The focus of event approvals is to make sure that events are safe, and don’t negatively affect the community. We want you to have a fun, safe, memorable event.
Looking to hold your event only in a park? Review the steps to holding an event in a park
Make a donation to help support free public special events
Contact us to learn more.
What's happeningSpecial event permitting workshops
Are you an event organizer or you would like to host an event on City property? Attend one of our workshops and learn how the special event permitting process works, what kinds of financial supports exist, and what timelines and other items are required to process a permit.
Workshops in 2022
- Workshops are on Tuesdays from 1pm to 4pm
- March 1, April 26, July 12, October 4
The length of time required for approval varies depending on the complexity of the event.
- Small to medium sized events with street closures or parking requirements should be applied for 2 to 5 months before the event date.
- Larger and route based events (parades and runs) should be applied for 9 months before the event date.
Steps to getting a special event permit
Information icon Before you begin:
- Read and review our special event guide
- If your event will be contained entirely within a park, don't follow the steps below. Review the steps to holding an event in a park
- If you event includes a street, sidewalk, or plaza PLUS a park. You only need to apply once. Please follow the steps below. (Alert icon Both the City and the Park Board application fees will still apply.)
- Review the City's special event policy PDF file (110 KB)
Step 1: Determine the type of event and where and when it will occur
Step 2: Review handbook for special event permits
Step 3 Review what resources are available to help create your event
Step 4: Gather information and documents required to apply
Step 5: Review fees and deposits
Step 6: Apply for a permit and permit reviewed by staff
Contacts and resources
Single-use items by-laws
All vendors at your event will be required to comply with our single-use item by-laws (restrictions on shopping bags, cups, utensils, straws, and foam cups or containers).
- Learn more about the single-use item by-laws
- Request a toolkit with a by-law guide, FAQs, posters, and more
Starting July 1, 2022, food vendors will be required to accept customers' clean reusable cups. Ensure your food vendors identify how they will accept reusable cups in their food services application with Vancouver Coastal Health.
- Learn more about "contactless cup" procedures, allowed by Vancouver Coastal Health.
Questions about the single-use item by-laws can be directed to:
- BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch External website, opens in new tab
- Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (PSSG) External website, opens in new tab
- Natural Resources Canada (NRC) External website, opens in new tab
- Navigation Protection Act External website, opens in new tab
- Office of Boating Safety External website, opens in new tab
- Port of Vancouver (Vancouver Fraser Port Authority) External website, opens in new tab
- TransLink External website, opens in new tab
- Vancouver Art Gallery External website, opens in new tab
- Vancouver Coastal Health External website, opens in new tab