Asian Heritage Month-CFACI | Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMACCH)

Tetsuro Shigematsu

Tetsuro Shigematsu

Arts & Expression, East Asian, Media

Tetsuro Shigematsu is a Canadian radio broadcaster, comedian and filmmaker. He was host of CBC Radio One’s former afternoon series ‘The Roundup,’ making him the first person of colour to host a daily national radio show in Canada. Prior to working for CBC Radio, he was a writer for the Canadian television show ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes.’

The descendant of Samurai warriors/philosophers, Tetsuro was born in London, England. His family emigrated to Canada in 1974. He grew up in Vancouver, BC and studied in Montréal. He has a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts from Concordia University.

In 1991, at the age of 19, Shigematsu became the youngest playwright to compete in the history of the Québec Drama Festival. One year later, he served as playwright-in-residence at the Foolhouse Theatre Company.

From 1993 to 1996, Shigematsu wrote and performed his one-man show, ‘Rising Son,’ an autobiographical one-man show recounting the experience of growing up culturally estranged from his taciturn Japanese father, which played to sold-out houses in Montréal, Boston, Los Angeles and Tokyo.

In 1994, Tetsuro studied poetry with Allen Ginsberg. He then spent the following two years in Japan, where he studied Butoh dance with the founding master, Kazu Ohno, in Yokohama, Japan.

In 1996, he starred with George Takei, (Star Trek’s Sulu) in the television movie ‘Rinko The Best Bad Thing,’ based upon the novel by Yoshiko Uchida. During that same year, Tetsuro began hosting the Montréal Asian Heritage Festival.

In 1997, he created and produced three episodes of ‘La La Pan-Asia,’ a half-hour television show showcasing Asian youth culture. In 1998, he was awarded Canada Council grant to write a new play, ‘The Moons of Tokyo.’ In 1999, Shigematsu was invited to be artist-in-residence at Technoboro, an artist-run media lab.

His video work has been seen in the Montréal World Film Festival, the Biosphere, and he won the Prix du Public at the Evénement Interuniversitaire d’Art.

For his work as a syndicated radio columnist, Tetsuro has won two Radio-Television News Directors’ Association (RTNDA) Awards. He also worked as a pop culture critic for CBC Newsworld in Los Angeles.

In 2007, Tetsuro completed his critically acclaimed, award-winning feature film debut, ‘Yellow Fellas,’ which he wrote and directed.


The Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMAACH) was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy.