Town of Canmore

Filming in Canmore

Photographers and videographers looking to shoot within the Town of Canmore require a film permit if their project takes place on public land or within a Town-owned venue.  Examples of public land include local trails within town, pathways, parks, green spaces and recreation areas within town boundaries

A film permit is issued on a per-day basis.  For small-scale productions (ex. photoshoot or low impact videography), multiple locations within a single day can be included on a single permit.  For medium to large-scale productions (ex. motion picture or TV) filming over multiple dates, location fees will apply. 

Application Process

Before you begin: Please review the parameters for the film permit type you wish to obtain, and consider reviewing the FAQs below.

For film permit fees and other information, see our FAQs.

To apply for a film permit, submit the following to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

  1. Film permit application form that is suitable to your project

  2. Certificate of Insurance: General liability insurance coverage of $2 million, minimum, naming the Town of Canmore as an additional insured party. If your insurance company requires an address, provide them with "Town of Canmore, 902-7th Avenue, Canmore AB  T1W 3K1"

  3. A business license application form or a copy of your existing Canmore license. Helpful Tip: If you are coming from out of town, submit a Non-Resident business license application form. This has been attached to the film permit application form for ease.  For regional or Canmore-based business license options, visit canmore.ca/businesslicenses.

Notes:

Fees vary. For details, see our FAQs.

Please include your application form and any supporting documentation as separate files in a single email.  The Coordinator will review your application package and respond to you with next steps.

Processing time can take up to 10 business days, depending on the scale and scope of the project.  This timeline does not include statutory holidays.  Incomplete application packages can significantly impact the processing time.


Frequently Asked Questions

Film permit fees
A film permit fee will be applied to all applications. Typically, a film permit is issued on a per-day basis and for small scale productions (ex. photoshoot or low impact videography), multiple locations within a single day can be included on a single permit.  For medium to large scale productions (ex. motion picture or TV) filming over multiple dates, a film permit is issued for the overall production and location fees will apply.  All fees are subject to 5% GST.

Film Permit (Photo/Motion and UAV) Fee:

Photography/Production Crew 

Fee Per Permit
1-6 people $100

7-15 people

$200

16-30 people

$400

31-99 people

$1,000

100+ people

$2,000
If you are filming as part of a special event or wedding that has booked a Town-owned venue (ex. Quarry Lake, Rundleview Parkette, or other), your film permit fee is considered included as part of the venue rental.  A business license and film permit are still required but the film permit fee would be waived.  

Location Fees:

Photography/Production Crew 

Fee Per Permit
1-6 people N/A

7-15 people

$250

16-30 people

$500

31-99 people

$1,000

100+ people

$2,000

Annual Film Permit Fee: 
$1,200 pro-rated by $100 monthly.  This permit will cover your film permit needs until December 31 of the current year.

Note The rates above do not include fees associated with obtaining a business license, nor any Town supports and resources that may be needed for a project or productions (ex. road closures, etc). For an estimate on these additional fees, please refer to the Town's master fee schedule and inquire with the team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Business License Fee:

For business license fees, please consult www.canmore.ca/businesslicenses

Is insurance mandatory?
All film production on Town of Canmore property is required to provide proof of insurance for a minimum of $2 million in liability with the Town of Canmore listed as the additional insured.  No production will take place without having provided proof of insurance.
Do I need a business license?
Yes. All businesses operating in Canmore are required to obtain a business license.  For more information, visit www.canmore.ca/businesslicenses
What is an annual film permit?
An annual film permit is to facilitate an efficient, cost-effective process for applicants who frequently submit film permit applications over the course of a calendar year. An annual film permit agreement is valid within a given calendar year (January to December). Annual film permits are pro-rated on a monthly basis from the month in which an application is processed and valid through December 31 of the current year. For an annual permit to be effective as of January 1st, the application must be submitted, processed, and an agreement signed by all parties by December 15th.

Annual film permits are temporary and do not automatically renew.  After they expire, the applicant is to apply anew if they wish to obtain a new annual film permit.

Eligible Applicants:

Digital artists
Graphic design firms
Marketing and communications firms
Professional photographers
Video production companies
Tourism agencies

Eligible Projects:

Projects utilizing Town of Canmore property (municipally owned or leased property).

Key Conditions:

Projects utilizing government or park land must be approved/permitted by the corresponding governing bodies, and copies of approvals must be submitted to the Town of Canmore.

Projects qualified under the agreement are those scheduled to complete within a single, eight (8) hour day.

Permitted filming hours are Monday to Saturday from 07:00-23:00 and Sunday from 8:00-23:00.

Permission to conduct work outside of these hours will require written permission of the Town of Canmore's CAO or designate. This written request must be submitted the the film permitting Coordinator.

Projects utilizing government or park land must be approved/permitted by the corresponding governing bodies, and copies of approvals must be submitted to the Town of Canmore.

The issuance of an annual film permit does not permit or include any filming to take place by UAV (drone).

For more information, refer to the pdf Annual Film Permit Parameters (1.17 MB) .

Can I film with a UAV or drone?

Filming through the use of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV or drone) requires special permissions from the Town of Canmore. Unpermitted UAV flights are subject to fines under Parks Bylaw 2019-09.  This applies to both commercial and personal use.

The regulation of drone use is especially important as the Town of Canmore has a vast area of restricted airspace over much of the community.  Below is a map that indicates the locations of the two heliports found within our community.  pdf Canmore Heliport Drone Exclusion Area Map (436 KB)   

Applicants are required to recognize and acknowledge:

  • As per Transport Canada, an aerodrome of 1 nautical mile (or 1.9 kms) is established around both Alpine Helicopters and Canmore General Hospital. 
  • In order to fly in restricted airspace, Transport Canada regulations deem that a pilot is required to have an Advanced Operations Certificate.
  • The Applicant and the Pilot are to adhere to all transportation Canada legal requirements when operating UAVs.

Please review the Information & Parameters for Film with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Permits guide prior to application submission.  This is a set of guidelines for applicants to follow when preparing an application, and a set of procedures to adhere to at the time of a scheduled flight. 

Can I film at Quarry Lake?
Yes.

Small-scale photography and some videography can be performed at Quarry Lake without special permission aside from a film permit. 

Medium to large scale projects or products will require special permission from the Rocky Mountain Heritage Foundation which the Town's Coordinator will assist with. The Coordinator will need from the production company, a detailed explanation of the project, history information regarding successful productions in public spaces, number of incidents (if any), and other information that may strengthen the request for use of this space. A letter of request, should the Town approve, would then be sent by the Town of Canmore on behalf of the production company for consideration by the Rocky Mountain Heritage Foundation. 
Can I film at Rundle Forebay / Reservoir?
Rundle Forebay / Reservoir is owned by Alberta Parks and TransAlta, and is not a part of the Town of Canmore.  To obtain permission to use that location, please contact Rhonda Cummings at TransAlta at 403-267-3676. There may be a fee associated, and there may be also be a need to obtain a film permit from Alberta Parks. 
Can I film at the Canmore Nordic Centre?
Although the name may suggest otherwise, the Canmore Nordic Centre is within Alberta Parks (Kananaskis) and not within the Town of Canmore.  If you are strictly filming at the Nordic Centre you would only need licensing as required by Alberta Parks. Neither a Town of Canmore film permit nor a Town of Canmore business license are required if strictly filming at the Nordic Centre.
Provincial Park vs. Town of Canmore property
To view the surrounding Provincial Parks land in and around Canmore, please use our property information viewer. Turn on the "provincial parks" filter and zoom in/out as needed. To obtain permission to provincial park land that is not within the Town of Canmore, please contact Alberta Parks. If you are still unsure, please contact the Town's film permit Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can offer guidance.
Can I use smoke bombs?
No. Unfortunately, the use of smoke bombs is not permitted as per section 6.3 of the Parks Bylaw since they do or may interfere with the enjoyment of another user of a park or space.

Related Bylaws and Policies

Noise Control Bylaw
pdf Parks Bylaw 2019-09 (5.09 MB)

Forms and Documents 

pdf Film Permit Application (2.73 MB)
pdf Annual Film Permit Application (1.17 MB)
pdf Notice of Scheduling for Annual Film Permit (1.22 MB)
pdf Film with UAV Permit Application (181 KB)
To obtain a Canmore business license, visit canmore.ca/businesslicenses for the application that is right for you
pdf Road Use Permit (2.34 MB)

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Goodstoney First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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