Safety Considerations

Provincial Film Commission

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Sustaining a safe industry in British Columbia with support from local authorities.

Actsafe

Actsafe partners with B.C.s entertainment industries to keep workers safe.  The organization is  dedicated to the promotion of workplace health and safety in the motion picture and performing arts industries in British Columbia.

Their mandate includes providing health & safety information, education, and training for the performing arts and motion picture industries in our Province. Actsafe has publications, posters, videos and access to industry specific health and safety consultation

When the industry perceives a need, Actsafe responds.

Aircrafts + Drones

 AIRCRAFTS

Transport Canada must approve any aircraft use, including both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft; manned and unmanned. The Aircraft Company is responsible for contacting Transport Canada.

Typically a permit requires ten to twenty days for approval, and a fee is charged for the application. Permits are typically arranged by the pilots of aircraft on behalf of the Producer/Production Company.

Flying Your Drone Safely and Legally

Animals in Film

Creative BC is committed to promoting guidelines that safeguard the welfare of animals involved in motion picture production in British Columbia.

Electrical Permit Requirements

Permits are required for any lighting equipment and other uses of electricity. Most cities and towns require a provincial permit through Technical Safety BC. Some cities handle their own electrical permits and should be contacted directly: Burnaby, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, West Vancouver.

You can apply for the provincial temporary electrical operating permit at:

Explosives + Film Permitting Authorities
  • Locations and dates for filming of effects
  • Effects to be used and their fabrication
  • Anticipated result
  • Safety measures to be taken

Copies of Event Approval and Pyro Effects Plan/ Letter of Intent must be available on set.

  • Fire Chief/Fire Protection Office
  • Provincial Occupational Health (WorkSafeBC) and Safety Organizations (ActSafe)
  • Designated representatives for event approval or site inspections

A demonstration may be required to determine if the effect can be performed safely. It is understood that this is not always feasible in film and television production, due to the one-off nature of many performances.

If you are based outside of Canada, and you are participating in the production of a pyrotechnic special effects event in Canada, you must:

For information on the certification of pyrotechnics and pyrotechnical personnel, please refer to the website:

Special Effects

Municipal fire departments should be notified when staging any stunts related to fire or explosions. Typically, a fire suppression plan is required, involving the presence of fire or water trucks.

  • Locations and dates for filming of effects
  • Effects to be used and their fabrication
  • Anticipated result
  • Safety measures to be taken

Copies of Event Approval and Special Effects Plan/ Letter of Intent must be available on set.

Technical Safety BC oversees the safe use of gas appliances and accumulators for the purpose of Special Effects in the Motion Picture Industry. Certified equipment must be registered, and proper operating permits must be in place. Qualified special effects technicians can apply for these items at:

Site Visits

A site visit may be required to determine if the effect can be performed safely. It is understood that this is not always feasible in film and television production, due to the one-off nature of many performances.

Firearms + Related Controlled Goods

Where firearms are visible or audible to the public, municipalities may require that a police officer be present.  In many cases, only 1/4 loads can be used.

The use of firearms for motion picture activities requires both federal and provincial licences.  The federal business firearms licence specific to the motion picture/theatrical production industry may authorize a business to possess firearms (including prohibited firearms) and other prohibited items such as prohibited devices and prohibited weapons.

For more information or questions about the federal business firearms licence, please contact the Chief Firearm Officer for British Columbia at:

Phone: 1-800-731-4000 extension 9530
E-mail: BCYTCFP@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Fax : 778-290-6174

FIREARMS ACT

The Firearms Act addresses the use of firearms and other prohibited items for the purpose of motion picture/theatrical productions.

The Firearms Licences Regulations includes specific provisions for the motion picture/theatrical production industry in regards to:

  • A Non-residents Sixty-day Possession Licence (Borrowed Firearms) Section 10, 3(g) and 4(g); and,

Application for a Non-resident Temporary Borrowing Licence for Non-restricted Firearms

  • The prescribed purpose for a business to possess prohibited firearms and other prohibited items Section 22, (f) & (g)

The Special Authority to Possess Regulations references the temporary transfer of a replica firearm to a transferee who does not hold a federal firearms business licence for the purpose of motion picture activities (i.e. a licensed supplier temporarily lending a replica firearm to a Prop Master):

  • Temporary Transfers of Replica Firearms 8(a)

CONTROLLED GOODS DIRECTORATE

The Controlled Goods Directorate (CGD) is a Federal Government Program administered by the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).

The CGD is a domestic industrial security program that helps strengthen Canadas defense trade controls through registration, prevention, deterrence and detection, and prevents the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of conventional weapons. This is done by regulating and controlling the examination, possession, and transfer in Canada of controlled goods and/or controlled technology.

Anyone who deals with controlled goods and/or controlled technology in Canada is required to register with the CGD. The CGD is legislated by the Defence Production Act (DPA) and the Controlled Goods Regulations (CGR).

Traffic Control

Most highway shoots require the use of certified traffic control personnel.

On roadways within municipal jurisdictions, producers may have to contact local police to provide traffic control.

Private traffic management companies are often approved to provide traffic management and planning services in most municipalities.

Regional Mobile Food Truck Requirements

Craft Service and Catering Vehicles, which include but are not limited to trailers, converted motor homes, or other self-contained units, may be required to meet the description of a Food Service Establishment as defined in the BC Food Premises Regulation.

For this reason, the owner/operator of the vehicle must apply to the local Health Authority for approval and to obtain a valid PERMIT TO OPERATE.

All mobile food trucks owners must ensure systems are up to date for electrical and propane sticker certifications from Technical Safety BC.

Electrical products 

Gas Appliances 

Mobile food trucks must also have up to date fire inspection stickers which can be obtained via municipal fire departments.

Worksafe BC

Worksafe BC is committed to creating a province free from workplace injury or illness, and to providing service driven by our core values of integrity, accountability, and innovation. By partnering with workers and employers, Worksafe BC helps British Columbians come home from work safe every day.

Health and Safety for Motion Picture Industry