Filming FAQ

Filming benefits New Westminster

Throughout the province, filming spends $3B annually. In 2017, the New Westminster Film Office generated over $1M in film permit revenues that help support the delivery of City services and community activations.

For New West merchants and/or residents, one day of filming can equal between $10,000 - $20,000 of spending in our community for locations, goods or services. Based on 135 film permits issued in 2017, the economic spin off of filming in New Westminster was between $1.3 – $2.6M. Residents who work in the filming industry were paid over $47M in 2017. These residents buy goods and services locally that directly contribute to the wellbeing of our City.

Filming is known to create ‘film tourism’ where fans come out to see where their favourite shows and movies are filmed. Popular productions such as Once Upon A Time, Supergirl, Riverdale, and Supernatural see fans visiting our City to watch filming or find locations seen in past episodes.

Overall, filming is a powerful economic generator for New Westminster. The compilation of film permit revenue, economic spin-off and filming employment is estimated at $50M annually.

Creating Sustainable Filming

In order to create sustainable filming, the Film Office works with locations teams to ensure that popular neighbourhoods have adequate time to rest between filming occurrences. The key to minimizing impact is communication! All filming information, including contact information for submitting feedback, is included in a Filming Application Letter to be distributed to residents before any proposed filming activity is approved.

    • It is true, filming does not travel light! To create the onscreen magic, production companies need a large variety of cameras, lights, cables, props and equipment. Then they need all the staff to move set up and operate the equipment in the shortest amount of time possible. In turn, more vehicles are needed to host actors, feed the crew and provide basic amenities.

      Well before the Filming Application Letter is distributed, the Filming Coordinator has worked with the Location Manager to reduce their parking request, and distribute it to several areas, to minimize the on-set parking needs. For example, staff vehicles and the bulk of equipment trucks are parked outside the filming neighbourhood and people and equipment are shuttled in.

      The Filming Application Letter will include the parking details for essential on-set filming vehicles and equipment. As some filming equipment is heavy and awkward, some essential on-set parking is needed.

      If you have concerns about parking, please discuss them with the Location Manager who will try to find a solution.

    • The script drives the "look" for the desired location and all properties have potential. There are two ways that your property may be considered:

      • If a Location Scout approaches you.
      • By registering your property on the Creative BC website

      *Please note that the City does not get involved in listing or promoting merchant or residential properties.

      If you are approached to use your business as a filming location, please ensure the owner and renter (as applicable) are involved in creating a written agreement with the production company that outlines privileges, expectations, compensation and responsibilities.

      If you are uncertain if a Location Scout is bonafide you can check with the City Filming Coordinator, 604-527-4613, or confirm the production is real and active through the Creative BC website.

    • Ask questions or voice your concerns before, during, and after filming.

      Always feel free to reach out to the Film Office with any questions, comments or concerns: or 604-527-4613

    • The City of New Westminster does not hold or reserve any location(s) that you have expressed interest in. Other productions may be inquiring about location(s) in the area(s) you have expressed interest and the Film Office needs to prevent multiple productions from filming in the same area or filming an area too frequently.

      The only way to tentatively secure a location is by submitting a Filming Application after the location has been properly qualified with the Film Coordinator to the point of understanding that the production company has a firm interest in the location(s). 

    • We’ve compiled a handy, but not exhaustive, list of places ideal for circus and crew park in our City. Please reach out to the Film Office to discuss options and availability.

      The Film Office will work with you to minimize your footprint and impact on residents.

      Work trucks and crew vehicles parked outside of designated parking may be subject to fines. Please be sure to review our Idling Bylaw (Bylaw No. 7664 (section 4.21 & 4.22).

    • Removing, trimming and/or cutting of vegetation or trees on both City and privately owned lands is prohibited unless approved by the City Arborist or an approved contractor.

      Further, trees require a protective barrier (as determined by the City) that matches the width of branches to protect the critical root zone (CRZ). No vehicles or equipment can be stored within a CRZ nor can spikes be driven into the ground within a CRZ.

      If you have any concerns about trees, please contact the Filming Coordinator.

      For more information, please review our Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw (Bylaw No.7799, 2016).

    • Filming at the Fraser Cemetery is permitted with the approval of the Filming Coordinator and the Manager of Engineering Operations. Filming is not permitted on holidays or recognition days, and funerals and internments take precedence.

      Please reach out for more information and to chat about possibilities!

    • Any road closures or intermittent traffic control requests must be coordinated with the Filming Coordinator. Police services are available for approved road closures or ITC with sufficient notice. Depending on the scale, certified traffic management companies may be used. ITC can be no more than 3 minutes every 10 and will be considered on a case by case basis working with City staff to minimize impact.

    • As excessive snow becomes more commonplace, there are a few things to consider:

      • Is your production weather dependent?
      • During snow events, City crews are prioritized to ensure public and motorist safety based on the City’s snow removal plan. Any Production snow removal needs must be requested to the City and in some cases they can be accommodated by the City for a fee.
      • If not, the City may provide Productions with approval to remove snow by the Production or by private contractors. Such work cannot impact, impair or increase the work of City snow removal crews nor impede pedestrian or motor vehicle movement or negatively affect public safety.
    • Special effects and stunt coordination must be made a minimum of 10 days in advance. Let us know what you have in mind and we will do our best to make it happen safely consulting New Westminster Fire and Police as necessary. We may require that a SPFX Request Form be filled out.  

      Please note that the only artificial snow we allow is fish ice and snow blankets.

    • The Filming Coordinator will provide guidance if polling is required based on impact. Polling is typically required of proposed filming requires more than one day on location, if a curfew extension is requested, or if the work will be reoccurring. Please familiarize yourself with the City’s Good Neighbour Protocol.

    • You must check your certificate before sending it in to ensure it meets the following:

      • The Corporation of the City of New Westminster, 511 Royal Avenue, New Westminster BC, V3L 1H9, must be named as an additional insured on your liability policy;
      • The amount of the liability insurance shall not be less than $5,000,000 (or more depending on your request)
      • The insurance policy cannot be cancelled unless the City is notified in writing 30 days in advance;
      • Cross Liability Endorsement noted.
      • Email a copy with “Certificate of Insurance” in the subject line.
    • Our civic facilities are much loved and heavily used by our residents. Please reach out as soon as possible to request one of our facilities. We’ll check availability and do our best to provide alternatives.

    • Drones are permitted upon confirmation that the plan meets all current Transport Canada Drone regulations. The drone pilot is responsible for completing and submitting all requirements to the New Westminster film office and production company.

      1. Additional Aviation Insurance policy required.
      2. Permit conditional upon proof from Transport Canada that the airspace at this location (public park and residential street) is within the class that the operator is authorized to fly a drone within.
      3. Copy of valid drone pilot certification. (scan or photograph required)
      4. Drone registration number, photograph of registration number on the drone. (required)
      5. Written traffic management plan or pedestrian lock up with NWPD and for vehicle or pedestrian safety. (please include a map)
      6. Additional PA’s to do IPC to hold pedestrians during filming with the drone.
      7. Drone detailed flight path clarified in writing.
      8. Detailed map indicating Drone flight path and elevations.
      9. Confirmation, there is a light on the drone or only ground lights (photograph required)
      10. Confirmation of the size and the weight of the drone and that this complies with regulations.
      11. Specify the number of times and duration of drone flights.
    • Special events take precedence over filming. On special event days, filming will not be permitted along parade routes, near festival sites, street closures, or any area already experiencing more traffic than usual. Please consult our calendar of events when considering dates for your request. 

    • The Filming Office can levy fines in the rare event that production breaks the neighbourhood filming agreement or policies.

    • Payment cheques* can be made out to:

      City of New Westminster
      511 Royal Avenue
      New Westminster, B.C., V3L 1H9

      Please pick up your stamped permit no later than the day before your shoot at City Hall.

      Deposits are returned to production after any additional fees are calculated and reconciled by the film office.

      *Credit card payments under $2500 are accepted with an additional 3% service fee

    • A wrap survey will be forwarded to you at the end of filming. Please fill out and return to help us better track the economic benefits that your production brought to the community.

    • Have we missed anything?

      Please feel free to reach out to the Film Office with any questions, comments or concerns.