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Special Event Permit


Outdoor Special Event Permit

The City of Abbotsford’s Special Event Team can help with the safety and success of your outdoor public event. Prior to an event being permitted, the Special Events Team reviews the event application in detail to ensure it meets our special event requirements and follows City bylaws before granting approval.

All outdoor community events are subject to the:

As an event organizer, you should also be aware of following bylaws:

Step One: Check if your event requires a Special Event Permit

Your event requires a Special Event Permit if it falls under the Outdoor Special Event, Filming and Activities Bylaw No. 2513-2016. It will require a permit if it is:

  • Open to the public or is an event 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 people;
  • Having a beverage garden;
  • Taking place on Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR).
  • May pose a level of risk not normally expected with the use of the property
Step Two: Contact  and Submit an Application

Applications should be submitted at least 90 days prior to your event to allow you to receive approval for any applicable permits:

Step Three: Application Feedback

The Special Events Team will provide you with feedback and/or conditional approval regarding your application

The Special Events Team will be your contact throughout the event planning process and may ask you to provide proof of additional permits, contracts, and licensing

Step Four: Grant Program

The City of Abbotsford awards in-kind grants to non-profit 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. Groups must apply each year and grants must be used to offset direct City costs including facility rentals, field rentals, and equipment.  Apply online here for a Special Events Grant Application.
Note:  organizations may receive a maximum In-Kind Grant of $4,000 per calendar year.

Step Five: Payment and Approval

Before your Special Event Permit can be issued, all necessary documents and information must be submitted and the application fee must be paid. Permits are as followed and are based on your total event attendance:

  • Events with 200-499 people are $100
  • Events with 500-999 people are $150
  • Events with 1000 people are $200
  • Events with alcohol are $250

Payments are accepted in-person at Abbotsford City Hall by cash, cheque, credit card, or debt.

Cheques are payable to the “City of Abbotsford” and may also be mailed to:

Attention: Community and Special Events - 5th Floor
Abbotsford City Hall
32315 South Fraser Way
Abbotsford, BC
V2T 1W7

Step Six: Customer Feedback

Community events are an essential component of our City and help to foster a vibrant economy through community involvement and economic benefit.

We value your feedback and ask that you please complete our post-event wrap sheet and submit it to the Special Event’s Coordinator

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Additional Requirements

Hosting an Event on Agricultural Land

All public Non-Farm Use events on agricultural land must go through a permitting process:

The information provided below outlines the Agricultural Land Commission’s conditions for public Non-Farm Use events for up to 150 people:

  • The farm must be located on land classified as a farm under the Assessment Act;
  • 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
  • Outdoor Special Events Application
    • Application completed with all supporting documentation provided
    • City of Abbotsford Business License
    • Fraser Health Temporary Food Permit
    • Insurance naming the City of Abbotsford as an additional insurer
    • Site Map – outlining first aid and parking plan
    • Additional health and safety plans may be requested
  • If alcohol is being served, an approved BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Board Special Event Permit is required. More information is available on the BCLCRB 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 email our Economic Development office or call 604-864-5673.

Hosting a Run or Walk

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. 

If you are planning on hosting a run/walk in a park, please complete a Park Booking Request Form

Serving Food at Your Event 

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.

All mobile food vendors must obtain a City of Abbotsford Business Licence. For more information, email the Business Licence Division or call 604-864-5525.

Mobile Vending helpful hints.

Having Fireworks or Open Flame at Your Event

Residents wishing to discharge fireworks in the City boundaries require a fireworks permit. Permits will only be issued to certified Technicians who meet the requirements outlined in the City of Abbotsford Fireworks Bylaw No. 1439-2005

The Special Events Coordinator must receive written approval from Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service to have open flame and/or propane pits at an event. For more information email Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service or call 604-853-3566.

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Additional Resources

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