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Filming in the Down Town East Side (DTES)

Please Note: it is currently required that an experienced community film liaison with overdose (OD) intervention training be hired when filming on the DTES.

In 2017 the City of Vancouver experienced an overdose crisis largely in the DTES. Fentanyl-laced drugs are commonplace and, therefore, more people are choosing to do drugs in public spaces (streets, alleys) where they are more likely to be noticed and receive life-saving help.

Productions filming in the DTES should:

  • take note of and immediately notify authorities of people in crisis,
  • clear impediments to any volunteer or emergency agency providing assistance to those in crisis and:
  • be aware that witnessing and/or helping with overdoses can potentially be traumatic to production staff. the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC) will be working with DTES outreach workers to revise training and education material regarding this issue.

This is applicable to filming North of Pender and South of Railway and East of Columbia, West of Princess.

The City of Vancouver and DGC believe these measures are in the best immediate and long-term interests of the industry and the DTES residents and it’s outreach organizations. The DGC location Caucus will help productions connect with providers of liaison services. The City of Vancouver reserves the right to apply this requirement in other adjacent or identified areas at its discretion.

Please contact Sandi Swanigan, Senior Manager of Film and Special Events, with questions or comments.

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Actsafe Safety Association would like to acknowledge and honour that our workplace and classrooms are located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Qayqayt, S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam), and Stz’uminus peoples.


Actsafe is a not-for-profit health and safety association supporting British Columbia’s arts and entertainment industries.

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