Commercial film and photography guidelines

Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park offer a vast range of unparalleled film and photographic opportunities. In the interest of protecting the park’s resources while ensuring visitor experiences are not impacted, these activities are subject to certain restrictions and special considerations.

To film or photograph in the national parks, an application must be submitted to Parks Canada 10 days prior to activities. If approved, a Film/Photography Permit will be issued which outlines conditions and supplementary requirements associated with the production. The following information will assist in the preparation of a film/photography application.

Through the application process, Parks Canada can provide you with:

  • Details on park regulations, conditions and requirements / All film / photography activities must comply with National Park Regulations, policies and conditions
  • Consultation and advice on film/photography opportunities and locations. Locations must be determined prior to a permit being issued
  • Assistance with interviews with park staff and specialists. Interviews may be available depending on scope of project and availability of staff

Step 1 - Setting the Stage: Is your film/photography activity appropriate in a National Park?

What works well . . .

  • Simplicity: Small productions involving minimal equipment and crew size
  • Little impact on the environment and the visitors
  • Productions requiring minimal shooting time and assistance
  • Hiring the services of local location managers and scouts
  • Educational productions contributing to park objectives, messages and themes
  • Productions requesting off-season and/or weekday shooting dates. Weekend shoots at highly visited areas will be discouraged
  • Flexibility: Productions requiring images of the natural landscape

What won't work . . .

  • Using equipment, chemicals, or engaging in any activity that may damage the environment
  • Accessing trails or remote or closed areas with any motorized vehicle
  • Landing of aircraft or low-level flying
  • Constructing and employing large sets
  • Disrupting, harassing, or manipulating wildlife and/or using trained wildlife
  • Exclusive use of an area, limiting public access or disrupting public enjoyment
  • Portraying activities that are illegal, damaging to Parks Canada's image or conflict with Parks Canada's messages

Step 2 - Getting Ready to Roll: Will your application meet the following conditions and requirements?


  • Acceptance of an indemnification clause and full responsibility for any incidents, and/or cost of clean-up or site rehabilitation
  • Compliance with National Park Regulations
  • Maintenance and clean-up of the site including provision of cigarette receptacles, garbage and human waste disposal
  • Respectful and professional contact with the visiting public
  • Provide additional insurance naming "Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada as represented by Parks Canada Agency." See "Application Process - item #12" for details.

Possible Supplementary Requirements

  • A pre-production site visit with a representative from the production company
  • Cooperation with the Parks Canada on-site supervisor for large or complex productions
  • Supply the park with a complimentary copy of the completed project for internal educational purposes
  • Provide Parks Canada with factual review of the final product when the park has participated in the project
  • Provide an on screen credit to Parks Canada and the specific name of the park
  • Provide a security deposit to ensure site restoration and clean up
  • Depending on activities, additional permits under the National Park Regulations may be required. (ie: environmental assessment)

Step 3 - Juggling the Paper Work: The Application Process

  • An application must be submitted to Parks Canada a minimum of 10 days prior to intended film/photography activities.
  • The application will be assessed against the following; potential impacts on the park's resources, contribution to park objectives, themes and messages, required level of assistance, consistency with National Park Regulations and level of disturbance to other park users.
  • If the application is approved, a Film/Photography Permit will be issued which must be carried while conducting activities in the national park.
  • The permit becomes valid once signed by the producer and Parks Canada, fees are paid in full, and supplementary requirements and conditions are agreed to.
  • Parks Canada reserves the right to refuse any application that is not in the best interest of the Agency or revoke permission without notice if terms and conditions of the permit are violated.

The following information must be provided in any application to film/photograph in the National Parks or National Historic Sites.


  • Describe the scope of the production, intended audience and use of footage
  • How does the production enhance or support the national park's mandate of visitor experience, protection and education?
  • List specific parks, locations, dates and time requirements
  • Define the size of crew on location including all cast, crew and drivers
  • Provide a description of all vehicles, including licence plates and GVW
  • Outline type of equipment, sets, props and extent of use
  • Make available location maps, scale drawings and camera positions where appropriate
  • Indicate whether on-site production facilities are required (i.e. catering)
  • Provide a script or storyboard for large productions
  • Product description and full name of company selling product
  • Written permission from the lessee for activities occurring on any leasehold land
  • Provide proof of comprehensive liability insurance policy indicating a minimum of $2,000,000, naming "Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada as represented by Parks Canada Agency" as additional insured, to be carried for the duration of the production in the park

Step 4 - Time to Shoot: Applying Fees and Payment

  • Fees are applied to productions according to the Parks Canada fee structure.
  • Additional surveillance requirements and/or overtime costs will be charged to the production and are in excess of the fees indicated below.
  • Discounts are available depending on content and client.
  • GST is included in the fees below.
  • Payments can be made by quoting a Visa, MasterCard or American Express number or by a cheque or money order payable to Receiver General of Canada.
  • Payments must be received prior to film/photography activities commencing in the National Parks or National Historic Sites.
Production Crew Size Application Fee Location Fee (Per Day)
1-6 $ 147.20 $ 490.60
7-15 $ 368.00 $ 981.30

Applications to film/photograph in Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park can be made by contacting the site.