Michelle van Beusekom has been named the new President and CEO of British Columbia public broadcaster, Knowledge Network.
van Beusekom has had a more than 25-year career in broadcasting and film production, including stints with the National Film Board (NFB) as Head of English Language Production, Executive Director of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), and as a senior advisor working behind-the-scenes of the launch of Inuktut language broadcaster, Uvagut TV. She’s also held management roles with Women’s Television Network and the CBC.
“After an extensive search, we are thrilled to have Michelle join the Knowledge family,” said Satwinder Bains, Knowledge Network Corporation Board Chair, in a release. “With leadership roles in the broadcast, production and cultural sectors, she brings a wealth of experience to strengthen public broadcasting in a rapidly changing media environment. Her career-long commitment to, and passion for, public media will help propel Knowledge forward, ensuring programming supports the diverse and evolving interests of British Columbians.”
van Beusekom succeeds Rudy Buttignol in the role, who parted ways with the network at the end of June after 15 years, following an equity audit that found a distinct lack of representation in its commissioned programming and a subsequent petition.
“As a public educational broadcaster, Knowledge has a beautiful mandate to serve all British Columbians with a commercial-free alternative source of media that reflects their lives, inspires, challenges and informs them,” said van Beusekom. “Knowledge also plays an important role in strengthening B.C.’s talented and diverse community of screen-based storytellers through the commissioning of bold and original works. I am both excited and humbled to be joining Knowledge at this critical juncture and moment of great opportunity – as it moves forward on recent commitments to sustained transformation that will advance reconciliation, racial equity and intersectional inclusion in all areas of Knowledge’s activity. I look forward to working with the talented Knowledge team, B.C.’s independent production community and viewers and supporters from across the province as we boldly embrace the full potential of Knowledge’s public mandate.”
van Beusekom takes up her new appointment, effective Feb. 6.
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