Filming in Vancouver

The City of Vancouver requires film companies to have police present during filming for various situations:

  • traffic control
  • firearms and gunfire
  • stunts and special effects

Although film companies are billed by the City for Police services, police may be required as a condition of the granting of the filming permit. Police are present to ensure all city filming guidelines are obeyed and that filming takes place in a manner that is safe and non-disruptive to the area.

Traffic Control

Only the VPD or others designated by the VPD have authority to undertake traffic control duties. Police must be on location for:

  • road closures (temporary or long-term)
  • temporary lockups
  • any filming that will affect or interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic unless authority has been given to block and detour
  • any other situation where public safety is a concern

Production Assistants

Production Assistants may control pedestrian traffic on sidewalks. The VPD has agreed to allow P.A.'s to control lane traffic within an area that is currently being locked down by police. They may also assist in quiet residential areas, but this must be pre-approved and will be indicated in instructions provided by the VPD.

Firearms & Gunfire

Any gunfire audible to the public, or firearms visible to the public (whether fired or not) requires a police officer to be in attendance. This regulation is due to potential 911 calls and the resulting drain on patrol strength.

To minimize the impact to surrounding neighbourhoods, only quarter load ammunition will be used to simulate gunfire.

Stunts & Special Effects

All stunts and special effects must be approved by police and the Film & Special Events Office. Larger stunts will include police during planning stages. Stunts must not involve regular vehicular or pedestrian traffic and must be completed in an area where the public has no access (i.e. lockup or barricaded).

All fires (larger than garbage can fires) and explosions must have a permit from the Fire Warden. Larger fires will require the Fire Department on scene. The Fire Warden's permit may be subject to inspection by police. It will include hours permitted and any other details deemed applicable.

Request Procedure

After receiving application approval from the City of Vancouver, requests for police assistance should be made to the VPD's Emergency and Operation Planning Section (EOPS) at (604) 717-3081 a minimum of two working days prior to the required time. The information required to process the request includes:

  • number of officers anticipated, if any (subject to police review)
  • date and time (start and end)
  • meeting location
  • description of the exact duties the police officers are expected to perform

Use of Police Equipment, Personnel, Etc.

The permission of the Chief Constable is required if a film production company wishes to film police personnel, police vehicles, equipment, uniforms, etc. The request must be submitted in writing to the Chief Constable. All pertinent details of the scenes involved including that portion of the script involving the Police Department as well as a brief outline of the story being told on film is required.

For more information, contact the VPD's Emergency and Operation Planning Section (EOPS) at (604) 717-3081.

Vancouver Film & Special Events Office

Visit the Vancouver Film & Special Events Office website for complete information on filming in Vancouver.