Plan a block party in your neighbourhood


Block parties are a great way to build social connections and improve your community.

Knowing your neighbours can make a difference:

  • It’s easier to get help from neighbours we know in a medical or other emergency than from a friend 10 minutes away. 
  • Research shows that when neighbours know and trust each other, streets are safer and people are healthier and happier.

Steps to planning a successful block party

1. Pick a time and place

Whether you live in a house or an apartment, your block party can take place in a variety of locations: on a street, common room, lobby, backyard, park, school, or community centre.

Depending on where your party is, there are a couple of steps you'll need to take:

  • To have your party on the street, you will need permission to close it. For instruction on how to close your street for a block party, go to the Closing your street tab.
  • If your party is not on the street, and you have limited communal space, there are a number of other options you can look into. For ideas, go to the Location ideas tab.

2. Setup an organizing team

Get your neighbours, strata, and property manager involved in the planning of your block party. They can help with invitations, as well as the setup and cleanup of the party.

3. Invite your neighbours

Find out who wants to come and if your selected date and location works for most neighbours.

If you plan to close your street, you’ll need sign-off from 65% of the neighbours (see the Closing your street tab for more details). Use our invitation template to help.

4. Design your event

Possible ideas:

  • Have a potluck
  • Provide name tags to help with introductions
  • Decorate the pavement with chalk to get kids involved
  • See if you are eligible for financial help from the Vancouver Foundation's Neighbourhood Small Grants Program
  • Request to have an emergency planning workshop during your party

5. Determine how you'll clean up

At the end of your party, make sure you have a good crew of neighbours to help you clean up.

Perhaps your crew could also form an official Keep Vancouver Spectacular neighbourhood cleanup team.

6. Remind your neighbours

When you get confirmation of your street closure or other party location, send a reminder to your neighbours to mark the date. Will they need to bring food, their own dishes, and a chair? Invite them to share a talent or game idea.

7. Have a fun party and tell us how it went

Talk to your neighbours at the end of your party. Did they enjoy themselves? What did they like most? How might the party be improved for next time?

Let us know how the party went – we'd love to hear. You can also send photos and favourite party recipes and we'll share them. Email  public.engagement@vancouver.ca.

Steps to closing your street for a block party

Insurance, barricades, and permits are free, thanks to the cooperation of the City and your local community centre.

It's best to apply for a street closure two weeks before your party date.

1. Involve your neighbours

When inviting your neighbours, share your idea for closing the street, and record their support with the sign-off form. At least 65% of households must support the road closure. Talk to everyone on your block, including those across the street from each end of the block.

Download the sign-off form (115 KB)

2. Apply for your free permit online

Vancouver has a lot of block parties! Make sure to apply two weeks before your party date. Once you apply, we will contact you to confirm details and request your completed sign-off form. When everything is in order, we will email your block party permit.

Apply online

3. Confirm if the free insurance is enough

Approved block parties that require a street closure get free general liability insurance from the City of Vancouver. The insurance covers party organizers and the City to a limit of $2,000,000 for public liability and property damage.

We can help determine if you will need additional insurance coverage. If you do need more coverage, you will need to contact a private insurance broker.

4. Get the barricades to reserve the street for your party

We will reserve street barricades at the community centre you requested in your application. Barricades are in limited supply and reserved for approved block parties on a first-come, first-served basis. If all barricades are loaned out at your requested community centre, you will be referred to another centre.

When there are no barricades available for loan at any community centre, you will be required to get WorkSafeBC-approved barricades from a private company at your own cost. We will provide you with this information when your block party is approved.

Contact the community centre to confirm when to pick up the barricades. Bring a copy of your approved block party permit when you get the barricades.

Community centre Map Contact
Hastings Community Centre
3096 East Hastings St
604-718-6222
hastingscc@vancouver.ca
Kerrisdale Community Centre
5851 West Blvd
604-257-8100
kerrisdalecc@vancouver.ca
Kitsilano Community Centre
2690 Larch St
604-257-6976
kitscc@vancouver.ca
Mount Pleasant Community Centre
1 Kingsway
604-257-3080
mtpleasantcc@vancouver.ca

Location ideas for your block party

If closing the street is not an option for you and you don’t have enough common space for your party, consider the following options.

Community centres or neighbourhood houses

Your local community centre or neigbhourhood house may have space available to rent. Contact them directly.

Parks

Vancouver parks make a great venue for picnics and private recreation activities. Depending on the type of party you are planning, you may need to book the park or have a permit to use it.

School

Your local school may be able to provide space for your party in a school gym or yard.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

Phone 3-1-1 to ask, tell, and connect with the City

Outside Vancouver:
604-873-7000

Speak your own language

When should you call 9-1-1? Click to find out       Deaf? Have difficulty speaking? Click to learn how to make a TTY call

More ways to contact us

Did you host or attend a block party? Tell us about it!

We're working hard to expand and improve the block party program so that everyone gets a chance to know their neighbours better.

If you have recently hosted or attended a block party, please take 10-15 minutes to answer our questionnaire. Your responses will help us develop the program.

Tell us your thoughts

Follow us to get recipes, photos, and more

Get tips and tricks and great recipes for your block party

Share block party photos

Materials for hosts

Block party poster

Block party invitation  (1 MB)

Block party poster  (2 MB)

Contact the Special Events Office

Location
Film & Special Events Office
126 Keefer St
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4

Phone: 604-257-8850

Fax: 604-257-8859

specialevents@vancouver.ca

Cancel a block party

Oh no, did your party plans fall through? Kindly tell the Special Events Office.

Last modified: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:51:28