Emergency & Operations Planning Section (EOPS) : Operational Planning Unit | Emergency Planning Unit | Traffic Authority Program
Operational Planning Unit
The Operational Planning Unit provides services to special event organizers in the community by assisting in planning, security, staffing deployment, and traffic control for special events. The Unit:
- provides information on how to apply to hold a special event in the City of Vancouver
- informs the community of procedures and permits that apply to events
- facilitates communication and feedback with the community in regards to special events planning
Please use the links on the left for more information on the application process for non-profit events, Late Night Dance Events, filming in Vancouver and Special Occasion Licences.
What is a Special Event?
Special Events include:
- marches, parades, walks, runs
- demonstrations, protests
- festivals, concerts
- ceremonial and fund raising events
- sporting events
- late night dance events
- other occasions that may require police presence
The Planning Process
Organizations wishing to hold an event should start by submitting an application to hold an event to City Hall. The application is then assigned to an Event Planner, where the event is logged, assessed and the involved agencies are notified. The Vancouver Police Department's Operational Planning Unit also logs the event, assesses and assigns a Police Planner in cooperation with City Hall.
The Police Planner contacts the person / organizer listed on the application and checks any previous history of the event.
Once event applications are reviewed an organization may be required to attend a meeting with the Festival Expediting Staff Team (FEST) Committee to discuss the requirements and impact of the event on the city. The FEST Committee includes representatives of the Engineering Department (as chairperson), Police Department, Park Board, and Coast Mountain Bus Company. Staff from other civic departments and external agencies are invited to FEST Committee meetings as required (e.g. Fire Department, Health Department, Social Planning, Risk and Emergency Management, B.C. Ambulance), particularly in those instances where jurisdictions overlap.
The committee acts as a source of information on City regulations and bylaws and coordinates input from all appropriate departments and agencies. The committee's goal is to support events and help organizers minimize the impact events have on the community, and to establish conditions of approval. Approval of most events is given directly by the FEST Committee although larger events may need approval of the appropriate City of Vancouver Committee of Council.
Once the event has been approved, the Police Planner will arrange the necessary police resources and create a policing plan for the event.
$500 Grant to Offset Policing Costs
The VPD may offer a $500 grant to non-profit organizations and events to offset policing costs incurred during a special event.
Event organizers must go through the application process and meet with the FEST Committee to qualify for the grant.