Using Special Effect Pyrotechnics – Overview

Anyone using special effect pyrotechnics—whether to reproduce a visual gunshot effect during a stage play, to provide a waterfall of silver sparks for a rock concert, or to destroy a car in a film scene— must be certified by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). There are four classes of certification:

  • Pyrotechnician
  • Senior Pyrotechnician
  • Special Effects Pyrotechnician
  • Special Effects Pyrotechnician – Detonating Cord

Certification for all classes is valid for five years. The Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) sends a reminder when it is time to renew the certification.

Pyrotechnician

Anyone who wants to be certified as a Pyrotechnician must complete the Special Effect Pyrotechnics Safety and Legal Awareness Course. Pyrotechnicians can use designated special effect pyrotechnics that have been authorized as suitable for use by an unsupervised Pyrotechnician. They can also use all other authorized articles and powders if they are supervised by a Senior Pyrotechnician or Special Effects Pyrotechnician.

Senior Pyrotechnician

Senior Pyrotechnicians can use all authorized articles and powders classified as special effect pyrotechnics. You can also use special purpose pyrotechnics for the film and television industry as long as you are supervised by a Special Effects Pyrotechnician.  

Special Effects Pyrotechnician

Special Effects Pyrotechnicians can use all authorized articles and powders classified as special effect pyrotechnics. They can assemble and use special-purpose pyrotechnics for the film and television industry. They can also use initiation systems and detonating cord under the supervision of a Special Effects Pyrotechnician – Detonating Cord.  

Special Effects Pyrotechnician – Detonating Cord

Certified Special Effects Pyrotechnicians – Detonating Cord can use all authorized articles and powders classified as special effect pyrotechnics. They are certified to use initiation systems and detonating cords and can assemble and use special-purpose pyrotechnics for the film and television industry.

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