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Location Filming Guidelines For The Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium will consider requests to film a movie or television show, or to use the Aquarium as a location for commercial shoots. The Aquarium supports the industry but requires that all shoots are conducted in an efficient manner with little impact to guests, animals, staff and the physical facility.

Please note: The project must be in keeping with the Vancouver Aquarium's mission and image, and the Aquarium reserves the absolute right to grant or deny permission and to determine the terms under which filming will be permitted.

For additional information on location shooting at the Vancouver Aquarium, please contact:

Kelly Leask
Event Planner
604 659 3457 
Filming in the Aquarium

Before You Film


The Vancouver Aquarium is a self-supporting non-profit charitable organization. Our visitors and members are entitled to enjoy the entire Aquarium and filming must not detract from our visitors' experience. Filming should take place outside of our public hours (see Filming Hours below). Permission is granted subject to conditions, and can be obtained through the Catering & Events or Public Relations Departments.

Advance Notice

A minimum two weeks advance notice is requested when possible. While the Aquarium will make every effort to accommodate last minute requests, we cannot accommodate requests with less than 24-hours' notice. The Aquarium is unable to "hold" location requests for filming without receiving a 50 percent deposit on the total location fees.


Filming will be generally limited to the public areas of the Vancouver Aquarium. Any requests to film behind the scenes must be agreed upon and are subject to approval of the curatorial and aquarist staff. Requests to film inside exhibits, or up close with animals, must also be arranged in advance with as much notice as possible.

Site Tours

A final site tour and review of schedules (including size of crew and number of talent) must be scheduled between the Aquarium's film liaison and members of the crew at least 72 hours in advance of filming. Initial site tours can be arranged by calling 604-659-3456.

Location Fees

Location fees are determined by a variety of factors, including but not limited to, time of day, time of year, displacement of other revenue generating events (catering, sleepovers, etc.), disruption to galleries, disruption to visitors, access to behind-the-scenes areas, staff impacts, animal care, exhibit impacts, length of stay, etc. A detailed estimate will be provided itemizing the breakdown and rationale for costs. A detailed quotation can be arranged by calling 604-659-3456.

Lighting And Electrical

Power supplies are limited in areas of the Aquarium and any special power needs must be reviewed by the film liaison at least 72 hours in advance of filming. Lighting restrictions may apply to certain areas of the Aquarium, at certain times of the day or night, to accommodate animals with photosensitive periods. As well, some animals are disturbed by sudden changes in light levels. Where additional lighting is allowed, the number of lights, the manner in which they are used, and their placement in relation to exhibits must be approved by animal care and curatorial staff (some windows are acrylic and can be damaged by hot lights). Lighting is not permitted after hours in the Graham Amazon Gallery.

Script Approval

Final scripts, including all scenes being filmed at and all references to the Vancouver Aquarium must be submitted to the Public Relations Department prior to filming. The Aquarium reserves the right to approve or deny use of the Vancouver Aquarium's image and or name in any context, and to review and approve all scenes involving the Aquarium


All space on Aquarium property has a designated purpose and is at a premium. Unfortunately, we cannot provide storage of any kind on-site prior to filming or between filming, unless additional space is rented specifically for such use.

Stanley Park Filming

External areas shot outside of the Aquarium, and using space within Stanley Park must be approved by The Vancouver Parks Board. Please call 604-257-8427 to obtain their permission.


The Vancouver Aquarium is located in Stanley Park and as such, does not control the surrounding parking lots. Parking and Permits for trucks, crew vehicles, the circus, craft services, etc. must be approved by the Vancouver Park Board at 604-257-8427. Parking is also restricted in certain areas around the Aquarium to accommodate guests and other Aquarium stakeholders. Parking needs must be addressed and arranged a minimum of 72 hours prior to filming.

Facility Considerations

Animal Welfare And Safety

The safety and welfare of all of our animals remains the Vancouver Aquarium's first priority. If, at any time during filming, the Aquarium determines that animal welfare is being endangered, the production company will be required to cease filming, or alter filming procedures.

Impact On The Aquarium

If at any time the production company's activities threaten to disrupt the Aquarium's operations or the experiences of its visitors, the Aquarium reserves the right to require the company to reschedule those activities.

Altering Exhibits And Set Construction

Aquarium exhibits and graphics may only be altered with the permission of the Film Liaison and Design Department and must be returned to their original state following filming. Set construction is permitted, provided nothing is permanently attached to walls or other structures. No tape or nails may be applied to walls or exhibits. All materials brought into the Aquarium must be removed after filming by members of the production crew.

Filming In Exhibits

As a general rule, the Aquarium only allows its own staff to dive in the exhibits. Exceptions can be made, however, with the approval of the curatorial staff and the Aquarium's Diving Officer. Only certified scuba divers will be considered for such shoots.

While Filming On-Site

Filming Hours

The Aquarium prefers to arrange film schedules outside of public hours. Note: Public hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. from Labor Day till the end of June) and 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. for July and August. Evening shoots must also work around events, sleepovers and other Aquarium programming. The Aquarium will, however, consider requests for filming during our public hours as well as specific gallery closures.


All food and beverage requested during filming will be supplied by the Vancouver Aquarium Catering Department, unless otherwise approved by the Director of Food Services.


Staff and service costs, are in addition to the rental rates and are based on the requirements of the shoot as determined, in consultation with you and the Catering & Events Department.


Smoking on the premises, both indoors and outdoors is strictly forbidden. A new city bylaw prohibits smoking in all Vancouver parks. This includes anywhere in Stanley Park, beaches, seawall, trails and public golf courses.


Maintenance, major construction, repairs, and custodial work occurs outside public hours. While sound is being recorded, we will make every effort to minimize noise, but please be aware we cannot guarantee a quiet environment. Maintenance crews (pressure washers, vacuums, polishers, etc.) must have enough time to complete their work before the Aquarium opens to the public each morning.


When Filming Has Ended


Unless otherwise agreed, all film and photographs shot by the production company belong solely to it. The Aquarium requests a final copy of the production for archival purposes only.

Use Of Film And Photographs

The production company may use film and photographs shot at the Aquarium solely for the purpose stated in the Film Contract. The company may not sell individual shots or images to third parties, separate from the project, without written consent from the Vancouver Aquarium.

Damages And Liability


The production company is fully responsible for all damages occurring at the Aquarium during its use and for paying for all repairs. For commercial film shoots, the Aquarium will hold a minimum $10,000 CDN damage deposit; fully refundable after a site inspection has been conducted after filming.


The production company must provide proof of $5-million of liability insurance before filming commences. In some circumstances, the Aquarium may require the production company to obtain additional coverage.


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