Amend Park Use Permit - Commercial Filming

Amend Park Use Permit - Commercial Filming

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A park use permit may be required for any filming activities that occur within a provincial park. Commercial filming is any type of filming activity for a film production that may be sold or used for promotional use. A park use permit will prescribe and authorize what activities may occur, which locations may be used in a park, and when the park may be occupied. If you wish to film in an Ecological Reserve you will require an ecological reserve permit, and only educational filming can be authorized.

Commercial filming activities includes: production vehicles accessing the park, set construction, filming activities, set removal, and site remediation.

Prior to submitting a park use permit application for filming, you must contact BC Parks to discuss the proposal. Depending on the scope of your project, you may be assigned to work with a Film Permit Liaison on a cost-recovery basis to complete your application.

BC Parks will evaluate the proposal and may authorize a park use permit for commercial film production, provided that the proposed activities are not detrimental to recreational values of the parks involved.

BC Parks will permit film productions which do not adversely affect: 

  1. The natural and cultural heritage, recreation, use and appreciation values (Park values) of the Park;
  2. The public right to free and reasonable access to parks for their inspiration, use and enjoyment;
  3. An asserted or proven aboriginal right (including aboriginal title) or treaty right, that is recognized and affirmed by section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982; and,
  4. The rights of existing Permittees

Proposed commercial filming activities must be consistent with the management direction and special conditions for the park.

No permits or permission are required for scouting in a park, provided all rules for regular public use of the park are followed (e.g. no access to restricted areas, obey all signs in the park, etc.).

No permits are required for filming for news purposes, which includes filming or photography that has as its subject an unexpected current event, is undertaken during or soon after the event as an urgent response to the event and is for the express purpose of inclusion in a television news bulletin, newspaper, news magazine or similar topical publication.

Amending Permit(s)

Changes to your permit may include but are not limited to changes of the legal mailing address listed on your permit, changes to your activities, or changes to the permit area. All requested changes go to the BC Parks Regional Offices for review and decision. Most changes to a permit require a permit modification fee of $100.00 (plus applicable taxes) for a minor change, and $500.00 (plus applicable taxes) for a major change.

Renewing Permit(s)

Commercial film permits are not eligible to be renewed.

Contact BC Parks Area Supervisor responsible for the protected land(s) where you are applying for to discuss your application. Area Supervisors are the BC Parks Staff responsible for particular park(s). Contact information for BC Parks regional offices can be found on BC Parks Website

Costs and Responsibilities

Costs for Film Permit Liaisons

Where a BC Parks Representative assigns a Film Permit Liaison to work with the applicant, film companies will be required to pay costs for the services provided. The Film Permit Liaison will work with the applicant to prepare a complete application that meets BC Parks' standards. Charges will be calculated on an hourly rate of $70 per hour (no overtime rates). A minimum call-out fee of 2 hours may be applied for site surveys, site monitoring for pre-film and/or post-film activities or for follow-up compliance inspections.


Fees and making a payment

  1. Fee Schedule - Schedule K, of the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation. GST (5%) must be added to the listed fees in the fee schedule.
  2. Application fees are non-refundable and applications will not be processed without the applicable application fee being submitted. Non-profit societies are required to pay application fees but may be exempt from other park use permit fees. The governments of British Columbia or Canada are exempt from paying application or permit fees, but all other government jurisdictions are subject to fees.
  3. Making a payment:
  • The application fee can be paid online during the application process by Credit Card. Acceptable Credit Card options include: Visa, Visa Debit, Mastercard, Debit Mastercard and American Express.
  • Mail a cheque or money order (Payable to Minister of Finance) to any FrontCounter BC office. Cheques and money orders will only be accepted in Canadian funds. Along with your payment, you will need to provide the Remittance Form provided when you completed your application OR your application tracking number.
  • Pay in person at one of the FrontCounter BC locations. You will need bring either your Remittance Form that is printable during the application process OR your application tracking number.


Fees for major shoot: the lesser of $50,000 and the sum of the following:

  1. $1500 per day of filming in each park that is a high-value film park;
  2. $750 per day of preparing, wrapping or holding in each park that is a high-value film park;
  3. $400 per day of filming, preparing, wrapping or holding in each park that is not a high-value film park.


High-value film parks are: Alice Lake, Brandywine Falls, Coquihalla Canyon, Cultus Lake, Cypress, EC Manning, Elk Falls, Garibaldi, Golden Ears, Goldstream, Gordon Bay, Juan de Fuca, MacMillan (Cathedral Grove), Mount Seymour, Murrin, Peace Arch, Porteau Cove, Rathtrevor, Sasquatch, Shannon Falls, Skaha Bluffs, and Stawamus Chief Park and Protected Area.

GST (5%) must be added to the listed fees in the fee schedule.



Cost of location monitoring

Permits issued for major film productions usually require a considerable amount of time to supervise and inspect the activity. Depending upon the size of the production, film companies will be required to pay all costs for a Film Site Monitor appointed by BC Parks. Charges will be calculated using the Director's Guild of Canada - BC District daily rates for "Location Manager" or in the case of a BC Parks staff person, the cost is calculated using the employee's current wages as set out in the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU) Collective Agreement.

What you need to apply

  1. Consultation with an Area Supervisor is required prior to submitting an application. Area Supervisors are the BC Parks staff responsible for particular parks. Contact information for BC Parks' contacts can be found in the Park Contacts and Special Conditions document. The information supplied in this document outlining restrictions and conditions for filming for particular parks must be considered in the application..
  2. Completed application form. Please note that applications are not considered complete until the application fee has been paid and/or co-permittee consent is submitted.

 A detailed Management Plan that describes the nature of the filming activities including the timing, frequency and anticipated number of personnel, and specific location(s). The Management Plan Template can be found here.


  1. Any additional documentation supporting the application such as photographs, or correspondence with First Nations.
  2. Digital maps must be submitted as part of the  application. Map(s) must be submitted for each park included in the application according the following mapping standards: 
  1. Digital maps submitted as pdfs or image files must include: a north arrow, a scale bar (as described below) and a legend. Georeferenced spatial files may be submitted and must be in BC Albers, NAD 83 projection.
  2. General Location map: A map of the individual park(s)/ecological reserve(s) within the application, drawn to 1:50 000 to 1:250 000 scale (or larger if required to encompass boundaries of permit area) that illustrates at a landscape level scale the general location of the area under application, including boundaries of the proposed permit area and major landmarks, travel/access routes;
  3. Permit Area Map: If you have improvements or specific areas of the park that you will be using more intensively, a more detailed map(s) will be required in addition to a general location map.  A more detailed map(s) of the proposed permit area(s) within each park, drawn to 1:20 000 to 1:50 000 scale showing the exact proposed boundaries of the permit area, including the area (in hectares) as well as any watercourses or other identifying features (trails, facilities, roads, etc.).  The permit area map must clearly identify the location of travel/access routes, and specific study/activity site(s).  If applicable, the location and construction description of any temporary facilities or the use of existing facilities within the permit area, as well as the location and size of all proposed improvements must also be included.
  4. Digital maps or georeferenced spatial files may be prepared using the FrontCounter BC Discovery Tool or iMap.
  5. Link to the FrontCounter BC Discovery Tool and/or iMaps:

What happens after you apply

Submitting the application

  1. Your application will be reviewed to ensure that it is complete. If necessary, you will be contacted for more information.
  2. An application will not be processed until all required information and application fee has been received.
  3. The submission of an application does NOT allow you any rights to the park land. A park use permit, if issued, would grant this authority.


  1. The target time frame for making a decision on your film permit is 5 business days for film permits after a complete application is received. BC Parks target times may be affected by other required processes such as requests to you for additional information or requirements for First Nations consultation.
  2. Applications will be reviewed in the order that they are received and processed. The 5 business day time frame will not be changed to accommodate "rush" applications.
  3. BC Parks staff will review the application and determine whether additional assessments and consultation may be required, such as ecological or archaeological assessments, or First Nation Consultation. Some assessments will be completed by BC Parks but other assessments may be the responsibility of the applicant to complete at their own cost.
  4. BC Parks staff, FrontCounter BC staff, or contractors (i.e. Film Permit Liaison) will be in contact throughout the application process to discuss your application as required.
  5. BC Parks considers the impacts of a proposed activity and the particular values of the parklands in question when evaluating a permit application. Decisions on park use permit applications are guided by the consideration of impacts and other policies, and if your application is denied you will be provided with a letter indicating the reason(s) for denial.

Request Final Requirements

  1. If the Statutory Decision Maker approves the permit, you will be contacted by the FrontCounter BC permit clerk, via email or letter if no email address was provided, with an offer of a draft permit, and notified of the final requirements due in order to issue your permit.
  2. Examples of "Final Requirements" may be, but are not limited to:
    1. Written agreement to the terms and conditions set out in the draft permit;
    2. Proof of Insurance (only the BC Certificate of Insurance form will be accepted);
    3. Permit Fee(s);
    4. Financial Guarantee.
  3. If you do not respond to the Request Final Requirements by the indicated due date, your application will be withdrawn and the file will be closed. Your application fee will not be refunded.

Issuance of Permit

Once all final requirements are met, the permit will be issued and sent to you by FrontCounter BC via email or hard copy if no email address was provided.

Why would my application be denied?

The list below provides some common examples of why BC Parks may deny a film permit application. BC Parks always considers the impacts of a proposed activity and the particular values of the park/protected area/conservancy/recreation area in question. Decisions on park use permit applications are guided by the consideration of impacts and other policies, and if an application is denied you will be provided with a letter indicating the reason(s) your application was denied. Any application fee that may have been paid will not be refunded.

  1. BC Parks is not likely to approve any new commercial film permits during the visitor high-season if the public's use and enjoyment of the park/conservancy/protected area/recreation area will be impacted.
    For example, the following areas in Alice Lake, Brandywine Falls, Murrin, Shannon Falls, or Stawamus Chief Parks are used extensively by the public between the May long weekend and the end of Thanksgiving weekend every year:
    • Facilities near or in the parking lots in and in other high traffic areas in these parks, such as the lake shore in Murrin Park, the viewing platform in Shannon Falls or Brandywine Falls Parks, and the campground and day use areas in Alice Lake Park. In Stawamus Chief Park the bouldering area and the Chief Peaks Trail and peaks are also used extensively by the public during this time.
  2. Where it is determined that there are risks to public safety from a film shoot, the permit application is not likely to be approved. For example, no commercial filming is typically allowed within MacMillan Park (Cathedral Grove) between the dates of May 15 through September 15. Filming in the park presents public safety risks related to the volume of park visitors and traffic flow on the adjacent highway during this time.
  3. The proposed dates for the film shoot conflict with other permitted operations or park events. For example, another film shoot may be taking place in the park during the proposed filming dates, or other special events such as races or educational events have been scheduled during the proposed time frame for filming. Again, it is recommended that proposed film shoots be discussed with a BC Parks representative prior to submitting a film permit application and non-refundable application fee.
  4. Filming in ecological reserves requires an ecological reserve permit, and may only be authorized for films pertaining to ecological research or educational purposes. For more information refer to guidance on ecological reserve permits.
BC Parks Website
BC Parks - Regional Contact List
Certificate of Insurance - Requirements & Forms
Commercial Filming Guidelines
Commercial Filming Policy
Find a BC Park
Management Plan Template
Other Permit Policies
Park Act
Park Contacts and Special Conditions for Filming
Permit Application Policy