Flemington, Peter, 1936-

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Flemington, Peter, 1936-

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Peter Flemington, broadcasting executive, producer, documentary filmmaker, and teacher, was born in Toronto in 1936. He graduated from Mount Allison University in 1958 with a BA in psychology, and from the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania with an MA in Communications in 1971.

He began his broadcasting career in radio production and presentation at the BBC in London, England in early 1960. Upon his return to Canada in late 1962, he started freelancing at the CBC and soon thereafter for Berkeley Studio, the media centre for the United Church of Canada. With Berkeley Studio, amongst other things, he helped craft the Church’s media policy and strategy, taught communication workshops to Church Moderators, produced the Church’s national television special “These Things We Share” (1981), and made the film "Covenant" (1983) about the 6th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, in Vancouver, BC.

Berkeley Studio was also the home of Religious Television Associates (RTA), an ecumenical production and consulting body. With RTA, Flemington worked from 1965-1968 as the producer for the CTV interfaith television series Spectrum. Flemington has also produced several documentary films on the theme of international development as resources for church use and television, including for the CBC television show Man Alive: “How Long Does It Take a Tree to Grow Here?” (1973), “No Way To Say No” (1973), “They’ll Tell Me When the Tread’s Gone” (1973), and "To Remember the Fallen" (1979). In the 1980s he also served as a consultant for the World Council of Churches and investigated the uses and potential of media to support rural development goals in Kenya (1981) and Ethiopia (1987).

Flemington’s interest in broadcast policy and the role of television in shaping community and public trust led him to submit numerous briefs and submissions to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in his work with RTA, and independently with lawyer Douglas Barrett. In 1982, Barrett and Flemington collaborated on an independent brief to the CRTC Hearing on Religious Broadcasting suggesting a model for a multi-faith television service in Canada, leading to the CRTC’s 1983 Call for Applications. Barrett and Flemington subsequently joined Des McCalmont and the Hon. David MacDonald to form the Rosewell Group to continue their earlier work to develop a multi-faith religious television network in Canada which ultimately led to the creation of the Canadian Interfaith Network (CIN), a 1984 application to the CRTC, and finally the successful licensing of VisionTV in November 1987, with the channel going to air on September 1st, 1988.

As co-founder and Head of Programming and Development of VisionTV, Flemington oversaw numerous successful television programs including “North-South,” “It’s About Time,” “Skylight,” “Let’s Sing Again,” “Callwood’s National Treasures, “Soulwork,” and “Spiritual Literacy: Reading The Sacred in Everyday Life.” In 1998, Flemington was honoured for his work with the Friend of WIFT Crystal Award from Women in Film and Television, and in 2000 and 2001 he accepted the Gabriel Award for “Network of the Year” on behalf of VisionTV. He retired from VisionTV in 2001.


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2015-10-29: E. Sommers




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