Local Filming Guidelines

Cowichan Filming Guidelines

The following general conditions apply to all Film Applications. 
Initial contact for filming in the Cowichan Valley Can be directed to:
Amy Melmock
Manager, Economic Development Cowichan 
Film Cowichan
135 Third Street,
Duncan, BC V9L 1R9
Phone: 250.746.7880 extension 248
Toll Free: 1.866.746.2508
Fax: 250.746.7801
Email: amelmock@cvrd.bc.ca 

Application to Film

The Cowichan Region is made up of the City of Duncan, the Town of Ladysmith, the Town of Lake Cowichan, the Municipality of North Cowichan, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District, which encompasses the unincorporated areas. In addition, there are a number of First Nations whose jurisdiction extends over the sixteen reserves in the region. A film permit is required when filming any production on public property including streets, sidewalks, parks, and other public spaces. Permit applications should be submitted at least 10 working days before the planned filming date to the following Municipal contacts.  

District of North Cowichan
Mark Ruttan, Director of Corporate Services/Deputy CAO

City of Duncan
Paige McWilliam, Corporate Services Coordinator

Town of Ladysmith
Felicity Adams, Director of Development Services

Town of Lake Cowichan
Joe Fernandez, Chief Administrator

For film activities outside the municipal boundaries and within the Electoral areas, please fill out the following information sheet and submit to Amy Melmock.  


Prior to filming, the applicant must provide proof of a valid public liability insurance of at least $2,000,000 against claims for personal injury, death or property damage occurring upon, in or about the site. The policy will include the appropriate governing body as additional named insured and contain a cross liability clause. Additional insurance may be required depending on the extent of the production activities.

Fees and Charges

An estimate sheet will be provided outlining rental rates for public property, buildings and other charges where applicable.


Policing for the Cowichan Region is under the jurisdiction of the RCMP. RCMP should be notified of all relevant filming activity requirements including filming involving gunfire, vehicle crashes, stunts, and traffic control disruption.

Fire Departments in the Cowichan Region

Coordination with local fire departments can be setup with Film Cowichan or the Fire Rescue Services Coordinator.
Jason deJong, CFO
Fire Rescue Services Coordinator
Public Safety Division, Cowichan Valley Regional District
Phone: 250.746.2564
Fax: 250.746.2563
Toll Free: 1.800.665.3955


Filming should be conducted between the hours of 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM Monday to Saturday, and Sunday 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM or according to any existing noise by laws. If filming is to occur outside of these times, details must be included in your permit application.

Use of Civic Properties

Civic properties are under the responsibility of various departments or agencies. Use of these buildings and properties require prior approval by the department responsible. Film Cowichan will provide you with appropriate contacts.


An outline of the dates, locations and types of vehicles to be parked on public streets or in public parking should be included in your locations worksheet. Only vehicles essential to filming should be parked on the street. Non essential vehicles should be parked off the street.

Access and notification

Access to businesses, residences and churches should be considered and maintained (including deliveries). The applicant is responsible for notifying residents and/or merchants who will be affected by the filming. A flyer or leaflet must be distributed with pertinent information about the event including: date, time, duration, area, temporary traffic or parking regulations. A record of who was notified is required. Large or disruptive productions may require advertisements in newspapers and other local media as well.


Applicants must designate a named on-site liaison person with authority to intervene and/or stop the event if necessary at any time during filming.

Road Closures

Road closures falling within the jurisdiction of the City of Duncan, the Municipality of North Cowichan, the Towns of Lake Cowichan and Ladysmith require approval of the areas which fall under their jurisdiction. All other roads and highways are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and will require the approval from the Ministry.

Port Authority

There are five deep sea ports in the Cowichan Region. Permission to film in the ports require permission from the Port Authority. Anyone planning a film production or event on Port Authority controlled property will be required to contact the appropriate agency. Request for the approval should be submitted to the Port Authority not less than 30 days prior to filming shoot date.

Electrical Permit Requirements

Electrical permit requirements will vary depending on the jurisdiction governing the film location. Please check with the Film Cowichan office for initial contact.