We don’t have a formal film permitting system in the NWT. Permits, proof of insurance and documented permissions may be needed if crews are planning to film on traditional land; publically owned land or property; protected areas or historical sites; territorial highways, ice roads or airports; or observing wildlife.
The NWT Film Commission is here to help production teams navigate those cases, and guide you through any regional and municipal filming requirements that may be needed for your project. Please contact the office of the Film Commissioner if you need assistance.
Production crews will need a filming license to shoot on municipally-owned land in Yellowknife. The Department of Communications and Economic Development is responsible for licensing and Production Information Form applications need to be received 10 business days before the filming start date.
Filming Guidelines, Filming License Agreement and Hold Harmless Agreement offer more information on filming in Yellowknife.
The Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk has a filming and photography policy for the community. Production teams interested in shooting in the hamlet need to send all inquiries and applications to the Senior Administrative Officer, or the Manager of Community and Recreation Programs.
The policy’s definition of ‘land’ includes roads and right of ways, facilities, parks and public spaces. The full terms of the policy, including application requirements, are outlined in Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk Filming Policy.
If you’re thinking about filming on traditional lands in the NWT, please read our Aboriginal Land information guideline, which includes a list of NWT communities as well as regional contact information.
Wildlife Observation Permits may be needed if you plan to film or interact with big game species like caribou, wolves, muskox or other wildlife in the NWT. More information is available from the NWT’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
If you are surveying wildlife from an aircraft, please:
- do not fly below 1,000 feet (304.8 metres);
- obey Transport Canada regulations;
- find out where outfitter camps are located and avoid them during hunting season;
- avoid barren-ground caribou calving grounds during calving season;
- do not take-off or land in a calving area during calving season;
- do not chase or harass wildlife by flying too close; and
- respect our wildlife - keep to a safe altitude.
Flying close enough to an animal so that it runs away is too close!
Brochure: Flying Low? Think Again...
Parks Canada issues permits to production teams interested in filming in national parks. A film/photography permit must be received to Parks Canada ten days prior to production. The permit may include filming conditions and any additional requirements needed, before production can start.
More information on national park regulations, costs and contacts are including in Parks Canada Film and Photography Guidelines.
Transport Canada outlines when you need permission to fly a drone in its Drone Safety infographic.
Special Flight Operations Certificates (SFOC) may be required to operate an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV). The certificate for non-recreational drones outlines how and where the UAV can fly.
Submit your completed forms to the Transport Canada Civil Aviation Regional Office closest to your shoot.
Just flying for fun? Transport Canada has some general rules for recreational drone users.
The Department of Infrastructure requires permits for all production on public highways, ice and winter roads, airports, and ferries in the NWT. Applications need to be received 10 business days before filming starts, and should outline the scope of the project, including locations and dates of filming. The permit may include filming conditions and any additional requirements needed, before production can start.
Through the application process, the Department of Infrastructure can:
- Provide details on conditions and requirements
- Provide advice on film/photography opportunities and locations
- Assist with arranging interviews with department staff if needed
If you’re thinking about filming in any of these areas, please email the Department of Infrastructure for more information.