Outdoor Events FAQs
This list of Frequently Asked Questions has been created for anyone interested in planning an Outdoor Event in the City of Kelowna. It is intended to provide a valuable resource in planning all aspects of your event and to provide answers to questions that are most commonly asked of our Outdoor Events staff.
The Outdoor Events Committee has a strict approval process for events as set out by a Bylaw to Regulate Outdoor Events within the City of Kelowna, Bylaw No. 8358. The Committee strives to balance programmed and passive time in Kelowna's public outdoor spaces.
When is an Outdoor Event permit required?
An Outdoor Event permit is required for all events on City of Kelowna property where attendance is expected to exceed 350 people, where there is traffic disruption, where a road closure is needed or for events held on private property where attendance is expected to exceed 1,000 people. Please see our Outdoor Events Bylaw #8358 for more information.
I have a great idea for a new event, what is the first step I must take?
Once you have read all of the FAQ on this page, have read the Outdoor Event Guidelines and are satisfied that you would like to proceed with your event, please complete and submit a New Event Proposal Application. Once received, an Outdoor Events Coordinator will contact you to discuss your idea. They will discuss the feasibility of your event, availability of dates and possible venues.
How long does it take to process my Outdoor Event Application once a booking is in place?
To be sure that all event requirements are met in a timely manner, your Outdoor Event Application must be received at least 60 days prior to your event. All supporting documents such as the Certificate of Insurance and Temporary Food Service Applications are due a minimum of 21 days prior to your event.
Who is the Outdoor Events Committee?
The committee consists of internal (City of Kelowna) and external departments and agencies:
City Risk Manager
City Rec. & Cultural Services
Kelowna Regional Transit
Interior Health Authority
What rental fees/deposits should I be prepared to pay in order to host an Outdoor Event?
Your rental contract will include applicable rental fees for park sites and facilities, outdoor event application fee and if applicable, Special Occasion License fee (if approved). The park site and facilities rates are based on an hourly basis (3 hour minimum will apply). The Outdoor Events Committee/City Staff cannot waive fees for any rental.
A minimum damage deposit of $500.00 will be applied to your rental contract. This damage deposit will be refunded back after the event providing no damage has occurred or no clean-up is required at your event site. Processing of Damage Deposit refund may take up to 30 days. A ‘premium fee’ may be applied to all events that close a City park and charge admission.
Please refer to Bylaw #9609 – Recreation Fees and Charges, Schedule G.
Am I required to pay for extra City resources if they are required?
Yes. Depending on the terms of your permit, additional charges may apply for the following:
- Bylaw Officers
- City of Kelowna Special Event Business Licence (available at City Hall)
- Temporary Electrical Entertainment Permits (BC Safety Authority)
- Road/Parking Lot sweeping
- Special Occasion Licence Fee - Licensed Beverage Gardens (BC Liquor Control & Licensing)
- Transit (Bus) Disruption - BC Transit
Depending on the details of your event, you may be required to provide other infrastructure at your event. This may include items such as tenting, fencing, portable toilets, locates etc. As not all services are provided by the City of Kelowna, you will be required to contact private suppliers. A supplier list is available upon request.
Will my event require insurance?
Yes. All Outdoor Events/rentals on City property or using roadways require insurance. Proof of insurance must be provided on a City of Kelowna Certificate of Insurance (Appendix A-1 in the Outdoor Event Application). The Certificate can only be completed by an insurance agent. A minimum of two million ‘comprehensive general liability’ must be completed by your insurance company and submitted on the City of Kelowna Certificate of Insurance. All required Certificates of Insurance must be submitted at least 21 days in advance of the event.
The permit holder must ensure that all subcontractors provide comparable insurance to that required by the City of Kelowna (ie. the Organization or individual be named as additional insured).
Additional insurance is required for, (but not limited to) the following events:
Can I serve liquor at my event?
Requests to serve liquor at an outdoor event, on City of Kelowna property, must be submitted to the City of Kelowna. A “Permission to Apply for a Special Occasion Licence” form must be completed and submitted to the Outdoor Events office for approval. This form is available from an Outdoor Events Coordinator. Once approved, the form must be taken to a BC Liquor Store and the RCMP in order to receive your Special Occasion Licence (SOL). Please apply well in advance of your event.
The City of Kelowna will allow licensed beverage areas in conjunction with organized events only at Waterfront Park, City Park and Knox Mountain Park (Council Policy #223).
Refer to the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch website for more details on Special Occasion Licences.
Will someone from the Outdoor Events Committee be on site during my event?
The Outdoor Events Committee may assign an Outdoor Events Monitor to be onsite at your event during set-up/takedown and on event day(s). The role of this representative is to ensure that you follow the conditions that the Committee set out during the approval process.
The Outdoor Events Monitor will prepare a report after your event. This report will outline key areas of your event that were successful, and aspects that may require attention for future events. This report will be mailed to you.
Access to the site and event must be provided to the monitor, City Staff or Committee representatives.
How do I arrange for a road closure?
It is the responsibility of the event organizer to provide a detailed route map, complete with a Traffic Management Plan, to the Outdoor Events Committee for any event using roadways or walkways. This must be submitted along with your Outdoor Event Application.
Traffic Control will be required for any event stopping or impeding traffic. The Transportation Department will determine what level of traffic control will be required. Refer to the Traffic Control & Special Event Policy #216 for more details.
Road closures or traffic disruption on Highway 97 & Highway 33 must obtain approval/permit from the Ministry of Transportation.
Written notification of your event to residents/businesses along the route may be required and copies of this notification must be provided to the Outdoor Event Coordinator.
Barricades, cones, safety vests and ‘Race in Progress’ signs must be arranged with the City Yards Department at 1495 Hardy Street. Please call 250-469-8965 to reserve. Organizer will be responsible for pick-up and return. Arrangements for pick-up and return of equipment must be done during office hours Monday to Friday.
No unauthorized painting or any other permanent markings on roadways or walkway will be permitted.
Can I Sell/Serve food at my event?
Interior Health Authority (IHA) approval is required for all food services at your event, as well as a valid City of Kelowna Business License for all vendors. Food service must only be to the event participants, not the general public and can only be served within the time limits of your Event.
Refer to IHA Public Health Guidelines to ensure that you meet all Temporary Food Service Guidelines.
You will be required to complete the Application for Temporary Food Service Permit (Appendix B in the Outdoor Event Application) and submit to the Outdoor Events Office at least 21 days in advance of your event. Do not send your application directly to Interior Health as this will delay approval. Approval of food vendors is not guaranteed if Appendix B is submitted less than 21 days in advance.
Some food service is considered Low Risk or Permit Exempt in which case the Temporary Food Service Permit Application is not required. For more information visit Low-Risk Temporary Food Service Permit Application, and Permit Exempt Temporary Food Service
Interior Health maintains a list of Approved Mobile Vending Carts. This list is available through Interior Health or from an Outdoor Events Coordinator.
Do I need to provide a Site Plan?
Detailed site plans are required for all events and must be submitted along with your completed Outdoor Event Application, at least 60 days in advance of the event. Plans must indicate all activities that will be set up on site.
- First Aid
- Licensed Area
- Porta Potties
- Retail Booths
- Display Booths
- Food Services
- Play Structures
Please note: staking is not permitted on any City field or in any City park, with the exception of the North Field in City Park. This includes any tents, banners, fencing or staging.
How will I access Park facilities and services?
At least two weeks prior to your event you must contact the Parks Coordinator to discuss your set up requirements. Your event site plan is very useful at this meeting.
If I am planning on organizing a new event, will I be required to present my idea to the Outdoor Events Committee or City Council?
Depending on the complexity and location of your event, you may be required to produce a detailed business plan and present it to the Outdoor Events Committee and/or City Council. This decision will be made once an Outdoor Event Coordinator has reviewed the proposal and discussed with the event organizer.
Are there any grants that I can apply for to offset the costs of my event?
Yes, the City of Kelowna offers both a Sport Event Development (SED) Grant and a Project Grant. For information regarding the SED Grant, contact the Sport Kelowna Office.
How do I recruit volunteers?
Kelowna has a significant volunteer base and we can help! The Outdoor Events Department has a service agreement with Volinspire, a community engagement platform that connects volunteers and businesses to help support community causes. With Volinspire you can recruit, recognize and manage volunteers for your Outdoor Event.
Contact us for more information.
Parkinson Recreation Centre
1800 Parkinson Way
Kelowna, BC V1Y 4P9
Telephone: 250 469-8409 or 250 469-8853
Fax: 250 862-3326