Event exemption pilot

Temporary Outdoor Event Exemption Pilot

What is the Event Exemption Pilot?

The City is testing a new temporary expansion of the Special Function land use, allowing commercially licensed establishments to host outdoor events on their property for up to seven consecutive days per event.

This pilot program will allow us to gather data to support a change to our permit requirements and align processes with our legislative partners.

The Event Exemption Pilot program supports the vision of the Eventful City Strategy to encourage more events across the city by making it easier for businesses to use their existing event hosting capacity and resources to host events and pop-up activities on their own properties.

The first 50 eligible pilot applicants will not be charged the Special Function Development Permit fee (approximate value $624).

The pilot program will run until Sept 25, 2022

Getting started

Learn about how to apply and set up for your event exemption.

Who can apply?

The 2022 Event Exemption Pilot program is for local businesses in the Special Function Class 2 category of the Land Use Bylaw 1P2007 . These include:

  • Conference and event facility
  • Drinking establishment
  • Restaurant and night club
  • Brewery, winery and distillery

What are the requirements?

Step 1: Submit the Declaration of Intent to Host a Temporary Event – Special Function Class 2

Businesses that wish to participate in the 2022 pilot will begin by submitting the Declaration of Intent to Host a Temporary Event – Special Function Class 2.

The declaration is an acknowledgement by the business owner to abide by all City of Calgary guidelines and program requirements.

  • No fee
  • The Declaration of Intent must be submitted three weeks before your event.
    • Additional events must be submitted one week prior to your event.

Step 2: Apply for a development permit

The designated temporary event space must be on the same property and under control of the licensee.

A development permit is required for events that operate for 4-7 days. 

Events that operate up to three days will not require a development permit.

You are encouraged to book a pre-application meeting at the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 or through live chat. Make sure to indicate participation in the Event Exemption Pilot.

  • The first 50 eligible pilot applicants will not be charged the Special Function development permit fee (approximate value $624).
  • Wait time: 
    • A pre-application meeting is recommended 4 weeks prior to your event.
    • A completed application is required minimum 2 weeks before your event.
  • Note: A development permit is required for special events that take place in the floodway or flood fringe to assess potential safety issues.

Step 3: Other event permissions

You do not need to wait to hear back on each permit or review before continuing to apply for other needed permits or permissions. You may also be required to apply for additional permits and/or licenses:

  • Calgary Fire Department 
  • Additional Business Licenses
  • AGLC (Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis)
  • Alberta Health Services (AHS)

Step 4: Noise mitigation plan

A Noise Mitigation Plan is recommended for businesses who plan to use audiovisual equipment (i.e.: TVs, speakers etc.) in their temporary event spaces.

Businesses located where there is no residential within 150 m, could apply for noise bylaw exemption to operate until 11:00 p.m. 

  • No fee.
  • Minimum 1 week notice before event date is required.

Step 5: Confirmation

Once your Declaration form has been reviewed, you will receive an email from Event Services with confirmation in the pilot program. Permit documents and license approvals will be distributed through the respective application process initiated.

Note: All temporary event sites may be subject to compliance checks. If the event site is found operating outside the approved plan, the event site and or applicant may be subject to enforcement.

Pilot evaluation

When the event exemption pilot event is completed, businesses will be asked to provide feedback on the experience. The feedback and other data will be analyzed to determine whether to propose a change to the Special Function Class 2 development permit exemption and AGLC regulation.

We will explore the successes and challenges through the pilot process from start to finish. Questions will look at details around the measured success of the events whether through increased revenues, staffing opportunities and new audiences. We will look into how easy it was to operate an event of this nature and what were some of the challenges or observed impacts whether from staff, patrons, neighbours or community at large.