With its spectacular Northwest mountain scenery, diverse exterior and interior locations and proximity to Vancouver’s industry resources, Whistler is a location of choice for many American and Canadian productions.
Over the past 20 years, Whistler has built an international name as a prime location for ski and snowboarding adventure films. The expansive Whistler and Blackcomb mountain terrain, unique snow conditions and local talent make Whistler an excellent choice for sports filmmaking. But it’s what happens when the mountain closes for the day that’s made Whistler popular with both scripted TV dramas and reality shows.
Whistler Village offers a variety of locations, from unique romantic restaurants to vibrant nightclubs that can either establish a sense of place or add glamour to production. Whether a scene takes place above the forest canopy on a zip-line, on charming benches along Village Stroll, or in a glass-bottomed Peak2Peak gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, there’s no shortage of places to get dramatic in Whistler.
Working with the Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) handles all requests and permits for filming in public areas in:
- Whistler Village
- The Whistler Interpretive Forest
- Whistler neighbourhoods and roads
- Whistler parks
The RMOW recognizes the importance of the BC film and TV industry and is serious about ensuring everyone involved in a production - from the director to community residents - has a positive experience.
- Find guidelines for applying for a film permit in Whistler
- Apply for a film permit
- Find film permit fees
Unmanned Aircraft (Drones)
Aircraft without a pilot on board go by many names—unmanned air vehicle (UAV), remotely piloted aircraft system, model aircraft, remote control aircraft, and drone. The Federal government has recently increased regulations for drone use. Recreational and unpermitted commercial drone use is not allowed anywhere in Whistler.
Recreational users will face a fine of up to $3,000 if drones weighing more than 250 grams are caught flying:
- Higher than 90 metres.
- Within 75 metres of buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals or people.
- More than 500 metres away from the user.
- At night, in clouds or somewhere you can't see it.
- Within nine kilometres of somewhere aircraft take off or land, or a forest fire.
- Without your name, address and phone number marked on the drone itself.
- Over forest fires, emergency response scenes or controlled airspace.
Permission and safety requirements
To fly your unmanned aircraft for film work, you need to follow strict safety conditions outlined in an exemption or apply for permission from Transport Canada. It depends on the type of aircraft, its weight and how and where you plan to use it.
There is an active medical helipad within the centre of Whistler Village.
If your aircraft weighs 250 grams or more, or if you are using a drone for work purposes, you need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate before you can use it.
Unmanned aircraft that weigh less than 250 grams may qualify for an exemption to the rules, which will allow you to fly without permission, however, the exemption does not apply within 5 nautical miles from any aerodrome (including the helipad at the Whistler Healthcare Centre).
The RMOW requires you to complete a Film Permit if you plan on using a drone within the resort.
Festivals, Events & Animation Supervisor