Frequently Asked Questions













What does the Northwest Territories Film Commission do?


Want to film in the NWT?  We are your first point of contact.  The NWT Film Commission serves as a liaison between industry, organizations and government.  We support the development of the local film industry and promote the NWT to non-local film markets as a true northern production destination.  See Mandate




Do you need a permit to film in the Northwest Territories?


There is no formal permitting system for filming in the NWT.  Permits, proof of insurance and documented permissions may be required when filming:

  • On traditional land
  • On publicly owned land or properties
  • On protected areas or historical sites, public streets and territorial highways
  • On ice roads or in airports
  • Wildlife

Please contact us for assistance.  See Permit Information




How do I find crew and equipment in the Northwest Territories?


There are a number of experienced television and film professionals available to provide services, expertise and equipment to local and visiting producers.  For a listing of local individuals, businesses and organizations please see the NWT Film Suppliers Guide.


Want to be included in the guide?  Register by filling out and sending us the Film Suppliers Guide Registration Package via email ( or fax (867-873-0101).




Where can I find job postings, call for entries, casting calls and other film-related news?


We are constantly updating our News Reel with a variety of film industry content.  Check here for updates or contact us directly.




Does the Northwest Territories have any film festivals?


Yes.  There are two annual festivals:





FILM REBATE  See Film Rebate page for more details



What costs are eligible for rebate?

  1. NWT Labour/Training
    • 20% rebate for eligible NWT labour
    • Additional 15% rebate for recognized positions or NWT resident candidates receiving on-set training
  2. NWT Expenditures
    • 20% rebate for all goods and services that qualify as NWT spending purchased and consumed in the NWT
    • Additional 15% rebate for goods and services for productions shooting outside Yellowknife city limits
  3. NWT Travel
    • 10% rebate for travel to and from the NWT from anywhere in the world (south of the 60th parallel)
    • 30% rebate for travel within the NWT (excluding aerial photography)




Who is eligible?


  • Guest producers, NWT co-production partners and NWT production companies;
  • Pre-production and production costs for film and television filming in the NWT, where NWT labour content equals or exceeds 30% of total NWT spend;
  • Commercials are only eligible under the NWT Travel Rebate category



Is there a minimum spend requirement?


Minimum NWT spending of $100,000 CAD




What are recognized positions?


Recognized positions include, but are not limited to the following:


Assistant Director Director of Photography Script Supervisor
Art Director Camera Operator Sound Editor
Line Producer Composer Set Decorator
Location Manager Dolly Grip Set Carpenter
Best Boy Electric Graphic Artist Technical Director (TV)
Best Boy Grip Key Grip Performer(s) in Speaking Roles
Boom Operator Key Make-up Artist Film Editor
Costume Designer Production Assistant Visual Effects Editor








What is the weather like?


The NWT enjoys brilliant blue skies for most of the year with Yellowknife being Canada's sunniest city in the spring and summer.  24-hour daylight in the summer and low precipitation ensures for much longer shooting days.  The NWT ranks last in the country for wettest weather.


Temperatures range from lows of -40 C in the winter to highs of +30 C in the summer.  If you are thinking about filming in the winter, it is crucial that your equipment is suitable to withstand these temperatures.  Weather gets increasingly unpredictable the further north you go, and can result in long layovers and limited flights in and out of our communities.




Is there really 24-hour daylight?




Hours of Sunlight

Region June 21st (Summer Solstice) December 21st (Winter Solstice)
South Slave (Fort Smith) 18 9
North Slave (Yellowknife) 20 6.5
Sahtu (Norman Wells) 22 4
Arctic Circle and above 24 0


In addition to the stated hours of sunlight, all locations experience additional periods of daylight prior to sunrise and after sunset. For example, around the Yellowknife area in June and July, it's light enough to fish all night!




Where is the best location for filming the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)?  When?


Although the Northern Lights can be seen throughout the territory, Yellowknife is considered one of the best places in the world for viewing this spectacular show.  Located directly beneath the aurora oval, the Yellowknife area's flat topography allows for a higher percentage of clear weather and better viewing probability.  The aurora can be seen up to 240 days a year in the Yellowknife area, from mid-August to mid-April.  See photos




When do the ice roads (winter roads) become accessible?


There are several ice roads throughout the NWT that are accessible at various times between mid-December and late-April.  Click here for locations.