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If you are new to event planning, visit the Civic Events Office section for details regarding how the City can support your event.

To plan a private event at a City facility please see our list of venues available for rentals & bookings.

Application Process

  1. Visit our event application process section
  2. After you submit your application, the Civic Events Office will contact you and you will be assigned an event liaison to guide you through the process.

Event Application

Submit the appropriate application form based on your location of choice.

Activities

Can I have fireworks at my event?

Festivals and events that wish to program fire activities on City property (including fireworks, and fire show performers) must receive permission from the City of Edmonton to do so.

The event organizer will submit a description of the proposed project, and a safety plan for the proposed project to the Event Liaison.

The Event Liaison will review the proposal, and highlight any issues/concerns with the plan to the group.

If the group has addressed all of the Civic Events Office's concerns, the Event Liaison will contact Fire Rescue Services with the particulars of the proposed activity, stating that the event has the approval of the Civic Events Office. Fire Rescue Services will then assess the proposal, prior to issuing any required permits.

Can I hold a raffle, 50/50, auction, lottery, etc. at my event?

A raffle is a lottery scheme where someone is paying for the opportunity to win a prize.

A raffle consists of 3 elements:

  1. Consideration (payment)
  2. Chance
  3. A prize

If all these elements are present, a group must obtain a licence from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

Can I have balloons at my event?

In order to reduce the environmental impacts of balloon releases into the atmosphere, the release of balloons at events hosted on City property (including parks, parkland, streets, etc.) is not permitted.

 

Can I have a sleigh ride at my event?

Yes, sleigh rides are permitted on streets and parkland.

Operators must have $2 million in liability insurance and be licensed as a business in the City.

Operators must obtain permission from the City in advance of the event.

When you fill out the Event Application, please include your plan for a sleigh ride as part of your event details.

Food, Drink and Merchandise

Can I serve or sell alcohol at my event? Can I serve or sell alcohol at my event in a park?

A Liquor Special Event Licence is a legal document which allows the holder to host a function with liquor service.

Visit the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission for licence details.

Can I serve or sell food or non-alcoholic beverages at my event?

Food service is recommended at all functions.

Non-alcoholic beverages must be available.

Festivals and Events that plan to have vendors on-site must receive the proper permits from the City of Edmonton, and ensure that vendors are adhering to Provincial and Municipal regulations with regards to food service.

To start the process, please contact the Street Vending Coordinator at streetvending@edmonton.ca.

How will Alberta Health Services be involved, and what additional information will they need from me?

Any event wishing to serve or sell food must contact Alberta Health Services in order to receive the proper permissions.

Visit Alberta Health Services for Special Event - Temporary Food Establishment information.

Vendor Responsibilities

Complete and return the Temporary Food Establishment (Vendor) Notification to Alberta Health Services (AHS) at least fourteen (14) days prior to the proposed special event. In most circumstances the organizers will be collecting the completed form for submission to AHS.

If you do not have a commercial kitchen and are using an alternative kitchen, you must complete and return the Permission to Use an Approved Food Establishment form to AHS.

Ensure that your Temporary Food Establishment is set up and ready for inspection by a PHI /EHO no less than one (1) hour before the special event is scheduled to start.

Use only potable water (water that is safe for human consumption).

If you are a food preparation vehicle or cart with a holding tank you must have satisfactory bacteriological test results from a Provincial Laboratory submitted within the last thirty (30) days.

Can I have vendors at my event?

Probably yes, if you receive the proper permissions from the City of Edmonton and Alberta Health Services.

To start the process, please contact the Street Vending Coordinator at streetvending@edmonton.ca.

Legal Requirements

Do I need insurance?

Yes. All events held on a street, in a park, or on City of Edmonton property require proof of at least $2 million dollars liability insurance.

Do I need to apply for any permits or licences?

Maybe. You will need a license or permit if your event includes any of the following activities:

  • Is in a park
  • Is on City-owned property
  • Is on a street
  • Will have tents or other structures on site
  • Plans to have vendors selling food or merchandise
  • Plans to have alcohol on site
  • Will include activities involving or pyrotechnics (for example fireworks, fire pits, fire sculptures, fire performance)
  • Other activities may require a permit as well

After you submit your Event Application, the Civic Events Office will inform you which permits you will require, and will guide you through the process.

How do I apply for a noise bylaw exemption?

Any person wishing to apply for a noise waiver must fill out the Noise Permit Application Form. Applications are reviewed by the Director of the Community Standards and Neighbourhoods branch. 

To grant a noise waiver the following criteria must be met:

  • The event or activity being conducted shall be deemed to be for the benefit or in the interest of the public.
  • Efforts must be made to contact those residents or businesses that may be affected by the noise prior to the start of the activity or event.
  • Nature of activity or event must be outlined, including:
    • Name of company performing work and for whom
    • Address of activity or event
    • Time(s) of activity or event
    • Date(s) of activity or event
    • Contact person on site (24 hours)
    • Cellular phone number of contact person

The City will take into consideration if a previous noise waiver had been issued and if there were any complications or reasons not to re-issue another waiver.

Copies of all noise waivers are forwarded to the Police Communications Section.

Noise waivers can be revoked at any time.

What are some of the bylaws and regulations I should be aware of?

Festivals and events are responsible for ensuring that they adhere to the municipal, provincial, and federal laws and regulations.

Some of the items you will need to ensure compliance with include:

Please note that this is not a complete list. Other regulations and legislation may apply to your event.

Parkland and Public Space

Can I have access to electricity in a park or public square?

It depends. Some parks and public squares have electrical panels on site, others do not.

Some electrical panels are available year-round, others are seasonal.

Please note that there may be a charge for accessing electrical panels.

How do I book parkland for an event?

As part of what's happening in Canada's Festival City, the Parks and River Valley are host to many events year-round:

  1. Visit our Event Application process section
  2. After you submit your application, the Civic Events Office will contact you and you will be assigned an Event Liaison to guide you through the process.

Please review the following links for information on City parks:

Can I have my wedding in a park?

Wedding may be held on City Parkland, but keep in mind that City parks are public spaces. And can not be closed to the public for private events.

Your event may be impacted by weather, other park events, or other people enjoying the park.

There is no reserved parking for wedding ceremonies.

See Wedding Guidelines and the Weddings section for more information.

Picnic Sites, gazebos, or the Borden Park Bandshell are options for a booked space to hold your event. There is a cost per hour for booking these sites, which varies with the facilities provided. Set-up of additional structures may be permitted on these sites. Guidelines for use of picnic sites apply to these sites.

I want to organize a rally/protest. What do I do?

Citizens you may hold a public rally.

Group activities and events attended by more than 50 people require a permit.

Such permits have been included under the Parkland Bylaw to allow City staff to manage resources and potential issues effectively and efficiently.

When City staff know that your group is coming to parkland, they will ensure the site can accommodate your event and plan ahead for special services like extra garbage pickup.

In addition, they will alert you to any conflicts with other groups coming to the same site and inform you if any other permits are required.

Please visit the Event Application process section to get started.

Can I have animals at my event?

Pets are not allowed in or around any picnic site, gazebo, bandshell, sport field or facility.

Pets are not allowed in any venue or public space where there is food being prepared and served.

How do I make a waste management plan?

If you are planning a large event, you may want to hire an external waste management company. They will help develop a waste management plan for your event.

Can I hold my event on the North Saskatchewan River?

Permits and permission to use the North Saskatchewan River are not provided by the Civic Events Office.

The river and river valley are used year round for recreation: canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing, jet boating, fishing, gold panning and more.

Please see the following links for further information:

Roadways and Road Closures

I want to organize a parade, march or run. What do I do?

If you are planning a major event, march, run, or parade you may need a road closure and an on-street construction and maintenance permit.

Please see the Planning a Road Event section.

How do I get a road closure permit?

The OSCAM permit is free and grants approval to close a roadway or restrict access.

Please see the Planning a Road Event section.

Tents and Temporary Structures

Can I set up tents on a road, in a public square or in a park?

As part of the permit for your event, specific permission must be included in your licence for the erection of tents or other structures.

A site map must be provided with locations of tents or other structures.

Tents greater than 10 square metres or higher than 3.7 metres (12 feet) in height and are being erected for longer than 24 hours require both a Development Permit and a Building Permit.

Can I put stakes in the ground during my event?

Prior to any in-ground anchoring of tents or other structures that require pegs or stakes longer than 6 inches, the event organizer must arrange for the area to be checked for underground public utilities by Alberta First Call at 1-800-242-3447.

All tents and temporary structures must be pre-approved by the Civic Events Office and constructed of flame retardant material. If it has been flame treated, proper documentation to verify is required.

No recreational utility tarps are allowed.

Tents and temporary structures larger than 300 square metres and in place for more than 24 hours require a building permit from the City's Sustainable Development Department.

Licensed tents may require Occupant Load Certificates calculated by a Fire Prevention Officer and posted at the principal entrance.

At Churchill Square, tents must be weighted with concrete blocks, sandbags, or water weights. Ground spikes are not permitted.

Can I have amusement rides at my event?

Prior to having any amusement rides assembled and operated on City of Edmonton Parkland, the guidelines must be reviewed and adhered to. The goal of these regulations is to ensure public safety as well as the integrity of City of Edmonton Parkland, facilities, and equipment.

Transportation and Parking

Can I rent an ETS bus for my event?

Edmonton Transit Service's convenient charter service is available to any group for any occasion.

What parking is available for my event?

There are parking lots at certain parks for general use.

Parking may be an issue when selecting your event location, especially in high traffic areas such as downtown.

If you require parking restrictions for your event, your request will be reviewed on an individual basis.

When selecting your location, also consider how much space you require for set-up and removal of equipment and resources.

Some common conflicts include: metered parking, access to and from parkades, residential parking availability, and loading zones.

Parking restrictions may help your event during the first few years of your event, however, when areas are overly subjected to parking restrictions it may be difficult to gain community support and approval in following years.

For More Information

Civic Events and Festivals Section

Telephone

780-944-7740

Fax 780-944-0042
Email civic.events@edmonton.ca

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