Photography and Filming in Ivvavik National Park

For filming and photography in Ivvavik National Park, there are additional approval processes mandated by the terms of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.

Ivvavik National Park is cooperatively managed by Inuvialuit and Parks Canada. The park was established under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, a Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement.

Photography and Filming

All photographic, video and film imagery undertakings on a commercial basis (e.g. intending to sell images or sharing images with sponsors) must go through an approval process. Profit and not-for-profit ventures must follow this process. Parks Canada reserves the right to determine whether an end product results in personal or corporate gain.

For filming and photography in Ivvavik National Park, there are additional approval processes mandated by the terms of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.

Requests for video, filming or photography are subject to an Environmental Impact Screening Committee review. The Environmental Impact Screening Committee is a cooperative management body established under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and conducts environmental screening of development activities proposed for both the onshore and offshore areas of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

Visit the links below for resources for the Environmental Impact Screening Committee (EISC):

For projects on the Yukon North Slope (where Ivvavik National Park is located), both the environmental screening and review process established by the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act apply, please refer to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB).


In addition to the EISC and YESAB approval processes, applicants must also submit a film and photography permit to Parks Canada.

This minimizes the impacts on the ecosystems and creatures within the park, as well as visitors and park users.

    The information here is intended for:
    • Individuals or groups:
      • involved in commercial filming
      • wishing to film in sensitive areas of the park
      • performing film projects requiring staff time or park resources
      • using specialized equipment, such as drones
      • performing projects that will require impact assessments
    • Hobby photographers or videographers
    Film permit

    Film permits are required before undertaking professional commercial filming projects. Mitigating the impacts of large groups or film crews on natural and cultural resources within the area is one of the reasons why film permits are so important. Minimizing disruption on the enjoyment and use by visitors and park users is another factor.

    It is illegal to film in a national park for commercial purposes without a film permit.

    Using specialized equipment such as helicopters, drones (UAVs), over-snow vehicles, quads (ATVs) and other off-road vehicles will require a film permit. Similarly, projects that draw on park resources (including staff) or may require impact assessments must be proposed for approval through the film permit process.

    Please contact us to learn more about the film permit process, to find out whether you need a business licence or a filming permit, or for any other questions you may have.

    Business license for photography/videography

    Hobby photographers or videographers capturing images and footage during their visit to Ivvavik National Park, with the intent to sell, require a business licence. Filming and photography covered within this licence must not impede park use and enjoyment by other visitors or damage cultural or natural resources.

    If you anticipate your project will require restricted vehicles (like snowmobiles, ATVs, or personal watercrafts), park resources or impact assessments, please use the Film Permit Application form instead.

    It is important to be aware that the use of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) or drones is a restricted activity and requires the permission of the Field Unit Superintendent. Generally, a Transport Canada issued Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) is required to operate a UAV within the park boundaries, in addition to a Parks Canada UAV permit.

With this in mind, film and photography permitting at Ivvavik National Park generally follows this process:

  • Contact Parks Canada ( to determine if you need a film permit, and for advice on steps involved in communicating with community organizations.
  • Complete the detailed application form and return to Parks Canada for review. Click here (PDF 736 kb)  for a downloadable version of the Film Permit Application form. Click here for the Film Permit Application Guidelines.
  • Visit the EISC website for information on their review and approval process. Note: this process can take anywhere from 4-6 months. During these ongoing processes, applications can be submitted to Parks Canada, however, a film permit can only be issued once proof of environmental assessment and consultations have been received.
  • Proposal is reviewed by the EISC.
  • Notification of film permit review approval or its denial is delivered to the applicant from the EISC.
  • Applicant provides letter from the EISC to Parks Canada, detailing that they have met the approval.
  • Applicant provides proof of insurance to Parks Canada as per attached Film Permit guidelines.
  • If approved, and fees are paid, the permit documentation is delivered for signature by all parties.

For filming in the community of Aklavik, please contact the Hamlet of Aklavik (867-978-2351) for more information.

For filming requests in Inuvik, please contact:
Director of Tourism and Economic Development
Phone: (867) 777-8632


    What works well for filming in the park?
    • Productions involving minimal equipment and crew size.
    • Productions with minimum impact on the environment and visitors, e.g. avoiding locations that are popular visitor attractions.
    • Productions contributing to public awareness, appreciation and understanding of Canada’s national parks and Parks Canada.
    • Productions that work with and respectfully incorporate the story of Inuvialuit partners in the history and management of the park.
    When’s the best time to plan filming in the parks?

    Ivvavik National Park is most easily accessed during the spring and summer. Spring colors are bright and bold as the land awakens from the cold. Summer is generally beautiful with 24-hour daylight, but it can be a bit buggy for film crews.

    The park is fly-in accessible only. You will have to charter a plane or helicopter from Inuvik, Northwest Territories to access the park. Please contact Parks Canada for more information.

    Would Parks Canada consider waiving some or all of the permit fees for the production?

    Fees may be reduced for proposals that assist Parks Canada in meeting its mandate and provide direct benefits to the park. An example of a direct benefit would be sharing of photos / footage for educational use by Parks Canada. Contact us for more details.

    Use of UAVs

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) are increasing in popularity for hobbyists, photographers, and businesses. In national parks, the Canadian Aviation Regulations, and National Parks of Canada Aircraft Access Regulations, prohibit the take-off and landing a drone without a Parks Canada Restricted Activity Permit. Only Field Unit Superintendents may permit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles over Parks Canada property for purposes directly related to protected heritage area administration.

UAV/Drones FAQ

    Transport Canada indicates that Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), or “drones,” that weigh 250 grams (g) up to and including 25 kilograms (kg), and are operated within the drone pilot’s visual-line-of-sight, and is used for recreational purposes, do not need permission to fly. Why doesn’t Parks Canada apply the same rules?

    National parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer. This restriction in Parks Canada’s protected areas is important to ensure the safety of wildlife and the quality of the visitor experiences. This is consistent with how UAVs are managed in other protected sites.

    What is the consequence for a member of the public caught using a drone?

    Contravention of these regulations may result in law enforcement action, including a $3000 fine for flying too high or too close to buildings, people or wildlife.

    Parks Canada owns and operates drones, but the public can’t. Is that fair?

    Agency-approved drone usage supports Parks Canada’s mandate to protect ecological and commemorative integrity while presenting national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas to the public. A Field Unit Superintendent may authorize the use of drones for natural or cultural resource management, public safety, law enforcement, or park/site management purposes, including filming for outreach, education and promotional purposes. Parks Canada’s use of drones is carefully controlled.

    Will Parks Canada permit the use of drones for third-party scientific research?

    The use of drones for research purposes directly related to park/site management may be authorized by a Field Unit Superintendent. A permit application and subsequent approval process is required.

    Will Parks Canada permit the use of drones for commercial filming?

    The use of drones for commercial filming purposes may be authorized by a Field Unit Superintendent – similar to the use of helicopters or other filming methods. A permit application and subsequent approval process is required.

    Why do some commercial filming and research permits allow drone usage and some do not get permission to operate a drone? If I can operate a drone in one Parks Canada place, does it apply to all others?

    Parks Canada manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world. A Field Unit Superintendent may authorize limited use for natural and cultural resource management, public safety, law enforcement, or park/site management purposes, including filming for outreach, education and promotional purposes.

    A permit must be sought from each national park or historic site before a drone can be operated because some commercial filming or research may support needs and goals associated with park or site management in one protected place but not in another.


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