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Reader Rock Garden bookings

Book Reader Rock Garden

Just a short distance from downtown, Reader Rock Garden provides a beautiful setting for your wedding, wedding party or family photos.

Currently accepting requests for 2024. Booking requests for 2025 will open on October 15, 2024. Details regarding booking information and how to request a booking for 2025 will be posted by September 2024. 

Bookable Spaces

The Main Lawn


Overlooking the downtown skyline and adjacent to the beautifully restored Reader house, this flat, grassy area is surrounded by seasonally blooming plants making it an ideal location for an outdoor wedding or reception.


  • Chairs are permitted, but not provided
  • Power available


Up to 80 people


2024: $757.12

*Three hour booking, includes set-up, take-down and photography permit. Risk Management Fee will apply.

The West Garden


This gradually sloping grassy area features a nearby waterfall making it an ideal location for a small, intimate, stand-up wedding. The West Garden is exceptionally beautiful in May when the apple blossoms are in bloom.


  • Chairs are not permitted due to slope


Up to 80 people


2024: $540.80

*Three hour booking, includes set-up, take-down and photography permit. Risk Management Fee will apply.

Nana's Garden


Lovingly designed by Reader for his wife, this warm, sunny, private location is perfect for a small gathering. Access to Nana’s Garden is via rock pathways, sensible footwear is recommended.


  • Surrounded by rose bushes
  • Chairs are permitted, but not provided


Up to 50 people


2024: $432.64

*Three hour booking, includes set-up, take-down and photography permit. Risk Management Fee will apply.

The Western Slope


Imagine walking down a private aisle through a natural cathedral of towering trees and flowers. This is what makes the Western Slope the perfect spot for small weddings. The Western Slope is accessible via pathways from Union Cemetery or other Garden areas.


  • One of the oldest trees in Calgary
  • Chairs are permitted, but not provided


Up to 80 people


2024: $540.80

*Three hour booking, includes set-up, take-down and photography permit. Risk Management Fee will apply.

Booking information and details

Booking Information

  • Bookings can only be requested for the current calendar year. Bookings open October 15 for the next year.
  • Only one special event is permitted within the Garden at a time to ensure public access remains available.
  • Due to the fragile surroundings of this historic site, only a limited number of events can be held during the summer months (May 1 - September 30) and must take place prior to 11 a.m. or after 2 p.m.
  • All visitors must stay on pathways or lawned areas.
  • Public parking is available on the west side of the garden with access from 25 Ave. S.E. There are limited spaces available and groups must walk to Reader House using the available paths. Two accessible parking spots are available beside the Reader House. We recommend using public transit to the Erlton/Stampede station with a short walk to the garden.
  • Chairs are permitted (but not provided) on the Main Lawn, Nana's Garden and the Western Slope. Rental orders must be approved prior to event.
  • Food and beverage service is only permitted on the Main Lawn. Food and beverage service can be booked directly through Reader's Garden Cafe at 403-234-0065.
  • All bookings are subject to approval.

Spaces and Rates

Outdoor spaces

  • Risk management fee: $4.75
  • Additional fees may apply
Area Maximum capacity 2024 Rate*

​Main Lawn

80 people, seated or standing


Lower Lawn (West Garden)

​80 people, standing only


​Upper Garden (Nana's Garden)

​50 people standing, or 30 people seated


​Western Slope Garden

​80 people, seated or standing


*Three hour booking, includes set-up, take-down and photography permit. Risk Management Fee will apply.

Booking procedures

Weddings & Special Events

Payment schedule:

  • See Spaces and Rates for area fees.
  • $150 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a specific date, due 14 days after booking is confirmed.
  • Remaining balance is due 45 days after booking is confirmed.
  • In the instance an event takes place less than 45 days from booking confirmation, the full payment is required at the time of booking confirmation.
  • Bookings do not include access or use of the Bride's Room. Contact the Cafe manager at 403-234-0065 directly for Bride's Room availability.

Cancellation Policy:
Cancellation is allowed up to 45 days after booking is confirmed. Cancellation is required in writing. The $150 deposit is non-refundable. Failure to observe this deadline will result in no refunds being issued. Last minute changes may not be accommodated based on staff availability.

Confirmation of Details:
Event details must be confirmed with Calgary Parks staff a minimum of four weeks in advance of the event date. Should event take place less than 30 days from confirmation, event details are required immediately.

Damages incurred during the event will be invoiced following the event.

Conditions of Use

  • ​All bookings must adhere to the special event guidelines and parks bylaws.
  • Approved contract must be on site on the day of booking/event.
  • Activities are restricted to those indicated on the contract.
  • Restaurant area is excluded from all bookings - including photography.
  • There is no storage on site and advance drop off of materials is not permitted. All items are to be delivered and picked up on the same day.
  • The contract holder is responsible for any meeting/event related damaged to the garden/facility and removal of any excess waste (fines will apply).
  • Calgary Parks is not responsible for loss or damages. We reserve the right to limit and/or decline bookings.

Garden Etiquette

​Adhering to the following rules will ensure the protection of Reader Rock Garden's valuable plant collection and historical features.

  • Garden visitors must exercise caution at all times due to the sloped and uneven nature of the pathways. Please wear appropriate footwear.
  • It is prohibited to disturb any part of the garden including plant collection, seed collection, fruit or flower picking and removal of any plants.
  • Stay on designated trails and grassy areas of the garden at all times.
  • Animals in the garden are wild - do not disturb or feed them.
  • Pets are not permitted in the garden.
  • Be considerate of all other visitors to the garden.
  • Active sports (including frisbee, soccer, lawn darts etc.) are not permitted.
  • Use of generators, floating/flying lanterns, open flame, rose petals, bird seed, rice, confetti, balloons, bubbles and bubble machines are not permitted.
  • Staking of tents is not allowed. Runners, carpets, mats, dance floors or other items that block airflow to the grass are not permitted.

Photography Permits

​Reader Rock Garden provides a beautiful backdrop for engagement, wedding or family photos. A photography permit must be purchased prior to taking photos in the Gardens and the contract holder must have the permit with them on the day. Bookings are taken on a first come, first serve basis.

Note: All wedding bookings include a photography permit.

Public Photography Permit

2024 - $54.08/hour

  • Available daily, May 1 - September 30
  • Maximum three hours per booking

The general public will continue to have access to all areas of the Garden. This permit does not provide exclusive access to any portion of the Garden.

Private Photography Permit

2024 - $162.24/hour

  • Available daily, May 1 - September 30
  • Exclusive use of one area. Area will be blocked off for your use.
  • Maximum two hours per booking
  • Not available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Payment Schedule:

  • Full payment of permit is due 14 days after the booking is confirmed.
  • In the instance a booking takes place with less than 14 days from confirmation, the full payment is required at the time of booking.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Photography Permits are non-refundable. Public photography permits may be rescheduled with a 14-day notice in writing. Private photography permits may not be rescheduled.

Ready to book

Ready to book the Reader Rock Garden? Fill out a request.