Interested in planning a community event?
City of Quinte West facilities, parks and open spaces are home to lots of exciting community events and activities. These events include outdoor festivals, parades, walks and runs, theatrical performances and tournaments, and all enrich the community spirit and vibrancy of living in and exploring Quinte West.
The City of Quinte West’s Special Events Team is available to respond to event inquiries, help streamline municipal requirements, and ensure the safety and success of all events in Quinte West. Event Team members work to ensure the safety and success of all community events and activities, and are happy to answer questions and provide information about spaces, bylaws, permit requirements and event planning best practices.
To contact the City’s Special Event Team, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This webpage will help you begin the event planning process and prepare to submit a Community Event Application. Before beginning to plan your event, be sure to review the information on this page.
Event Definitions & Criteria
In the City of Quinte West, an event is an activity or group of activities that contains one or more ‘event indicator’, planned to mark a special occasion or to achieve specific social, cultural or economic objectives.
Elements planned or contained within the delivery of an event that are subject to regulatory compliance in accordance with legislation, municipal requirements and event planning best practices.
Event indicators include, but are not limited to: amplified sound, food trucks, tents, temporary structures, vendors, etc.
Every person requesting to hold a public event on City property must complete a Community Event Application Form available at the bottom of this page, and receive the necessary approvals.
A Community Event Application Form is required to request the use of City property for community events.
The timelines below are provided as a guide to help ensure there is enough time to properly plan for the details and requirements of community events. Longer planning timelines may be required depending on the scope, size and scale of the event.
Minimum Application Timeline
Nature of event/activity
6 months before event date
Any community event expecting over 1,000 attendees
3 months before event date
An event expecting any number of attendees with logistics including any one or more of: road closures, alcohol service, building permit, fireworks, trucks or vendors, etc.
60 days prior to event date
Any community event expecting over 100 people with no additional logistics
30 days prior to event date
Any community event expecting fewer than 100 people, and no additional logistics
Events requesting use of City property may not publish or promote their event to the public or participants before receiving all necessary City permits and approvals.
Event organizers that advertise or promote any event prior to the issuance of the necessary permits and approvals do so at their own risk. Previously advertised events or events with registered participants will not receive any extra consideration and are not guaranteed to receive approval.
Events and activities including parades, races, festivals and street parties involving or impacting sidewalks or streets require a Road Occupancy Permit (ROP).
Events requesting to use City roads and/or sidewalks can submit a Community Event Application Form available at the bottom of this page.
Why are event permits and approvals necessary?
Permits and approvals ensure that all events and activities protect the health, safety, and welfare of event organizers and volunteers, attendees and participants, visitors, residents and stakeholders.
When are permits and approvals required?
Every event on City of Quinte West property must receive a permit or written approval to take place.
Additional municipal, provincial and/or federal permits, licenses and approvals may be required for various event elements.
More details about applicable permits, licenses and approvals are outlined in the Event guidelines and requirements section of this website.
Event guidelines and requirements
This section has been created to help organizers determine and complete the necessary requirements for their individual event or activity.
Event organizers are encouraged to review the event planning guidelines on this page to ensure their event complies with applicable municipal, provincial and federal legislation, policies, permitting requirements and health and safety guidelines. Additional requirements not listed below may also apply depending on the nature, scope and size of the event.
To ensure events are safe and successful, all activities Quinte West must adhere to applicable municipal, provincial and federal legislation, policies, permitting requirements and health and safety guidelines.
Event organizers are encouraged to review the event planning guidelines to ensure their event complies with applicable procedures and regulations. Additional requirements not listed below may also apply depending on the nature, scope and size of the event.
Unless otherwise permitted, access to all public areas within an event site (play structures, splash pads, permanent washroom facilities, etc.) shall remain available to the public at all times during an event.
Accessibility means giving people of all abilities opportunities to participate fully in everyday life.
Incorporating opportunities to enhance accessibility at your event helps everyone feel welcome, and often leads to an increase in attendance and a more enjoyable experience for all.
The City of Quinte West supports the goals of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and encourages all event organizers to make events as accessible as possible to all guests.
The City requires that all events in Quinte West are compliant with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and its standards.
Helpful event accessibility considerations:
Provide convenient-to-access accessible washrooms at ground level
Ensure the absence of obstructions at all ramp ways, entrances, exits, sidewalks, stairways and restrooms.
Ensure all structures greater than two (2) feet (24 inches) in height (from the ground) and greater than 10’x10’ include an accessible ramp.
Accommodate the presence of service dogs and support animals, including animal hydration and relief areas.
Accommodate accessible parking spaces as close to the event as possible.
Accommodate accessible food and eating areas including seating.
Consider designating a quiet space for rest, especially at events with large crowds or loud noise.
Welcome low-cost or no-cost entry options for designated support persons
Provide alternative communication options including large-font signage, iconography or visual images instead of written instructions and interpreters where possible
Train event staff and volunteers on how to interact and support event attendees with various accessibility needs.
Unless otherwise permitted, access to all adjacent facilities (i.e. city facilities, parking lots, sports fields) is excluded from event use and shall remain available to facility patrons and the public at all times during an event.
Depending on the scope, size and scale of the outdoor community event, the event organizer may be required to undertake additional logistics to limit the impact of the community event on the operations of adjacent facilities.
Alcohol is not permitted at any event unless proof of a valid liquor license or Special Occasion Permit (SOP) is provided by the organizer to the City of Quinte West and posted at the event at all times.
Special Occasion Permit (SOP)
To serve alcohol at an event anywhere in the province, the event organizer is required to obtain a Special Occasion Permit (SOP) from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
SOP application forms are available at most LCBO stores, and by visiting the ACGO website. Complete and submit the Special Occasion Permit (SOP) application to an LCBO store at least 30 days prior to the date of the event.
As part of the SOP application process, events serving alcohol must issue letters notifying the following City services of alcohol service at least 30 days prior to the event date:
- City of Quinte West Clerk’s department
- City of Quinte West Fire department
- Ontario Provincial Police
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health department
The alcohol notification letters shall include:
- A site plan of the event location including all alcohol service locations
- The event date(s)
- The event start and end times
A copy of the completed and approved Special Occasion Permit (SOP) must be provided to the City of Quinte West a minimum of 14 days before the event.
Events licensed to serve alcohol shall provide to the City proof of Commercial General Liability Insurance coverage in the value of $5 million naming the “City of Quinte West” as an Additional Insured.
Events licensed to serve alcohol may require licensed security guards and/or paid duty police at the event. Security and/or police requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis with respect to the scope, size and scale of the event, and in consultation with the event organizer. The event organizer is responsible for any expenses incurred for security requirements.
Mechanical amusement rides and inflatables are governed by the Technical Standards and Safety Association (TSSA) which administers and enforces public safety laws in the Province of Ontario. In order to have mechanical amusement rides and inflatables a community event appropriate TSSA certification and insurance is required.
Mechanical amusement rides and inflatables with the appropriate TSSA certification and insurance are permitted at select City outdoor facilities.
All inflatables must be securely anchored using approved weights (i.e. water barrels, sand bags). All anchors are subject to the approval of the City of Quinte West prior to installation. Staking or spiking into the ground, grass or concrete/pavement is not allowed.
Events with inflatables and/or amusement rides shall provide to the City proof of Commercial General Liability Insurance coverage in the value of $5 million naming the “City of Quinte West” as an Additional Insured.
The City also requires to receive a certificate of Commercial General Liability Insurance from the mechanical rides/inflatables supplier company in the value of $5 million naming the “City of Quinte West” as an Additional Insured.
TSSA certificates and licenses
Events with amusement rides and/or inflatables are required to receive and retain current and valid TSSA certificates and Operator License(s) from the supplier company. Producing a copy of these documents and conducting a site inspection of the equipment once installed may be required by the City.
The City of Quinte West reserves the right (in its sole discretion, and without any liability to the organizer, any vendor, operator or participant) to all final decision making authority with respect to application review, permit issuance, canceling the event or denying entry/participation, if any requirement or condition of the event application or permit is not met.
The City of Quinte West reserves the right to cancel any scheduled or active event where public safety is a concern.
The City of Quinte West has the discretion to change event reservations pending space availability and City scheduling requirements.
The City of Quinte West has many rental spaces available for festivals, tradeshows and more. Our largest and most popular areas are listed on our spaces for rent page.
Unsolicited buskers or street performers are not allowed on City property. Organizers planning to include buskers, roaming performers, or street performers in their event, are required to indicate these details on their event application form.
Events appearing on City property shall be consistent with the principle of respect for the dignity and worth of all persons.
The City of Quinte West reserves the right (in its sole discretion, and without any liability to the organizer, any vendor, operator or participant) to cancel any scheduled or active event where the content of programming causes concern for public safety.
The use of propane and gas BBQs and open flame is subject to City review and approval for use at events.
All cooking equipment must be inspected and certified by a registered heating/cooling contractor and in compliance with all applicable Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) guidelines and regulations.
Depending on the nature, scope, size and scale of the event, a damage deposit may be required. The amount of the deposit shall be determined by the City and will be indicated on the event invoice. It is the responsibility of the event organizer to ensure that City property is protected from crowd damage, garbage, vandalism during their event. Any damage resulting in maintenance, repair or replacement costs will be the sole responsibility of the permit holder.
If damages occur as the result of an event, any repair costs will be assessed and communicated to the permit holder within 72 hours of the event vacating the site. Repair costs will be charged against a security deposit or invoiced directly for payment.
Events appearing on City property shall be consistent with the principle of respect for the dignity and worth of all persons.
Demonstrations, rallies or actions that could incite violence of any kind are not allowed on City property including sidewalks and roadways. The desecration of flags or other national symbols is not allowed.
The City of Quinte West encourages all event organizers to make their events as diverse and inclusive as possible, and to ensure their events are a safe space for all attendees to enjoy.
Consider the following diversity and inclusion elements when planning your event:
- Is diversity reflected in the choice of presenters, speakers and performers?
- Are there a variety of activities to appeal to diversity in learning styles?
- Is diversity present in promotional materials, pictures and graphics?
- Do your event materials take into consideration non-native or non-English speakers?
- Is your event a safe space for all people on the gender spectrum?
In accordance with Transport Canada drone regulations and protocols the use of drone(s) at community events is not permitted.
If you plan to use electrical equipment or large generators at your event, you must prepare and file an Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) notification of electrical work. This must be done at least four to six weeks before your event.
If your event will install electrical equipment (i.e. generators, power distribution panels, etc.) proof of ESA inspection is required to be provided to the City. Events using temporary generators must use ‘whisper-quiet’ generators only. The location of generators shall be positioned so as not to create a hazard, disturb or cause nuisance as the result of noise emissions and exhaust fumes.
The use of generators at an event site is subject to inspection by the City of Quinte West and the Electrical Safety Authority.
It is the responsibility of the event organizer to maintain care and control of their event or activity at all times. Events are required to maintain an Event Safety Plan. Events may be required to submit their Emergency Action Plan and/or Event Safety Plan to the City for review and approval.
The information outlined in this section is offered as a guideline to assist with best practices associated with ensuring event and attendee safety.
Event organizers are encouraged to:
- Adequately consider, plan for and mitigate against event emergencies (i.e. lost child/person, site evacuation, inclement weather, fire, etc.)
- Ensure the event has a current Event Safety Plan in place
- Ensure that event staff and volunteers are aware of and trained in the actions set out under the Event Safety Plan
Contact a Special Event Team member to receive an Event Safety Plan template to help with your planning process, email@example.com
Event organizers are responsible for tracking and communicating extreme weather conditions to event participants and attendees before and during the event. Hot temperatures, high winds, heavy rain, snow and sleet can all pose safety risks for special events.
Events are required to maintain an Extreme Weather Response Plan for tracking and responding to extreme weather and its effects on the safety of the event. Events may be required to submit their Extreme Weather Response Plan to the City for review and approval.
Contact a Special Event Team member to receive an Extreme Weather Response Plan template to help with your planning process, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you plan to discharge or set off any fireworks or firecrackers at your event, you may require special permission or a permit. For more information, view our fireworks bylaw. Events seeking the discharge of Display and Theatrical Fireworks must obtain a permit from the City of Quinte West Fire Department.
Flying lanterns, sky lanterns, or wish lanterns are not permitted to be discharged on City property.
To receive approval for fireworks at your event, contact a Quinte West Fire Prevention Officer at 613-392-2841 ext. 7465 or email email@example.com.
Event organizers are responsible for ensuring their event is compliant with the Ontario Fire Code (O.Reg. 213/07).
A Quinte West Fire & Rescue Services representative may attend the event site to review the event’s fire safety plans. Depending on the nature, scope, size and scale of the event, fire inspection by Quinte West Fire & Emergency Services may be required prior to commencement of the event.
General fire safety best practices:
Post signage indicating the fire access route at the event
Avoid blocking fire hydrants and fire department connections
Keep evacuation routes from buildings and contained spaces free of obstruction
Smoking and open flame devices shall not be used under tents
All tents shall be constructed of flame resistant materials
Have at least one fully functional fire extinguisher at the event at all times
Tents and booths
Event booths/tents located next to each other cannot exceed a linear distance of 15 metres (50 feet, approximately five 10×10’ tents). Between each line of five tents there must be a three (3) metre gap in space.
Event booths are not to be placed in front of fire hydrants.
Vendors conducting cooking operations producing smoke or grease-laden vapors must be able to verify that exhaust and fire protection systems are in place and maintained in accordance with NFPA 96, “Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations.”
Fire suppression systems in food trucks are to be accompanied by up-to-date inspection documentation from within the past 6 months.
Vendors conducting cooking operations shall be equipped with a Class K or approved portable fire extinguisher that is accessible, operable and fully charged.
All events are required to have a fully-stocked first aid kit easily accessible to both staff and event attendees at the event site at all times.
Events expecting more than 500 attendees are required to:
- Engage the services of a certified professional first aid service;
- Make available one automated external defibrillator (A.E.D.) device; and,
- Provide the minimum of one 10×10’ first aid area (tent, room, etc.) at the event site.
All first aid stations should be clearly marked with appropriate signage.
Event organizers must advise the City of all food to be available for public consumption at the event, including: food vendors, food sampling, giveaways, food for volunteers, etc.
Events offering food services are required to notify and receive approval from the Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health Department.
- Event organizers must complete the Special Events/Farmers’ Market – Organizer Notification Form
- Food vendors must complete the Special Events/Farmers’ Market – Food Vendor Notification Form
Food Handler Certificates
As of July 2018, the Ontario Food Premises Regulation 493/17 requires all food service premises to have a certified food handler onsite at all times. A food service premises is any food premises where meals or meal portions are prepared for immediate consumption or sold or served in a form that will permit immediate consumption on the premises or elsewhere. Events offering food services are subject to this requirement.
Licensed food vendors and food trucks are welcome at events at designated locations in Quinte West.
Events that will be offering food services are required to receive approval from the Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health Department. Every food vendor must also receive approval from the Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health Department. All food trucks and refreshment vehicles in Quinte West must also have a valid business license.
Event organizers, food vendors and food trucks are responsible for ensuring the proper provision of the following:
- Access to water (not provided by the City)
- Access to electrical, if required (not provided by the City), subject to ESA inspection
- Proper waste disposal practices for compost, recycling and garbage
- Proper disposal of grease
- Handwashing stations and related sanitation requirements
All occurrences of gambling, gaming or games of chance (including 50/50 draws, Bingo games, lotteries, raffles, etc.) in the province of Ontario are subject to the regulations of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), and licensing through the City of Quinte West.
If you plan to host a lottery to raise funds, (i.e. bazaar, bingo, break-open ticket, raffles or any other type of lottery where the money is exchanged to win a prize) a lottery license is required. To learn more about obtaining a lottery license, please visit our licensing page. Running a lottery without proper licensing can risk your event being shut down or having other licenses such as Special Occasions Permit (SOP) being revoked.
SOCAN is the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, a Canadian performance rights organization that represents the performing rights of more than 150,000 songwriters, composers, music publishers and visual artists. SOCAN issues licenses for the performance and reproduction of music as well as for the reproduction of visual art.
RE:SOUND is the Canadian not-for-profit music licensing company dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for artists and record companies for their performance rights.
Together both agencies ensure the use of licensed music legally and ethically, ensuring music creators are compensated.
The City of Quinte West requires that all events using City property and featuring live or recorded licensed music pay the required SOCAN and RE:SOUND tariffs. Event organizers are responsible for contacting SOCAN and RE:SOUND directly to remit any necessary tariffs in order to avoid licensing penalties.
Parking is often at a premium during events in Quinte West. Ensuring appropriate parking logistics and sufficient parking availability are important aspects of the event planning process. This may require organizers to secure access to private parking lots by connecting and collaborating with local cultural facilities, churches, schools and retail establishments.
Depending on the location, scope, size and scale of the event, the City may require the event organizer to submit an Event Parking Plan for review and approval.
Parking on the grass, pathways, in driving lanes, fire routes, outside of designated parking spaces (i.e. at the end of an aisle of marked parking), and in designated accessible parking spaces without a valid permit on display, is not allowed at any time.
Event organizers, hired photographers/videographers, staff or volunteers acting on behalf of any event or activity on City property, must obtain written permission from any adult, and/or the parent/legal guardian of any minor child(ren) of whom photos/videos are being taken.
Written permission can be obtained through the use of digital or paper-based waiver forms, or by erecting ‘You will be photographer/video recorded’ signs around an event site, notifying attendees that their picture may be taken or recorded while onsite, and used for event purposes.
Use of photos/videos, including posting of photos and videos to social media, featuring images of individuals for whom permission has not been obtained compromises the safety and privacy of event attendees.
A selection of City parks are available for small group picnics and family gatherings.
Visit the Facility Rentals page on the City’s website for more information about reserving a picnic location.
All community events and activities must comply with public health standards and requirements set out by the Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health Department.
Event organizers are responsible for adequately considering and planning for all elements of public health at the event, and for ensuring the event has a current Event Safety Plan in place.
Events and activities including parades, races, festivals and street parties involving or impacting sidewalks or streets require a Road Occupancy Permit (ROP) from the City.
Events requesting to use City roads and/or sidewalks can submit a Community Event Application Form online.
Ensuring the safety and security of event attendees, volunteers, organizers, residents and visitors is a critical aspect of the event planning process. Police and private security support to community events is often required to maintain public safety and traffic standards and regulations.
The necessary level of police or private security officer support required for an individual event is determined in consultation with the event organizer, the Ontario Provincial Police and the City of Quinte West.
If police or private security support is required for your event, it is the event organizer’s responsibility to apply for and pay all fees associated with paid-duty police and private security services.
All security officers providing services to events in Quinte West must possess a valid Ontario Security Guard license.
Ensuring appropriate informational and way-finding signage at an event will help attendees, volunteers, staff and suppliers navigate and engage with the event effectively and efficiently.
Event organizers are encouraged to ensure the following signage be in place at their event:
- Public event site map(s)
- Way-finding signage indicating the location of significant event elements (i.e. first aid booth, washrooms, parking, food vendors, stage, registration, etc.)
- Access and Exit gates/points be clearly marked with signage
- ‘No Enter’ signs be posted or Restricted Area(s) be clearly marked with signage
- Emergency Access Route(s), fire route(s), fire hydrant(s) and fire department connections be clearly marked with signs and unobstructed
- ‘You will be photographer/video recorded’ signs notifying attendees that their picture may be taken or recorded while onsite, and used for event purposes
The City of Quinte West maintains a Smoking Prohibition Near Municipal Buildings By-law that prohibits smoking and vaping any substances near doorways, entrances and exits of municipal buildings.
Staking, spiking or digging into the ground, grass or concrete/pavement on City property is not allowed at any time. Underground utilities (including hydro, gas, or irrigation lines) may be buried below the surface of City property and are at risk when staking or digging. Any penalties or charges resulting from damage to any underground utilities as the outcome of unapproved staking, spiking or digging are the responsibility of the event organizer.
If an event requires items to be weighted down (i.e., tents, inflatables, etc.) it is the event organizer’s responsibility to coordinate for the use of appropriate weighting devices that do not require staking, spiking or digging.
Weighting devices may include concrete blocks, industry-certified rubber tent weights, and water barrels. The use of these weighted materials to secure items at an event site must be done in consultation with installation experts to ensure the safety and security of the public, the event site, the items and the weights.
The City encourages event organizers to implement sustainability initiatives and environmental consideration at all events in City facilities and on City property.
The City must be notified of all tents and temporary structures planned for within an event site.
If your tent is larger than 645 sq ft (60 m2) or closer than 3 m to any other structure, a tent permit (building permit) is required.
Tents or a group of tents spaced more than 3 m apart or less than 645 square feet (60 m2) in the aggregate area do not require a building permit.
Installing a tent before getting a permit can lead to increased permit fees or legal action. Click here to apply for a tent permit minimum of 90 days prior to the event start date.
Public health guidelines require access to sufficient washroom facilities, including handwashing services, at all community events.
The City of Quinte West recommends that one washroom (stall) and one hand-wash facility (sink) be available at a ratio of 1:100 washrooms to event guests.
If the event is booked in a location that has washroom facilities on-site, additional services may be required to clean and stock washrooms throughout the event, and additional charges may apply.
If the event is booked in a location that does not have washroom facilities on-site, additional temporary portable washrooms (porta-potties) and hand-wash stations are required. The coordination of washroom rentals, associated rental costs and service fees are the responsibility of the event organizer.
Event organizers are required to arrange the waste management logistics for their event.
Garbage bins may already be in place in certain City spaces. Depending on the size of the event and event elements that may influence a high volume of waste, event organizers may be required to provide additional garbage, recycling and compost receptacles and services at their event.
Clean water access and wastewater disposal is important for hydration and sanitation at events. Access to water sources and wastewater disposal may be limited by event location. The City encourages event organizers to contact a water supply company to provide access to water and to coordinate for wastewater disposal as needed. Absolutely no wastewater can be dumped into the sewer system.
Quinte West is home to a wide variety of wildlife. For the health and safety of the animals and event attendees do not interact with or feed the wildlife. The City of Quinte West makes every effort to keep all outdoor municipal spaces clean per established seasonal maintenance schedules. Canada Geese are found in many of Quinte West’s public spaces. In these environments there is the inevitability of some goose droppings.
Community Event Application Form
Complete this application form if the activity you are planning is open to the public, or will include: a stage, road closure, alcohol, amusement rides or inflatables, food vendors or fireworks. Please submit an application a minimum of 60-days before the date of your proposed event.
For meeting rentals, small gatherings, private functions, sports activities and picnics, please submit a facility request form.