Rainmaker Entertainment, the multifaceted Vancouver-based animation studio, has promoted its director of talent development, Tara Kemes, to the newly created position of VP culture and talent. Kemes, who first joined Rainmaker in 2009, will spearhead the company’s recruiting efforts while also continuing to develop the unique culture that distinguishes Rainmaker from other animation production studios as it continues to expand its creative and technical teams. Kemes reports to Rainmaker Entertainment SVP, production and operations, Kim Dent Wilder, who announced Kemes’ promotion recently.
“The community of Rainmaker’s artists and technologists comprise a unique, inspiring environment that challenges people to aim higher and think differently about the creative process,” explained Dent Wilder. “Tara’s innate ability to connect with people, her exceptional vision in marrying personalities to projects and her thorough understanding of what is required to execute the studio’s production commitments makes her an invaluable member of Rainmaker’s leadership team. Tara has demonstrated a true passion for nurturing talent and, as Rainmaker continues to expand, we believe she’ll be a tremendous asset in both growing our team and preserving the culture that defines our company.”
First up on Kemes to-do list is leading Rainmaker’s recruitment efforts at the upcoming SIGGRAPH conference and exhibition, held in Vancouver from 10-14 August. Staffing up for its recently announced production of Bob the Builder television series for HiT Entertainment, Rainmaker will have a strong presence within the event’s Job Fair which typically attracts thousands of computer graphics and interactive technology professionals and others from art, animation, music and gaming to research, science and education.
“Vancouver offers a wealth of opportunities for creative talent and the SIGGRAPH Job Fair definitely helps us get out in front of thousands of potential team members,” added Kemes. “The challenge for us is in identifying the people who have the talent, vision and desire to make an impact on this industry and who also share Rainmaker’s desire for a sense of comradery and community among our team members. We’ve hired about 100 people since the beginning of the year and with our current production commitments will likely hire another 80 or more artists and technologists before the end of the year. And while that expansion is welcomed, it’s also extremely important to all of us at Rainmaker that we maintain the independent studio spirit that makes Rainmaker such a supportive creative environment.”
Rainmaker Entertainment currently has two films in production: its 27th Barbie DVD movie for Mattel, and a feature film based on the popular Sony PlayStation game Ratchet and Crank. The Company’s television division, Mainframe Entertainment, is in pre-production on Bob the Builder for HiT Entertainment, while developing a new version of its iconic television series ReBoot.
Passionate about nurturing talent and encouraging people to follow their dreams, Kemes has served as Rainmaker’s frontline ambassador since joining the company in 2009 as its Manager of Talent Development. Promoted to Director of Talent Development in 2010, Kemes expanded Rainmaker’s employee roster for its production of the animated feature film Escape from Planet Earth through recruitment efforts that included one-on-one relationship building, industry job fairs and visits to school campuses.
Prior to 2009, Kemes worked as recruitment manager in the video game industry for Canada’s Relic Entertainment and Nexon, among others. From 2001 through 2005, she worked with Mainframe Entertainment, the previous incarnation of Rainmaker, first as a facility production assistant and then as a member of the television animation company’s human resources department.
A graduate of the University of British Columbia with a BA in Asian Studies and Japanese, Kemes moonlights as an instructor at the Vancouver Film School.