Sonya Buyting is one of Canada’s most dynamic radio and television producers with a breadth of experience both in front of the camera and microphone and behind. She’s as quick to deconstruct and streamline a story as she is enthusiastic. Her real passion lies in the world of science and technology where she gets to quench her thirst on the cutting edge of knowledge itself.
What hasn’t Sonya done, she started her career while in the journalism graduate program at Ryerson University at CBC Newsworld, where she began honing her editorial skills. She then had a stint working on the east coast as a journalist and radio personality for the private radio station, CJRW-C102 in PEI, as well as CBC Radio in Charlottetown then Saint John.
She then moved back to Toronto to produce for the popular television nightly show Daily Planet on the Discovery Channel and CTV. Her passion for science catapulted her to an on-air reporter where she covered everything from the Calling All Aliens project, to interviewing the Dalai Lama, to her controversial exposé on ecstasy. Sonya and her team produced some quality science journalism programming. For it, they won several high profile science and technology awards including a few Gemini Award nominations, the Worldfest Houston Gold, Silver, and Bronze Remis, as well as being a finalist at the International Wildlife Film Festival Awards and the New York Festivals.
When the people who used to run Discovery Channel formed the new company High Fidelity HDTV (now Blue Ant Media) and asked Sonya to join them as a host and to produce smart long form television, she said, “Yes!” To keep a toe in science when she joined them, she also launched her own podcast called Sassy Science. At High Fidelity HDTV, she sharpened her show creation and storytelling skills with a few different series. The first show she worked on was a 26-episode collecting lifestyle game show series, called Collector Showdown, which she hosted and helped write and research. She also created Festival Bound where she did everything from series producing and directing, to hosting, to writing. Sonya won a Worldfest Houston Gold Remi for that series as well as for Quebec: A City in Layers – a one-hour documentary she produced, directed, and wrote on 400-years of Quebec’s history told through its capital’s architecture. Sonya got back to the science content she loved when she series produced and directed the award-winning astronomy series Cosmic Vistas and directed and wrote a few episodes of A Park for All Seasons.
After taking a little time off to produce a wonderful and spunky boy, Sonya went back to long form television production, but this time to work on Canada’s longest running docudrama series, Mayday on Discovery Channel in Canada. In 143 other countries, it airs on National Geographic International as Air Crash Investigation. On that show, she tackled complex technical air accident reports to get into the details and the minds of the air crash investigators who she then went out to interview, along with survivors, family members, and eye-witnesses about their experiences. As the resident production expert on these mostly tragic airline accidents, such as the Concorde AF4590, Air France’s 774, First Air 6560 in Resolute Bay, NOAA 42, etc, Sonya’s role would then morph into helping make the dramatic production as realistic as possible.
Recently, Sonya got back to her journalism roots when she joined the team of The Current, the most listened to show on CBC Radio One. On that she worked on a huge variety of current affairs stories, including some science-based segments with big implications. While at CBC Radio, she also got to help produce the Saturday morning current affairs show, Day 6. Sonya also produced Quirks & Quarks’ 40th Anniversary Show.