No matter what you’re shooting, Alberta offers many backdrops to get the right look when filming your next production.
The province has doubled as many places and time periods over the years. Mimicking everything from the United States to Russia and even Japan, the film you watched might have been filmed in Alberta. The province has acted as different time periods from Western films to futuristic feature films. Even director and actor Clint Eastwood raved about how many looks the Canadian Prairie province boasts.
But you don’t need to be shooting a high budget Hollywood feature film to take advantage of the province’s many looks. The natural settings work well for documentaries, commercials, and branded content videos too. Alberta is slightly larger than France in terms of area so the location scouting list can run long. Here are our top five locations for filming your next film or video in Alberta:
1. Fort Edmonton Park and the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (Edmonton)
Located both in and around Alberta’s capital, Edmonton, Fort Edmonton Park and the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village are living history museums. Fort Edmonton Park was the first European post in what is now Edmonton. Different streets and sections emulate what the city looked like from the fur trade around 1840s. Other parts look like modern era in the 1920s. Fort Edmonton Park was used for scenes in the 2005 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, staring Brad Pitt. The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village has natural sets for Ukrainian immigrants who started to come to the province early 1900s. Both locations act as sets to the past, and are conveniently located in and around Edmonton to make logistics simpler.
2. Nordegg Townsite (Nordegg)
The west-central Alberta hamlet is a three hour drive southwest of Edmonton, or three hours northwest if you are coming up from Calgary. Nordegg has great natural views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and foothills, but it is also the site of an abandoned coal mine. In 2002, Nordegg was named a National Historical Site of Canada, and locals take great pride in showing visitors around the old mines. The look and feel of the town are perfect sets for that ‘ghost town’ look, and the natural backdrops have the same jaw dropping beauty as Jasper and Banff, but with less tourists.
3. Hoodoos (Drumheller)
Welcome to Alberta’s desert. Yes, this part of the world that's synonymous with winter actually has a desert. Drumheller is home to the best badlands in Canada. The town is best known as the dinosaur capital of the world, and is home to world’s largest dinosaur. But the iconic hoodoos create a stunning and unique visual for any video or shoot. Drumheller is just an hour and a half northeast of Calgary, or three hours south if you are coming from Edmonton.
4. Moraine Lake (Banff)
Its pristine blue waters alone make for great content. Moraine Lake is a glacially fed lake located in Banff National Park and the Rockville Trail surrounds the lake for multiple stunning angles to be filmed. The lake might look familiar. It was featured as the login screen for Windows 10. Prepare for your permits in advance. Banff is a Canadian National Park and requires extra steps getting permits to film in some of its iconic locations.
5. Lacombe Townsite (Lacombe)
Need to create a small town look? Lacombe’s townsite is excellent at giving that small town midwest feel for modern day filming for documentaries, commercials, feature films, or branded content. Lacombe is located around the midpoint between the province’s two major cities (Edmonton and Calgary), making for easy access just off the province’s main highway.
Shooting in Edmonton? Need a Location? Check out our 11 Locations to Shoot your next video in Edmonton.