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Old March 28th, 2013, 05:55 PM   #1
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Canada, here I come!

Ok. In September 2013 I'm going to Vancouver to shoot a still wedding. I've never been to Canada, so needless to say, I'm looking for technical advice. I have a flight ready case that will hold most of my still cameras, with exception to my 200 lens that I'll carry myself. I plan to use my carryons for my still cameras, not check them.

I'm bringing a macbook to transfer the images to a drive etc.

That's where my traveling experience to Canada ends.

I'm open to any advice. Thank you.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #2
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Re: Canada, here I come!

You could investigate Fedexing your gear to your accomodation, might get a better rate for a round trip.

Before you go, look up cam rental houses in Vancouver, gear/prices/availability, and the local Apple shoppe and cloud storage too.

Also check the state of passengers lithium ion batteries on aircraft. Passport?

Cheers.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 06:53 PM   #3
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Not much to say, really. Make sure to have your gear listed on a carnet to avoid import duties.

Vancouver is an expensive city to park and the inner city is a dangerous place to leave any gear in your vehicle, even in daylight.

If you need to rent anything while you are here, one of the forum moderators Dylan Couper runs an indie friendly rental house in downtown Vancouver for last minute lens, audio, tripod, camera body, and grip gear.

He's a DVInfo sponsor and one of the founders of the DV Challenge.

Camera Rentals Vancouver

Might even make sense to rent the larger stuff like tripods instead of bringing with.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 07:05 PM   #4
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Just realized you are shooting stills.

Dylan does have a large compliment of (primarily) Canon EF glass, batteries and cards but if you are looking for something specifically PHOTO, there are a couple of good camera shops that do rentals: Beau Photo probably being the "best".
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Old March 29th, 2013, 02:30 AM   #5
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Are you shooting this wedding for your own pleasure or as a professional photographer? If the latter, give yourself lots of time to apply for a work permit in Canada.

Regulations respecting workers coming from other countries to earn income in Canada are very similar to the regulations we would have to follow if we wanted to travel to the U.S. to shoot a wedding professionally.

Here is a short quote from the government web site: "The foreign worker is responsible for the application process; however, the employer may need to seek approval from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) through a labour market opinion. This verifies that there is a need for a foreign worker and that there is no Canadian available."

This means that if you are shooting the wedding for them in Canada and you are not on the exempted list of workers, your employer (likely the bride and groom) will need to seek approval and provide a LMO (labour market opinion) that there is no Canadian of similar skills available.

If you are simply shooting for your own pleasure, then this doesn't apply of course. I would certainly caution anyone who is considering similar activities to not try to sneak in or lie to Canada Border Service Agency officers. An inspection of your luggage will reveal equipment far more than the average wedding guest would bring and they should be prepared for lots of questions.

Other than ensuring your permits are in place before you hit the border, have a great trip and enjoy your stay in Canada!

Last edited by Dave Brown; March 30th, 2013 at 02:14 AM.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 03:53 AM   #6
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Not much to say, really. Make sure to have your gear listed on a carnet to avoid import duties.
Shaun are you talking about this What is a Carnet?
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Old March 29th, 2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Dave is of course correct and yes, that link is what I refer to.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #8
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Update.

Well, I touched base with our US Council for International Business Affairs, and they said since it's my wife's cousin's wedding and I'm not getting paid for the wedding, a Carnat wouldn't be appropriate. It was worth the phone call though. They told me to contact US customs for more help.

The information from you guys has been invaluable. I certainly don't want to make mistakes and end up missing in the Niagara Falls. :}
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Old March 29th, 2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Steven, while they said it's not necessary, I would check more into that if only because if I understand correctly, the carnet is more to get out of Canada with your gear than to get in and if you don't declare it on the way in that you could get hit with heavy taxes on the gear on your way out! Maybe I'm wrong but if it were me, I'd want to check real deep for that.
BTW, could you bring me back some Canadian Bacon? I love good Canadian Bacon and can't find any around here! ;-) (kidding of course-I can find all kinds here in Chi-Town but it's fun to ask)
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Old March 29th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #10
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Than ks Don,

Yeah, I'm not done checking. I'm trying to look for a phone number to call the Canadian folks. And yes, I love Canadian bacon as well, just look at the rest of me. :}
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Old March 29th, 2013, 09:32 PM   #11
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) folks will be asking you for your reason for visiting and what you do for a living. Like most other countries, their main concern will be someone entering the country to take work away from a Canadian citizen. Remuneration doesn't matter.

If you are entering the country for pleasure, then no problem. Just be prepared to answer lots of questions because you are bringing in far more gear than the normal tourist.

The best piece of advice I could give you would be to get the bride and groom to send you a copy of a contract, invoice or document from a Canadian photographer stating that they have been hired to shoot the wedding. Ensure there is contact information and a phone number on the documents. This will make it MUCH easier to prove you are visiting for pleasure.

If, on the other hand, you are actually shooting the wedding for them, then have them apply for a LMO before you submit an application for a work permit and hope for the best. LMOs can usually be processed in a few weeks.

The CBSA folks are all great people and they will be happy to answer all your questions about this trip. Assuming the b&g have hired a commercial photographer for their "official" photos, then it should be pretty straightforward.

One other alternative is to take a look at what you are bringing and maybe keep it to your primary camera and a few suitable lenses.

When I travel for pleasure I usually bring high-end gear because taking good photos is what gives me the pleasure.

The last time I crossed the border was last summer, going to LA for a film festival. I brought a high end DSLR with some very expensive lenses, simply because I wanted some shots of me standing in front of an audience in a dark movie theatre. US Customs were very nice to me and the agent didn't even ask about the camera gear. (He seemed more fascinated by the fact that a simple nobody like me from the Canadian prairies would be invited down to LA to talk to filmmakers from around the world about firearms safety in film!)

Again, enjoy your time in Canada! The great folks in here have given you some good advice. Vancouver is an easy city to walk around. Bring a lightweight raincoat and an umbrella and you are golden. Renting some necessary items such as longer lenses and lithium batteries ir good advice. There is not much that is not available in Vancouver.

Last edited by Dave Brown; March 30th, 2013 at 02:40 AM. Reason: new info from CBSA
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Old March 30th, 2013, 01:14 PM   #12
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Strange advice regarding the carnet...

A carnet is basically an "insurance policy" that everything you brought into a country leaves with you, so as to indicate you didn't leave any behind for profit, thereby incurring import or export duty charges.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 07:55 PM   #13
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Ok, I'm a tad confused, I read that Carnets cost like a couple of hundred dollars to file. Again, I'm confused. :}
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Old September 16th, 2013, 09:51 PM   #14
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Re: Canada, here I come!

Well, okey dokey. I am home from my world wide (Canadian) trip. Thanks again for the advice. Had a lot of fun eating in Chinatown in Vancouver. We did a lot of walking etc. Loved all the tech/photo/computer stores up there.

Customs was a breeze, did the body scanner for security, not the feel me up the leg thing. So thanks again.
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