnson as Executive Director, following the planned exit of long-time leader Jason Ryle.

Naomi Johnson joined imagineNATIVE as Associate Director in June 2019, working under the guidance of Jason Ryle for the past year in anticipation of this leadership transition. Prior to joining imagineNATIVE, Naomi was the Artistic Director and Co-Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario. She will lead a team that includes Artistic Director Niki Little as the organization heads into its third decade.

“I am immensely grateful for all those who have been involved with guiding me through this role as I take on the responsibilities of Executive Director,” says Naomi Johnson. “It has been an incredible learning experience and I’m forever grateful to the imagineNATIVE board, staff and especially Jason Ryle, in which I could not have hoped for a more generous and supportive mentor.”

“Leaving imagineNATIVE was always going to be a bittersweet affair,” says Jason Ryle. “It’s an organization that I love and respect dearly that serves a community that has given me so much inspiration, pride, and purpose. I’ve long felt that a big part of imagineNATIVE’s consistent success has been because it has had the right leader at the right time. In looking ahead, my hope and expectation is that the new leadership will do bigger and better things than I could imagine. I’m so excited to see where Naomi will lead imagineNATIVE and I know the organization and our mandate is in good, capable hands.”

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