President & CEO |

Rudy Buttignol

President and CEO of British Columbia’s Knowledge Network
and President of BBC Kids.

Rudy Buttignol, C.M. is the President and CEO of British Columbia’s Knowledge Network Corporation, and President of the BBC Kids channel, a joint venture with BBC Worldwide.


Since his appointment in 2007, Buttignol has led the transformation of the public broadcaster from a single television station to a multi-platform, digital media service that includes streaming video through its apps and websites. This TV on demand strategy has significantly increased audience share and tripled self-generated revenue.

Buttignol also moderates annual documentary financing forums in Amsterdam and Leipzig; and is a tutor at the Berlin-based Documentary Campus Masterschool. He is a Director on the Boards of the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Britannia Mine Museum, and the Knowledge-West Communications Corporation; and Vice-Chair of the Canadian Association of Public Educational Media. In 2011 he was appointed to the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, an independent tribunal of the federal government.

From 2000 to 2006, Buttignol served as TVO’s Creative Head of Network Programming, responsible for re-branding Ontario’s public broadcaster and significantly increasing audiences 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. As TVO’s Commissioning Editor and Creative Head of Independent Production from 1993 to 2006, Buttignol founded The View From Here, an international award-winning documentary series than ran for fourteen seasons.

His internationally heralded commissions included feature documentaries such as The Corporation; Manufactured Landscapes; Allan King’s Dying at Grace; The Bodybuilder and I; McLuhan’s Wake; Bret the Hitman Hart; The Champagne Safari; Emmy winner Let it Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles; and Oscar-nominated Hardwood. Commissioned series include Diamond Road; Black Coffee; Empire of the Word; Michael Ignatieff’s 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 commercial work. His programs have been broadcast on A&E, Bravo, CBC, Channel 4 (UK), Discovery, Global, The History Channel, and PBS. Titles include Alan Bean: Art Off This Earth; The Dairy; Jack Bush; the multi-screen Ontario Place installation Inward Passage; Neon: An Electric Memoir; Shipyard; The SpaceWatch Club; and Soviet Space: The Secret Designer. In 1979, Buttignol founded Rudy Inc. with partnerships in Houston and Moscow.

In 1983-84, Buttignol served as part-time instructor at the Ontario College of Art & Design; and as administrator of the 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 a Canadian NGO.

Buttignol’s community volunteer time has been focussed on board governance. Past service includes: 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: Banff Media Festival; Canada Media Fund; Canadian Conference for the Arts; Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre; Hot Docs International Documentary Festival; and the European Media Management Academy’s Advisory Council in Strasbourg. Buttignol has also moderated financing forums in Chengdu, Kuala Lumpur, La Rochelle, Seoul, Tokyo, Toronto and Xiamen.

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 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, La Rochelle, France; Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; and nine Canadian Academy Awards. On December 30, 2015, 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.”

For additional information and references, check Wikipedia.


"Daphne Bramham: CBC could learn a thing or two from Knowledge Network"
Vancouver Sun Article