How to Obtain a Fireworks Operator Certificate

New Electronic Licence Management System!

The Explosives Safety and Security Branch of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is pleased to announce a new online electronic Licence Management System (eLMS) for managing your explosives licensing needs.

In Canada you must be certified by Natural Resources Canada to acquire, store and use Display Fireworks and Special Effect Pyrotechnics.

For information regarding the various types of certificates available please refer to the Using Display Fireworks or Using Special Effect Pyrotechnics web pages for further details.

If you are applying for a fireworks operator certificate (Display Assistant or Pyrotechnician) for the first time you must:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Successfully complete a safety and legal awareness course for Display Fireworks or Special Effect Pyrotechnics. Please contact the Explosives Regulatory Division for the current list of the certified course providers.

If you want to apply online for a fireworks operator certificate, you will need to be enrolled in eServices. Note that you will enrol as an Individual.

After you have completed your enrolment, you will proceed to the My Personal Licences, Permits, and Certificates link to apply for a new certificate. You will need:

  • your proof of successful completion of safety and legal awareness course
  • A digital photo showing a full front view of your head and shoulders. Use a plain, contrasting background without shadows. No hats. The photos should be recent – taken within the last 12 months
  • A way to pay (VISA, MasterCard, American Express or you can choose the option to pay later and send a certified cheque or money order)

If you want to apply for a fireworks operator certificate by mail, please contact the Explosives Regulatory Division for information.

There is a difference between Display Fireworks and Special Effect Pyrotechnics. Before attending a safety and legal awareness course and applying for a fireworks operator certificate, please ensure that you are attending the correct course and applying for the certificate for the articles you want to acquire, store and use.

  • Display Fireworks are high-hazard firework articles designed for use by professionals. These articles include items such as aerial shells, cakes, roman candles, waterfalls, lances and wheels. This type of firework would be used for large fireworks displays that take place on Canada Day.
  • Special Effect Pyrotechnics are high-hazard pyrotechnics articles designed for use by professionals. These articles include items such as gerbs, mines, comets and crossettes.  These articles would be used in theatre productions, concerts and on film sets. Certification for pyrotechnics also includes special purpose pyrotechnics manufactured for the film and television industry.

If you are renewing or upgrading your certificate, please refer to the Renewing or Upgrading your Fireworks Operator Certificate web page for information.