Permits and licenses

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Business licenses

Working in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve 

In consultation with national park reserve stakeholders, operating standards for most commercial ecotourism activities within the national park reserve have been developed. These operating standards include environmental best practices and accepted safety standards. Compliance with the standards is necessary to obtain a business license. Business licenses are valid from April 1 to March 31.

A business license is required for all businesses, companies, guides and/or vendors who are operating in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Each contractor and sub-contractor requires their own business license to work in the national park reserve.

If you are a business operator (e.g. contractor, kayak guide, boating guide, marine wildlife operator, surfing instructor, hiking guide, or transportation provider) and would like to apply for a license, or would like any further information, please call us at 250-726-3500, or email us: Pacrim.info@pc.gc.ca.

Please allow for a minimum of four to six weeks to process your application.

Fee: $61.50 annually for each license.

For a current list of approved licensed operators, please click here or contact our office: Pacrim.info@pc.gc.ca.

Special event permits for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

A special event within the national park reserve is defined as a temporary, planned activity that is conducted for recreation, entertainment, education, commemoration or promotional purposes. They include any sporting event, concert, theatrical or musical performance, fair, contest and show.

A special event requires a license if it is carried out in the national park reserve. Please allow for a minimum of four to six weeks to process your application.

Special event permit applications are reviewed to ensure that they are suitable and do not interfere with other events or activities. For questions and/or to apply for a Special Event Permit, please contact us at 250-726-3500 or email us: Pacrim.info@pc.gc.ca

Wedding Permits

The world-class scenery of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve makes it an outstanding location for your wedding ceremony.

Within the national park reserve boundaries, there are special conditions associated with having a wedding ceremony. Organizers must have an approved Wedding Permit to ensure their recognition of these special conditions. Parks Canada appreciates your support in helping to ensure the long-term conservation of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s resources for future generations.

A wedding permit is required for all weddings planned in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, regardless of size. 

Please allow for a minimum of four to six weeks to process your application.

Conditions for wedding ceremonies

To minimize the impact of your ceremony on the natural setting as well as respecting other visitors’ experiences:

  • Wedding participants are required to comply with national park regulations at all times.
  • Tents or temporary shelters are not permitted.
  • Gas-powered generators, excessive noise, unruly behaviour, loud music or P.A./amplification systems are not permitted.
  • Choose a less popular location, or a time earlier or later in the day to avoid congestion.
  • Park in designated lots only.

All activities and events within national parks are subject to the Canada National Park Act which is aimed at conserving the national resources of the park while providing opportunities for all visitors to connect with nature. As such, the following regulations must be met:

  • The park is a public place. Exclusive rights to an area are not permitted. Areas cannot be cordoned off for personal use.
  • All participants must possess a valid national park entry pass.
  • All businesses, including wedding photographers, operating within the national park reserve requires a business license.
  • The event must comply with BC’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulations, open alcohol is prohibited in public places.
  • Wedding participants must not disturb the park’s natural and cultural resources. Do not tie anything to trees or existing infrastructure.
  • Take only photographs. It is illegal to pick flowers, mushrooms, cut down trees, branches, remove rocks, cultural artifacts or otherwise cause damage to natural objects or living things.
  • Wildlife attractants must not be left unattended at any time; this includes all scented items - food, garbage, recycling, coolers, candles etc.

Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Throwing of confetti (natural or synthetic). This includes paper, rice, eco-alternatives, flower petals or leaves etc.
  • Use of drones
  • Off-roading to access the site
  • Use of pyrotechnics
  • Release of live animals (e.g. doves, butterflies etc.)
  • Overnighting at day-use areas

A thorough clean up of the site is required immediately after the event. The organizer accepts full responsibility for any incidents, and/or costs of clean up or site rehabilitation resulting from the event.

Fee: $31.50 

For questions and/or to apply for a Wedding Permit, please contact us at 250-726-3500 or email us: Pacrim.info@pc.gc.ca

Marriage Commissionaires

All marriage commissionaires, Justice of the Peace or anyone receiving payment to perform a marriage within the national park reserve is required to have a valid business license to provide these services.

For information on business licenses and how to apply check here.

Commercial film and travel media

Lying along the west coast of Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is situated in the traditional territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations and boasts kilometers of long sandy beaches, unspoiled temperate rainforests and adventures that will delight the explorer in all!

To care for this amazing place and also ensure visitors’ experiences are not impacted, all commercial filming and photography in the national park reserve requires a film or photography permit.

If you wish to visit Parks Canada places and undertake a film or photo shoot, you may require a film/photo permit, or you may simply need to register your project. Choose your project category below for more information.

Travel Media

Travel media are a key partner in showcasing our beautiful national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.

If you wish to visit Parks Canada places in person and undertake a film or photo shoot, you may require a film/photo permit, or you may simply need to register your project. This will depend on the scale of your project.

Do I need a film/photo permit or project registration?

Most small-scale projects only require project registration, rather than a film/photo permit. Your project is considered “small-scale” if your project meets all of the following criteria.

Project is intended to inform audiences about the work of Parks Canada and/or to promote visitation to Parks Canada places.
Crew size is of six people or fewer (including models or other talent).
Equipment is limited to cameras, tripods, microphones, or other hand-held equipment.
Activities remain in areas open to the public and during normal operating hours only.
Adheres to all laws and regulations.
No drones are used.

If you meet these criteria, contact:

Crystal Bolduc, Promotions Officer
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
250-726-7165 ext 516
Crystal.Bolduc@pc.gc.ca

Registering your small-scale travel media film and photo project

  • We recommend you register your shoot at least 20 business days in advance to avoid surprises in the rare case that your project poses operational challenges.
  • Please note that registering your project does not exempt it from standard visitors’ fees.

If your project does not meet the criteria of a small-scale shoot, you must apply for a film/photo permit. Please see next section for information.

Commercial filming and photography

All commercial filming and photography in the national park reserve requires a film or photography permit

Applying

Submit an application a minimum of 20 business days (4 weeks) prior to the intended film or photography activities to:

Crystal Bolduc, Promotions Officer

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
250-726-7165 ext 516
Crystal.Bolduc@pc.gc.ca

Applications will be assessed against Canada's National Parks Act, national park regulations and how the initiative would contribute to awareness, education, and appreciation of national parks. When reviewing the application, Parks Canada will also consult with indigenous partners in whose traditional territory the filming and/or photography is proposed. If approved, a Film/Photography permit will be issued.

What works well

  • Productions involving minimal equipment, crew size and impact on the environment and visitors;
  • Productions contributing to public awareness, appreciation and understanding of Canada’s national parks and Parks Canada; and
  • Productions requesting off-season or weekday shooting dates.

What won’t work

  • Filming during peak season (May long weekend through September)
  • Using equipment, chemicals or engaging in any activity that may damage the environment;
  • Take-off and landing of aircrafts (including drones), or low-level flying;
  • Exclusive use of an area, limiting public access or disrupting public enjoyment;
  • Portraying activities that are illegal, or conflict with Parks Canada’s mandate; and/or
  • Disrupting, harassing or manipulating wildlife, including using trained wildlife.

Fees

Fee information for commercial film and photography in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Production crew size  Application fee (non-refundable)  Location fee (per day)
1-6  $153.50 $511.25
 7-15  $383.50 $1,022.75
 16-30  $767.00 $1,533.75
 31-99  $2,556.25 $2,045.25
 100+ $3,067.75 $2,556.25

Note: Parks Canada reserves the right to refuse applications that are not in the best interest of the Agency or revoke permission if terms and conditions of the permit are violated.

Regulations:

Full compliance with the Canada National Parks Act and Park Regulations is required. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. No open firearms, use of firearms (includes discharging of blank ammunition or explosives), or hunting;
  2. No damaging, destruction or removal of natural or cultural resources;
  3. No feeding, enticing (e.g. baiting, calling), touching, harassing, or disturbing park wildlife;
  4. No littering or leaving food or garbage where wildlife can access it (all food and garbage must be stored or disposed of in bear-proof containers and/or packed out);
  5. All aerial filming must comply with Canadian Air Regulations; the use of recreational UAV/Drones is not allowed and requires a Restricted Activity Permit in all other circumstances;
  6. No camping outside of designated campgrounds and campsites;
  7. No entering of closed areas.
Professional photography

You will need to have a business license from Pacific Rim National Park Reserve if you:

  • are hired to take photos in the national park reserve
  • plan to sell photos taken in the national park reserve

This includes:

  • Wedding photography
  • Special event photography
  • Wildlife photography
  • Nature and landscape photography

Hobby photographers do not require any permit or license. Please be sure to follow all park regulations while taking photos in the national park reserve.

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