Local winter festivals and events encourage Edmontonians to carry their passion for their city year round.
Application Intake Open
The City is currently accepting applications for 2024 winter events. Applications are open until March 31 for events occurring between January 1 - March 31, 2024.
WinterCity Festival and Event Organizers create experiences that share the magic of an Edmonton winter with both local community members and international visitors.
However, operating outdoor festivals and events in winter can be challenging because there are higher operational costs due to the cold season. Winter festivals and events can see it all, and for this reason, winter-specific festival and event funding is being provided.
Grant Funding Allocation
The WinterCity Festivals and Events Grant allocations will vary based on the size, scope and scale of each event and will range from $500 for smaller community events to up to $60,000 for larger festivals and events. Grant funding may not exceed 25% of the total cost to produce the event.
The City reserves the right to audit applications and projects that receive funding. You may need to provide additional information to verify the funding was used for the intended purpose outlined in your application.
We have a limited budget and are not able to support every application. To improve your chances of success, please ensure that you complete all sections of the form and add sufficient detail about how you intend to use the funds.
Funding decisions made by the City are final and cannot be appealed.
The WinterCity Festivals and Events grant priorities in 2024 are aligned with the City Plan and will focus on:
Supporting Edmonton’s identity as a winter city through its infrastructure, design, events and economy (City Plan Intention 1.3.2)
Celebrating our winter identity through the arts, recreation, events, storytelling and inspired design (City Plan Direction 18.104.22.168)
Encouraging winter events, activities and festivals through community and business partnerships (City Plan Direction 22.214.171.124)
Note: Events being hosted in multiple locations on multiple dates with similar program content will be counted as 1 event. Organizers wishing to host different events may apply for multiple grants for each event produced from January-March 31 and/or November 15-December 31. A separate application for each event will be required.
The program will be assessed at the end of each year to confirm or modify eligibility and criteria.
Grant funding awards will be considered for eligible events only.
Cultural and historical celebrations and observances
Concerts, performances and music festivals
Food, arts and cultural festivals
Parades and processions
Sport and Active Recreation events / Active Living events
Organized runs, walks and other sporting events
Not-for-profit events attracted through partnership with Explore Edmonton that have public opportunities to participate
Funding may be used towards winter operations including, but not limited to:
Purchase or rental of infrastructure and/or equipment required to support the safe delivery of the event and to keep attendees/staff/volunteers warm (such as four-season tents, fire pits, heaters, warming huts, hot food, hot chocolate, cider, hot shots, trailers)
Hiring more staff and artists or paying premiums (such as overtime) for those who have expertise in outdoor winter programming and production
Sourcing reliable snow-making options (equipment or options to gather/haul), including water and/or dechlorination costs
Purchase or rental of equipment / supplies to keep snow and ice cool (such as tents and air conditioners)
Additional staffing / volunteers / officials needed to ensure health and safety protocols are followed, especially in extremely cold weather, such as additional warm food, drinks, clothing (toques, scarves), hotshots, and so on
Additional needs to manage increasing operational demands as more people embrace winter and enjoy outdoor winter activities
Other winter-specific operating costs
Winter-specific Civic Services costs, materials and equipment such as snow and ice removal, sand/gravel, grading, windrow removal
Winter Programming elements may be considered, however, they are not the primary intent of this grant which is intended to cover additional operational expenses due to extremes in winter weather conditions.
Ineligible festivals/events and organizations include, but are not limited to:
Festivals and events taking place outside of Edmonton
Festivals and events that are indoors (that is, more than 20% of the event is held inside). Events may have opportunities for people to warm up, or hold during inclement weather
Seasonal programs and activities, such as snowbank ice rinks, winter patios and trail grooming. Special events at these facilities may be considered
Registered programs such as day camps, lessons, community programs and such
Private events (examples include, but are not limited to: weddings, graduations, showers, celebrations of life, potlucks, awards ceremonies, roasts, local sports tournaments or competitions)
Professional / semi-professional / amateur outdoor spectator sporting events though public "try it" events or programs as part of the overall event may be considered
Events intended to raise funds for specific individuals, charities or groups
Protests, rallies, demonstrations and marches
Stand-alone markets (unless it is a program element as part of a bigger event)
Commercial, promotional or marketing activities, such as product demonstrations, merchandise sales, launches
Events that require membership to observe or participate and are not open to the public
Primarily religious services or activities delivered by faith organizations ( the event cannot prevent participation based upon culture, faith or partisan politics)
Events run by for-profit organizations
Events run by government: City agencies, boards or commissions, educational secondary institutions, or political parties. Post Secondary Clubs and organizations such as international student clubs, children’s community groups may be considered
Capital projects (for example new construction, expansion or replacement of an existing facility)
Performances, exhibitions or activities that promote or incite racism, hatred or violence
We will do our best to notify you of the grant decision within 8 weeks of the grant deadline provided we receive a complete application
All applications in an intake period will be evaluated by City staff for completeness, alignment with the program objective and core criteria, and to ensure that the application meets eligibility requirements
Applications will be assessed based solely on the contents and information submitted in the application
Each applicant will receive a copy of their grant application submission
Successful applicants will receive the funds by electronic transfer (EFT) or a cheque, which will be mailed to the address that you provide, within 8 weeks after you’ve been notified of the grant decision
Note: Funding decisions made by the City are final and cannot be appealed.
Successful applicants will provide a final report within 90 days of the completion of the festival or event, and must include a summary of the event outcomes and detail how City funds were used. Pictures of the event are strongly encouraged.
Receipt of these reports is a precondition for future eligibility in any City of Edmonton grant program. Final reports for the WinterCity Festivals and Events Grant may be considered part of the assessment of any future applications by the organization to the same grant program.
Wherever possible, recipients are requested to acknowledge funding received from the City of Edmonton WinterCity Festivals and Events Grant program in related advertising or promotional materials. The City of Edmonton will provide logos as required.
If your festival or event is located on City of Edmonton property it must be insured with a minimum of $2 million in general liability coverage with the City of Edmonton listed as an “Additional Insured”. Depending on the size and scope of your event, additional coverage may be required.
Yes. If your organization has received other City of Edmonton funding, in most cases you can still apply for this grant. Please note that grant funding awards will be considered based on established criteria including receipt of funding from other City of Edmonton sources.