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Management & Land-use
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Filming & Still Photography

Alberta's parks provide excellent locations for filming and photography. There are guidelines and conditions to ensure that these activities respect environmental integrity.

Permits for Filming & Still Photography

Permits are required for filming and photography projects with special requirements that regular park visitors taking photos don't need. Filming and photography activities needing permits are those that:

  • require access to restricted areas;
  • require supervision by Parks Division staff;
  • have the potential to impact park resources in ways that are not consistent with traditional use;
  • may interfere with other visitors' enjoyment of the park;
  • require exclusive use of an area; or
  • involve sets, props, models, etc.

Permit Exceptions

Filming and photography activities that require permits are not usually allowed in wilderness areas and ecological reserves. An exception can be made if the activities are consistent with the site's management plan.

Permit Exceptions

A permit is not required for news media filming and photography related to reporting news events.

Applying for a Filming & Photography Permit

Application Requirements

Applications must:

  • Explicitly describe and document plans to use
    • wild or domestic animals
    • non-native plant species
    • fire or explosives
    • chemicals
    • artificial snow
    • fog machines
    • firearms
    • other potentially dangerous activities or materials
  • Document plans to carry out 
    • high-risk activities or stunts
    • facility modifications or construction
    • use of off-highway vehicles
    • similar activities
  • Include safety/emergency response plans if applicable

Liability Insurance

The applicant must hold public liability insurance to a minimum level of $2,000,000 per occurrence. Proof is either:

Security Deposit

A minium security deposit of $1,000 for site clean-up and restoration may be required. If long-term reclamation may be required, a letter of credit or letter of guarantee is necessary. This can be drawn on if reclamation is not completed to the satisfaction of the department.

Timing

Written approval must be received before activities commence.

An application must be submitted:

  • at least 5 working days prior to scheduled start-up for most projects; or
  • up to 30 days in advance for large, more complex projects.

For More Information or to submit an application contact the Parks Division staff responsible for the park where the filming or photography is to take place.

Filming & Photography Permit Fees 

Other Guidelines & Conditions

The permit holder must appoint a location manager or designate an alternate. This person will be responsible for all activities and be on-site at all times during filming/photography.

Filming and photography are not normally permitted on weekends and statutory holidays. If the activity is permitted, it may be subject to additional restrictions to mitigate impacts on public use of the area or facility.

Prior written approval is required:

  • to bring animals or foreign plant material into a park (any approval would include specific conditions);
  • to destroy, remove or relocate any item in a park;
  • for the use of film stunts, special effects, chemicals, hazardous materials, explosives or other potentially dangerous activities or materials; and
  • for construction of film sets and facility enhancements.

Alberta Tourism, Parks & Recreation reserves the right to:

  • close an area at any time due to environmental sensitivity, wildlife, fire hazard or other public safety concern (we do not accept responsibility for any costs incurred by the permit holder during a closure);
  • obtain a full or partial copy of the permit holder's final product (this would be for internal use only); and
  • add other conditions as required.

These guidelines and conditions do not override the requirement to comply with the Provincial Parks Act and regulations, or other applicable provincial or federal legislation.