If you are planning a community event or festival, it is essential that you have all of the proper permits in order for your celebration to run smoothly. Listed below is important information to consider during your planning process. Please note that this is not a complete list of potential requirements; some other permits or information may be necessary, depending on your event.
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.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) and specific sections of the Liquor Control Act (LCA). Together, they establish the licensing and regulatory regime for most aspects relating to the sale and service of alcohol in Ontario.
Among its responsibilities in the alcohol sector, the AGCO oversees the administration of the Special Occasion Permit (SOP) program, which allows for the sale and service of alcohol at special occasions, such as cash bars at weddings or private receptions, as well as charity fundraisers.
An SOP is required any time alcohol is offered for sale anywhere other than in a licensed establishment or a private place.
A permit may be issued for the following types of events:
- Private event: For events where only notified guests will attend. These events cannot be advertised, and there can be no intent to gain or profit from alcohol sales at the event.
- Public events: For events that are open to the public. Public events can be advertised and allow for fundraising/profit from the sale of alcohol.
- Tailgate events: For public events that are held outdoors, connected with, and in proximity to, an eligible live sporting event. Attendees 19 years of age or older may bring their liquor (BYOB) for consumption at the event. These events can be advertised, and the sale and/or service of alcohol are permitted.
- Industry promotional events: For events held to promote a manufacturer’s product through sampling. There can be no intent to gain or profit from the sale of alcohol at the event.
- Click here to apply for a Special Occasion Permit
- Note that you must supply your own insurance for any event hosted on city property.
The Ontario Building Code prescribes minimum fire and life safety requirements specific to assembly occupancies of tents for special events. Tents or a group of tents spaced less than 3 m apart or less than 645 square feet (60 m2) in the aggregate area do not require a building permit.
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. Please note that installing a tent before getting a permit can lead to increased permit fees or legal action.
Click here to apply for a tent permit
Health and safety requirements apply to event organizers and food vendors at special events (i.e. fundraisers, community events, religious events, service club events or farmers’ markets). If you intend to serve food to the general public, the following forms must be completed and submitted to Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH).
- Event organizers must complete the Special Events/Farmers’ Market – Organizer Notification.
- Food vendors must complete the Special Events/Farmers’ Market – Food Vendor Notification form.
- If a farmers’ market is planned for a special event, please review the HPEPH special requirements and exemptions for farmers’ markets.
- If you plan to serve food at your event, organizers and vendors must be familiar with safe food handling practices in place with HPEPH.
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 licence is required. To learn more about obtaining a lottery licence, please visit our licencing page. Running a lottery without proper licencing can risk your event being shut down or having other licences such as Special Occasions Permit (SOP) being revoked.
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. An ESA inspector may need to review any electrical details before the event begins. Learn more about special requirements for large events and electrical safety tips for large or small celebrations.
If you plan to play music at your event, you may be required to obtain a SOCAN licence. This license allows you to use music in public for your patrons legally, ethically and responsibly. Without SOCAN, you would have to get permission and negotiate a royalty with every songwriter, lyricist, and music publisher whose work you intend to play or to have publicly performed. For a small fee, SOCAN simplifies the process by allowing you to play music without worry. For more information or to apply for a SOCAN licence, visit Entandem or call 866-944-6223.
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. To receive approval for fireworks at your event, contact the Quinte West Fire Prevention Officer at 613-392-2841 ext. 7465 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.