Film and Photo

Filming in Canmore

Photographers and videographers shooting within Canmore require a business license and may also need a film permit.

A film permit is required if their shoot - photo or video, is on public land or within a venue owned by the Town of Canmore.  Examples of public land include local trails within town, pathways, parks, green spaces and recreation areas within town boundaries

Film permits are issued on a per-day basis.  For small-scale productions (ex. photoshoot or low impact videography), multiple locations can be included on a single daily permit, and are not subject to location fees.  For medium to large-scale productions (ex. motion picture or TV) filming over multiple dates, location fees will apply.

A film permit is issued for projects on a per-day basis. TV and motion picture filming that takes place over several days or months will be issued one single permit for the duration of their event and location fees will apply.

Fees vary based on size and complexity of production. Review the parameters.

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). Review the parameters.

Annual film permits are pro-rated on a monthly basis from the month in which an application is processed and valid through Dec. 31 of the current year.

Annual film permits are temporary and do not 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

Key Conditions:

Applicant must submit a Notice of Scheduled Filming for review and approval prior to projects or gigs throughout the year.

Projects must be scheduled to complete within a single, eight (8) hour day.

The issuance of an annual film permit does not permit or include any filming to take place by UAV (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 includes two heliport aerodromes.  Below is a map that indicates the locations of the two heliports found within our community. Canmore Heliport Aerodrome Map.

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. 
  • To fly within this space, 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.

Apply for a Film Permit

Overview of the steps required to apply for a license within the Town of Canmore.

To apply for a film permit, submit the following to

  1. Film permit application form that is suitable to your project. Helpful Tip: Be specific with your locations (ex. "Engine bridge" or "Bow River trail"). Include a map with pin-drop with your application, if needed.

    Film Permit (Daily) Application
    Annual Permit Application
    UAV Film Application

  2. Certificate of insurance: Commercial general liability insurance with a coverage of $2 million per occurrence, naming Town of Canmore as an additional insured party. If your broker requests it, our address is: Town of Canmore, 902-7th Avenue, Canmore AB  T1W 3K1.

  3. Business license: Application for a business license, or a copy of your existing Canmore license. Helpful Tip: If you are coming from out of town, refer to the film permit application package for a copy of the Non-Resident business license application form.  If you are within Canmore or the MD of Bighorn, see other license options at

  4. Additional supporting documents, as required. Refer to the application form for an itemized list.

Submit all required documents in a single email.  The Coordinator will review your application package and respond to you with next steps.  Additional documentation or approvals may be required.


Processing Times:

  • Small-scale film or photo (ex. portraits and simple videography): Up to 5 business days
  • Complex film or photo (ex. use of UAV, Town resources, medium to large scale productions): 15 business days; potentially longer depending on the scale and scope of project.

These timeline does not include statutory holidays. 

Incomplete application packages can significantly impact processing time.

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 listed fees are current as of January 1, 2023 and subject to 5% GST.

These rates do not include fees associated with business licenses nor any Town supports and resources that may be needed for a project or production (ex. venue booking, 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

Film Permit (Photo/Motion and UAV):

Photography/Production Crew 

Per Permit
1-6 people $105

7-15 people


16-30 people


31-99 people


100+ people


If you are filming as part of an event with a community event permit, or a wedding that has booked a Town-operated venue (ex. Quarry Lake, Rundleview Parkette, or other), a business license and film permit are required but the film permit fee will be waived as is it considered included in the venue rental.  


Location fees are generally applied to larger scale productions and motion picture filming.

Photography/Production Crew 

Per Permit 
1-6 people N/A

7-15 people


16-30 people


31-99 people


100+ people


Annual Film Permit: 

$1,260, pro-rated by $105 monthly.  This permit will cover your film permit needs until December 31 of the current year.

Additional Requirements and Information

Proof of valid commercial general liability insurance coverage for a minimum of $2 million per occurrence is required for any film or photography projects on Town of Canmore property. This certificate must list Town of Canmore as an additional insured party. No production will take place without having provided proof of insurance.

All businesses operating in Canmore are required to obtain a business license.

Location Information

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 and we can offer guidance.

Depending on the scale and scope of the project, special permission from the Rocky Mountain Heritage Foundation may be required which the Coordinator will assist with. If a project does require this approval, the Coordinator will need from the production company, a detailed explanation of the project. 

Additionally, for medium-large space projects or UAV filming, a history of successful productions in public spaces, number of incidents (if any), and other information that may strengthen the request for use of this space. Should the Town approve, a letter of request, would be sent by the Town of Canmore on behalf of the production company for consideration by the Rocky Mountain Heritage Foundation. 

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 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. 

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, and neither a Town of Canmore film permit nor a Town of Canmore business license are required.