Canadian animation studio Mercury Filmworks has hired HR veteran David Keneford into the newly created chief talent officer role to build its team and support a growing development and production slate.
Based in Ottawa, Keneford reports to Mercury Filmworks founder and CEO Clint Eland. He will focus on talent management and hiring, with the goal of adding 30 people to the team in the next few months. The studio is seeking talent in multiple roles, including line producer, art director, senior character designers, senior layout artists, animators and FX artists. Keneford will lead the company’s recruitment efforts at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in September, and will work to build connections with animation schools to create internship opportunities, scholarships and awards for students.
He joins the prodco as Mercury expands from a work-for-hire studio into more original content. It’s new slate includes original kids IPs Bloopy Merps, Octicorn, Pangor’s of Puddle Peak and its first feature film Once Our Land. The company also launched a live-action prodco in June to develop and produce kids content. Its first project is mixed-media Arrow Radio, where puppets, animated characters and a human host teach kids about expressing themselves through music.
Keneford has held various HR roles in the past, including VP and chief resources officer of HR company Empire Life from 2018 to 2020, which works with businesses to deliver human resources services. Most recently he worked as interim HR leader of Innovapost, where he led workforce planning and growth.