The City of Calgary Recreation facilitates the bookings of open public park spaces for various outdoor activities, including weddings, fundraising events, performances, walks/runs, etc.
Any City of Calgary Parks department maintained greenspace or park site may be booked providing the appropriate Parks division office has given permission to do so. These include: major parks, regional & local pathways, small miscellaneous greenspaces, and downtown plazas. Picnic sites and community playfields can also be booked for purposes outside of the realm of their normal or intended use.
This does not include Prince’s Island Park, as it is only available for booking large annual festivals and events.
Booking any one of these facilities requires a special event permit.
What is a special event?
A Special Event is an event that requires additional authorization by City staff due to its potential impact on City facilities. This includes but is not limited to:
- Set up and take down of tables, tents, etc.
- Set up of temporary stages or other structures (i.e. risers)
- Posting banners or signs
- Amplified or acoustic performances (music)
- Need for meeting rooms or storage
- Selling merchandise/Commercial Activity
- Fundraising event
- Walk, run or marathon
But does not include:
- Fireworks, open flame or other Pyrotechnics
- Tents, stages and/or other structures exceed a combined 600 square feet
- Alcohol sales or service
- Use of roadways
Events that include any of these 4 instances are considered a Festival Event and must adhere to a separate evaluation process. You must contact Event Services at (403) 476-4323 or email@example.com no less than 90 days prior to your planned event for information and booking. Visit planning a festival for more information.
Things to know before booking
Special event applicants will be contacted for payment of a $26.25 non-refundable administration fee. Your application will be sent to the appropriate Parks area office(s) for review when this fee is paid.
The City of Calgary does not normally post notices of rentals or events.
Permit holders must have a copy of their permit with them at all times during the event. This is proof of your rental and includes the conditions set forth by the Parks area offices.
Permit holders are expected to adhere to all conditions laid out on your permit's conditions of use as well as abide by all other parks bylaws
and Special event guidelines
. It is your responsibility to ensure that all participants are aware of and are adhering to these conditions as well.
If a non-permitted user is occupying the site, please contact City staff if available on site, or call 3-1-1.
Find a park
- browse some of the more popular, but not exclusive, parks available for booking.
Ongoing construction at Bowness Park in 2016
- Currently, Bowness Park sites 1 & 2 are unavailable for bookings due to flood remediation efforts. For current information on the Redevelopment project see Bowness Park Redevelopment Project.
Construction Planned for Prairie Winds Park in 2016
The Picnic site at Prairie Winds Park will be unavailable for booking for the 2016 season. For current information on the Redevelopment project see Prairie Winds Park Redevelopment Project.
Ongoing construction at Sandy Beach Park in 2016
Currently, Sandy Beach Park is unavailable for bookings due to flood remediation efforts and redevelopment work. For current information on the Redevelopment project see River Park, Sandy Beach and Britannia Slopes Redevelopment Project.
Timelines for booking
Applications will be accepted for the current year plus the following year.
For the current year: Special event applications can take 6 - 8 weeks to process and applications are processed in the order they are received.
For the following year: Responses for (most) special event applications for the following year cannot be processed prior to the New Year. Customers can expect to receive permits or updates approximately 6 - 8 weeks after the New Year unless the event is occurring in the first 2 months of the year. Booking priorities are first given to festivals and renewal special events for the following year's booking requests.