Outdoor event FAQs

This list of frequently asked questions has been created for anyone interested in planning an outdoor event in 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 the frequently asked questions, 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 Parks
City Risk Manager
City Bylaw
City Property Management
City Active Living & Culture
City Parking
Kelowna Regional Transit
City Transportation
City Communications
Fire Department
BC Ambulance

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.

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 us, 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:

  • Mechanical Amusement Rides
  • Dunk Tanks
  • Petting Zoos
  • Hot Air Balloon
  • Inflatable Play Structures 
  • Sky Divers
  • Pony Rides
  • Fireworks (refer to the Fireworks Bylaw)
  • High-risk activities as determined by the Outdoor Events Committee
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 will be sent to the RCMP and you may apply online at the  BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch website  in order to receive your Special Occasion Licence (SOL). Please apply well in advance of your event.

Refer to the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch website  for more details on Special Occasion Licenses.

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.

Traffic equipment can be arranged through the permit process. 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.  

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.


  • Tents
  • Staging
  • Fencing
  • First Aid
  • Licensed Area
  • Vehicles
  • Porta Potties
  • Retail Booths
  • Display Booths
  • Food Services
  • Play Structures
  • Security

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.

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.

Can I film in Kelowna?

Our office helps production companies access City services and obtain proper permits and authorizations to film in the City of Kelowna. These productions include commercials, television series as well as student, independent and feature films. If you are a production company interested in filming here, please read about our Guidelines and Policies or email outdoorevents@kelowna.ca .

You may also want to check out the Okanagan Film Commission for locations, incentives, production assistance and facilities or visit  Creative BC  for additional information.

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 at 250-469-8850.

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.