Event planning guidelines
Thank you for your interest in hosting an event in Kelowna. Below is a useful list to help you on your way to planning and running a successful event.
Before completing an outdoor event application, be sure to read through the guidelines for important information to assist you.
- New events - Applications will be accepted and evaluated on an ongoing basis for the current year and must be submitted at least 60 days in advance. Any requests made within the 60-day limit may be declined if there isn’t adequate time to process application. Those wishing to apply for the following year will be evaluated after Dec. 1 of the current year
- Returning events - If you wish to hold your event again the following year, applications must be submitted by Oct. 15. You can roll over your application online at any time once your current event has been completed. Any changes to dates or locations will be considered once all returning events are confirmed
- The Returning Event Calendar for the upcoming year is finalized from Oct. 15 to Dec. 1 of the current year
Information submission deadlines
- Non-refundable application Fee (due to confirm booking)
- Site map / route map / traffic management plan (60 days)
- Production Schedule (large events) & food vendor information (60 days)
- Supporting permits (21 days)
- Final payment / signed agreement (seven days)
There are a variety of potential City and non-city fees associated with hosting an event. Read Active Living & Culture Fees and Charges Bylaw (#9609) for more detailed information.
Here’s a quick summary of some of the possible costs:
City rental & administration fees
- Park rental fees - hourly rate to book park spaces, with a minimum three-hour booking required and billable up to a maximum daily rate of 10 hours
- Administration fee - fee varies depending on size and scope of event. This fee is non-refundable and due at the time of booking to confirm the rental
- Fees are divided into non-profit and commercial rates. A non-profit number is required to receive non-profit status
A damage deposit is required to cover various area of potential damage or loss such as park site, lost equipment, etc. The amount varies based on size and scope of the event, with the general amounts being $300 for smaller events and $500 for larger events. The City reserves the right to assess and assign a higher amount for large, high impact events.
Ticketed events on City Property are subject to gross gate (per City Fees & Charges Bylaw #9609).
Rental rates for ticketed events will be based on a percentage of gross ticket sales or base park rental, whichever is greater. The rate is based on the event dates only (set up and takedown days will not be included in the calculation).
Ceiling rate will be based on:
- Non-profit: four per cent of gross ticket sales to a maximum of $4,000
- Commercial: eight per cent of gross ticket sales, to a maximum of $8,000
- Rental rates for ticketed events will be based on a percentage of gross ticket sales or base park rental, whichever is greater
- The rate is based on the event dates only. Set up and takedown days will not be included in the calculation, but park rental fees will apply
- If the event is on multiple days, the gross gate calculation applies to the highest gross revenue day with the remaining day(s) maximum rate calculated at 50 per cent of that day
- Additional city services - examples include RCMP or Bylaw Support, staffing for park or facility management, etc. Fees are collected on cost recovery for service being provided.
- Non-city event related costs - dependent on event requirements; examples include electrical permit, insurance, food vendors, infrastructure costs, etc.
Please note, the non-refundable application fee is due to confirm the booking with final payment for all costs associated with the Outdoor Event Permit due when the permit is issued to the organizer, usually within seven days of the start date. Organizers aren’t permitted onsite without prior payment. Cost recovery items and the damage deposit are finalized and returned post-event.
All events taking place on City property are required to have, at minimum, $2 million Comprehensive General Liability Insurance.
The following is required on your Certificate of Insurance:
- A limit of liability of no less than $2 million per occurrence. Some events may require a limit of no less than $5 million as deemed by the City
- The City of Kelowna named as additional insured
- Name of the event, location of event and event dates
- Products/completed operations
- Blanket contractual
- Contractor’s protective
- Personal injury
- Contingent employer’s liability
- Broad form property damage
- Non-owned automobile
- Cross liability clause
All policies noted above shall contain amendments to reflect the following:
- Any deductible or reimbursement clause contained in the policy shall not apply to the City of Kelowna and shall be the sole responsibility of the Insured
- 30 days prior written notice of material change and/or cancellation will be given to the City of Kelowna
Events and/or activities deemed as a higher risk (such as: host liquor, multi day events, participant injury, etc.) will require additional coverage. Details are reviewed through the Outdoor Event Permit process.
Note: Certificate of Insurance must be provided and approved before the Outdoor Event Permit can be issued.
Many onsite activities have additional insurance requirements or specific guidelines which require City approval prior to being onsite. The most common activities include, but aren’t restricted to, amusement rides, petting zoos, inflatables and drone operators.
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 broker’s 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
Activities requiring additional insurance and subsequent submission of insurance documents will be reviewed as part of the Outdoor Event Permit.
As per WorkSafe BC regulations, the organization/business hosting the event may be required to enter into a Prime Contractor Agreement to assume responsibility and to ensure the health and safety of all workers/paid staff on the event site. This includes from setup to takedown.
You may be required to take Prime Contractor if:
- You, or any of your organization/business staff involved in the event, are paid and not a volunteer
- There are contracted/hired services as part of the event. Examples include; flaggers, mobile food trucks, portable washroom suppliers, etc.
You’re not required to take Prime Contractor if:
- Your organization is made up of entirely volunteer staff - in other words, no-one is a paid employee
- There are no contracted/hired services onsite
Regardless of who is Prime Contractor, it’s the organizer's responsibility to share the Known Hazards Guidelines with all staff, workers and volunteers onsite.
For more information please visit WorkSafe BC Prime Contractor Responsibilities.
Creating a clear and easy to read site map is important to the hosting and implementation of a successful event. A site map is required for all events taking place on City property. As part of the Outdoor Event Permit, the Event Services Team may facilitate a site walk to familiarize the organizer with onsite amenities and conditions of use.
For larger events, a production schedule is required, indicating load-in/out plans and timelines. Many event sites have specific guidelines for access. It’s the organizer’s responsibility to ensure contractors are aware of and adhere to guidelines. We created a Sample Production Schedule as a guideline.
When creating a site map, the following should be indicated:
- Areas of use - if using multiple areas of the park, each area should be indicated on the map with activities and/or requirements. This includes areas such as parking lots, lake-based events, beach area, etc.
- Vehicle and emergency access/egress - many parks have specific access routes and guidelines. A minimum 6m (20ft.) emergency access route is required through the event 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 event area, easily accessible for servicing and, where feasible, placed on a hard surface
- Tents - including sizing information
- Inflatables and other onsite activities such as amusement rides, petting zoos, etc.
- 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
TIP: Place anything requiring electrical access by the onsite services instead of running cords long distances (saves money and removes potential tripping hazards)
We have a useful mapping tool that can assist with the creation of your site map.
Please note for events with activities on the water, it’s the organizer's responsibility to confirm any Transport Canada or Ministry of Transportation requirements and to have adequate safety measures in place. Please see the Water Section for more information.
For some events, organizers will 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. We have created a Sample Public Notification as a guideline.
As a general guideline, a notification letter is required if your event:
- Has a lane or road closure
- Has amplified sound (i.e. concert)
- Has a large parking impact in residential area
- Has an extended park closure
Necessity of a notification letter will be determined by the Event Services Team and a copy will be required as part of the Outdoor Event Permit.
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 as applicable
Canada Post has a program that will assist in targeting a direct mailout with interactive maps and data to send information to a targeted area.
In addition, the city will release a Traffic Advisory or Park Closure Announcement approximately one week ahead of the event to assist in informing the public.
Events taking place on private property fall under two main categories:
- Events taking place completely on private property (no public space is used):
- Attendance over 1,000 people - require an Outdoor Event Permit, due to potential impact on city services
- Attendance under 1,000 people - are not required to have an Outdoor Event Permit
- Outdoor Events using a portion of private property for site or route:
- As part of the Outdoor Event Permit, written approval from the landowner is required if any portion of the event is held on private property. For example, a running event with start and finish at Gyro Beach, but loops through a private winery as part of the race will require proof of permission from the winery owner
- The property owner will have to complete, sign and submit the Private Property form
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.
Event 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 organizer.
At minimum, all events are required to have a fully stocked fist aid kit easily accessible by event staff, volunteers and attendees.
For events 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 or other
For larger or higher risk events, increased medical services and a Safety plan will be required.
Safety is a key component to a successful event. Depending on the size and scope of the event, different levels of emergency planning is required; this includes situations such as medical, fire, weather, lost child, etc. The event organizer is responsible for adequately considering, planning for and mitigating against event emergencies.
When requested, event organizers are required to submit a Safety plan to the City for review and approval as part of the Outdoor Event Permit.
When considering the scope of a Safety 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 a Safety plan, it’s important to consider:
- Access - primary, secondary and emergency access points and routes should be designated and clearly marked on the site map
- 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 Health Services (BCEHS) is an important resource for medical planning for events. You can visit BCEHS Special Operations for more information on considerations when planning first aid and levels of service that may be required.
Other planning resources:
Depending on size, scope and type of event, varying levels of security may be required. Examples include:
- Events with liquor service:
- Special Event Permit details will dictate required security
- A Security Plan will be required for large events with liquor service
- Overnight structures in the park
- Events with high attendance
- Ticketed events
- Other (i.e. complexity, nature, demographic, time of day, length, etc.)
Level of staffing will be determined as part of the Outdoor Event Permit and is the organizer’s cost and responsibility to manage.
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)
Exceptions may be permitted as part of the Outdoor Event Permit. If approved, smoking areas are required to be indicated on the site map, and it’s the organizers responsibility to manage maintenance and waste removal with receptacles.
Many City parks have onsite washrooms to service the general public. Extra supplies and cleanings are coordinated by the City to support onsite events at no charge back to the organizer (some exceptions may apply).
When event attendance exceeds onsite services, it’s the organizer's responsibility to arrange for portapotties. The cleaning and security of the portapotties is also the responsibility of the organizer.
For general planning, the recommendation for quantity is at a ratio of one poratpottie/stall per one hundred people (1:100). This includes onsite washroom facilities and portapotties.
Accessible portapotties should be added if onsite accessible stalls are limited in number.
Portapotties should be placed on a hard surface where feasible, and easily accessible for load in/out and servicing.
Access to water is available in many parks at the organizer’s request. Please note, some sources aren’t potable. Options and availability will be determined as part of the Outdoor Event Permit.
The City encourages event organizers to go green and encourage event attendees to bring refillable water bottles to events.
We provide electrical access in many of our event parks at no cost to event organizers. Availability and amount vary per park. To supplement electrical onsite, generators may be permitted under the guidelines outlined below; subject to City approval.
It’s important for organizers to determine the total electrical requirements for their event - this includes amount required to access electrical (plug into) onsite as well as the number and size of generators onsite at your event, to determine both grounding and electrical permit requirements.
TIP - When creating your site map, ensure any activities or food vendors requiring electrical access or grounding for generators are placed near these services in the park. The Event Services Team can provide service locations in the various parks.
Generators and grounding
Generally speaking, most generators are required to be grounded. 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 Event Services Team
- Alternative grounding options - as facilitated by the Event Services Team. Organizers aren’t permitted to ground to infrastructure in the park without prior approval
An Electrical Permit is required when the onsite supply requirement is greater than 250kVA or the equipment (i.e. generators) installed for temporary use AND the supply is greater than 5kVA.
We highly recommend visiting Technical Safety BC for more information, and to apply for a permit.
A copy of the electrical permit or email confirmation from Technical Safety BC stating such a permit isn’t required must be submitted as part of the Outdoor Event Permit.
TIP - All cords must be covered to prevent tripping hazards. Cable covers are a quick and easy way to help make the event site safe. Visit our Available equipment accordion to learn how to reserve the cable covers and learn more about what other event equipment may help you!
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 Event Services 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 organizer’s cost and coordinated with the Event Services Team
- 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
- For larger events, a Production Schedule indicating load in and out times of all infrastructure is required as part of the Outdoor Event Permit. Please visit the Site Map accordion for more information
- Event insurance must cover duration of the time infrastructure is in the park, if outside event day
Below are specific conditions for the most common event infrastructure. Other possible infrastructure onsite can include; staging, storage bins, reefers, etc., and specific conditions may apply. Please advise the Event Services Team of all infrastructure being brought onsite and indicate on all site maps.
Things to consider:
- Event fencing isn’t permitted to block access to resident’s property, driveways, parking lots, or thoroughfares without approval as part of the Outdoor Event Permit
- 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 organizer's 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
- Additional insurance is required from inflatable operator. Please visit the Insurance - Onsite Activities accordion for more information
Portapotties 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 portapotties 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 an event site.
- All tents must be indicated on the site map with sizing
- Staking is not permitted in City parks. 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 Outdoor Event Permit. If approved, locates for utilities, irrigation and other lines are required at the organizers cost
- Tents aren’t 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
We’re 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 as part of the Outdoor Event Permit process
- Bin sizes are the standard 240L recycle bin size issued by the Regional District of Kelowna to homeowners
- The City will drop off the bins and bags prior to the event and pick them up post event
- Management of provided garbage/recycle/refundables and the permanent onsite bins during the event is the responsibility of the organizer
- It’s the organizer's responsibility for all garbage/recycle and refundable bag removal post event
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 they often occur outside of the event 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 not 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 events, book golf carts to expedite process
- Have a dedicated team responsible for overseeing the bin - 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 event bins
We have a variety of equipment available for rent or at no charge for permitted events on City property. Our Equipment Booking Form has a full breakdown of inventory and booking information. Equipment requests are made through the Outdoor Event Permit process. There are various requirements if you’re incorporating AV components into your event.
- Slow paddles
- Cable covers (for cords)
- Detour signs
- Tent weights
Note, this is not a complete listing (full inventory is in the Equipment Booking Form).
Equipment available for rent
- Portable sound system
- City hex tent - 40x40 foot tent. For general tent information, please visit the Infrastructure Onsite section.
- Transportable bleachers
- 40'L x 15'W plus 5 feet for tongue
- Nine rows of seating
- Seating for approximately 180 people
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 Outdoor Event Permit.
Several event parks have contracted concessions or mobile food vendors onsite to serve the general public. For events in these locations, the Event Services Team will provide contact information and facilitate coordination with onsite concession operators.
For smaller events, organizers are asked to coordinate food service with onsite concession operators and/or onsite mobile food vendors to provide food service.
For larger events, 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 events 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
- An Interior Health Authority Permit
- A current and valid business license
General food service
If you’re providing or preparing your own food service (pancake breakfast, prepared food, etc.), it’s your 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 Outdoor Event Permit.
Portable barbeques are approved as part of the Outdoor Event Permit, provided that the barbeque 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 clothes are required for all food service areas and vehicles on hard surfaces. Drop clothes 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. As part of the Outdoor Event Permit process, organizers must complete a City Permission Form for review and preliminary approval. Once permission from the City has been granted, the organizer must apply for a Special Event Permit as per the BC Liquor Distribution Branch and submit it to us once received. Check out the Special Event Permit Manual for more information.
Information required for preliminary approval of liquor service onsite:
- Full site vs. beer garden
- Capacity request
- All ages/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 events with liquor service, detailed information will be required for security and emergency plans, beverage management and site management
RCMP representation may be required at licensed events. The RCMP determines staffing requirements and the cost is the responsibility of the organizer. RCMP requirements are facilitated through the Outdoor Event Permit process.
For other Liquor Service related questions, please visit the British Columbia Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (BCLCRB).
A Special Event Business License is required for any person, persons, group, society, association, organization or corporation holding a Special Event for gain or profit including, but not restricted to, a public show, exhibition or commercial performance. A license is required for any sales onsite at the event.
To APPLY for a license, visit http://www.kelowna.ca/business
A Drone Permit is required for any drone flight or operation on City of property including parks, facilities, roadways and sidewalks and other locations as identified.
Only commercial operators can be approved for drone usage. Recreational drone operation is not permitted on City property.
Drone permits can be issued in conjunction with an Outdoor Event Permit with the following requirements:
- Completed application
- Valid business licence
- Minimum $2 Million Liability Insurance on a City of Kelowna Certificate
- Copy of pilot license
- Copy of drone certification of registration
- Site survey
- Special Flight Operations Certificate (required when flying outside of advanced licence regulations)
- If flying for an event, email confirmation from the event organizer
- Applicable fees such as application fees, site rental fees, additional fees as required
If you are interested in using a drone on City property please complete a Drone Application.
The use of fireworks, pyrotechnics and/or open flame performances require pre-approval from the Event Services Team before applying for a Fireworks Permit. Requests can be indicated in the Outdoor Event Permit Application.
The Fireworks Permit, including additional insurance and site maps, are required as part of the Outdoor Event Permit.
If the event will have activities and/or infrastructure on or in the water, it’s the organizer’s responsibility to contact Transport Canada’s Navigation Protection Program to determine if a Notice of Works Authorization is required. Examples of when authorization is required includes placement of buoys in the water, docks, etc.
Amplified sound may be approved as part of the Outdoor Event Permit.
Organizers are required to mitigate noise bleed by:
- Having awareness of speaker location and direction (i.e. face away from residential areas)
- Respecting early morning or late evening use
Specific decibel settings for large concerts will be determined through the Outdoor Event Permit process.
The Event Services Office has a portable sound system and speakers available for City permitted events. It’s available on a first come-first served basis.
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.
Road closures may be approved as part of the Outdoor Event Permit.
Requirements for road closures:
- Signage posted on impacted roadways a minimum two weeks in advance of closures
- Class 1 barricades
- At all entry points
- Accompanied by marshal/volunteer
- Class 3 barricades
- Required at all unmanned entry points
- Emergency corridor of 20ft (6m) throughout
- Traffic Management Plan
- Courtesy tows as necessary
- Public notification of road closures to impacted residents and businesses
- Clearly defined detour routes
Traffic Management Plans
Detailed Traffic Management Plans showing all traffic control devices and personnel, detour routes, and traffic flow are the responsibility of the organizer. The Traffic Management Plan is subject to City approval and must be implemented by the organizer as approved.
All requirements identified by the BC Ministry of Transportation, City of Kelowna, RCMP, Work Safe BC, Motor Vehicle Act or other related governing bodies must be adhered to.
When required, RCMP support will be enlisted for traffic management at the organizer's cost and managed through the Outdoor Event Permit.
Ministry of Transportation approval is required for any provincial highways, roadways, lands and waterways. MOT approval is required as part of the Outdoor Event Permit. Please visit Ministry of Transportation for more information.
Traffic equipment such as barricades, detour signs, cones, etc., can be booked as part of the Outdoor Event Permit. Visit our City Event Equipment section for more information.
Route maps are required for events using City roadways, sidewalks and/or bike lanes for both “rules of the road” and timed events. The City will assist to ensure routes are feasible and will work to identify alternate options if issues exist (i.e. construction, closures, etc.).
All maps should clearly indicate the overall route and indicate key traffic control devices and/or personnel in place.
For larger events with significant impacts such as road closures or lane closures, a detailed Traffic Management Plan is required. Please see the Road Closures Section for more information.
Things to consider when planning your route:
- Intersections with lights - Increases flagger/RCMP requirements
- Single lane vs. double lane - Keep one lane open to lessen traffic impact
- Transit - avoid major bus routes and transit exchanges to lessen impact. Please visit BC Transit for more information
- Use bike lanes or sidewalks to minimize roadway impact
- Minimize crossing points (intersections, crosswalks, etc.) for “rules of the road” events
- Identify feasible detour routes
We have a useful mapping tool that can assist in the creation of your route.
Organizers should provide nearby parking options through their website and marketing initiatives when attendance will exceed onsite capacities. Alternate means of transportation such as walking, cycling, carpooling, transit, etc., should be encouraged.
When holding an Outdoor Event Permit, 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 Event Services Team 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., is not permitted without prior City permission.
It’s not permitted to charge parking fees on city property to event 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 events, film, construction, etc.” The City may grant permission for courtesy tows as part of the Outdoor Event Permit.
Vehicles can be towed to a neighbouring street, or a designated tow lot identified through the Outdoor Event Permit process.
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 events, a Parking Plan may be required and should 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
Events are key to a vibrant community and we’re proud to offer a variety of opportunities to help support the success, development and sustainability of events taking place on City property. Please visit our Grants page to learn more about how the City can help.
Spread the word! Check out our suggested marketing strategies for promoting your event before the big day, the day of and post-event.
- Use a variety of social media channels to hit different users. Examples: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc.
- Use images - Share photos from previous years or share user-generated context on your social accounts
- Use a hashtag - Decide on an event-specific hashtag that will be used in every post. They can be used during the event to create conversations and also post-event to keep the conversation going. General rules include:
- Keep it as short as possible without compromising clarity
- Use the hashtag in every post and print it on any marketing materials
- Add it to your email signature
- Coordinate your campaign - Use slogans and catchy logos throughout your off and online advertising opportunities. Create a marketing timeline and use targeted messaging to reach different groups. Use a free social media management tool.
- Create a blog - Focus your blog on the purpose of your event and how it will inform or entertain attendees. Use the word “event” in your title tags and with other key words your target audience will be interested in. This will increase your search engine optimization. Search engines are drawn to blogs that are constantly refreshing their content.
- Have creative content - Create a connection with your audience by mentioning the best place to get coffee nearby, or the best free parking in town.
Online Community Event Calendars
There are many community calendars that provide free promotion of your event!
- The Daily Courier
- The Capital News
- Tourism Kelowna
- Downtown Kelowna - will only accept events that are within the established downtown boundary area
- Kelowna Events
- Kelowna Community Resources
Corporate sponsorship & local businesses
- Corporate sponsorship can be mutually beneficial to your event and sponsor:
- Sponsors can advertise your event to a wider audience while also being a positive marketing strategy for their company
- Promotional “swag” such as t-shirts, bags, socks, etc., are one of the best ways to promote your event and corporate sponsors are usually willing to assist in the purchase of promotional materials if their corporate logo will appear on it
- There’s potential to have your corporate sponsor assist in advertising your event to their contacts, which increases your outreach
- Local businesses like to be involved in community events and are willing to help:
- They can donate to your event and then deduct the amount they contribute on their tax return
- You can also reciprocate marketing tactics and exposure between their place of business and your event
- Consider a Public Service Announcement as they are free and can be shared with a wider audience and with social media channels
- Recruit a team of family and friends to help out by walking through neighbourhoods and delivering flyers
- For a coordinated mail out, the Canada Post Precision Targeter enables you to plan your next marketing mailout to specific areas
- The Event Services Team can provide a Media List that you can send out your event information to for free promotion. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tourism Kelowna has an Marketing Tool to assist in your planning
Kelowna has many organizations that may be able to assist in your event planning. The following links will help you learn more about what they do and how they can support your event.
Check out these websites for more information on various provincial and federal organizations that may be able to help with the success of your event through networking, funding, learning opportunities and more!
- Creative BC
- Hello BC
- Destination BC Tourism Event Program
- Government of BC Ministry of Tourism and Sport
- Government of BC Sport, Arts & Cultural Event Hosting
- BC Arts Council
- Creative Cities Network of Canada
- Canadian Heritage
- International Festivals & Events Association
- International Live Events Association