Rudy Buttignol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rudy Buttignol CM
Rudy Buttignol.jpg
Born 1951
Pordenone, Italy
Residence Vancouver, British Columbia
Nationality Canadian
Citizenship Canada and Italy
Education York University
Alma mater York University
Occupation Television network executive
Years active 1975 to present
Employer Knowledge Network
Spouse(s) Margie Buttignol

Rudy Buttignol CM[1] (born 1951) is a Canadian television network executive and entrepreneur. Buttignol is president and CEO of British Columbia's Knowledge Network, BC's public broadcaster.[2][3] He is also president of Canadian subscription television channel BBC Kids.[4]

Early life[edit]

Rudy Buttignol was born in 1951 in Pordenone, Italy[5] to Nelda (Caterina) and Marino Buttignol. In 1955 at the age of four, Buttignol and his mother boarded the MS Vulcania and immigrated to Canada via Pier 21 in Halifax. In Toronto, they were reunited with Marino Buttignol, who had immigrated in 1954 to work for Canadian National Railway laying rail in northern Alberta. Buttignol was raised and educated in Toronto. From 1971 to 1975, he attended York University, Faculty of Fine Arts,[6] where he studied film under James Beveridge, Louis de Rochemont 111 and Terence Macartney-Filgate.


Buttignol's career spans more than four decades. At the beginning of his career, he worked as an independent producer, director, writer and editor of documentary and children's programs, and later as a commissioning editor, television programmer, and broadcast executive.[7][8][9] He has been called "Canadian broadcasting and documentary guru"[10][11] and "friend of the auteur in Canada and abroad".[12] Buttignol is acknowledged for his roles developing Canadian cultural policy related to documentary film funding and broadcasting[13] and advancing the creative documentary genre in Canada[14] and on the world stage.[15] Rudy Buttignol originated the idea behind the 2014 television series Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH. He stressed the distinction between the genre of the series, which is a documentary, and that of reality-based entertainment.[16] Rudy Buttignol has published criticisms of the governance of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[17][18][19]

From 1975 to 1993, Buttignol worked as an independent filmmaker creating film and video works. His early documentaries were about an Italian dairy (The Dairy (1977), a Canadian artist (Jack Bush (1979), a pop history of neon lights (Neon, an Electric Memoir (1984), an Apollo era astronaut who became an artist (Allan Bean: Art Off This Earth (1990), and the early history of the Russian space program (Soviet Space: The Secret Designer (1992).[8]

In 1993, Buttignol began work as a public broadcaster when he joined TVOntario as commissioning editor and creative head of independent production. From 2000 to 2006, he was TVOntario's creative head of network programming, green lighting commissions such as:

In 2004, he shared the Gemini's Donald Brittain Award with documentary filmmaker Allan King for Dying at Grace (2003).[8][20] In 2007, Buttignol was awarded the inaugural Hot Docs' Doc Mogul Award.[21][22] All together, Buttignol was the recipient of nine Gemini Awards,[20] from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

In 2007, Buttignol was appointed president and CEO of British Columbia's Knowledge Network. In 2011, he became president of BBC Kids. His mandate includes outreach through events throughout British Columbia.[23]

Along with his professional success, Buttignol contributed to and participated in a number of organizations.[24] He is current Chair of the International Advisory Council of the Hot Docs Documentary Forum, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Association of Public Educational Media; and a Director on the Boards of the Vancouver International Film Festival, Knowledge West Communications Corporation Board,[25] and the Cultural Properties Export Review Board which is a Canadian federal government tribunal.[26][27] Buttignol is also a director on the board of the Britannia Mine Museum, Britannia Beach, British Columbia.[28] In the past, he was founder of the Hot Docs Financing Forum, elected chair of the board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television from 1997 to 2003,[29] President of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Foundation, director on the boards of Banff Television Foundation,[30] Canada Media Fund,[31] Canadian Conference of the Arts,[32] and moderator at the Hot Docs Documentary Festival Summit.[33] Buttignol was also a member of the European Television and Media Management Academy's Advisory Council in Strasbourg.[34] In 2013, Buttignol was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contributions to British Columbians and Canadians, and for his role in transforming the Knowledge Network, British Columbia's public broadcaster.[35] On December 30, 2015, it was announced that Buttignol was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions as a champion of Canadian documentary filmmaking and for his transformative leadership at the Knowledge Network.[36] In 2017, Buttignol's arts advocacy was recognized with an honorary Doctor of Letters from Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia.[37]


  1. ^ "Order of Canada Appointments". The Governor General of Canada His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston. Governor General of Canada. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  2. ^ Androich, Alicia (September 22, 2008). "Rudy Buttignol one year into his presidency at Knowledge Network". Realscreen. Toronto. 
  3. ^ Cernetig, Miro (April 2, 2009). "With new focus from new boss, B.C.'s tiny public broadcaster works". Vancouver Sun. 
  4. ^ "BBC Worldwide Partners with Knowledge to Operate BBC Kids". Broadcaster – Canada's Communications Magazine. Toronto. January 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ Maglio, Antonio (April 8, 2001). "Italians teach the joy of living TVOntario creative head credits his success to Italo heritage". Tandem/Couriere Canadese. Toronto. 
  6. ^ "Canadian Film Encyclopedia – Rudy Buttignol". 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ Wagler, Jenny (April 10–16, 2012). "Knowledge base: Knowledge Network’s President and CEO is launching new platforms and tapping new funding streams". Business in Vancouver. 
  8. ^ a b c "Rudy Buttignol Biography". Canadian Film Encyclopedia. 
  9. ^ "Rudy Buttignol". Films. Athabasca University. 
  10. ^ Glassman, Marc (September 28, 2009). "Rudy Buttignol: Passion for documentaries". Playback. Toronto. 
  11. ^ Marc Glassman (September 28, 2009). "Rudy Buttignol: Passion for documentaries". Playback Online. 
  12. ^ Rayman, Susan (May 1999). "Friend of the auteur in Canada and abroad: TVOntario's Rudy Buttignol". Realscreen Toronto. 
  13. ^ Hogarth, David (2002). Documentary Television in Canada: From national public service to global marketplace. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0773523391. 
  14. ^ Mossanen, Moze (Spring 2013). "TV Docs: Missing in Action:A veteran director wonders what has happened to Canada's point-of-view docucmentaries". POV Magazine. Toronto. 
  15. ^ Lees, Nicola (2010). Greenlit: Developing factual/reality TV ideas from concept to pitch. London: Methuen Drama/Bloomsbury. ISBN 978 1 408 12267 9. 
  16. ^ Lederman, Marsha (January 7, 2014). "A real-life ER pulls back the curtain on public health care". The Globe And Mail. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b "Buttignol – All Awards". Canada's Awards Database. 
  21. ^ Glassman, Marc (April 16, 2007). "Hot Docs back and bigger than ever". Playback. Toronto. 
  22. ^ Marc Glassman (April 16, 2007). "Hot Docs back and bigger than ever". Playback Online. 
  23. ^ Devan C. Tasa (March 10, 2013). "Knowledge Network CEO discusses its evolution". The Thompson Rivers University. 
  24. ^ "Mr. Rudy Buttignol – Biography and Memberships". Board Resourcing and Development Office. British Columbia. December 7, 2011. Directory of Agencies 
  25. ^ "Board Resourcing and Development Office". British Columbia. Board Resourcing and Development Office. December 7, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Appointment to the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board – Newsroom – The Department". October 4, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Canadian Heritage – Members of the Review Board". June 13, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Board of directors". Brittania Beach Museum. 
  29. ^ "Journal". Playback Online. June 2, 1997. 
  30. ^ "Media Release: New Members Appointed to Banff Television Foundation's Board of Governors". January 21, 2002. 
  31. ^ "Annual report 20092010 financial contributors the canadian television fund (ctf) receives contributions" (PDF). March 16, 2012. 
  32. ^ "CCA Annual General Meeting Ushers in New Board Members and Bylaw Changes | Canadian Conference of the Arts". June 18, 2008. 
  33. ^ "Hot Docs | Conference : Doc Summit". March 5, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Mr. Rudy Buttignol – Biography and Memberships". Board Resourcing and Development Office. British Columbia. December 7, 2011. Directory of Agencies 
  35. ^ "Diamond Jubilee Medal presented by Minister of Citizens' Services and Open Government". March 14, 2013. 
  36. ^
  37. ^

External links[edit]