Town of Churchill Filming Guidelines
Thank you for choosing to film in Churchill. We at the Town of Churchill recognize the
importance of television and film industry to our community’s international image. Our breathtaking landscapes and northern
hospitality create an excellent filming location. We encourage the utilization
of local businesses and agencies to assist throughout the duration of filming
The Town of Churchill has a strong understanding of the need for balance regarding the rights and wishes of our citizens and the unique requirements of the film industry. Most importantly, The Town of Churchill recognizes that safety and security is of utmost importance. Churchill’s remote location and curious wildlife makes us a one-of-a-kind filming location with a variety of different safety procedures. We strongly recommend hiring a bear guard or guide for all filming outside the town site and that crew members participate in a Polar Bear Safety Orientation Presentation.
The following guidelines apply to all location filming and commercial photography activities within the Town of Churchill boundaries. The guidelines will provide you with the necessary information required to film within The Town of Churchill including information on regulations, permits, in addition to contact information for those looking to film in the surrounding areas including Parks Canada sites (Wapusk National Park, Cape Merry, Prince of Wales Fort) and the Churchill Wildlife Management Area that is managed by Manitoba Conservation and Climate. All filming and commercial photography that utilizes Town property must be reported to and coordinated through The Town of Churchill’s Film Liaison in advance.
For any additional information not covered in the guidelines, please contact the Film Liaison with your inquiries via phone or email.
We look forward to working with you.
General Filming Guidelines
The Film Permit Application on the last page must be submitted to The Town of Churchill’s Film Liaison no less than ten (10) business days in advance of the proposed filming activity. Production Companies are to complete a business licence application ($300-non-resident) which will be used with the production information sheet to generate a filming permit ($50). Any production or project must follow the filming guidelines if they fit into one or more of the following categories;
- Feature Films
- Television Films
- Television programs/series
- Television Commercials
- Educational Films
- Music Videos
- Commercial Photography
- Other projects as approved by The Town of Churchill
Television news and news programming is exempt from these guidelines.
Upon receipt and approval of the completed Film Permit Application, a Filming Permit will be issued within seven (7) business days. Please note that the Town of Churchill has the right to refuse filming within the Town boundaries at their discretion.
Filming that involves use of Town Facilities including the Town Centre Complex and/or parks, road or sidewalk closures, dedicated parking arrangements, special effects, firearms, and alteration to street signage requires a submission of not less than ten (10) business days in advance of filming activity. Town staff may be required to undertake traffic control duties or provide other supports for filming activities. The Town will determine if assistance is required prior to issuing approval and all costs associated with traffic control will be paid for by the Production Company. The Town will assess these requests on a case-by-case basis.
Impact on Residents
Production Companies must promote and maintain good relations with the public in general and take reasonable steps to ensure minimal disruption to the public during filming. In situations where residents will be impacted, information including but not limited to; location and duration of filming, planned special effects, lights, noises, road and lane closures, sidewalk obstruction and street parking restrictions must be communicated by means of a signed letter on company letterhead, including the name and number of the Location Manager. A draft of the notification letter must be submitted for approval by the Town and the Town will help identify the area in which residents should be notified. Residents and/or businesses that may be affected during filming, must be notified of filming no less than three (3) business days in advance of filming activity.
In situations where filming activity impedes access to a business, it is the responsibility of the Production Company to approach the affected owners to identify means of limiting disruption and/or determine appropriate levels of compensation for lost business. If a mutual acceptable agreement cannot be made, The Town will attempt to negotiate a solution directly or through an alternative process.
The Production Company is responsible for ensuring that there is a minimum disruption to residents and businesses resulting from filming activity. This includes ensuring uninhibited access to property and freedom from environmental conditions that include, but are not limited to, spill over lighting, exhaust fumes or excessive noise. In the event of long-term filming activities, measures taken to limit disruption must be deemed satisfactory to affected residents and businesses.
For filming that will require traffic stoppages and lane closures, information including but not limited to; location and duration of filming, planned special effects, lights, noises, road and lane closures/traffic stoppages, sidewalk obstruction and street parking must be communicated to the Film Liaison. Requests for closures must be stated clearly in the Film Permit Application or by email and must receive the approval of the Town of Churchill’s Director of Public Works and Utilities.
- Production vehicles must not block fire hydrants, driveways, road intersections, accesses, ramps and priority parking stalls.
- Except when a road has been closed for filming, all moving vehicles must adhere to posted speed limits and other lawful conditions unless directed otherwise by the R.C.M.P
- In situations where filming presents a significant traffic flow and/or safety concern, supervision by R.C.M.P will be required.
- Use of Provincial Road 636 for any filming activity outside of the Town of Churchill boundaries will require the written approval of Manitoba Infrastructure as well as communication with the R.C.M.P
- Please advise the Film Liaison if you if you intend to film on PR636 and they will provide you with the Provincial Policy "Film or Television Productions Involving Provincial Highways” and associated worksheet to be provided to the Province.
- Depending on the extent of filming to be completed, the Production Company may be required to place notices in the community warning of upcoming disruptions to traffic flow.
It is the Production Company’s responsibility to arrange for all required traffic control personnel (R.C.M.P.) and to coordinate with the Town of Churchill’s Director of Public Works and Utilities to cover, alter, remove and/or reinstall traffic or street signs as may be necessary. All costs associated with these arrangements are the responsibility of the Production Company.
It is the responsibility of the Production Company to ensure that their staff and all individuals associated with the production operate in a safe and professional manner in the course of their duties.
The Film Permit may be revoked if it is discovered that affected residents and/or businesses have not been adequately notified of filming activities.
There are no set filming hours for The Town of Churchill, however Production Companies are expected to follow the noise by-law which takes effect at 11:00 P.M.-6:00 A.M. Permission to conduct work that may create excessive or wrongful noise at times outside of these hours will require the written permission of the Town of Churchill’s Executive Director.
The use of firearms, explosives, flash powder, detonators, flammable liquids, and the filming of dangerous stunts must be stated clearly on the Film Permit Application. The approval of the Town of Churchill’s Fire Chief and EMS is required for these activities.
- Attendance of the Town of Churchill Fire Department and EMS personnel may be required for the use of fire/pyrotechnic effects. All costs associated with these requirements and related clean-up are the responsibility of the Production Company.
- All dangerous/hazardous materials (including, but not limited to, fuels, paints, pyrotechnics, pressurized gasses, solvents, etc.) must be stored and used in accordance with all applicable Federal and Provincial laws, regulations and guidelines.
- All film armourers/gun wranglers must be familiar with Canadian laws with respect to the storage/transportation and regulation of firearms. All restricted and/or prohibited weapons must comply with current Federal firearms regulations.
The Production Company and their crew are responsible for cleaning the project site at the end of every working day. Upon completion of filming activities, the Production Company must ensure that the site is returned to its original condition. An inspection of the project site by Town personnel will be conducted in order to ensure compliance.
· All acceptable waste must be disposed of in Town of Churchill approved animal- proof containers.
· Where possible, the Production Company shall participate with the Town of Churchill’s recycling program. Types of products that should be recycled include cardboard, mixed paper, metal and plastics.
· Depending on the scope of filming activity, the Production Company may be required to make special arrangements for waste handling and disposal. Such arrangements will be made through the Town of Churchill’s Director of Public Works and Utilities.
· No liquid or frozen materials including beverages, grey water, paint, grease, or soap may be spilled into any bodies of water or catch basins.
Prior to filming in Churchill, the Production Company must provide the Film Liaison with a certificate of Insurance that meets the following criteria;
- Certificate of Insurance
- A minimum Commercial General Liability limit of two million($2,000,000) dollars per occurrence if production has a budget of two million or less, including but not limited to broad form contractual liability and severability of interest provisions and naming the Town of Churchill as additional insured.
- A minimum Commercial General Liability limit of five million ($5,000,000) dollars per occurrence if production has a budget of over two million, including but not limited to broad form contractual liability and severability of interest provisions and naming the Town of Churchill as additional insured.
- A minimum Commercial General Liability of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) per occurrence if the production requires Town Services, street closures, stunts, special effects and has a budget above two million ($2,000,000) dollars, including but not limited to broad form contractual liability and severability of interest provisions and naming the Town of Churchill as additional insured.
- Contains a fifteen-day notice of cancellation/termination clause
- Fax or email a copy of the insurance certificate to the Film Liaison (204) 675-2934; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Any other forms of insurance (i.e Aircraft Liability, Pyrotechnics Liability, Fire Legal Liability, etc.) that may be applicable.
The Production Company shall be solely responsible will pay all additional insurance, indemnity, maintenance, and security costs incurred with the use of land, equipment, property or otherwise.
Indemnification/ Save Harmless and Claims
The Production Company shall indemnify and save harmless the Town of Churchill from and against all claims, actions, damages, injuries, costs, expenses or losses whatsoever, which may arise or be brought against the Town of Churchill as a result of, or in connection with the said use of the location(s) by the Production Company, its employees, contractors, agents or representatives and specifically, the Town of Churchill will not be responsible for any liability arising from these activities with respect to advertising or any copyright or trademark infringements.
Any damage resulting from filming activities, whether caused directly by the Production Company or an associated party is the responsibility of the Production Company.
The Production Company shall promptly report to the Town of Churchill any potentially serious accident or claims for liability or loss with respect to this agreement.
Information, Permits and Licenses
All information, permitting and licencing related to filming and commercial photography activity will be coordinated through the Town Administration Services Office:
Your permits and licencing will include, however are not limited to; Filming Permits and Business Licenses. Once a Filming Permit has been issued any changes, extensions, or additional request must receive approval from the Film Liaison.
Parks Canada and the Churchill Wildlife Management Area
For information and film and photography requests within Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site of Canada, York Factory Historic Site of Canada or the Parks Canada Visitor Reception Centre, please review the Commercial Film and Photography Guidelines page and follow the directions to apply. Please note a Parks Canada Film and TV Request Form must be completed in full and submitted a minimum of 15 days prior to the intended commercial film/photography activities to allow for sufficient time for evaluation.
Churchill Wildlife Management Area
To film in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area (WMA), be sure that you are working with an individual or business with a valid permit to operate in the area as an Off-road Tundra Vehicle Trail Operators or Built-up Road and Trail Operators.
While permits are not required for filming in the WMA, we encourage you to reach out to the local office at 204-675-8897 and advise of your plans.
Areas within the Town of Churchill boundaries fall under a Transport Canada Restricted Drone Use area. If your filming requires drone use, we encourage you to coordinate with Transport Canada and Nav Canada as soon as possible.
In addition to Transport Canada’s requirements Parks Canada, which is responsible for Wapusk National Park, and Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site, which includes Cape Merry Battery and Sloop Cove has their own processes for receiving applications and providing approval to use a drone in their respective areas. Please note that all National Historic sites are considered a no-fly zone and require special permissions that need to be obtained well in advance of filming or photography activity occurring.
If utilizing a drone, ensure that it is used in a manner that does not cause harassment to polar bears or other wildlife. Drone use is not permitted within the Churchill Wildlife Management Area.
Information and/or contact details:
- Transport Canada
- Drone Safety
- Transport Canada
- 344 Edmonton St.
- Winnipeg, Manitoba
- R3C 0P6
- Toll Free: 1-888-463-0521
· NAV Canada
- Parks Canada
- Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site: Commercial Film and Photography Guidelines
- York Factory National Historic Site: Commercial Film and Photography Guidelines
- Wapusk National Park: Commercial Film and Photography Guidelines
- Commercial Film and Photography Guidelines (Aerial filming)
- Parks Canada
The Town of Churchill reserves the right to refuse filming or issuance of a permit to a production company or individual that does not comply and/or satisfy the criteria outlined in these guidelines. This could include production companies or individuals that have failed in the past, to adhere to these filming guidelines