Working Here

Like any location production, it’s important to understand local regulations and permits needed in the area where you’re working. Here is a brief summary of regulations and standards in NWT that may help in your production planning. 

Register with Corporate Registries (Justice)

You need to register whether you are a sole proprietorship, partnership, incorporated company or extraterritorial company (a company that is registered outside of the NWT, but carrying on business in the NWT).

You can get the registration forms from Corporate Registries. The only case in which you are not required to register with Corporate Registries is when you are a sole proprietor using your own legal name as your business name.

NWT Employment Standards Act

The Employment Standards Act sets out the minimum employment standard in the territory and applies to employees and employers. The act covers, minimum wage, hours of work and overtime, payment of wages, vacation and vacation pay etc.

NWT Payroll Tax

The payroll tax applies to employees who work, or provide services in the NWT, regardless of their province of territory of residence. Employers must register with the territory’s Department of Finance within 21 days of their first payroll cycle for work, or services performed in NWT.

Workers' Safety & Compensation Commission

The Workers’ Safety & Compensation Commission (WSCC) is responsible for workplace health and safety . The commission provides rehabilitation, health care and wage benefits for workers injured as a result of their employment. Employers registered with the commission are protected from lawsuits and fund the cost of the system.

Contact the WSCC office directly for details on employee/employer registration, responsibilities and regulations.

Canadian Work Permits

Anyone entering Canada with the intention to work, who is not a Canadian citizen, or Permanent Resident, needs a work permit. Permits can be attained at a Canadian Consulate, Embassy or High Commission, or Port of Entry.

Naturally, there are some exceptions

  • Producers acting on their own behalf or representing a company coming into Canada to film are exempt from requiring a Work Permit, but need to report to a Canadian Immigration Officer when first entering Canada at a Port of Entry.
  • Some pre-production staff are allowed to enter without a Confirmation for the Job, temporarily, for scouting a location, but need a permit if they return to Canada to begin production.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), the film production company, and the relevant Unions, Guilds, and/or Associations are consulted during permit approval to ensure the issuance of a Work Permit will not adversely affect employment and career opportunities for Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents. A Confirmation for the Job is given by HRDC and this information is forwarded to Citizenship and Immigration who issue the Work Permit.

Hiring Foreign Workers in film and entertainment can be an important part a production. In most cases, Canadian employers hiring foreign workers in film and entertainment must get an Employment and Social Development Canada Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The foreign worker also needs a Citizenship and Immigration work permit to work in Canada.

Read the Government of Canada’s website for more information on work permits