Block party planning support
COVID-19 & block party update
Following BC’s Restart Plan, we anticipate that the Neighbourhood Event program will be able to resume and on Friday, June 4th, 2021, Kelowna residents will be able to apply for Neighbourhood Event support for Neighbourhood events taking place on or after July 1st, 2021. This start date is tentative and will depend on whether restrictions are lifted at the anticipated dates. Event organizers planning events shortly after July 1st need to be aware that their event may need to be postponed or cancelled if Step 2 of BC’s Restart Plan is not able to start at the anticipated June 15th time.
Block party planning support
Great cities are made up of strong neighbourhoods. In turn, strong neighbourhoods are made up of connected and engaged residents. Neighbourhood events are a fun and enjoyable way to meet neighbours and build a stronger, more connected neighbourhood.
If you’re planning to organize a neighbourhood event to build connections among neighbours and a sense of community, we can help! Check out our Neighbourhoods Events program and Meet your Street Kit details below to see how we can support your next neighbourhood gathering. We have also included some great resources below that can help you prepare for a great neighbourhood event!
Learn about neighbourhoods who have hosted successful neighbourhood events by visiting our Strong Neighbourhoods success stories page.
The Meet your Street Kit includes games and resources to help neighbours connect at a neighbourhood gathering in their street block, apartment or complex in Kelowna. Organizers can sign out the kit and enjoy a variety of games and activities: stacking cups, disc slam, giant connect four and parachute.
Events must be neighbourhood based and meet eligibility requirements listed in the Neighbourhood Events program guidelines. Requests for the Meet Your Street Kit must be submitted at least 2 weeks before anticipated event date. To submit a request, fill out our form below.
The Neighbourhood Events program is for Kelowna residents who want to host a get-together with their neighbours and would like a little help along the way. Whether you're looking to host a condo or block party, neighbourhood scavenger hunt, picnic, porch concert or neighbourhood clean-up, we can help!
The Neighbourhood Event program provides the following support, for free:
- Pre-event planning: support includes booking public spaces, inviting neighbours, neighbourhood building activities and more
- On-site support: City staff provide two hours of on-site help the day of your event, plus time for set-up and take-down
- Access to equipment: access to equipment from the mobile event trailer: tables, chairs, tents, sound system and a variety of lawn games
- Access to resources: resources such as nametags, conversation starter cards and contact cards are available to help connect neighbours
Please note that if a street closure is required for your event, a road usage permit from Strong Neighbourhoods is required.
It’s highly recommended that applications be submitted a minimum of four weeks prior to the event date in order to ensure ample time for review and to address any potential concerns. Applications that are submitted less than three weeks prior to the proposed event date cannot be considered. The last possible date for an event is Oct. 17, 2021.
Applications will be reviewed by the Community Development Coordinators, who will:
- Review and evaluate applications weekly
- Consult with applicable City departments depending on the nature of the proposed event
- Evaluate applications based on the program criteria
Applicants will be notified of the final decision within two weeks of applying. In some cases, applicants may be asked to provide additional information before a final decision can be made.
Any resident of Kelowna interested in hosting a neighbourhood event can apply. Event planning experience is not required.
We will support the following types of events, as long as they’re outdoor, free, inclusive, and neighbourhood driven/based:
- Block parties/BBQ/picnics
- Condo festivities (outdoor events only at this time)
- Porch concerts/backyard theatre performances
- Scavenger hunts
- Free-cycling events
- Neighbourhood clean-ups
- Neighbourhood sport tournaments
- Skill, book, toy, plant/seed exchanges
An event can’t be supported if:
- It does not follow current public health orders
- It’s a fundraiser
- It’s a political or religious activity
- The presence, sale or consumption of alcohol is involved
- It violates any City bylaws
- It’s a private or closed function (e.g., a birthday party)
- If it’s hosted by a for-profit business or group
- If attendance is expected to be more than 350 (visit Plan an outdoor event)
Depending on the event, other considerations may need to be considered and additional permits or permissions may be required.
- Road closures: if a street closure is required, a road usage permit from Strong Neighbourhoods is required. Please note, you are required to maintain a six-foot emergency lane throughout the event. You will need to discuss your plan with a Community Development Coordinator for next steps, including obtaining signatures from the affected residents. Strong Neighbourhoods event road usage permit application
- Food service: if the event involves serving food, a permit from Interior Health may be required.
- Access to power: if the event is in a park and requires power, please discuss the options with a Community Development Coordinator
- Waste Removal: event organizers are responsible for removing and disposing any resulting garbage and/or recyclables
- Attendance: ensure your gathering doesn't exceed 50 people, as recommended by the Provincial Health Officer. Plus, a smaller social will help you better connect and building meaningful relationships with those who live around you.
- Noise: must be kept at a respectable level for the consideration of your neighbours (i.e. quiet time is 10 p.m.).
- Promotions: all promotions for your event must be neighbourhood based. Event announcements on channels that would reach a city-wide audience are not permitted.
*Permits and permissions do not need to be in place prior to applying for neighbourhood event support. A Community Development Coordinator will assist applicants in obtaining the necessary requirements.
Once an event has been approved:
- A Community Development Coordinator will be available to work with the organizer through planning and implementation of event
- The event organizer will be required to sign a letter of agreement that will clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of the organizer and the City
- Our staff will provide two hours of on-site help the day of your, event plus time for set-up and take-down
- The event organizer will need to provide a site map two weeks prior to event date
- All event promotions and communications will need to recognize the City and be approved by the Community Development Coordinator prior to distribution
- The event organizer will be required to provide photos from the event and a story that can be shared on the Strong Neighbourhoods website section. We will provide photo release forms for the day of the event as well as a short guest survey to be handed out at the event for guest feedback.
- The event organizer will be required to complete a short event evaluation form to provide details such as the event’s impact on the neighbourhood
- To have fun and animate the neighbourhood
- To plan neighbourhood initiatives such as street clean-up, little libraries or cycling events.
- To encourage neighbours get to know each other, and look out for one another
- To meet neighbours, strengthen existing relationships, and build friendships
- To create a welcoming and inclusive community
- To learn more about who lives on the block and the skills, talents and passions of neighbours. They might be able to lend a hand with a gardening project, care for children in time of need or keep an eye on the house while away on vacation.
- To help with safety/crime prevention by knowing who lives where and spotting/reporting out of ordinary activity
- To learn about the history of the neighbourhood
- To encourage neighbours to look after the neighbourhood
- To create more opportunities to be social such as forming walking groups, hosting games nights, or organizing a paint night.
Block party planning tips
A few helpful things to consider when planning your block party
Project planning tips
If you've never organized a neighbourhood project or event, this guide will help walk you through the basic steps
Outdoor events planning
For events over 350 people or that disrupt traffic, the Outdoor Events office can help you navigate the permit and application processes