As Alberta enjoys a boom in television, movie and entertainment filming in general the Town of Stettler wants to attract those projects and the dollars associated with them. To that end councillors approved operating procedures for filming in the Town of Stettler.
Councillors perused the draft procedure presented by Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Steven Gerlitz and Communications Officer Lara Van Landuyt, with Gerlitz noting the procedure evolved from an idea that came up at an economic development committee meeting.
Gerlitz stated attracting film projects and dollars to Stettler is a goal of that committee.
Gerlitz noted that Alberta is very popular right now for TV, commercials and virtually all types of filming. He further noted that with the film boom progressing, Stettler has received some inquiries about such projects and it’s wise to have some rules in place for projects of this sort.
Van Landuyt agreed that Alberta is experiencing a filming boom, noting that over the past 10 years Alberta has been linked to more major entertainment awards through filming here than any other region of Canada.
She noted a recent filming project at Didsbury north of Calgary was estimated to have pumped about $600,000 into the local economy.
Van Landuyt stated the introduction to the procedures notes that the Town of Stettler is a place that welcomes and encourages filming. It was noted, however, that filming projects in the Town of Stettler will require a permit.
Mayor Sean Nolls stated he was quite excited about this project as he felt Stettler’s beauty offers a lot for the entertainment world.
The procedure went on to state that the town’s filming rules will be operated on a cost-recovery basis. It also included some basic requirements such as all vehicles involved with filming be fully insured, a location agreement be signed with the municipality, filming operations to follow all local bylaws, information about filming projects will be provided to residents, filming to follow Stettler’s noise bylaw, road closures must be approved by the town and much more.
It was also made clear productions can’t impede local businesses.
“Production companies and their staff must be sensitive that their activities can disrupt normal business activities,” stated the procedures. “Customers must be able to see businesses from the road or sidewalk, be able to access them, and deliveries still need to be made unless other arrangements have been made with the business owners.”
It was also noted that businesses may require compensation for street closures.
Many other details were also included such as parking on private property, drones, special effects, stunts and much more.
Coun. Wayne Smith asked what, essentially, does having this procedure in place actually do for the Town of Stettler?
Van Landuyt responded that with a council-approved procedure in place the Town of Stettler will now be included in the Alberta Film Institute’s location library which helps production companies find places that have, for example, a historical train.
Van Landuyt noted the town is also going to feature this procedure on its website.
Coun. Gord Lawlor observed filming projects can financially benefit the business community.
Van Landuyt added there will be no fee required to film in the Town of Stettler, just the required forms be filled out.
Councillors unanimously approved the filming in the Town of Stettler procedures.
By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on May 12, 2023