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Fireworks, pyrotechnics and movie special effects

Fireworks and pyrotechnics are not allowed to be ignited or fired within the City of Calgary unless you are a trained and certified professional with a fireworks permit. This includes consumer fireworks that have been purchased or ordered outside Calgary.

If you use fireworks or pyrotechnics without a permit you will be in violation of the Alberta Fire Code which can result in fines or jail time.

The Calgary Fire Department is the authority having jurisdiction in the City of Calgary to approve fireworks, pyrotechnics, movie special effects and their permits.

When are permits required?

Permits are always required to ignite, shoot, or install firework, pyrotechnics and movie special effects. If the fireworks are over 3 inches in diameter than a safety codes officer must be present at the event.

How soon do I need a permit?

You need to have a permit before the installation or ignition of fireworks, pyrotechnics, or special effects. Permits can usually be processed within 7-10 days of your request being placed into 311.

Permit Process

If you are an event organizer or a company contracted to produce and shoot fireworks, you must to follow these steps to apply for either a high level or low level display fireworks permit:

  1. Call 311 and put in a request for the specific permit you require.
  2. Provide all documents listed below to the Calgary Fire Department.

Required Documents

When you submit for a permit you will need to provide a variety of documentation for review, this includes:

  • A filled out application form for the type of display you are planning.
  • Written letters of permission allowing the display to take place. A sign off on the performance company’s letter head will not be accepted. Letters must be provided from the following:
    • Owner, lessee, or agent for the property where the display will take place
    • All properties outside of the performance area that may be affected by fall out or debris.
  • Proof of insurance in the amount of $5 million liability for all displays. The Calgary Fire Department or City of Calgary should be listed as additional insured for all permits.
  • Copy of the technician’s valid certificate with photo. The certificate is issued by the Explosive Regulatory Division (ERD).
  • Product list that includes manufacturer, type, size, and quantity.
  • Detailed site plan as described in section 3.8.1 of the Explosive Regulatory Division manual.
  • Detailed event fire safety plan.

Permit fees

There are fees to get a fireworks, pyrotechnics, or movie special effects permit. They are based on how many days you will need the permit for and are as follows:

  • $239.00 per day that the permit is required or
  • $1,039.00 for 5 or more days

An invoice of will be mailed out after you have received approval for a permit.

Are there consequences for not complying?

Failure to comply with the Alberta Fire Code can result in fines and even jail time as outlined in the Safety Codes Act. Failure to comply applies to:

  • Failure to get the necessary permits prior to installing or igniting fireworks or pyrotechnics.

If you are found guilty of non-compliance the consequences can be:

  • For a first offence,
    • Fines up to $100,000 and up to $1,000 for each day where the offense continues and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months
  • For a second offence,
    • Fines up to $500,000 and up to $2,000 for each day where the offence continues and/or imprisonment up to 12 months