Leisure - Events

Special Event Permit


How to Start Planning an Event

Are you planning an event and not sure where to start? Do you need information on bylaws, permits, booking capacities, equipment rentals and locations? The City's Special Events Coordinator can provide helpful tools and advice you need to host a successful event. Contact the Special Events Coordinator if you are planning an event that is:

  • open to the public or to which the public has been invited to attend;
  • held outdoors either in whole or in part;
  • likely to be attended, or which may reasonably be expected to be attended by 200 or more;
  • and/or planning on having a beverage garden.

For further information, contact 604-557-1473. Let us help you make your event a safe and successful one!

Venue Rentals

The City of Abbotsford has a variety of facilities that might be perfect for your event.  Learn more about available facilities and rental rates.

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Hosting An Event On Agricultural Land

As the City of Abbotsford continues to review and streamline processes to best serve our community, we recently updated our processes in relation to events taking place on land in the Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) In 2016, the Provincial Government introduced new regulations allowing events on ALR land without a permit from the ALC. AgRefresh is working to update the Zoning Bylaw to align with ALC policy and identify any supporting regulations that may need to accompany this new use. In the interim, applications wanting to hold events on ALR land in the City of Abbotsford will now be received by the completion of a Special Event Permit Application (even for events under 200 people).

The following ALC conditions must be met to hold events:

  • Farm status
  • No construction of new permanent buildings.
  • Events are not permissible in farm buildings unless they have been upgraded and approved for assembly use, and any required upgrade construction is approved by the ALC
  • Temporary tent structures are allowed.
  • A maximum event total public attendance of 150
  • Events cannot last more than 24 hours
  • Parking must be provided on the property
  • A maximum of 10 events per calendar year
  • Guidelines of current Outdoor Special Event Bylaw met
  • If alcohol is being served, an approved special event permit from the BC Liquor Control Board is required. More information is available on the BC Liquor Control website  

The City of Abbotsford is committed to the safety and success of all events in the community; large or small. For further information on Events and the application process, please contact City of Abbotsford Economic Development at econdev@abbotsford.ca

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Community Events Resource Manual

Valuable information and resources for planning your event in Abbotsford.

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Special Event Application & Bylaw

The Special Event Permit process helps to ensure that City of Abbotsford Departments, which may be required to provide services, are aware of and prepared for potential conditions arising from the event. The application fee for a Special Events permit is $100. Please also be aware of the applicable bylaws when planning your event:

Complete the Online Application to apply for a Special Events Permit or if you would prefer a paper application email us at econdev@abbotsford.ca

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Special Events Grant

The City of Abbotsford awards grants to groups who can demonstrate that their community event can provide significant economic benefits and/or community pride to Abbotsford. Events must be held in the City of  Abbotsford and have attendance of over 1,000 people. The grants are available yearly, on a first-come, first served basis until funding is exhausted. Groups must apply each year and grants must be used to offset direct City costs including facility rentals, field rentals, and equipment.

Grant application deadlines are April 30 each year for that year. 

Special Events Grant Application

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Highways Use Permit

Where an event includes the use/encroachment of City Property, including streets, sidewalks, and other public space, as per Street and Traffic Bylaw No. 1536-2006, a Highway Use Permit must be obtained from the Engineering Department.

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Temporary Food Permit

Where an event includes preparing or serving food to the participants or general public, a Temporary Food Permit must be obtained from the Fraser Health Authority.

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Mobile Food Trucks

All mobile food vendors must obtain a City of Abbotsford Business Licence. For more information, contact the Business Licence Division at 604-864-5525 or businesslicence@abbotsford.ca

Mobile Vending helpful hints.

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Marketing and Promotions of Special Events

Marketing your event is an important aspect to success. The City offers the following opportunities for marketing community events:

  • Advertising on our City of Abbotsford Special Events calendar
  • Promoting your event through distributing events posters, registration packages, etc. at our facilities
  • Assisting you by providing information on where you can post signs

Please contact communications-info@abbotsford.ca

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Serving Alcohol at your Event

  • If you are planning to serve or sell alcohol at your event you will need Special Occasion Licence from the BC Liquor Control Board. 
  • If your event is outdoors you will also need an outdoor Special Event Permit from the City of Abbotsford

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Invite Mayor & Council to Event

Please fill out the online form to invite Mayor & Council to your event.

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