Motion Picture - Resources for COVID-19 Updates

British Columbia is open for business! 

The province welcomes all production activity to restart, resume, or begin with employers’ COVID-19 Safety Plans implemented and in place–from domestic production companies to international studios.

Creative BC will continue to update this page to provide productions with the most up-to-date and relevant information that addresses the global situation around COVID-19. Should you have specific questions, please contact the at Creative BC.

  • The BC Motion Picture Industry COVID-19 Best Practices Coalition published a set of high-level Safety Guidelines to assist productions in the safe return to work. The high-level guidelines were created in collaboration between 27 participants, including domestic and international employers, labour organizations, and industry associations.

    To further support the motion picture industry, the Coalition developed the Pandemic Production Guide. The guide is intended to support the assessment and management of COVID-19 risk in all types of production, and to assist employers in developing their own COVID-19 safety plans across departments. 

    Together, these assets serve employers of any size to access detailed health and safety protocols, guides, and best practices for motion picture production in British Columbia. 

  • All productions are required to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan to begin work in B.C.

    WorkSafeBC has published protocols for returning to operation for the motion picture industry.  They also offer a template to assist productions in the creation of their safety plan.  The safety plan does not need to be reviewed or approved before production can begin, but WorkSafeBC will review the safety plan as part of their inspection.

    Actsafe is available to review and provide feedback of safety plans through their online submission form.

  • Although the Canada-US border remains closed for discretionary travel, those with valid work permits will be permitted to travel for work. All workers will be required to present a B.C. self-isolation plan and federal ArriveCAN application and complete a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon entry into Canada.

    The following points outline the current Government of Canada regulations for Foreign Nationals seeking entry into Canada for employment:

    • B.C. TRAVELLERS AND EMPLOYERS ORDER: Stay apprised of changes through the “B.C. Travellers and Employers Order” under the Provincial Health Officer's "Orders, Notices and Guidance".
       
    • VALID WORK PERMITS: Provided that they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and that all other immigration admissibility criteria are met, travelers with valid or approved work permits will be permitted to travel (See links below for supporting documentation).  The type of work that is being done in Canada is not relevant for the purpose of determining whether travel is discretionary or non-discretionary. The CBSA has taken steps to ensure that this misconception is dispelled at the ports of entry.
       
    • QUARANTINE REMAINS IN EFFECT: In accordance with the existing federal order by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), all travellers must quarantine for 14 days upon entering Canada (in this case British Columbia) and will need to submit a BC self-isolation plan and complete the federal ArriveCAN application for approval prior to their return to B.C., or upon arrival. The B.C. self-isolation plan can either be completed/submitted online or using a paper form (although the recommendation is to complete/submit the form online before travel to B.C.) At this time, PHAC has not identified any alternatives to this measure.  Supporting tools:
  • In a letter to industries, Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed routine testing of asymptomatic people is not currently recommended in B.C.

    Employers who wish to implement screening and private testing measures - understanding that there are limitations to this approach as per the letter - must comply with the B.C. legal frameworks, (including but not limited to B.C human rights, employment standards, applicable collective agreements, privacy law, and existing and future Provincial Health Officer orders, notices, and guidance).

    The B.C. Centre for Disease Control offers all information on B.C.'s approach to testing.  For more information about testing in B.C., please reach out to the .

    The following organizations are available to provide production-specific private testing resources.

    If your organization provides COVID-19 private testing for the motion picture industry and would like to be added to our website, please email the .

  • The Provincial Health Office order on Mass Gatherings does not apply to the presence of workers at a workplace/worksite when engaged in their work activities. However, limiting the number of people in a workplace is an important way to ensure physical distancing is maintained.

  • Film offices in B.C. are beginning to reopen with fresh COVID-19 protocols in place.  Productions seeking film permits should contact the appropriate permitting authority before proceeding with the application process as some timelines or protocols may have shifted during this ramp-up period.

    For filming in B.C.’s regions, start by contacting the knowledgeable staff at the regional film commission that oversees the area.  Regional film commissions know their territories, can help navigate communication pathways, and provide valuable insight into which communities are ready to go and those that are more sensitive to incoming productions during this time.

  • Individual productions will develop their own best practices related to filming on location.  Questions or concerns about filming on location should be directed to the production, who will have representatives on site.  Contact information for individual productions can also be found on the Creative BC In Production list.  If the production is unavailable, please contact the local municipal film office.

  • The following FAQ's are relevant to these programs:

    • Passport to Markets / Passport to Markets Envelope
    • Book Publishing Market Expansion Fund
    • International Initiatives
    • Industry Initiatives
    • Domestic Motion Picture Development Funds (Reel Focus BC)
      • Project Development Fund
      • Access 2020
      • Rogers + Creative BC Documentary and Factual Fund

    I have applied to the Passport to Markets Program to travel to a market or conference, what happens now?

    If the event you were planning to attend a market or conference that has been cancelled or postponed due to COVID 19, Creative BC will honour all previously approved commitments at 100% of the amount approved for funding.

    I’ve received a Passport to Markets grant to travel to a market to which a Travel Health Notice related to the coronavirus has been issued. I’ve decided not to travel. Can I get reimbursed for some or all of my expenses?

    Yes. Funding recipients can claim non-recoverable expenses in their final reports for cancelled activities and travel. Please alert your Business Analyst as soon as you have made the decision to cancel your attendance at an event.

    My organization manages a large event/conference/festival for which Creative BC funding is core. What should I do?

    At the direction of the Minister of Health and B.C.’s provincial health officer, event organizers are required to cancel any gathering larger than 50 people. This includes indoor and outdoor events, conferences, and meetings. As we move forward, please stay in touch with the Business Analyst at Creative BC you normally deal with. We have every intention of maintaining long-standing commitments and relationships wherever possible.

    My event is being cancelled due to COVID-19, can I still receive funding for expenses that have already been incurred?

    Yes. Funding recipients can claim non-recoverable expenses in their final reports for cancelled activities and travel. Please alert your Business Analyst as soon as you have made the decision to cancel your event.

    Can I postpone my event?

    Yes, we are accepting changes to project timelines. If you need to postpone your event please contact your Business Analyst.

    My project is going to be impacted by COVID-19. Who should I notify?

    If you are anticipating changes to your timeline or approved expenses for your project, please contact the Business Analyst you usually deal with. The ramifications of COVID-19 on supported projects will be tracked and will help inform future decision making.

    Can I schedule an in-person meeting to discuss my project with Creative BC?

    Our teams are available by phgone or video conference, however in-person meetings are not available at this time.

    How will I receive my cheque?

    Cheques will be mailed or funds will be electronically transferred until further notice.

    When will programs reopen?

    Please sign up for our Newsletters for information on programs and intakes. There may be changes to start dates and openings, but broadly speaking, we are hoping to maintain the schedule currently established.

    Will the Project Development Fund reopen in April?

    We still anticipate that the Fund will open in the new fiscal year. All news and dates will be announced in the Creative BC Newsletter.

    I have an application in with Creative BC at the moment for one of their programs. Should I anticipate a delay in hearing a response or processing an application?

    We are hoping to maintain the scheduled turnaround time as indicated in the relevant program guidelines. However, some delays may occur.

    Please contact our team if you have any questions. Answers to more questions will follow soon. 

  • GENERAL RESOURCES:
    ➨ ActSafe 
    ➨ AFCI Global Production Alert 
    ➨ BC Centre for Disease Control
    ➨ Canadia Media Producers Association
    ➨ Commercial Production Association of Western Canada (CPAWC) 
    ➨ Creative BC COVID-19 Resources Index
    ➨ Government of British Columbia Restart Plan 
    ➨ Labour Organizations
    ➨ MPPIA Townhall links 
    ➨ Office of the Provincial Health Officer 
    ➨ Public Health Agency of Canada 
    ➨ World Health Organization

    COVID-19 CONSULTATION:

    ➨ The Harwood Safety Group
    (778) 689-2644

    ➨ Whitecap Risk & Safety Consultants
    | (604) 966-3777

    ➨ International SOS - Carmen Jeam
    | (403) 263-1118

    COVID-19 PRIVATE TESTING:

    ➨ Whitecap Risk & Safety Consultants
    | (604) 966-3777

    ➨ SetTest

    ➨ International SOS - Carmen Jeam
    | (403) 263-1118

    If your organization provides COVID-19 consultation or private testing for the motion picture industry and would like to be added to our website, please email the .

  • For questions or concerns about filming in general in BC, please contact at the film commission or call (604) 736-7997.