British Columbia is renowned for its world-class system of parks and protected areas, representing a rich diversity of spectacular landscapes and natural areas. Within the range of feature films, commercials, and documentary filming, our areas have served as an ideal backdrop and popular location for the film industry.
BC Parks is dedicated to protecting these natural environments for inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public. To support the BC Film and production industry, while safeguarding the integrity of our environment and parks, commercial filming guidelines [PDF], and a commercial filming policy [PDF] have been developed to assist production companies prior to applying for a commercial filming permit. The Commercial Filming Policy provides information on permit requirements, and sets direction for how BC Parks will support filming. The policy states that BC Parks will permit film productions which do not adversely affect:
- The natural and cultural heritage, recreation, use and appreciation values of the park
- The public right to free and reasonable access to parks for their inspiration, use and enjoyment
- An asserted or proven aboriginal right (including aboriginal title) or treaty right, that is recognized and affirmed by section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982
- The rights of existing permittees
BC Parks requires that any person wishing to conduct a filming project within the provincial protected areas system first contact the regional staff person responsible for the particular parks they are interested in. Contacts for many parks can be found in the special filming conditions and park contacts [PDF] document. For general information on permit requirements or contact information for a particular park, please contact Megan Beveridge.
Film permit applications
For more information on BC Parks’ film permitting process, or to submit a permit application, please visit FrontCounter BC’s website. FrontCounter BC is a provincial agency that manages applications for a number of different provincial government agencies. Film permit applications and fees must be submitted to FrontCounter BC.
Information on filming in provincial parks, including major parks in the Sea-to-Sky corridor and around the Vancouver area, can also be found on FrontCounter BC’s website under special filming conditions and park contacts [PDF].
Many of BC’s parks and protected areas fall within the traditional territories of British Columbia’s First Nations peoples. Some of these parks may be managed in a collaborative relationship with a respective First Nation. Your commercial filming request may require engagement with First Nations regarding impacts to their aboriginal rights and interests before BC Parks will approve your permit application. Please check with the Area Supervisor listed for the park you are interested in for further information.
If your filming request cannot be accommodated within a provincial park on your chosen dates due to conservation, recreation or public safety reasons, other jurisdictions may be available. Alternate site information may be found through Creative BC, a provincial organization that supports creative industries across the province, including film.