Prepare to Film in Vancouver: Filming Permits and Liaising with City Services
Vancouver’s Film Office offers a comprehensive and supportive front line service to filmmakers. Their staff are experienced in working with productions — large and small — to achieve the best creative looks in our city. All productions filming in the City work with them to ensure permitting needs are met.
Despite filming levels more than doubling over the last five years, our Film Office has been more than up to the task, working tirelessly to accommodate each and every production during these years of record-breaking growth.
Vancouver Film Permits: A Summary of Timeline & Process
Step 1: Coordinate with the Film Office
The Vancouver Film Office will help you with your filming needs, including locations and permits. Working with them will help ensure your filming goes smoothly.
Step 2: Apply
You must submit the application and permitting fee for your project at least 10 business days before you intend to start filming. After your application is processed, you will be assigned a film liaison coordinator who will assist you with any City services required by your project.
Step 3: Get Liability Insurance if project is filming on City property
You must provide proof of liability insurance if applying to film on City property. Have your insurance provider complete and return the insurance confirmation form.
Step 4: Complete “License to Film” Agreement
You need to enter into a license agreement with the City, regardless of the length of your filming. Our Legal Services team assists in the preparation of the license agreement after we receive your application. We only allow filming after this agreement is in place.
Step 5: Pay Deposit
The Film Coordinator assigned to your project will give you an estimate of costs for all City services. You need to provide a deposit that covers the estimated costs.
Step 6: Obtain Necessary Permits
The film coordinator will help you get the permits you need, based on your project, and assist you in navigating needs related to the following departments: Streets, Traffic and Electric Operations; Parking Operations; Vancouver Police Department; Vancouver Park Board, etc.
Step 7: Film
Once you have met all the above requirements, you may proceed with filming for your project.
Step 8: Pay for Usage of City Services
Around two weeks (10 working days) after the film coordinator closes your file of permits, the City’s Accounts Payable team will invoice you for the total cost of using City services.
How to Contact the Vancouver Film Office
The City of Vancouver Film Office (Film & Special Events Office) knows the demands of the filming industry and what the Vancouver area can offer you. You will be liaising with them to access the City of Vancouver services necessary for your project. If your project also includes filming in Vancouver parks or beaches, you will also need to liaise with the Park Board Special Events Office.