People kayaking on False Creek

Location

Activities on False Creek

Are you planning activities that will take place on False Creek, and which may impact the regular activities by commercial or public traffic? Depending on the nature of the activities, you may need to get approval.

  • Water activities do not include things such as swimming events, because they do not take place on areas of the water that would be used by boat traffic or involve a large number of vessels.
  • Regular water activities, including such things as harbour cruises or the water taxi, do not require approval.
  • Other water activities, including such things as wakeboard events or a dragon boat regatta that involves multiple vessels or will block areas of the water that vessels could use for navigation, will require approval.

Events with activities on False Creek involving or affecting the public require approval from Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety and from the City. The approval process can take up to three months.

False Creek is the area of water east of Kits Point (delineated by a line drawn in a direction of 45º true from 49º 16’39”N, 123º 9’8”W to 49º 17’ 1”N, 123º 8’ 34”W).

Activities on navigable waterways other than False Creek

If you are planning activities that will take place on a navigable waterway, and which may impact the regular activity on that waterway, you may need approvals or permits.

  • Activities such as swimming events, because they do not take place on areas of the water that would be used by boat traffic or involve a large number of vessels, are not considered water activities.
  • Regular water activities, including such things as harbour cruises or the water taxi, do not require approval.
  • Other water activities, including such things as wakeboard events or a dragon boat regatta that involves multiple vessels or will block areas of the water that vessels could use for navigation, will require approval.

Events with activities on False Creek involving or affecting the public require approval from Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety and from the City. The approval process can take up to three months.

Events with activities on waterways other than False Creek may require a Marine Event Permit from the Port of Vancouver (Vancouver Fraser Port Authority).

Marine Event Permit

All organized activities on the water require a Marine Event Permit from the Port of Vancouver.

If you have any questions, call the Port of Vancouver's operations centre at 604-665-9086.

There is no charge for a Marine Event Permit.

Navigable waterways

Navigable waterways are any waterways on which motorized and non-motorized watercraft can operate.

For the Vancouver area, this generally refers to salt water areas including False Creek, English Bay, and the Vancouver Harbour.

Navigation Protection Act

The Navigation Protection Act is designed to ensure public access to, and efficient use of, our waterways.

The Act is administered by the Navigation Protection Program (NPP) of Transport Canada.

For more information

Navigation Protection Act

Navigation Protection Program

To contact the NPP:

Pacific Region
Regional Manager 
Navigation Protection Program
Transport Canada
Pacific Regional Office
820-800 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC
V6Z 2J8

Phone: 604-775-8867
Fax: 604-775-8828
Email: NPPPAC-PPNPAC@tc.gc.ca

Structures on navigable waterways

Structures on the water are anything that is built on or near the water, whether temporary or permanent. Examples include docks, piles or piers.

Are you planning to set up any structures on the water (anchored or otherwise) on a navigable waterway? If so, you will need to get approval under the Navigation Protection Act. To learn more, contact Transport Canada or visit their site. 

You may also have to complete an application with the Port of Vancouver. Learn more about development and permits.

Noise Control Bylaw

The Noise Control Bylaw  regulates noise or sound within the City of Vancouver.

The bylaw applies to events in terms of:

  • Noise, outside of permitted hours, from setting up the event, including putting up tents, stages, or bleachers or testing sound equipment
  • Excess noise from the event itself
  • Noise, outside of permitted hours, from taking down the event, including taking down tents, stages, or bleachers

View the Noise Control Bylaw

Office of Boating Safety

The Office of Boating Safety issues permits to hold special events, such as a race or regatta, in False Creek.

For more information

Pacific Region (British Columbia)
700-800 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC
V6Z 2J8
Telephone: (604) 666-2681
Email: TC.PAC.TM.OBS-BSN.TC@tc.gc.ca

Port of Vancouver (Vancouver Fraser Port Authority)

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has jurisdiction over the Port of Vancouver. Their responsibilities include marine patrols, ship inspections, event planning, permitting of dangerous goods and the provision of navigational and safety advice.

For more information

Phone: 604-665-9086

Email: harbour_master@portvancouver.com

Website  

Site plan

A site plans is a diagram of the location of your event. It must show the dimensions / measurements and location of all major features of the site, including:

  • Buildings
  • Stages
  • Streets
  • Tents

Vancouver Art Gallery

The Georgia Street Plaza and the Robson Street Plaza are available for rallies and public demonstrations. You are encouraged to call about availability and permission before you apply.

If you will be having amplified sound, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Vancouver Art Gallery will review your Neighbourhood Impact Plan to ensure that you can control noise levels caused by your event. When preparing your plan, keep in mind that the Vancouver Art Gallery and the surrounding areas are sensitive to noise.

While some exceptions can be made for special circumstances, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Vancouver Art Gallery require that you:

  • Limit your set-up and takedown to between 7am and 8pm (10am and 8pm on Sundays)
  • Include information about amplified sound equipment on your site drawing
  • Ensure any amplified sound or other noise from your event does not continue beyond 10pm
  • Ensure your sound technician can monitor sound levels from any amplification equipment with a sound level meter and adjust sound levels as necessary

As well, posters or other material may not be attached to the Vancouver Art Gallery building.

For more information about events in and around the Vancouver Art Gallery, please contact the venue rental coordinator at 604-662-4714.

Vancouver Public Library

The plazas outside the main branch  of the Vancouver Public library can be used for events, rallies and public demonstrations.  You are encouraged to call about availability and permission before you apply.

For more information about events at the Vancouver Public Library, please contact Polly Argo at 604-331-4045.