Roman Bittman

It isn’t hard to gauge the impact Roman Bittman has had on life in Canada. Just turn on your television. You’ll see shows written, directed, produced and shot in Canada; Hollywood productions that now employ and challenge Canadians from coast-to-coast-to coast; and finally, a television network that Aboriginal Canadians can truly call their own. That’s the legacy of Roman Bittman, a trapper’s son who was born just south of the border between the Northwest Territories and Alberta. At high school in Hay River, NWT, Mr. Bittman was in the thick of amateur efforts that ensured sub-Arctic listeners had a welcome break from the only radio their dial then offered – Radio Moscow. Winning a scholarship, Mr. Bittman headed south to Toronto and studied at Ryerson, graduating in the mid-1960s. He worked at CBC news and was soon producer of The Nature of Things, CBC’s flagship natural history and science series. Behind the camera and in the studio, he has been responsible for upwards of 100 films. More than 30 of them have attracted top 10 audience share. Mr. Bittman also became President of the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation and designed and implemented the Film Industry Labour Tax Credit – a first for English Canada. It has now been emulated across the country and is considered the main financial instrument fueling the explosive growth in the Canadian film industry. Now an executive with Visual Bible International, Mr. Bittman was an advisor in the early days of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.