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Community picnic

Community programs and special events are fun ways to promote community pride, create a sense of community unity, and can help with safety and crime prevention by encouraging community members to get to know one another.

Getting Started

  1. Define your organization's overall goals
    • What do you want to achieve with a program / special event?
    • What opportunities will this event create for your organization?
    • What are the needs and assets in your community?
    • What are the board's expectations: to make money, lose money, break even or subsidize the program / special event?
  2. Create an Organizing Committee
    • Depending on the size of the event / program, the program director may be the chair of this committee
    • Find members with talent, time, commitment, and creativity in the following areas:
      • Finance
      • Marketing & communications
      • Site / facility prep
      • Volunteer / staff coordination
      • Contingency planning
  3. Identify and define what program or special event you are planning
    • Create / update your annual plan
    • Research what has been done in the past
    • Ask what neighbouring communities are doing
    • Look for potential partnerships
    • Determine what activities are popular
    • Consider your demographics - age, marital status, cultural diversity, etc.

Planning Community Programming and Events

CRCs provide support and resources to assist you with planning your community programs and events.

Community Programming & Special Event Planning Guide.

Program / Event Wrap-Up

Volunteer Celebration

Consider the best way to recognize your volunteers after the event (for example, host a small celebration at the very end, showcase / thank your volunteers in your community newsletter, invite volunteers to an annual volunteer gala, etc.).


How do you plan to use the evaluation information? This will help determine who to collect information from (participants, committee, and/or volunteers) and how to collect it.

  • Do you feel it is worthwhile to run this program/event again? What went well? What could be improved? What did you learn?
  • How will you present the evaluation to the board (verbal report, written report, statistical report)?
  • Record finalized budget
  • Create an information / learning package so that future planning committees can benefit. Give to the community league board to keep for reference.

Additional Planning Resources

These sample forms and worksheets are meant to help you get started. Please adjust to suit your needs.


Community Program Checklist

Special Event Checklist 1

Special Event Checklist 2
Track person(s) responsible and completion dates

Special Event Checklist 3
Task break-down, person(s) responsible, and timelines


Adult Program - Participant Evaluation

Instructor Program Evaluation

Program Evaluation - Parent 1

Program Evaluation - Parent 2

Special Event Evaluation


Annual Recreation Plan - Programs and Special Events

Program Instructor Agreement

Community Group and Instructor Agreement

Program Attendance

Program / Special Event Budget Worksheet

Program Registration Form

Volunteer Schedule and Sign Up


Volunteer Recognition

Job Description - Program Director

Job Description - Volunteer

Needs Assessment Survey

Poster Sample

Poster with Registration Form Sample

Instructors - Potential Sources

These documents are intended for reference purposes only. The City of Edmonton does not provide any warranty, either
expressed or implied, oral or written, as to the fitness of these documents for any purpose or use. It is strongly recommended
that legal advice be obtained as to the suitability of these documents for a particular use, as required.

For More Information

Online Contact 311 Online

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

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