Fireworks, pyrotechnics and movie special effects
Note: On the advice of, and in partnership with Alberta Health Services, The City of Calgary will issue limited fireworks permits while COVID restrictions are in place.
Fireworks and pyrotechnics must not be ignited or fired in Calgary except by a trained and certified professional with a fireworks permit. This includes consumer fireworks that have been purchased or ordered outside Calgary.
Use of fireworks, pyrotechnics or blasting without a permit is in violation of the National Fire Code (Alberta Edition) or City of Calgary bylaws and may result in fines or prosecution.
The Calgary Fire Department is the authority in Calgary to approve permits for fireworks, pyrotechnics and movie special effects.
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 Fire Safety Codes Officer must be present at the event.
How soon do I need a permit?
You must have a permit before the installation or ignition of fireworks, pyrotechnics, or special effects. Please call 311 to request a permit, the normal processing time is 7-10 days.
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:
- Call 311 and put in a request for the specific permit you require.
- Provide all required documents to the Calgary Fire Department.
- 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 The 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.
Fees are based on how many days you will need the permit for:
- $370 per day that the permit is required or
- $1,607 for 5 or more displays
You will receive an invoice in the mail when your permit has been approved.
Are there consequences for not complying?
Failure to comply with the National Fire Code (Alberta Edition) can result in fines and even jail time as outlined in the Safety Codes Act. Failure to comply is defined as the 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 offence 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