DHX Media moves into new home and hopes to woo new talent with it
Halifax-based family entertainment company DHX Media Ltd. is the latest company to think that when it comes to employee recruitment and retention, work environment matters.
The company, which creates, produces, licenses and distributes children’s entertainment (in June it announced plans to produce 60 new episodes of the iconic Teletubbies TV series), has moved into a custom-renovated animation studio in downtown Halifax. The new digs are a far cry from its previous home in Halifax – a former call centre that was turned into a studio. And while the old building served its purpose, Phillip Stamp, vice-president of the Halifax studio, says that space wasn’t the best for DHX’s Halifax employees.
“You need an environment conducive to creating the best work possible,” Stamp says. “Our old office was an easy place to move into. But it felt like we were living in someone else’s space and it felt kind of makeshift.”
That shouldn’t be a problem in the new studio located on Spring Garden Road in the heart of Halifax’s downtown. The new studio has around 18,000 square feet of space compared to about 12,000 square feet at the old place, and rooms have been customized to, as Stamp puts it, “make space more suited to doing the best we can.”
Stamp says the new studio will house 160 DHX employees. Two years ago in their previous work space the average employee head count was 50. The company is obviously growing, but Stamp feels for it to continue to recruit talented artists to live and work in Nova Scotia (the Halifax studio focuses on producing computer graphics animation) it needs to provide a modern work environment with all the bells and whistles that people working in the animation industry expect. “This gives us a great base of operations, and it gives us an ability to continue the growth we are having,” Stamp says.