Neighbourhood events

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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 are 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.

Neighbourhood Events Program

The Neighbourhood Events program is for residents of Kelowna 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 2-hrs 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. Equipment includes 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.

Application, guidelines & deadlines

Applications for 2020 Neighborhood Event support are now open. Fill out the webform below to apply.

Neighbourhood Event support application
Note about COVID-19 response measures: please be aware that applications for events in April or May 2020 will not be considered due to the need for physical distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19. Applications for summer 2020 events will be considered on a case-by-case basis as the situation evolves. Thank you for your understanding.

In the meantime, check out the Neighbourhood Event Guidelines below to determine eligibility.

Neighbourhood Event Guidelines

Eligibility

Any resident of Kelowna interested in hosting a neighbourhood event. Event planning experience is not required.

Supported event types

Examples of the types of events we can support: 

  • block parties/BBQ/picnics
  • condo festivity
  • porch concert/backyard theatre
  • scavenger hunt
  • picnics
  • free-cycling events
  • neighbourhood clean-ups
  • neighbourhood sport tournaments
  • skill, book, toy, plant/seed exchanges

In all cases, the events must be:

  • Free
  • Inclusive
  • Neighbourhood driven and neighbourhood based.
Other considerations

Depending on the event, other considerations may need to be taken into account and additional permits or permissions may be required including:

  • Road closures: if a street closure is required, a Road Usage Permit from Strong Neighbourhoods is required. You will need to discuss your plan with a Community Development Coordinator for next steps including obtaining signatures from the affected residents.
  • 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: any event where attendance is expected to exceed 350 on public property will be required to apply for an Outdoor Event Permit and will not be supported through Strong Neighbourhoods. Applications for an Outdoor Event Permit must be submitted at least 60 days’ prior to the event to ensure adequate time to review the application and process the permit.
  • Noise: must be kept at a respectable level for the consideration of your neighbours (i.e. quiet time 10pm).
  • Promotions: all promotions for your event must be neighbourhood based, with no event announcements on channels that would reach a city wide audience.

*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.

Timelines

Application forms will be available beginning March 16th, 2020 and accepted on an ongoing basis. It is 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 two weeks or less from the proposed event date cannot be considered. The last possible date for an event is October 18, 2020.

*A maximum of twenty five events will be supported during 2020.

Decision-making process

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 submitting an application. In some cases, applicants may be asked to provide additional information before a final decision can be made
Working together

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 of Kelowna
  • City of Kelowna staff will provide 2-hrs 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 of Kelowna 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 webpage. 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
  • 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
Non-support event types

An event cannot be supported if:

  • It is a fundraiser
  • It is a political or religious activity
  • The presence, sale or consumption of alcohol is involved
  • It violates any City of Kelowna bylaws
  • It is a private or closed function, e.g., a birthday party
  • If it is hosted by a for-profit business or group
  • If attendance is expected to be more than 350 (refer to the City of Kelowna Outdoor Events team)
Top ten reasons to have a block party
  • 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.

Meet your Street Kit

The Meet your Street Kit includes games and resources to help neighbours connect at a neighbourhood gathering in their street block, apartment or complex. For a $25 refundable deposit, organizers can sign out the kit and enjoy a variety of games and activities including: stacking cups, disc slam, giant connect 4, and parachute.

Request to borrow the Meet your Street Kit

Meet your street kit request form

Bookings are first come, first served, so get your request in early to neighbourhoods@kelowna.ca!

Make your social a success with these tools and resources!

So you want to plan a block party
A few helpful things to consider when planning your block party.

Resources
Including templates for invitations and posters.

Check out photos and descriptions of past Neighbourhood Grants and Events.