HFI Pyrotechnics Inc.


Experienced. Inquisitive. Disciplined.



HFI  Pyrotechnics (formerly Hands Fireworks) has been creating commercial pyrotechnics since 1873, when it was founded by William Hand.

HFI  was initially a fireworks manufacturer and then transitioned into a specialty pyrotechnics supplier for the Canadian Military during the first and second world wars. As a result, HFI has developed a wide range of specialty pyrotechnic products to meet the needs of the global Defence and Security market.

As a leader in the design and manufacturing of specialty pyrotechnics products, HFI’s products are used around the world by military and commercial clients to meet their specific needs for safety, steadfast reliability  and cost-effective performance.

For over 146 years, HFI has provided product performance and value that our clients have come to expect  and is Canada's premier producer and supplier of military quality, specialty pyrotechnics products and services for military and commercial use.


Get in touch

HFI Pyrotechnics are looking forward to the new challenge our customers can bring to our talented team of problem solvers.

Contact us ▸

3322 Hands Road, R,R. #4
Prescott, ON K0E1T0

email: sales@hfipyrotechnics.com

☎+1613 925 2832

Our Team


Management Team

L-R John Houston, John Witherspoon, Marcus Shaw and Bob Jurkewycz

L-R John Houston, John Witherspoon, Marcus Shaw and Bob Jurkewycz


President and CEO

John Witherspoon

John holds a degree in engineering at the University of Guelph and an MBA (Operations Research) from the McMaster University. His career began in the downstream oil business (refining) and evolved to supply chain consulting role in his own company. John began his work at HFI Pyrotechnics in 2006, initially as the Vice President of Operations, taking over the helm in 2007 as President and CEO.  John continues to drive safety, lean and other continuous improvement processes, taking HFI Pyrotechnics, from a small regional manufacturer in 2007 to the world leading manufacturer of military search and rescue flares today. This has resulted in the company growing from 25 to 60 employees, while maintaining a best practices safety performance measured by Total Incident Rate (TIR) of 0 and becoming the certified low cost provider of all search and rescue flares to the US Department of Defense through the US Navy.



Director of Finance

Bob Jurkewycz

Bob holds both Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and Certified General Accountant (CGA) designations spanning 32 years of progressive responsibilities in the manufacturing and service industries in Eastern Ontario and Quebec. Bob has worked in organizations ranging in size from small family run businesses to the head office of two of Canada’s largest multi-national companies. Bob leads HFI’s Financial, purchasing, human resources team and IT team, including safety a critical part of HFI’s success.


Director of Engineering and Technical Services

John Houston

John holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Applied Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. As a registered Professional Engineer, John spent 20 years working in the manufacturing industry, gaining exposure to many operational functions including Project Management, Engineering and maintenance, Lean 6 Sigma, Environmental Health and Safety, Infrastructure and facilities management, Sustainability and manufacturing. John started his career at HFI in 2016, initially as the Director of Engineering, expanding his role in 2017 to include Technical Services and Product Development.  John leads a highly talented team of engineers, chemists and technicians who, with our operations team, drive problem solving and product improvement continuously to our client’s requirements.



Director of operations

Marcus Shaw

Marcus is an Electrical Engineering Technician by training and has led the production operation at HFI for the last five years.  As a Lean Production and Logistics leader, Marcus continues to support HFI’s goal to improve both the quality and cost-effectiveness to keep HFI as the lowest cost producer of these products worldwide.