Filmed on Location
The NWT has enjoyed some notable successes in attracting investment compared to other regions of Northern Canada. Documentaries and television-based reality shows make up the majority of filming activity in the NWT for out-of-territory productions; however in recent years we have seen interest from television drama series and feature length film productions. These types of productions have very positive impacts including hiring and training opportunities for local film industry members.
"We are finishing our fourth season of production of Ice Pilots NWT in Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories. I can tell you first-hand that from day one the people of Yellowknife and its businesses have opened their doors to us without reservation. The North is full of colourful characters, rich history and a diverse physical landscape. Because of that the North has become a central character on the show, loved by fans all across the world."
– Michael Francis (Production Manager, Ice Pilots NWT)
Gemini Award winning Ice Pilots NWT (Omni Film Productions Ltd.) is still going strong, already in production for its fourth season. It was also credited as being one of the History Channels highest-ever ratings for a Canadian series.
The most recent production and the first ever drama series to be filmed in the NWT is CBC’s newest drama series, Arctic Air (Omni Film Productions Ltd.). The storyline is set in Yellowknife and reference communities throughout the territory. It is about a group of renegade pilots who fly small bush planes and huge World War II prop-planes on daily missions in the North. It stars Adam Beach, Pascale Hutton and Kevin McNulty, This series won the largest audience for the premiere of a new CBC drama series in the last decade, with total viewership of 1.05 million.
"Although any location above the 60th parallel is not conventionally thought of as production-friendly, the Northwest Territories is the exception. With the well-connected and well-supplied hub of Yellowknife, it's possible to produce almost anything here." – Ian Hay, (Producer, Arctic Air)
Ice Road Truckers (Original Productions Ltd.) was the first reality television series filmed in the NWT. In 2007, on its series premiere 3.4 million viewers tuned in which made it the most-watched original telecast in the History Channel's 12-year history, The series filmed 2 successful seasons in the NWT and was aired in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, US, Australia and the Netherlands.
Discovery Channel’s Mighty Ships and License to Drill (Exploration Production Inc.) documentary series used the NWT arctic region as the location for its third series.
"The best part about shooting in the NWT are the local people. The warm welcomes and open doors are something I have never experienced in 20 years of film production. I truly believe the best Canadians are to be found in the far north of this country, where anything is possible and the sense of community is overwhelming."
- Michael Haldane (Producer, Brighter Mornings for Brighter Days Tropicana Commercial)
Other productions include the award-winning Tropicana commercial Brighter Mornings for Brighter Days campaign that was filmed in Inuvik.