Outdoor Special Event Permit
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, continue to provide updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia regarding social gatherings and events. For the most up to date information, please visit the Covid-19 Province Wide Restriction.
If you have any questions or need further information on Public Health Order updates, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-864-5586.
COVID 19 UPDATE: Bylaw No. 2513-2016, Outdoor Special Event, Filming & Activities Bylaw was amended to temporarily expand the scope of the special permit event requirement by reducing the threshold from 200 to 50 to help with facilitating health & safety approvals for smaller events/activities that do not pose an undue public health risk during the provincial state of emergency. Under this approach, a special event permit would be issued upon approved physical distancing, enhanced hygiene plans.
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:
Outdoor Special Event, Filming and Activities Bylaw No. 2513-2016.
As an event organizer, you should also be aware of following bylaws:
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 by 50 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
Applications should be submitted at least 90 days prior to your event to allow you to receive approval for any applicable permits:
- Complete the Online Application and be sure to include any supporting documents.
- If applicable to your event, complete applications for the City of Abbotsford Field Bookings and Rentals
- The City of Abbotsford’s Special Events Team can provide helpful tools and advice to assist with your application, site map, additional permits, safety and planning. Please feel free to contact email our Special Events Team or call 604-864-5586.
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
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.
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
- Events under 200 people, that still require a Special Event Permit, will not be charged a permit fee.
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
All public Non-Farm Use events on agricultural land must go through a permitting process:
- If the attendees are 150 or less a City of Abbotsford Outdoor Special Event Permit is required.
- If the attendees are 151 or more an Agricultural Land Commission Non-farm Use Permit is required.
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 Agriculture Land Commission. 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 Special Events Team or call 604-864-5586.
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.
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 in order to operate at an event. Apply for a New Business Licence.
For a listing of local Food Trucks, with approved City of Abbotsford Business Licences, email our Special Events Team at email@example.com.
If you are planning to serve or sell alcohol at your outdoor event you will need the following:
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 team 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.
As part of the RestartBC plan, The City of Abbotsford has taken action to support local businesses by temporarily permitting food-primary, liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees, such as wineries, breweries and distilleries the expansion of service areas, such as patios, to support physical distancing requirements. The temporary permits are focused on expanding a service area’s footprint only and will not permit an increase in an establishment’s overall occupancy.
Complete the Temporary Outdoor Patio Permit online application.
Review the Temporary Outdoor Patio Permit FAQs.