The following documentation must be received 3-5 business days before any permits will be issued. Please note for an optimal online experience, we recommend you complete these forms on a desktop in the latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla FireFox for PCs or Macs.
This form provides basic information about the production and the production company; a brief outline of all planned activities; the initial shooting schedule; and approximate number of cast and crew members. You can choose to complete this form online and submit, or print, complete and email to email@example.com
This form is a location agreement with the City of Calgary that must be signed for productions of 10 days or less. This form must be downloaded and can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
in the amount of not less than $2,000,000 inclusive limit for any occurrence must be provided. The City of Calgary and Calgary Economic Development are to be named as an additional insured.
A film permit(s) is required to film any theatrical motion picture, television program, television commercial, l or music video or commercial still photography on streets or property under the jurisdiction of the Corporation of The City of Calgary, or when off-street film-making affects the normal use of the adjacent street.
To film in Calgary two mandatory application forms are required and additional paperwork may be required. Please note once all mandatory paperwork and information is received a minimum of three to five business days is required for permit processing. Please complete and submit the mandatory forms as instructed and call our Film, Television & Creative Industries Team at (403-221-7886) for more information on permits and applications.
Proof of commercial general liability insurance in the amount of not less than $2,000,000 (two million dollars) inclusive limit for any occurrence must be provided. Additional insurance may be required depending on the filming activities in which case the amount will be decided by The City's Risk Manager. Liability Insurance must be provided by an insurance company registered to do business in the Province of Alberta;
Will you be using city parking, streets, parks or transit? Do you need Emergency Medical Services, City of Calgary Fire Department or Police Services on location? A permit is required.
Applications must be sent to our Film, TV & Creative Industries office a minimum of ten (10) days in advance for ALL services below, unless otherwise stated. Fees may be applicable. Learn how to apply:
The parking and street use permit is for access to parking or filming on Calgary streets, including ParkPlus, and includes all production equipment and vehicles.
Streets in the downtown core (Bow River to 12 Ave. South and 6 St. East to 11 St. West) will not be closed during the normal business day unless:
Calgary Police Service officers may be required to undertake traffic control duties for any on-street filming that will affect or interfere with traffic. Traffic Engineering will determine if police assistance is required prior to issuing permits. All costs associated with the hiring of pay duty officers will be paid for by the applicant.
The City of Calgary Roads will set the conditions on Street Use Permits for street, alley, and sidewalk closures. Failure to adhere to, or exceed the permit conditions, will result in the permit being revoked and all work suspended for the remaining portion of that project.
NOTE: The applicant must sign the front page of the permit, at the bottom left corner where is says "Applicant's Signature" and sign/initial the bottom of the second page entitled "Street Use Permit Conditions" and a copy must be on location at all times.
All film production vehicles must display a valid parking permit in the windshield of each parked vehicle. Vehicles not displaying a valid permit may receive parking tickets. Film crews are not allowed to park vehicles in front of fire hydrants, driveways, within five metres of other areas as deemed by The City of Calgary, Traffic Engineering. Vehicles may be ticketed and towed in these cases.
If it is necessary to tow a vehicle that is parked in a signed area, the Location Manager must call the Calgary Parking Authority Enforcement Section at (403) 537-7100. It is illegal for the production company to request a towing company to move a vehicle; this is the responsibility of the Calgary Parking Authority.
The City of Calgary owns many facilities that are generally available to the film industry. These include the Municipal Building (excluding Council Chambers), City Hall complex, parks, pathways, recreation facilities, landfill sites and warehouses.
Production companies must remember that The City requires these facilities to serve Calgarians on an ongoing basis; therefore filming may be limited and will not be permitted if it severely impacts The City's ability to function. Filming in certain locations may not be allowed and facilities may have specific conditions for filming. Previously booked events will take precedence.
The City Clerk's Office must provide approval for any film inquiries involving the Municipal Building Atrium, Municipal Plaza and Historic City Hall. A walk through inspection facilitated by a representative of the Film, Television & Creative Industries office in conjunction with the Location Manager for the production and a Corporate Properties & Buildings representative will take place before filming to facilitate the request.
Fees and security deposits will be negotiated in conjunction with The City department responsible for the facility, the Film, Television & Creative Industries office and the Location Manager. If access to buildings or grounds is granted, all associated costs including service staff and City security will be charged to the production company.
Use of Calgary Transit facilities require the approval of the Calgary Transit Director or designate.
The permission of the Fire Chief is required if a film production company wishes to film Fire personnel, vehicles, equipment, buildings, uniforms, etc. The request must be made in writing to the Calgary Fire Department. All pertinent details of the script involving the Fire Department, as well as a brief outline of the film.
The Calgary Fire Department is recognized as an industry leader and has established an impeccable reputation. Any film content that tarnishes the Fire service or the reputation of The City of Calgary Fire Department will not be supported and the use of Fire personnel, vehicles, equipment and uniforms will not be allowed.
If the use of a fire hydrant is required, contact the Film, TV & Creative Industries office. Water Services will inspect the fire hydrant and the film production company's staff will be trained on its use. After completion of filming, Water Services will re-inspect the hydrant. If the hydrant is damaged, Water Services will repair the hydrant and bill the film company for costs incurred.
If a Fire emergency occurs, the Fire Department's use of the fire hydrant shall supersede any other use of the hydrant. The Fire Department must be provided with unobstructed access to the fire hydrant for the duration of the emergency.
Requests for permits for the following must be received at least three weeks in advance:
Please complete and submit the applicable form:
Along with the completed form the following information must be provided ten (10) business days prior to any explosive, pyrotechnic effect or burning permit being issued:
Police presence is required for public safety:
The permission of the Calgary Police Service is required if a film production company wishes to film Police personnel vehicles, equipment, buildings, uniforms, etc. The request must be made in writing to the Calgary Police Service (CPS) Public Affairs & Media Relations Unit (PAMRU). To contact the CPS Public Affairs & Media Relations Unit, please call (403) 428-8989 for further instructions. A brief outline of the film including all pertinent details of the script involving Calgary Police Services is required.
If firearms are be used and seen by the public and/or discharged, the Calgary Police Services Firearms Support Unit and the Film, TV & Creative Industries office must be notified at least one week (five business days) in advance. Include in the notification the time and location the filming will take place, the nature of the firearms used and the name and permanent address, phone number and date of birth of the gun wrangler.
All film Armourers/Gun Wranglers must be in possession of and be able to produce a Possession & Acquisition License (PAL) as required by the Federal Government on demand. They must be familiar with Canadian Laws with respect to storage/transportation/regulation of permitted/restricted/prohibited firearms (Storage, Display, Handling and Transportation of Certain Firearms Regulations).
All restricted and/or prohibited weapons must have an "Authorization to Transport" permit issued by the Canadian Firearms Centre (CFC). The CFC can be contacted at (403) 206-8041.
Various fees are charged for use of City of Calgary streets, parks, equipment and personnel.
Effective as of March 2019
Generic Permit to Film
Traffic Control Set-up
$20+ for use of street / sidewalk
$270 - $585 / set-up ($430 - $930 OT)
$720 / major set-up ($1145 OT)
$50 ea/per day – portable arrow board
$150 ea/per day – portable message board
Parking Authority (ParkPlus System)
$10 - $30 per car length – use of space
Use of Parks
$55.24+ / day – greenspace
$55.24 - $80.45+ / day – pathways
$26.25 admin fee per application (non-refundable, due upon processing of application)
$68.24+ / picnic sites (based on # of people)
$1.20 - $21.45 / hr - playfields
$25.80 - $134.65+ / hr – athletic parks
Use of City Owned Property
1 CTrain / LRT Car
1 Transit Bus
Transit Staff (Electrician, Safety, Signals, Security)
Transit Police Officers
$250+ permit fee
$437.50 / hr (3 hr min)
$170 / hr (2 hr min)
$155 / hr (3 hr min)
Police (pay duty):
Min. 3 hr charge per officer / vehicle (all charges subject to GST, minimum of 2 weeks notice for requests, 3 hr charge for less than 24 hr cancellation)
$141.37 / hr
$170.30 / hr
$177.16 / hr
$30.00 / hr (max. $360/vehicle/day)
Pyrotechnic & Open Flame permit fees
Special Effects/High Level
Five (5) or more locations
Safety codes fee
Safety codes Officer
1 hr min charges apply
$1325 / hr
$139 / location
$335 / location
$335 / location
$104 / hr
See below for information on when filming is permitted, guidelines for notifying residents and businesses and code of ethics for production companies.
Hours for filming, move-ins, move-outs and related activities are:
If loud noises are expected during filming, a noise exemption request must be submitted to The City of Calgary’s 311 department and approved by Bylaw Services for filming in both residential and non-residential areas between the hours of 10 p.m. - 7 a.m. The assigned Bylaw officer will advise the applicant on what type of notification to the public is necessary.
Although a noise exemption request must be made for filming activities in commercial, industrial and the non-residential areas of the downtown core, Bylaw Services will have increased flexibility in their approvals for these areas. All requests are subject to the conditions outlined in the Use of Special Effects, Weapons, Explosives, Stunts, Loud Noises or Helicopters.
An information letter must be delivered to those residents and businesses directly impacted by the closure of a street, alley or sidewalk, including road detours, or being subjected to the lights and/or noise of the film crew on set. This letter must also be delivered if the on-street parking is affected by film production vehicle parking. A copy of the written notification must also be submitted to the Film, Television & Creative Industries office who will subsequently provide a copy to The City's operations centre (311), 911 Dispatch, the Aldermanic office for the applicable wards, Bylaw Services, Community Associations and Business Revitalization Zones where applicable. Prior to distribution, please send a draft of the information letter to Calgary Economic Development for review and approval to email@example.com
The production company should place a sign(s) on the sidewalk in the area advising public that filming is taking place. Filming involving loud special effects, gunfire, etc. requires a larger notification area within the general vicinity.
The information letter should be printed on the Behind The Scenes’ template along with company letterhead and include:
Download a blank letterhead template:
The production company should ensure its staff acts in a safe and professional manner. This includes refraining from trespassing, littering, lewd or improper language or dress. Care should be taken that vehicle and generator exhausts and spillover lighting do not negatively affect residents and businesses. The safety of the public and enjoyment of their property should not be jeopardized.
The following documentation must be on file with the Film, Television & Creative Industries Commission before any permits will be issued:
3. Commercial general liability insurance in the amount of not less than $2,000,000 (two million dollars) inclusive limit for any occurrence. The City of Calgary (PO Box 2100, Station M, Calgary, AB T2P 2M5) and Calgary Economic Development (731 – 1 St SE, Calgary AB T2G 2G9) are to be named as an additional insured;
Additional insurance may be required depending on the filming activities in which case the amount will be decided by The City's Risk Manager. Liability Insurance must be provided by an insurance company registered to do business in the Province of Alberta;
c) A copy of the operator’s Special Flight Operating Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada must be provided for each request as stated above and it must be valid for Class ‘C’ airspace in the province of Alberta.
d) Full equipment specs including make, model and weight.
e) A flight plan including take-off, landing, and intended flight path.
City permission is required:
Please note approvals may take a minimum of 10 business days for processing depending on requirements.
In summary, according to current regulations, one can fly a drone as follows:
Provincial permission is required:
The Film, Television & Creative Industries office must be notified at least five (5) working days in advance of any scenes requiring special effects, stunts, loud noises, visible weapons (whether being fired or not), and helicopters or low-flying aircraft. Verbal and written notification to residents and businesses must also make reference to these activities. The City of Calgary reserves the right to have production companies survey affected residents before permits are issued in these cases.
The presence of the Calgary Police Service and/or Fire Department staff is usually required during this type of filming and will be coordinated by the Film, Television & Creative Industries office. Please review the EMS, Fire and Police Assistance guidelines.
The Community Standards Bylaw promotes good neighbour relationships and addresses community concerns through the regulation of noise, fire pit use, untidy properties, weeds and grass, graffiti and nuisances.
Authority to fly lower than 1,000 feet above ground level is delegated to the Regional Director, Aviation Regulations, Transport Canada (Edmonton).
Obtaining Transport Canada approval for helicopters, hot air balloons, ultra light or low-flying aircraft is the responsibility of the helicopter or charter aircraft company hired by the film production company. They will require a letter from The City of Calgary (Roads) stating that it has or does not have objections to these flights. This letter will be prepared by The City of Calgary - Traffic Safety Department and will be sent directly to Transport Canada. Aviation liability insurance is required in the amount of $5 million with The City of Calgary named as an additional insured. Please note that aviation liability is not covered under standard comprehensive general liability.
In addition, City permission is required if an aircraft is to land and/or takeoff from a City-owned property, e.g. street, building, parking lot, or any of the sixteen park launch sites. This permission must be obtained from The City of Calgary (Roads) through the Film, Television & Creative Industries office.
There are two exceptions to this requirement:
Note: Permission is required prior to using the Downtown Heliport. Contact the City of Calgary at 311 a minimum of one full working day in advance of the landing.
Information for property owners, extras and production staff.
If you are the owner of a property being used in a film production, here are some things to consider:
People choose to do Background work for many reasons; it’s a way to gain experience on a film set or to earn additional money or an opportunity to meet friends and other members of the community. Regardless of your reasons, you should take your participation in the production seriously and you should always conduct yourself in a professional manner. Please read the following section carefully if you are interested in doing background work.
The best way to get started is to contact each of the Casting Directors who handle Background on our list and inquire about getting into their database of performers. Chances are, they will require a photo and resume including details such as birth date, height, weight, current hair colour, etc. Remember, not all Background Casting Directors are the same and they may not all be looking for new people.
For more information please visit ACTRA Alberta.
New to working in the industry? Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you get started:
The following is a list of Calgary region-based companies that cater to the Film & TV industry. These companies are available to filmmakers and producers looking to work in the Calgary region.
Film Development Office, Alberta Film
Cielo Pictures (Lethbridge)
Feature Productions (Lethbridge)
Global Television - Creative Services, Calgary
403.242.4067 / 1.877.242.4067
1.888.556.0777 (Toll free)
403.878.5425 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bleeding Art Industries Inc.