President and CEO
Rudy Buttignol is the President and CEO of British Columbia’s Knowledge Network Corporation, and President of BBC Kids, a national subscription channel operated as a joint venture with BBC Worldwide. Since his appointment in 2007, Buttignol has transformed Knowledge Network from a single television station to a multi-platform digital media service with three television channels, three websites and a magazine. This has resulted in significantly increased audience shares and a doubling of revenue.
Beyond his work as a broadcaster, Buttignol continues in his role as moderator of the annual documentary financing forums in Amsterdam and Leipzig, and as a tutor at the Berlin-based Documentary Campus. He also serves on the Boards of the Britannia Mine Museum and the Vancouver International Film Festival. He is Vice-Chair of the Canadian Association of Public Educational Media, and a B.C. Governor-in-Council appointee to the Board of Knowledge West Communications Corporation. In 2011, he was appointed to the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, an independent administrative tribunal of the federal government.
From 2000 to 2006, as TVO’s Creative Head of Network Programming, Buttignol was responsible for re-branding Ontario’s public broadcaster and significantly increasing ratings and revenues. Concurrently, he was the Executive Producer of Saturday Night at the Movies, the international documentary series Human Edge, and the HBO special Before Their Time. During his tenure as TVO’s Commissioning Editor and Creative Head of Independent Production from 1993 to 2006, Buttignol founded The View From Here, a multi-award-winning series than ran for fourteen seasons on the network. His internationally heralded commissions include feature documentaries such as The Corporation; Manufactured Landscapes; Dying at Grace; The Bodybuilder and I; McLuhan’s Wake; Bret the Hitman Hart; the Oscar nominated Hardwood; and The Champagne Safari. Commissioned limited series include Diamond Road; Black Coffee; Empire of the Word; Blood and Belonging; Korea, the Unfinished War; The War of 1812; and Emmy and Grammy-winner Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach.
From 1975 to 1993, Buttignol worked as an independent writer, director and producer of documentaries, children’s series, and commercials. His programs have appeared on A&E, Bravo, CBC, Channel 4, Discovery, Global and PBS. Titles include Alan Bean: Art Off This Earth; The Dairy; Jack Bush; Neon: An Electric Memoir; The SpaceWatch Club; and Soviet Space: the Secret Designer. In 1979, Buttignol founded Rudy Inc. with partnerships in Houston and Moscow.
In 1983-84, concurrent with his work as a producer, Buttignol served as an instructor at the Ontario College of Art & Design for three semesters, and as the administrator of a producer’s assistance program at the National Film Board of Canada. In 1984, he spent two months in Bangladesh documenting health and literacy initiatives for USC Canada.
Buttignol’s past volunteer service to the community has included: founding Chair of the Documentary Organization of Canada; founder of the Hot Docs Financing Forum; consecutive elections (1985 to 2003) to the Board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, including seven years as Chair; and founding President of the Academy’s Foundation. Buttignol has served as a Director on the Boards of the Banff Media Festival, Canada Media Fund, Canadian Conference for the Arts, Hot Docs International Documentary Festival; and the European Television and Media Management Academy’s Advisory Council in Strasbourg.
Buttignol was born in Pordenone, Italy and came to Canada in 1955. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Toronto’s York University, and has completed Executive Education programs at the Banff Centre, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Harvard Business School. Buttignol’s international honours include: the inaugural Doc Mogul Award from Hot Docs International Documentary Festival; Honorary Texan from the Governor of Texas; Distinguished Merit award from the government of Fiume Veneto, Italy; President of Honour of the 23rd Sunnyside of the Doc, LaRochelle, France; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal from the government of British Columbia; and nine Canadian Academy Awards.