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Filming in Churchill

Town of Churchill Filming Guidelines

Opening/Guideline Statement
Thank you for choosing to film within the Town of Churchill.  We at the Town of Churchill recognize the importance of television and film industry to our community’s international image. Our breathtaking landscapes and northern hospitality makes Churchill an excellent filming location.  We encourage the utilization of local businesses and agencies to assist throughout the duration of filming in Churchill
The Town of Churchill has a strong understanding of the need for balance regarding the rights and wishes of our citizens and the unique requirements of the film industry.  Most importantly, The Town of Churchill recognizes that safety and security is of utmost importance.  Churchill’s remote location and curious wildlife makes us a one of a kind filming location with a variety of different safety procedures.  We recommend hiring a local bear guard for all filming outside the town site of Churchill, in addition, The Town of Churchill, Manitoba Conservation, Parks Canada and the Chamber of Commerce offer a Polar Bear Safety Orientation Presentation that we recommend to all visitors.
All filming and commercial photography that utilizes Town property must be reported to, and coordinated through The Town of Churchill’s Film Liaison Officer. This includes all requests for permits and subsequent direction to the appropriate Town of Churchill Departments.
The following guidelines apply to all location filming and commercial photography activities utilizing municipally owned or leased property within the Town of Churchill.  The guidelines will provide you with the necessary information you may require to film within The Town of Churchill.  Details on regulations, permits, by-laws, and civic services are included within.  For any additional information not covered in the guidelines, the Film Liaison would welcome your inquiries via phone or email.
We look forward to working with you.
General Filming Guidelines
To begin the film process in The Town of Churchill film crews are to apply for a business licence ($300-non-resident) as well as a filming permit ($50). In addition the production must follow the General Filming Guidelines outlined below and fall into one of the following film categories;
  • Feature Films
  • Television Films
  • Television programs/series
  • Television Commercials
  • Documentaries
  • Educational Films
  • Music Videos
  • Commercial Photography
  • Other projects as approved by The Town of Churchill
Television news and news programming is exempt from these guidelines.
Please note that the Town of Churchill has the right to refuse filming within the area at their discretion.
Notification to Town of Churchill
The Production Information Sheet (provided on next page), must be submitted to The Town of Churchill’s Film Liaison no less than five (5) business days in advance of filming activity.  Filming that involves use of Town Facilities and/or parks, road or sidewalk closures, dedicated parking arrangements, special effects, firearms and alteration to street signage requires a submission of not less than ten (10) business days in advance of filming activity.
Upon receipt and approval of the completed Production Information Sheet, a Filming Permit will be issued within five (5) business days.
Notification and Consideration to Residents and Businesses
Residents and/or businesses that may be affected during filming, must be notified of filming no less than three (3) business days in advance of filming activity.  Information including but not limited to; location and duration of filming, planned special effects, road and lane closures, sidewalk obstruction and street parking restrictions must be communicated by means of a signed letter on company letterhead, including the name and number of the Location Manager. A copy of the letter must be submitted to the Film Liaison.
In situations where filming activity impedes access to a business or businesses, it is the responsibility of the Production Company to approach the affected owners in order to identify means of limiting disruption and/or determine appropriate levels of compensation for lost business.  If a mutual acceptable agreement cannot be made, The Town of Churchill will attempt to negotiate a solution directly or through an alternative process.
The filming Permit may be revoked if it is discovered that affected residents and/or businesses have not been adequately notified of filming activities.
It is the Production Company’s responsibility to ensure that there is a minimum of disruption to residents and businesses resulting from filming activity.  This includes ensuring uninhibited access to property and freedom from environmental conditions that include, but are not limited to, spill over lighting, exhaust fumes or excessive noise.
In the event of long-term filming activities, measures taken to limit disruption must be deemed satisfactory to all affected residents and businesses.
Insurance Conditions
Prior to filming in Churchill, film companies must provide the Film Liaison Officer with a certificate of Insurance that meets the following criteria;
  • Certificate of Insurance
    • A minimum Commercial General Liability limit of two million($2,000,000) dollars per occurrence if production has a budget of two million or less, including but not limited to broad form contractual liability and severability of interest provisions and naming the Town of Churchill as additional insured.  
    • A minimum Commercial General Liability limit of five million ($5,000,000) dollars per occurrence if production has a budget of over two million, including but not limited to broad form contractual liability and severability of interest provisions and naming the Town of Churchill as additional insured. 
    • A minimum Commercial General Liability of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) per occurrence if the production requires Town Services, street closures, stunts, special effects and has a budget above two million ($2,000,000) dollars, including but not limited to broad form contractual liability and severability of interest provisions and naming the Town of Churchill as additional insured. 
  • Contains a fifteen day notice of cancellation/termination clause
  • Original copies of the Certificate of Insurance
  • Fax or email a copy of the insurance certificate to the Film Liaison (204) 675-2934;
  • Automobile Third-Party Liability insurance in an amount of not less than one million dollars covering all owned/leased vehicles used in connection with this agreement.
  • Any other forms of insurance (i.e Aircraft Liability, Pyrotechnics Liability, Fire Legal Liability, etc.) that may be applicable.
  • All insurances must be provided by an insurer registered to do business in the Province of Manitoba.  Proof of coverage, in the form of an original Certificate of Insurance must be submitted to the Film Liaison before a Filming Permit can be issued. 
Information, Permits and Licenses
All information, permitting and licencing related to filming activity will be coordinated through the office of:
Film Liaison
Town of Churchill
180 Laverendrye Avenue
P.O. Box 459
Churchill Manitoba
R0B 0E0
Tel: +1 204-675-8871
Fax: +1 204-675-2934
Your permits and licencing will include, however not limited to; Filming Permits and Business Operating Licenses.
Filming Hours
There are no set filming hours for The Town of Churchill, however we expect film crews to follow the noise by-law which takes effect at 11:00 P.M.-6:00 A.M.  Permission to conduct work that may create excessive or wrongful noise at times outside of these hours will require the written permission of the Town of Churchill’s Executive Director.
Traffic and Traffic Stoppages:
The Town of Churchill is prepared to close streets, alleys and lanes for filming activity.  Requests for closures must be stated clearly on the Production Information Sheet and must receive the signed approval of the Town of Churchill’s Director of Public Works and Utilities.
  • Production vehicles must comply with appropriate traffic regulations unless specific permission has been noted on the Location Filming Permit
  • Except when a road has been closed for filming, all moving vehicles must adhere to posted speed limits and other lawful conditions unless directed otherwise by the R.C.M.P
  • Intermittent traffic stoppages will be limited to a maximum of five (5) minutes, unless otherwise stated and shall be under the supervision of individuals possessing approved traffic control certification.  In situations where filming presents a significant traffic flow and/or safety concern, supervision by R.C.M.P will be required.
  • Use of Provincial Road 636 for any filming activity will require the written approval of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation as well as communication with the R.C.M.P
  • Depending on the extent of filming to be completed, the Production Company may be required to place notices in the community warning of upcoming disruptions to traffic flow
It is the Production Company’s responsibility to arrange for all required traffic control personnel (R.C.M.P) and to make arrangements with the Town of Churchill’s Director of Public Works and Utilities to cover, alter, remove and/or reinstall traffic or street signs as may be necessary.  All costs associated with these arrangements are the responsibility of the Production Company.
Parking requirements must be clearly stated on the Production Information Sheet.
  • The Town of Churchill will attempt to provide dedicated space in Town owned lots for all essential film unit vehicles.  A per-stall fee of $10.00 per day will be charged for this service.  Special parking arrangements will not be made for personal vehicles belonging to cast and/or crew.
  • Arrangements for dedicated on-street parking must be negotiated between the Production Company and affected residents and businesses.  Such arrangements require of the Town of Churchill’s Director of Public Works and Utilities.
  • In all circumstances production vehicles must not block fire hydrants, driveways, road intersections, accesses, ramps and priority parking stalls.
  • If it is deemed necessary to tow private vehicles parked in areas dedicated to filming activates, the Production Company will contact Churchill’s Municipal Support Officer or if unavailable, Churchill R.C.M.P.  It is illegal for the Production Company to request a towing company to move a private vehicle.
Parks and Management Areas
For information filming inside Wapusk National Park, Prince of Whales Fort National Historic Site of Canada, York Factory Historic Site of Canada or the Parks Canada Visitor Reception Centre, please contact by phone at (204) 675-8863.
To film in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area or with the Polar Bear Alert Program please contact the local office at 204-675-8897.
Building Permits
Building Permits will not be required for filming activities unless the Town of Churchill deems the nature of the installation and length of filming activities at the project site to warrant the requirement for the additional permit.
Special Effects/Firearms
The use of firearms, explosives, flash powder, detonators, flammable liquids and the filming of dangerous stunts must be stated clearly on the Production Information Sheet. The signed approval of the Town of Churchill’s Fire Chief and EMS is required.
  • Attendance of the Town of Churchill Fire and EMS personnel may be required for the use of fire/pyrotechnic effects.  All costs associated with these requirements and related clean-up are the responsibility of the Production Company.
  • All dangerous/hazardous materials (including, but not limited to, fuels, paints, pyrotechnics, pressurized gasses, solvents, etc.) must be stored and used in accordance with all applicable Federal and Provincial laws, regulations and guidelines.
  • All film armourers/gun wranglers must be familiar with Canadian laws with respect to the storage/transportation and regulation of firearms. All restricted and/or prohibited weapons must comply with current Federal firearms regulations.
Clean Up
Production crews are responsible for cleaning the project site at the end of every working day.  Upon completion of filming activity, the Production Company must ensure that the site is returned to its original condition.  An inspection of the project site by Town personnel will be conducted in order to ensure compliance.
  • All acceptable waste must be disposed of in Town of Churchill approved animal-proof containers.
  • Where possible, the Production Company shall participate with the Town of Churchill’s recycling program.  Types of products that should be recycled include cardboard, mixed paper, metal and plastics.
  • Depending on the scope of filming activity, the Production Company may be required to make special arrangements for waste handling and disposal. Such arrangements will be made through the Town of Churchill’s Director of Public Works and Utilities.
  • No liquid or frozen materials including beverages, grey water, paint, grease or soap may be spilled into any bodies of water or catch basins.
It is the responsibility of the Production Company to ensure that their staff and all individuals associated with the production operate in a safe and professional manner in the course of their duties.
Fees and Expenses
The Production Company is responsible for all administrative fees and out-of-pocket expenses related to the use of Town of Churchill’s roads, properties, parks, equipment or personnel and shall be given an estimate of these costs prior to the issuance of the Filming Permit.
Damage Deposits
Damage deposits are normally required.  The amount required will depending on the scope of the filming activities and will be negotiated with the Executive Director. A deposit in the form of a letter of credit or certified cheque must be provided to the Town of Churchill in advance of filming work and shall not be returned until all conditions, including cleanup of filming location, and a full payment of expenses incurred by The Town of Churchill, have been fulfilled.
Any damage resulting from filming activities, whether caused directly by the Production Company or an associated party is the responsibility of the Production Company.
Indemnification/ Save Harmless
The applicant shall indemnify and save harmless the Town of Churchill from and against all claims, actions, damages, injuries, costs, expenses or losses whatsoever, which may arise or be brought against the Town of Churchill as a result of, or in connection with the said use of the location(s) by the Applicant, its employees,  contractors, agents or representatives and specifically, the Town of Churchill will not be responsible for any liability arising from these activities with respect to advertising or any copyright or trademark infringements.
Notification of Accident or Claims
The applicant shall promptly report to the Town of Churchill any potentially serious accident or claims for liability or loss with respect to this agreement.
Once a Filming Permit has been issued any changes, extensions, or additional request must receive approval from the Film Liaison.
It is hoped that any dispute arising from location filming activities in the Town of Churchill can be resolved in an expeditious and mutually agreeable fashion.  In the event that a decision is not mutually agreeable, it is the right of either party to appeal the decision.
All appeals must be addressed to the Town of Churchill’s Executive Director. Every attempt will be made to address the subject of the appeal in a timely manner, however if it is deemed necessary Town Council will address the subject.
Depending on the nature of the appeal, filming activity in a particular location may or may not be temporarily halted.
The Town of Churchill reserves the right to refuse to allow filming or issuance of a permit to a production company or individual that does not comply and/or satisfy the criteria outlined in these guidelines.  This could include production companies or individuals that have failed in the past, to adhere to these filming guidelines.
The Filming Guidelines were approved by the Council of The Town of Churchill on September 25, 2014. Resolution #144/14
Please complete the following checklists and return it to the Film Liaison in order to receive your filming permit. All responses should be as complete as possible.
 Supply a copy of the script to the Film Liaison  
 Provide Proof of Insurance  
 Provide a list of all locked (and tentative) locations  
 Supply a Crew List  
 Start and End Film Dates  
Will there be… (Must supply all details on a separate page for every box answered with "yes”)
 Car Stunts/Driving Sequences?  
 Will any public roads be re-routed?  
 Do you require street closure?  
 Artificial substances on public land?  
 Artificial snow on public land?  
 Use of guns/weapons?  
 Will extreme noise be generated? *  
 Are portable generators being used? (What type/where?)  
 Atmospheric Smoke?  
 Will any MB Hydro lights be de-lamped?  
 Will any temporary structures be erected?  
 Will there be filming prior to 8 AM or after 10 PM?  
 Will independent contractors being used on set? – e.g. electrical, snow removal etc.