Plan a tournament
Looking to plan a tournament in Kelowna? With enjoyable weather year-round and pristine sports fields, our tournament team can help guide you in hosting a successful sporting event in Kelowna. All new tournaments require the submission of a New Tournament Proposal Form. Once you've completed the form, we'll be in touch to begin the process. If you have any questions, contact our tournament coordinator by e-mail or at 250-469-8696.
Tournament planning guidelines
We’re here to help. Below, you will find important information regarding tournament planning and City requirements to support your tournament needs.
All contractors/vendors for these activities must provide proof of Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policy via a certificate of insurance with a limit of no less than $2 million (or otherwise deemed by the City) naming “The City of Kelowna, 1800 Parkinson Way, Kelowna BC V1Y 4P9” as an Additional Insured.
All certificates of insurance are also required to indicate the following:
- The name, address and telephone number of the Named Insured
- The name, address and telephone number of the insurance broker
- Certificate needs to have the brokers name, title, company name, broker signature of Authorized Signatory, and date signed
- A description of the location and event to which this certificate applies
- Details of the insurance company writing the policy: name, address and telephone number
- Insurance policy number
- Policy effective date and expiry date
- Policy limits
- Participant injury
- Description of coverage detailing Commercial General Liability
- Details related to automobile liability insurance:
- Insurance company writing the policy: name, address and telephone number
- Insurance policy number
- Policy effective date and expiry date
- Policy limits
- Any deductible or Reimbursement Clause contained in the policy shall not apply to the City and shall be the sole responsibility of the insured named above
- 30 days prior written notice of material change and/or cancellation will be given to the City
Insurance documents to be submitted as part of the Tournament Application.
If your tournament doesn’t have a regular insurance provider, the City can issue you insurance through its All Sport program. Please indicate on your Tournament Application if you require insurance.
Creating a clear and easy-to-read site map is important to the hosting and implementation of a successful tournament. A site map is required for all tournaments taking place on City property. As part of the Tournament Contract, the tournament coordinator may facilitate a site walk to familiarize the organizer with onsite amenities and conditions of use.
For larger tournaments, a Production Schedule is required, indicating load-in/out plans and timelines. Many tournament sites have specific guidelines for access. It’s the organizer’s responsibility to ensure contractors are aware of and adhere to guidelines.
When creating a site map, the following should be indicated:
- Areas of use - if using multiple areas of the sportsfields, parks or arena, each area should be indicated on the map with activities and/or requirements
- Vehicle and emergency access/egress – many parks have specific access routes and guidelines. A minimum 6 metres (20 feet) emergency access route is required through the tournament site
- Portable washrooms – location should be easily accessible for servicing and, where feasible, placed on a hard surface
- Dumpsters – location should be away from the main tournament area, easily accessible for servicing and, where feasible, placed on a hard surface
- Tents, including sizing information
- Inflatables and other onsite activities
- All infrastructure such as staging, bleachers, fencing, barricades, display vehicles, etc.
- First aid/medical centre location
- Volunteer tent location – if applicable
- For site maps with beer gardens or full site licensing:
- Ticket sales areas
- Service areas
- Entrances and exits
- Security locations
We welcome you to use our helpful mapping tool that can assist in the creation of your site map.
For some tournaments, organizers may be required to notify local residents, businesses, and/or the general public of impacts to the area via a notification letter. Notification is required one month in advance.
As a general guideline, a notification letter is required if your tournament:
- Has a lane or road closure
- Has amplified sound
- Has a large parking impact in residential area
- Has an extended park closure
Necessity of a notification letter will be determined by the Tournament Team and a copy will be required as part of the contract.
Notification letter should include:
- Event dates and times
- Event location
- Route maps, indicating closures, detour routes, etc.
- Restricted parking areas
- Contact information including email and phone
- Website information
- Other information as applicable
We promote a caring, inclusive and respectful community where City programs, services and facilities are available to everyone, including people with diverseabilities, defined as someone who:
- Has low or no hearing
- Has low or no vision
- Lives with a mental illness
- Uses a cane, wheelchair or other mobility device to get around
In 2017, we completed an assessment of City parks and buildings as they relate to age and ability friendly design. Please refer to the People in Motion's Accessibility Guide for more information on the accessibility and age-friendly amenities of the City's parks and buildings.
Tournament organizers can promote inclusivity by taking steps to ensure their events are accessible to everyone.
Things to consider when planning:
- Interpreters - Use a sign language interpreter at presentations or speeches
- Parking - Ensure there are accessible parking stalls located in close proximity to event site and create temporary stalls where event space may restrict available accessible parking. We have temporary accessible parking signs available
- Paths of Travel - Identify clear and wide travel paths through the event site and ensure tripping hazards are identified and covered properly
- Routes - Ensure event routes are accessible and clear of any impediments
- Signage - Provide large, easy to read signage with good colour contrast
- Washrooms - Ensure accessible washroom stalls/portable washrooms are available, appropriately placed and in adequate supply
First aid is the responsibility of the tournament organizer.
At minimum, all tournaments are required to have a fully stocked first aid kit easily accessible by event staff, volunteers and attendees.
For tournaments with over 500 attendees, first aid recommendations include:
- Clearly identifiable 10x10 first aid tent onsite
- Certified professional first aid service such as St. John Ambulance
For larger or higher risk tournaments, increased medical services and an Emergency Plan will be required.
Safety is a key component to a successful event. Depending on the size and scope of the tournament, different levels of emergency planning is required. This includes situations such as medical, fire, weather, lost child, etc. The tournament organizer is responsible for adequately considering, planning for and mitigating against event emergencies.
When requested, event organizers are required to submit an Emergency Plan to the City for review and approval as part of the tournament contract.
When considering the scope of an Emergency Plan, it’s important to evaluate the level of risk, including variables such as:
- Level of attendance
- Liquor service
- Type of activities at event
- Demographic of attendees
- Duration of event
When creating an Emergency Plan, it’s important to take into account:
- Access - primary, secondary and emergency access points and routes should be designated and clearly marked on site map
- A minimum width of six metres is required for emergency access
- Route should avoid any temporary or permanent gated access points (unless manned)
- Where feasible, route should have easy access from a main street and be set away from the main flow of event attendees (pedestrians or vehicles).
- Action/communication plan
- Summary of first aid responders
- Location of first aid resources
BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) is an important resource for medical planning for tournaments. You can visit BCEHS Special Operations for more information on considerations when planning first aid levels of service may be required.
Other planning resources:
Depending on size, scope and type of tournament, varying levels of security may be required. Examples include:
- Tournaments with liquor service
- Special Event Permit (SEP) details will dictate required security
- A Security Plan will be required for large tournaments with liquor service
- Overnight structures in the park
- Tournaments with high attendance
- Ticketed Tournaments
- Other (i.e. complexity, nature, demographic, time of day, length, etc.)
Level of staffing will be determined as part of the Tournament Contract and is the organizer’s cost and responsibility to manage.
Please note that all City parks are smoke-free. Smoking isn’t permitted in parks as well as all areas within park boundaries inclusive of: access roads, parking lots, walkways, linear parks, beaches, playgrounds, water parks, sport fields, buildings and stadiums. E-cigarettes are also prohibited. (Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw #10680)
Many City parks have onsite washrooms to service the general public. Extra supplies and cleanings are coordinated by the City to support onsite tournaments at no charge back to the organizer (some exceptions may apply).
When tournament attendance exceeds onsite services, it’s the organizers responsibility to arrange for portable washrooms. The cleaning and security of the portable washrooms is the responsibility of the organizer. For general planning, the recommendation for quantity is at a ratio of one portable washroom/stall per one hundred people. This includes onsite washroom facilities and portable washrooms.
Accessible portable washrooms should be added if onsite accessible stalls are limited in number.
Portable washrooms should be placed on a hard surface where feasible, and easily accessible for load in/out and servicing.
We provide electrical access in many of our event parks at no cost to tournament organizers. Availability and amount vary per park. To supplement electrical onsite, generators are permitted under the guidelines outlined below, subject to City approval.
Generators and grounding
Technical Safety BC will state to ground generators as per the manufacturer’s instructions. However, staking, the most common instruction, isn’t permitted in city parks. Other grounding options need to be sourced and may include:
- Self-grounding generators
- Grounding plate(s) - several parks have grounding plates which can be identified through the Events Team
- Alternative grounding options - facilitated through the Events Team. Organizers aren’t permitted to ground to infrastructure in the park without prior approval
An electrical permit is required when the onsite supply is greater than 250kVA or the equipment (i.e. generator) installed for temporary use and the supply is greater than 5kVA.
Please visit Technical Safety BC for more information and to apply for a permit.
A copy of the electrical permit or e-mail confirmation from Technical Safety BC stating such a permit isn’t required must be submitted as part of the contract.
It’s important to be aware of all requirements in City parks for setup/takedown and load in/out of infrastructure in the park. Conditions to be coordinated and managed through the Sport Kelowna office may include:
- Many city parks have specific access and egress points for loading in/out of event infrastructure
- Vehicles are to remain on a hard surface wherever feasible
- Locates may be required depending on site setup and needs. This would be the organizers cost and coordinated through the Event Services Office
- Protective methods will be required to prevent damage (i.e. plywood pathway for vehicles travelling over turf, tarping under vehicles and food service areas)
- Infrastructure may be permitted overnight in the park, with security requirements determined based on risk
Below are specific conditions for common event infrastructure. Please note the Tournament Coordinator should be notified of all major infrastructure being brought onsite and it needs to be indicated on all site maps. Other possible infrastructure onsite can include; staging, storage bins, reefers, etc., and specific conditions may apply.
Things to consider:
- Tournament fencing isn’t permitted to block access to resident’s property, driveways, parking lots, thoroughfares without approval as part of the tournament contract
- Any fencing blocking entrances/exits to city property must have a gate to allow access and be manned by a marshal or security person at all times
- Staking into the ground or affixing fencing to any park infrastructure isn’t permitted without prior approval
- It’s the organizers responsibility to ensure contracted company is compliant with all City conditions and regulations
Things to consider:
- All inflatables to be anchored securely using weights
- Inflatables must be staffed at all times
- Inflatables must be deflated daily for multiple day events
- All straps and electrical cords shall be positioned so as not to cause trip hazards
- Generator must be properly grounded if required
Portable washrooms and dumpsters
Things to consider:
- Portable washrooms - location should be easily accessible for servicing and, where feasible, placed on a hard surface
- Dumpsters - location should be away from the main event area, easily accessible for servicing and, where feasible, placed on a hard surface
- Coordination of portable washrooms and dumpsters to be dropped off and picked up outside of event time can be approved dependent on need
The City must be notified of all tents planned within a tournament site.
- All tents must be indicated on the site map with sizing
- Staking isn’t permitted in city parks or sports fields. All tents must be appropriately weighted. It’s not permitted to tie to any infrastructure. Exceptions to the no-staking rule may be approved as part of the Tournament Application. If approved, locates for utilities, irrigation and other lines are required at the organizer’s cost
- Tents are not permitted within three metres of any building or permanent structures
- All tents shall have a flame-retardant treatment
- Smoking and open flame devices shall not be permitted in a tent
- Heaters are permitted in tents providing they comply with Technical Safety BC requirements, applicable gas codes and the appliance manufacturers clearance requirements
The City is proud to offer garbage, recycle and refundable bins and bags, at no charge, to assist in the waste management of your event.
- Bins can be requested through the Sport Kelowna office as part of the Tournament Contract
- The City will drop off bins and bags prior to the tournament and pick up post tournament
- Management of provided garbage/recycle/refundables and the permanent onsite bins during the tournament is the responsibility of the organizer. City staff will also assist to monitor permanent onsite bins
- It’s the organizers responsibility for all garbage/recycle and refundable bag removal post-tournament
City parks generally don’t have access to onsite dumpsters. It’s the responsibility of the organizer to provide dumpsters for recycle and garbage as part of their waste management plan.
Dumpster location should be located on the site map and drop/pickup times will need to be provided as it often occurs outside of the tournament date. Insurance will need to cover the entire time infrastructure such as dumpsters are in the park.
A good waste management plan can be a major contributor to a successful event. Without one, the event site can look messy, dirty and unappealing, lowering the quality of the experience for attendees.
Suggestions for efficient waste management:
- Strategically place bins where obvious garbage will be created – i.e. by food trucks, booths, or existing receptacles
- Group the garbage/recycle/refundables bins together in groups of three so participants can make the right choice. If the bins aren’t grouped together, attendees are likely to dump everything into one bin
- Plan a process and identify locations for discarding full bags - i.e. dumpster, back of truck, etc. For larger tournaments, book golf carts to expedite the process
- Have a dedicated team responsible for overseeing the bins - i.e. solicit a sports team or community group to manage the refundables portion in exchange for keeping the profit or offer an honorarium for full waste management
- Ensure volunteers are monitoring onsite bins as well as tournament bins
We have a variety of tournament/sporting equipment available for rent. Equipment requests are made as part of the Tournament Application. There are various requirements if you’re incorporating AV components into your event.
- Portable sound system w/ mic
- Tables & chairs
- Transportable bleachers
- 40’l x 15’w plus 5 feet for tongue
- 9 rows of seating
- Seating for approximately 180 people
- City hex tent - 40x40 foot tent.
- Event display board
Equipment is available on a first come-first served basis, however when multiple events are booking on the same weekend, we do make every effort to ensure shared use of the equipment. Lost or damaged equipment is deducted from the damage deposit on the contract.
Several tournament locations have contracted concessions or mobile food vendors onsite to serve the general public. For events in these locations, the Tournament Team will provide contact information and facilitate coordination with onsite concession operators.
For smaller tournaments, organizers are asked to coordinate food service with onsite concession operators and/or onsite mobile food vendors to provide food service.
For larger tournaments, additional food vendors or food service is permitted in conjunction with onsite food service. Any additional food vendors brought onsite should provide fare that varies from onsite concession and onsite mobile food vendors.
Mobile food vendors
Mobile food vendors for tournaments are required to have the proper permits in place to serve the general public. Please ensure your mobile food vendor has the following:
- A Kelowna Fire Department annual inspection decal. Contact 250-469-8755 for more information.
- Interior Health Authority Permit
General food service
For food service not provided by a mobile vendor, it’s the organizer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate Interior Health Authority Temporary Food Service Permit is in place. If required, a copy of the food service permit must be included as part of the tournament contract.
Portable BBQ’s are approved as part of the tournament contract, provided that the BBQ is: CSA/ULC approved, powered by propane gas, used under constant supervision and kept a minimum of one metre away from the nearest structure, property line, tree or other combustible material. A gas powered campfire or open flame isn’t permitted.
Drop cloths are required for all food service areas and vehicles onsite on hard surfaces. Drop cloths must cover vehicles and cooking trailers from bumper to bumper.
City permission is required for an event wishing to serve or sell liquor to be consumed on City property. Permission is provided as part of the Tournament Contract. Information required for approval includes:
- Full site vs beer garden
- Capacity request
- Family vs 19+
- Type of liquor being served
- Site map indicating location of service areas, fencing, etc.
- Security plan – depending on size and scope of liquor service, varying levels of security are required
- For larger tournaments with liquor service, detailed information will be required for security and emergency plans, beverage management and site management
Once permission from the City has been granted, the organizer must apply for a Special Event Permit as per the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. Submission of the Special Event Permit is required as part of the Tournament Contract.
As per the Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw No. 1068 Section 3.42, no person shall release or land a hot air or passenger balloon, or operate an unmanned aircraft, drone, or a model aircraft in a park without a permit.
Drone usage can be approved through Outdoor Events:
- Valid business licence; recreational operators aren’t permitted
- Comprehensive General Liability insurance no less than $2 million
- Site survey as submitted to NAV and corresponding event site map if applicable
- Copy of SFOC from Transport Canada
- It’s illegal to drive drones over any public spaces
- Drone takeoff and landing must be in a secured 200 ft. radius and always 100 ft. away from vehicles, buildings and people. This is indicated on the site survey map.
Please contact the Events Team at email@example.com for a Drone Application.
The use of fireworks, pyrotechnics and/or open flame performances require pre-approval from the tournament team before applying for a Fireworks Permit. Request is to be indicated in the Tournament Application.
Please visit the Fire and Life Safety Bylaw, section 17.2 online, or call the Kelowna Fire Department at 250-469-8755 for general inquiries.
The Fireworks Permit, including additional insurance and site maps, are required as part of the Tournament Contract.
Amplified sound may be approved as part of the Tournament Application.
Organizers are required to mitigate noise bleed by:
- Having awareness of speaker location and direction (i.e. away from resident areas)
- Respecting early morning or late evening use
Specific decibel setting requirements for large concerts will be determined as part of the Tournament Application process.
Our tournament kit has a portable sound system and speakers available for rent. It’s available on a first come-first served basis. Please indicate this request in your Tournament Application.
In support of tournaments and events, camping may be permitted in designated parks only: Parkinson Recreation Park, Mission Recreation Park and Rutland Recreation Park. Details are reviewed through the Outdoor Event Permit process and prior approval is required from the Event Services Team. Terms and conditions may vary between events and locations.
It’s recommended that organizers provide nearby parking options when attendance will exceed onsite capacities. Alternate means of transportation such as walking, cycling, carpooling, transit, etc., should be encouraged.
As part of the tournament contract, organizers may be permitted to block off parking stalls and/or parking lots for event space or infrastructure such as portable washrooms, mobile food vendors, loading/unloading zone, etc.
It’s the organizer’s responsibility to block off and manage use of stalls and/or parking lots. The tournament coordinator may provide metre bags where feasible and organizers can book City Event Equipment to reserve the area.
If onsite accessible parking stalls are blocked off as event space, it’s the organizers responsibility to add additional temporary accessible stalls in an alternate location. Accessible parking signs are available in City Event Equipment.
Parking on grass, or in pathways, driving lanes, fire routes, designated accessible spaces, etc., isn’t permitted without prior City permission.
It’s not permitted to charge parking fees on City property to tournament attendees.
A courtesy tow is identified as the “towing of a legally parked vehicle, at no charge to the vehicle owner, for the purpose of clearing an area for a tournament.” We may grant permission for courtesy tows as part of the Tournament Contract.
Vehicles can be towed to a neighbouring street, or a designated tow lot identified through the Tournament Contract.
It’s the organizer’s responsibility to make arrangements with the towing company - this includes coordination of details, locations, RCMP notification and any associated costs for service.
For larger tournaments, a Parking Plan may be required as part of the Tournament Contract and may include:
- Onsite parking management - control of access points and directing vehicles
- Identification of park and walk locations
- Shuttle plan - designated drop off/pickup zones and schedule of service
In support of tournaments and events, overnight parking for participants renting the Parkinson Recreation park, Mission Recreation Par and Rutland Recreation Park is available as approved by the Director of the Active Living & Culture department or their designate. Please work with the Tournament Coordinator if overnight parking is needed.