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Planning an Event

Events are a great way to contribute to City life, but they take time, energy and money to produce. The intent of this page is to act as a guideline to assist and support Event Organizers through the City of Owen Sound’s Special Event Advisory Team (S.E.A.T.) process to seek approval to hold your event and to help you understand your responsibilities as an event organizer.

If you are hosting an event or are looking to book space for an event in the City, please click the button and complete the form:

Special Events Advisory Team (S.E.A.T.) is comprised of City staff representing various municipal divisions that facilitate and support outdoor events taking place on City property and, in some cases, events on private property that have a significant impact on City services.

S.E.A.T. ensures that these events have all of the necessary permits, permissions and insurance in place to ensure that the event is healthy and safe for the organizers, participants, the corporation and other citizens.

If you hosting an event or are looking to book space for an event in the City, please click the button below and complete the form:

Special Event Booking Request Form

A Special Event Booking Request application MUST be submitted if:

(a)  You wish to hold your event on any portion of outdoor property owned by the City of Owen Sound;

This includes:

  • Roads / road allowances (Street Festivals / Parades / Races)
  • Parks / parkettes
  • Parking lots
  • Alleyways (assumed / unassumed)
  • Walkways / pathways / trails
  • Water lots
  • Open spaces
  • City Hall
  • Farmers Market
  • Outdoor Property or Facility


And the event includes ANY of the following elements:

  • Food being given or sold to the GENERAL PUBLIC at an event open to the public
  • Alcohol
  • Fireworks
  • Sound amplification
  • The use of electricity (you are plugging into an outlet for power and / or using a generator)
  • Tents larger than 10 feet x 10 feet
  • Amusement Rides and / or inflatables (i.e. bouncy castles / bouncers)
  • Projected attendance of over 1,000 people




(b)  You are requested to do so by the S.E.A.T. Chair because your event, even if it is held on private property, has the potential to significantly impact City services such as Police, Road Operations, Parks & Open Space, Waste Management, Public Works and Transportation. In this case, you will be required to add the City of Owen Sound to your insurance as an “Additional Insured” if your event on private property involves the use City services / staff and provide a copy of this insurance certificate to S.E.A.T.


By submitting a S.E.A.T. application, S.E.A.T. can inform all of the affected City divisions of your proposed event to ensure that all health and safety guidelines are met, that all necessary permits, permissions, insurance and approvals are secured, that there are no scheduling conflicts with other events / activities and that City services are not negatively impacted as a result of your event.


The safety of the people who are operating and visiting your event and the maintenance and respect for the City property being utilized is of utmost importance. City facilities are maintained for long-term public use and event organizers are responsible for any damage caused by event activity.


In consultation with S.E.A.T. members, the S.E.A.T. Chair reserves the right to waive the requirement for a S.E.A.T. application and to direct the event organizer to alternate City processes to secure approval to use City property.

Some event components require approval from Council or outside organizations.  Please be sure to allow the suggested timelines to be able to complete the following components.

Not all timelines may apply.  Necessary permits, fees, etc. are dependant on your event size, location and logistics.

120 Days in Advance

  • Special Event Booking Request Application
  • Alcohol Service Application / Special Occasion Permit (S.O.P.) through the AGCO
  • Special Event Request Form (to request additional garbage barrels, recycling carts, barricades, picnic tables, etc.)
  • Payment of any required fees or deposits
  • Utility Locates – Ontario1Call (gas, electric, telephone, water, sewer)

90 Days in Advance

  • Certificates of Insurance (including third-party participants)
  • Hawkers and Peddlers License (if applicable)
  • Alcohol – Applied for approval for licensed event, including Completion of Operational Plan – Facilities
  • Smart Service – provide copies of Smart Serve Certificates of those serving alcohol.
  • Grey Bruce Public Health Unit Special Event Application Form – for those serving food to the public.
  • Tent Permit
  • Sign Permit
  • Road/Lane/Sidewalk Occupancy (Closure) Application
  • Noise By-Law Exemption
  • Lottery Licence
  • Contact Owen Sound Fire Department regarding Fireworks/Pyrotechnics
  • St. John Ambulance First Aid or Grey County Paramedic Requirements
  • Operational Plan
  • Attend a S.E.A.T. meeting if required.

30 Days in Advance

  • Final site plan approval
  • Electrical and Water requirements

7 Days in Advance

  • Distribution of Road/Lane/Sidewalk Occupancy Notification Letters

This Venue Directory includes indoor city-owned facilities available for rent for special events.

All year long the City of Owen Sound offers many different events for different audiences.

Learn how your business or organization can be involved by checking out Sponsorship Opportunities here or Tourism Brochure Advertising.

If you wish to list an event in our online community events calendar, you can submit it under the 'submit a community event' tab here (no profile creation is required).

Please email the City's Events & Activation Coordinator if you have any questions.

The Event Planning Checklist will help ensure all event requirements and timelines can adhered to. Highly recommended for the early stages of planning your event.

See (and save) the Event Planning Checklist here.

Once your event is confirmed, you may use the Special Event Equipment Request Form to request certain materials from the City in support of your outdoor event.

Not sure where to start? The City's Events & Activation Coordinator will be pleased to assist.

Contact Us

808 2nd Avenue East,
Owen Sound, ON
N4K 2H4
Phone: 519-376-1440
Email us

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